A while ago I wrote an iBotta Review which was a great way to earn money for grocery shopping if you had a smart phone. Many of you have really been thriving with it and realize the value in getting paid for something you'll do anyway. Unfortunately many of you have “mentally challenged” cell phones (aka dumb phones) so you couldn't take advantage of that opportunity. Well I think I may have stumbled on an alternative that you may be interested in. So let's dive into my National Consumer Panel Review to determine if this is actually worth your time.
What is National Consumer Panel (NCP)?
National Consumer Panel or NCP is basically a market research company that rewards people like you and for scanning your groceries. NCP is actually the marriage of two leading companies Nielsen & IRi and has been operating since 1923 (according to the BBB).
Speaking of the Better Business Bureau, NCP under their parent company Nielsen has a rating of A+ at the time of this review. But take that with a grain of salt because of what I've written here in my Work At Home Better Business Bureau article.
How does National Consumer Panel work?
So unlike most market research companies to even join their database your household demographics must match what they're currently in need of.
- But once you are signed up as a free panel member and accepted into the program, you just go about your business of grocery shopping.
- Once you've completed your shopping you use a handheld NCP scanner provided by the company to scan your groceries. This is provided if your household qualifies for one. If not, you will have access to an NCPMobile app to scan barcodes on groceries you've purchased.
- You will also be answering surveys and recording other info about your shopping trips (i.e. where shopped, how much paid, purchase method, etc).
- Once a week you will need to transmit all shopping data to NCP.
National Consumer Panel Rewards: Show me the money
National Consumer Panel rewards you with reward points for each completed week of shopping and data recording activity.
You'll need about 8k points minimum for cash out. These points can be redeemed for a variety of merchandise via the National Consumer Panel gift catalog. Points can be redeemed for iTunes gift cards, charity donations, household items (vacuum cleaners, small kitchen appliances, etc) and some other things.
You can also use these points to buy cash sweepstakes entries and they can be used towards National Consumer Panel Perks & Discounts. Member participation also entitles you to their NCPRewards+ program which is basically special discounts at major retailers like AT&T, etc.
National Consumer Panel Complaints: No one is perfect
I don't know about you but as I started reading more about the company there were some things that rang off in my mind. But just in case you missed them, I'll break down the possible complaints you'll probably have against NCP. Just keep in mind that every company will have some aspects that people don't like. It doesn't mean it's a scam. But nonetheless you should know what they are to make an informed decision. So here are some of the things that may concern you.
No immediate acceptance
Being immediately accepted into the program is NOT guaranteed because acceptance is based upon if/when there is an opening or a need for specific household demographics, so availability could take a while in some cases. This sucks but I get why. Like all market research everything is based on supply and demand. If they already have a good supply of people that match your household demographic then there is no point in recruiting you. So although it may seem like they're being exclusive for the sake of it, there is a business reason behind it.
Recording product info is too time consuming
Scanning each product is not really a problem but it's the other required info needed that takes up way too much time. Folks have had frozen foods begin to thaw while going thru the info recording process … wow, that's crazy lol. It's not worth it nor does the reward point value match the efforts. I tried doing this for a bit and it was very tedious especially if the machine wasn't working properly.
Unfortunately the scanners don't always work properly. And when I was doing this before smartphones. So I didn't have the option of an app. That said when you did have problems with the scanner, you have to send it back and then there are delays sometimes when trying to receive a scanner replacement. It doesn't happen all the time but when it does it's a hassle and given the rewards are limited it's not always worth it.
Reward points take too long to accumulate
I love the idea of getting rewarded for what I'm already doing. But I want those rewards to be appealing like Paypal payments, checks, direct deposit or a wide range of digital gift cards like Instagc offers me. Unfortunately NCP seems to be content with limiting us with less choices. That alone would probably be a deal breaker for me and why I stopped participating in this opportunity many moons ago.
Robot member support
Unfortunately like so many companies today you're faced dealing with annoying automated recording prior to talking to live support. Eventually you do get to speak to someone though. It's just the day and age we live in folks!
So is National Consumer Panel Scam or Not?
I know everyone likes to throw that work scam around a lot to describe any company they don't like for whatever reason. But that's not how I roll and I try to be objective as I can. So with that said despite the complaints I listed above, I don't think National Consumer Panel is a scam. You can earn rewards for participating if you can get in.
But personally I stop participating in programs like this because they were a hassle and the limited rewards just weren't appealing to me given the effort required. However everyone is different and you may find this opportunity to your liking. If so at least you know what to expect before you join.
If you're looking for a way to make some real money online without having to scan groceries then you may want to check out some of the options I have personally made money with right here. I can literally teach you step by step how I've made some serious money and you can too in time.
Well that's enough for me guys. Hopefully you enjoyed this review. I would love to hear your thoughts about this company and opportunity. Is it appealing to you, would you be willing to try it? Let me know by posting a comment down below.
Until next time,
Eddy with a y