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National Consumer Panel

National Consumer PanelIn this National Consumer Panel review. I will share my previous experience with Nielsen Homescan panel and more detailed information about NCP. 

What is National Consumer Panel?

National Consumer Panel (former Nielsen Homescan) is a market research panel that focuses on measuring consumer attitudes and behavior.  NCP gathers panel member’s shopping data and opinion to help retailers and manufacturers make informed decisions on what products to develop, improve or sell in the market.

Is National Consumer Panel Legitimate and Free?

National Consumer Panel is 100% free to sign up, there is no fees or costs of any kind.

And yes, it is a legitimate research panel. National Consumer Panel is a joint venture between two leading consumer insight providers in the United States – NielsenIQ and IRi.

Personally I have earned rewards and been paid. There are many people also have had positive experience.

Who can Join National Consumer Panel?

To join National Consumer Panel, you must be at least 18 years old, and live in the United States.

Please note that Nielsen is still operating HomeScan Panels in Canada, Australia and Germany. (Only HomeScan US changes name to National Consumer Panel).

How to Join National Consumer Panel?

To sign up for National Consumer Panel, GO HERE, fill out the registration form with your information. NCP will review your application and if accepted you will hear from them with instructions on further steps.

If you live outside of United States, and would like to Join Nielsen HomeScan Canada, Australia, & Germany Panels, please use following sign up links:

How Does NCP work?

As a new member, you will have access to NCP’s app. You download the app, and use it to scan the barcodes on all products you purchase during any shopping trip you or someone in your household makes. You’ll record some other information like where you shopped and how much you paid. You then send the shopping data to NCP.

Members must do the scanning and transferring at least once a week to remain in the panel.

You also will have the opportunity to take surveys on a variety of topics and earn points for completing them.

What are the rewards?

You can redeem your points towards gift cards or various merchandise on their reward catalog.

National Consumer Panel Review

I was with Nielsen Homescan for a about a year around 2005 – It was an fun and Okay program.  Even though I quit after less than a year, I was able to accumulate enough points to redeem a nice baking dish set.

The scanning bar-code part was not too bad , it was quick. However, it became tedious, and lot of work if you shop a lot at Walmart. For all other stores, the scanner can read price automatically, but not for Walmart – you have to enter price for every item you buy manually which is a pain.

Update: you no longer have to enter price manually for Walmart!

I didn’t encounter any problems with the scanner scanning, just a couple of times had problem transferring the data (I used telephone line to do the transfer), and had to keep trying until it went through.

I did like their mail/paper surveys and online surveys because they are very quick and easy. For mail surveys, you use scanner to scan/give your answers and online surveys are also short and fun. Mail and online surveys are great ways to accumulate points, plus members get extra points on their birthdays and for being on the panel for one year/two years and things like that, all these make points added up pretty fast.

As a member you do need to scan once a week to remain on the panel, you can always inform them if you aren’t be able to do the scan if you are away for vacations. They do provide petty good customer service if you have any problems with scanning and transferring etc.

Regarding their reward – Homescan program has  a reward catalog that lists all the merchandise you can redeem. There were many things on the catalog that I liked while I was on the panel, and eventually I saved enough points to get a baking set I really like and I am still using it.

Update: now you can also redeem points for gift cards! I wish they had that option when I was with them!

After I while I was tired of scanning and manually entering prices (since I do lot of shopping at Walmart) and returned everything. I really hoped they can make scanning easy for Walmart otherwise I might just stayed ( In fact while writing this review, I think I might consider re-joining cause I have been shopping more at Kroger instead of Walmart. ), but I think it could be a pretty good gig for a teenager or even younger kids – there are many great toys for children on the reward catalog that they might want!

Sometime this year (2011) Nielsen Homescan USA changes their name to: National Consumer Panel. It works the same way as Homescan – members earn points scanning their purchases and taking surveys, and you can redeem your points for merchandise.

