National Consumer Panel, Scam or Legit? – Some Things To Know
As a member of National Consumer Panel (aka NCP) you can make money off of your ordinary shopping. Its a pretty cool concept and a very simple way to make a little extra cash. HOWEVER, there are some downsides to this place that you should be aware of.
If you are wondering is National Consumer Panel a scam then you are in the right place. I love to make extra money trying new things like this so I was excited to look into this opportunity and see how good it really is. In this short review I’ll be going over how it all works, some of the complaints about it, and whether or not I think it is worth the time you have to put into it.
National Consumer Panel Review
- Website: ncponline.com
- Type: Market research company
- Cost to Join: Free
- Rewards: Gift cards, merchandise
- Legit?: Yes
National Consumer Panel is a market research panel that is operated by both Nielsen and Iri. What this means is that they gather information on consumers. There are a lot of ways to go about this and often times you see sites offering paid surveys and cash back for shopping, all of which serve the same purpose… market research. The purpose of this is so that companies know what consumers think so that they can improve products and services.
NCP is more focused on gathering consumer behaviors rather than opinions by offering paid surveys. What they do is gather consumer shopping behavior by tracking what you buy and they reward you for allowing them to gather this information.
Overall I like what NCP brings to the table. My favorite “rewards for shopping” program is iBotta, but NCP actually has some benefits that iBotta does not.
How It Works
1) Join As a Member
The first step is to join. This is free to do but there is no guarantee that you will be accepted. NCP is a little more picky than many other similar sites and they are looking for certain demographics to join. If you aren’t what they are looking for then you won’t be accepted.
The only way to find out if you are what they are looking for is to sign up and see.
2) Go Shopping
Once you are a member you will go about your normal shopping routine. There is nothing special to this. They want to track your shopping behavior so you should just do what you normally do.
3) Scan Barcodes
After shopping you will have to scan the barcodes of the items you bought. You can do this by downloading their app to your smartphone, or if you don’t have a smartphone you can have NCP send you a little hand-held scanner at no cost.
Each week you are supposed to send all the data that you scanned to NCP.
4) Provide Additional Details
You will also be given a short survey to provide details about your shopping trips. There will be short questions about what you bought, where you shopped, etc.
5) Redeem Points for Rewards
Every week you will be awarded points into your member account from NCP based on your activity. Once you accumulate 8,000 points you are eligible to redeem them for things of real cash value. They offer a range of gift cards to all the big retailers as well as for places like iTunes that you can choose to receive. In their gift catalog they also offer merchandise that you can choose to get.
What I Like About This Program
Of course I like how simple it is. I mean, literally all you do is scan receipts which doesn’t get much easier. And I also like how you don’t really have to go out of your way to earn the money. The only extra step you have to take is the actual scanning for the most part.
But one thing that I particularly like about NCP is that they will actually give you a scanner. Pretty much every other similar program out there requires you to download an app to your smartphone. NCP gives both options so that even those without smartphones can take part in this.
How Much Money Will You Make?
Unfortunately you aren’t going to make much at all considering the time you put into it. Based on digging around and reading a lot of member’s posts, most people report spending anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours a week scanning receipts and it taking months just to accumulate enough points (8,000 minimum) to be able to cash out.
There was one guy that had been participating in this for 2 years and this is what he had to say…
Now of course results can vary and there are people that claim to make better money than this but generally speaking it pays very little and most people are making way way way less than minimum wage once they do the math.
They also offers surveys where you can earn points but these pay out very little and I would recommend average paid survey sites over the surveys that NCP offers.
Scanning your items can be a pain in the butt. Its not like you are just scanning your receipt and that’s the end of it. You have to scan the bar-code on each individual item. And yes… sometimes you are going to have problems getting items to scan and its going to be frustrating.
Also, it can take FOREVER if you shop at certain stores that don’t keep price indices for their products. This means that you will have to manually input all of the prices.
Low Point Value
The points just aren’t worth enough. It takes way to long to be able to cash out for something of value. The 8,000 minimum point threshold should be worth a heck of a lot more than $8 considering the time it takes to reach that.
Need to Stay Active
You must stay an active member if you are borrowing one of their scanners. If you take a break they may end your membership and demand the scanner back. I am not sure how log of a “break” you are allowed to take but this is something to note.
Final Thoughts & What I Recommend
Overall National Consumer Panel is definitely a legitimate program and all but I just can’t recommend it. The payoff is ridiculously low for the amount of time required. I just don’t get why anyone would want to do this and earn money and I’m guessing that most people probably join thinking that they are going to earn more and they find out the hard way.
I have read through tons of reviews (many from SurveyPolice) and none of them even come close to convincing me to recommend this. Even the people that write good reviews seem to have lost their mind and can’t argue with the fact that you are making pocket change.
If you have a smartphone then I would definitely recommend cash back shopping apps like iBotta over this. You only have to scan your receipt and don’t need to waste all your time.
But honestly I don’t really recommend any paid survey sites or “paid to shop” apps all that much.
It has become the market research industry standard to pay out very little nowadays. And in my opinion it is pretty much a waste of time.
There are better ways to make money with your spare time. I actually make a living working for myself online and I sure as heck am not going around scanning groceries.
I have written a post on what I do to make money online, how it all works, and how others can do the same. You can click the link below to read about it if you are interested.
Comments, questions, concerns??? Leave them in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you 🙂