The National Consumer Panel is a program I participated in a few years ago. The way it works is pretty simple — register yourself (you may be put on a waiting list) and then you receive a small, handheld scanner in the mail to use for scanning your grocery purchases. Every time you go shopping, simply use the scanner and scan your barcode as you put your products up.
Is this free?
Yes, it's totally free. The scanner doesn't cost you a dime. The only catch is you do have to return it to them if you at any point decide you don't want to participate any longer. But they'll send you a prepaid shipping label for doing this, so it won't cost you shipping to return it. You should also keep the original box the scanner comes in so you won't have to find a box for it.
What are some of the perks?
Once you become a NCP panel member all you have to do is scan and send them your household purchase information every week with a handheld scanner that they provide. For each week of the month NCP receives your purchase information, you will earn one entry into the Monthly Sweepstakes where you can win a $500 American Express Rewards Card. That’s up to FOUR entries every month! Every month, 25 panel members win!
That’s not all… Every quarter an additional 40 panel members win a $500 American Express Rewards card just by sending purchase information in every week of a month.
Is the National Consumer Panel legit?
Yes. They've been around for many years. They have been collecting consumer data for a very long time, and this is just one of their many programs.
My Experience With the Panel
For me, I didn't do this that long because I just didn't really have time to scan all my items after I got groceries. I was in a hurry to get things put up. At first it was fun though. I guess it's goofy, but I kind of liked having my own little scanner to do this with and know that I could potentially cash in and win things.
I didn't keep it up, but I know there are many people who have continued with the program and like it. There are also some who, like me, just began to feel like it was more of a chore.