Review Update 2021: I tried to rejoin National Consumer Panel, unfortunately I don’t think I am going to get accepted. I never heard from them since I submitted my application except their initial email that they received my application. I am guessing they already have enough members around my neighborhood with similar demographic.


Based on my previous experience and feedback from others I learned, I think the program has improved over the years, and I do recommend you give National Consumer Panel a try.

Thanks for reading my National Consumer Panel review. Are you a current member of NCP? It would be great if you could share your experience!

9 thoughts on “National Consumer Panel”

  1. I have tried to sign up for this site, but after it asks me information it takes me to a site that says, can not access with out password. doesnt let me completely sign up.

  2. I just wanted to comment that I have been scanning for about 5 years now and while it takes a minute, that’s all it takes. I haven’t had any problems and since you can scan with a smart phone it’s great. Also, Walmart prices are now in the system so those don’t have to be entered any longer. The items I have gotten have been quality so there are no complaints there. You can’t beat getting something for doing so little.

    • Hi Deb, thank you so much for commenting! You just shared something new which are smart phone scanning and Walmart price is the system now. I am very glad to hear the improvements and I agree with things are getting easier! Maybe I will re-join!! Thanks again hope to see you around! cheers, Mei

  3. Nielsen Consumer panel home scanning
    I Do NOT recommend Nielsen consumer panel to anyone!
    we received our scanner but couldn’t get it to work back in the summer of 2013. They sent us a new scanner and another time new cables and it still didn’t work and so they sent us a bag to return the scanner in September 2013 having wasted hours scanning our shopping over the few months we had it.
    We returned it only to receive an abrupt phone call automated message in October 2013 demanding we return the equipment which I called and said we had done some weeks before.
    We have today January 17th 2014 had a Final Notice letter demanding the return of their equipment with the threat of them taking legal action and charging us for the equipment!
    I tried to call their helpline which gives you three options to choose from but each option takes you back to that same automated message offering the three options over and over again.
    I managed to search an alternative number for them through their press office and called to say yet again that I have returned their equipment 3-4 months ago!
    They told me the letters have been sent out in error and that they have had lots of calls today but NO apology!!
    We wont get anything for the points we had collected and I wish I’d never had anything to do with this rude officious company whose customer service leaves much to be desired!
    Don’t use them, it’s not worth the hasssle and threats!! here’s hoping this is the end of the matter and that they retract their threats made to us but somehow I fear this wont be the last of it. Please spread

    • So sorry to hear your story April!! Wow! They certainly are not getting better, cause I have heard of people having the same issue as yours! Gee I was thinking to get back to them but looks like not so fast! I also hope they retract their threats and problem finally over. Good luck and thanks for sharing!

  4. I too was a member of Homescan which is now National Consumer Panel for many years. I would appreciate gift cards such as 5,10,25 dollars so that we could have more control of their useage. Since groceries have skyrocketed, this would surely help the consumer.

  5. 🙂 I too have been very happy being a panel member for this company. It takes very little time each week. Multiple ways to earn points and cash out for great gifts. My list of gifts include a TOASTER OVER, DIGITAL CAMERA AND A HAND HELD VAC working my way to my next gift of WIRELESS HEADPHONES. Great customer support too! My new camera was damaged out of the box. It was replaced with a slight upgrade and took no time to exchange.

    Take the opportunity to join if you get the chance.

  6. :s i was with a site called shoppers hotline
    they went out of business and joined up with
    home scan shoppers hotline treated me so well they sent me checks throught the snail mail and only required me to scan items once a week or more. they had the best customer service after the shoppers hotline business folded up, they wanted me to recycle the scanning equipment i threw it in to the garbage i will miss the shoppers hotline business i have joined up with homescan
    shoppers hotline recommended that i join up
    with homescan i have applied long time
    ago i am waiting for an opening for me
    i hope so soon

  7. I have been with Homescan which is now called National Consumer Panel for over four years and have enjoyed being a member. I wish they would go to paypal payments instead of gifts but I have received some nice items. A coleman propane fry pan for camping, value $69. A set of T fal pans, value $100 and various smaller items. They have great customer service too.


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