National Consumer Panel Review – Legit Or Time Wasting Scam?

shopping trends research

Who doesn’t like free stuff? National Consumer Panel is a site that lets you earn rewards for grocery shopping, this is not really a site for making money but for people who would like to get rewards for something they’re already doing.

National Consumer Panel isn’t a scam, they’re a legit market research panel who is backed by highly reputable companies like IRI and Nielsen which have been around since 1923 and currently hold a A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau. But just because they’re scam-free doesn’t mean they’re automatically worth your time. 

Although they offer rewards, they don’t pay cash. You collect points and trade them in for gift cards, merchandise, and sweepstakes. If you want to earn cash online then check out these top “get-paid-to” sites instead.

In this National Consumer Panel review I’ll go over exactly what they’re about, their rewards, some problems, and ultimately whether they’re worth joining or not.

National Consumer Panel Review

Name: National Consumer Panel
Type: Shopping trends research
Membership Price: Free To Join
My Rating: 1.3 out of 5

scan grocery items to earn rewards

I rated National Consumer Panel just 1.3 out of 5 and this low rating is not because they’re a scam, it’s because they’re not a good site for making money. If money is your primary goal then you’ll be way happier with a site like Swagbucks instead where you can earn cash doing various things online.

Points at National Consumer Panel take a long time to accumulate and for 6,000 points you get a measly $10 gift card. Honestly for all the work you’re not getting very much in return and it’s kind of a waste of time.

There are also tons of problems you could run into and I’ll cover these more later on below.

How Does National Consumer Panel Work?

Signing Up

First of all not everyone can sign up. You have to be a USA resident, and there are additional demographic requirements that you need to meet. They don’t tell you what those requirements are, but when you try to sign up they will let you know at the end whether you meet their qualifications or not.

Get The NCP Handheld Scanner / NCP Mobile App

If you’re lucky enough to get accepted and granted a membership, you can get started. They will send you a handheld scanner (if you qualify) through the mail to your address. And yes, you WILL have to return the scanner eventually. They don’t just give it to you! There have been people who forgot to return the scanner and actually got threatened with collections!

Thank god we’re in the age of smartphones because they do have a NCP mobile app that you can download and use your phone to scan instead.

Go Shopping / Scan Items

scan barcode grocery items

National Consumer Panel does marketing research and wants to know consumers grocery shopping trends. They do this by giving you a hand held scanner to scan the barcodes of your groceries when you go shopping, then you send this data to them at the end of the week and you earn points and trade them in for non-cash rewards.

Just take your scanner and scan every item that you purchased at the supermarket when you get home. This can get really annoying and tiresome if you have tons of items, especially frozen items that melt. Some people have reported that it took them an hour to scan 30-40 items!

Transmit Data To NCP

At the end of the week you’ll have to transmit all your grocery shopping data to NCP and once you do this you will earn some points. You may also be given some surveys to do on your shopping experience and habits, these will also earn you some points.

How Many Points Can You Earn?

How many points you can earn vary, but people on forums have reported earning about 200 points per weekly grocery shopping haul. Once you have racked up enough points, you can then start looking to trade them in for rewards. So let’s take a look at what goodies they have to offer…

National Consumer Panel Rewards

The minimum amount of points you must earn in order to start redeeming for rewards is 6,000 points. For this amount of points you can get about a $10 worth of gift cards from places like Amazon, iTunes, Visa prepaid cards, and more.

There are also merchandise such as kitchen appliances, vacuums, video game consoles, cameras, TVs, and tons of other stuff you can trade in points for. But honestly for the expensive items like cameras and TVs it will take a LOT of points and it’s something that 99.9% of people aren’t going to be able to get. 

There’s also a sweepstakes that run weekly, monthly, and quarterly for $20,000. But I really dislike sweepstakes because I’m not a lucky guy and even if you feel like you’re lucky you really can’t expect to win anything 99.9% of the time. You might as well play the freakin’ lotto.

There’s no way to turn points into cash, if you want cash then check out These Reward Sites That Pay With Paypal.

Here’s a video summarizing how National Consumer Panel works:

National Consumer Panel Problems

Not Everyone Can Join

Even if you’re excited and eager to start scanning those frozen bags of vegetables for points, you may not even get in. Only a select bunch of people can actually join, it depends on your demographics and whether people in your region is needed for market research. If you didn’t get accepted then check out Swagbucks as a better option to earn points instead.

Scanners Not Working

There are a few people on forums who have complained about receiving a faulty scanner that was broken or wasn’t working properly. Guess what? If that happened to you then you’ll need to send it back and get another one! If you don’t send it back then they’ll harass you and threaten to send you to collections.

I mean, fair enough the scanner is theirs and they’re just loaning it to you. But this is potentially a pain in the butt and all this trouble ain’t worth some points for a $10 gift card in my view.

Crappy Rewards

Alright look, there’s nothing wrong with gift cards and merchandise if you’re just looking to get rewarded for things you’re already doing. It’s fun, and it’s rewarding. But for people who wants to make money, there’s nothing worse than joining a site that only offers non-cash rewards.

I also think that sweepstakes stink and it’s just basically a lotto draw where you’re almost never gonna win anything and you’ll be wasting your time.

Since on my blog Comfy Work At Home Life my focus is primarily on making money online I’ll have to down vote National Consumer Panel for offering crappy non-cash rewards. 

Bad Customer Service

There are quite a few angry members on forums ranting and raving about National Consumer Panel’s bad customer service. Some people have run into problems with receiving their payout and have gotten no response from support, and others have been threatened with being sent to collections for not returning the scanner.

If you want to work with people who treat their members poorly then go ahead, but personally I’d rather stay away!

Is National Consumer Panel a Scam?

For the most part National Consumer Panel seems to be legit, they offer grocery shoppers a way to earn some rewards for something they’re already doing. But at the same time you’re required to take a big chunk of extra time to scan items and transmit data to NCP, all you get in return is some points which you’ll need a lot of for crappy rewards.

If you’re interested in signing up you can Join National Consumer Panel Here.

Personally I think it’s way more trouble than it’s worth and you’re much better off joining Swagbucks where anyone can join to earn “swagbucks” which can be redeemed for both cash via Paypal and gift cards.

If you’re not satisfied with small rewards then check out my #1 Recommended Way of Making Money Online where I’ll show you the best way to build a full time income online by building websites/blogs.

That’s it for this review, as usual if you have any opinions about National Consumer Panel I’d love for you to share with me and my readers in the comments below!

My Final Rating:

  • Earning Potential
  • Money/Time Ratio
  • Ease of Use
  • Ease of Receiving Earnings
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