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Nielsen National Consumer Panel = FREE Cash?!

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Wow! Remember the Nielsen National Consumer Panel opportunities that I have mentioned in the past?! Well, check out this email from reader, Ali, to see how she just snagged $30 in FREE cash…

Today I got a great surprise in my mailbox! About a year ago, you had posted that Nielsen Home Scanning was accepting new applicants, so I took my chance and signed up. Unfortunately, they said they did not need any new help from us at the time and told us we would be put on a waiting list. We are still not doing the home scanning, but we do get contacted every so often for a survey. About a month ago, Nielsen sent a 1 dollar bill with a survey and asked me to fill out the survey. Of course I did, and I was pretty excited about the free dollar bill. But today, I opened the envelope, and to my surprise 30 dollars CASH was inside, and a survey about watching TV! All I have to do is fill out a TV diary for a week and return the diary one week of writing down what TV shows I watch. The 30 dollars is mine to keep. What’s better than being paid to watch TV?! Long story short: You may not always be picked for everything that Collin posts about, but there are perks for taking chances.

**If you are not familiar with the Nielsen National Consumer Panel, it focuses on measuring consumer attitudes and behavior. As a panel member, Homescan will provide you with a hand-held scanner. Every time you or members of your household shop, you’ll use the scanner to scan the barcodes on all of your purchases. Then, once a week, you’ll send them your purchase information. As a reward for doing so, you’ll earn gift points that are redeemable for name-brand merchandise, including electronics equipment, jewelry, household items, toys, and more!

If you’re interested in becoming part of the Consumer Panel, then you’ll want to go on over here to sign up. As Ali stated above, not all areas need Panel Members at this time, but it is still worth signing up as you may be considered for other programs (i.e the $30 TV Survey that Ali mentioned)! :D

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57 Hip Readers Commented

  • Michelle M says:

    I signed up for this panel a while ago, too. I have yet to be picked for the scanning purchases job, but they do mail me surveys about once a month. They’re usually only 8 questions long, and the postage to mail in my responses is prepaid. I’ll keep doing these little surveys if it increases my chances of getting picked for something bigger!

  • Julie Sawyer says:

    I just received my scanner today; I’m looking forward to trying out this program!

  • Ryan says:

    Worth a shot.

  • Christy says:

    That exact same thing happened to me! I got $1 about a month ago, and filled out the survey, and they sent me $30 this week! Sweet!

  • Betsy says:

    Just a word of warning, I heard from a friend that it takes tons of points to actually get any of the prizes, so definitely check it out before you sign up!

    • Tammi says:

      I just looked at the prize catalog. The most inexpensive item I see is 5,000 points. For reference, I just cashed out for an iPod nano on June 15 and already have 3,340 points. Also, the longer you are with the program, the more points you get for each weekly transmission.

      • Mari says:

        Maybe they have gotten better? I sent everything back last year…. I was with them for more than two years and the only reason I stayed the last months was to get enough to get a $50 toy (cozy coupe, and I have seen them cheaper than $50). That was the only time I ever “cashed in”. I participated in the extra diaries and in the scanning.

  • Amy says:

    I signed up, but they never send me surveys nor did i get the message u were put on a waiting list.
    like a month later, i tried again… and was told already signed up from my household… o well

  • Sara P says:

    I haven’t had anything other than some online surveys from Nielson but a few weeks ago I was mailed a radio survey with $5 and after I said I would do it they sent out the diaries for each adult with $3 in each diary. Plus when it was time to send them back they sent another couple of dollars with a reminder letter. All in all it ended up being like $13 for filling out the diaries for a week.

  • Stacy says:

    I have done this in the past. It was definitely worth the time spent! I also got accepted to do the scanning, got the equipment to do everything but found it to be really time consuming. Would have stuck with it if there would have been cash incentives rather than prizes. Sent that stuff back.

    On another note, I just got chosen to be an Arbitron Panel Member. Similar to Neilson, except everyone in my family 6+ have little monitors we wear and every week we hook them up to the scanner and it sends the data in about what we watch on TV and listen to on the radio. We’ve received about $40 so far and their incentives are cash values. Plus, we don’t have to do anything except wear the monitors. Pretty cool concept. I got accepted to do this through a survey screening at one of the survey sites.

    • Tammi says:

      I just did a diary for Arbitron. It was very time-consuming for not very much of an incentive. What you did sounds much cooler…and better compensated!

    • Anonymous says:

      I went to the Arbitron site but couldnt find anything about signing up? Someone want to healp me out?
      THANKS!

  • Amanda N says:

    I got this tv diary thing, too, but I only got $5! :(

  • Deb says:

    My grandmother received the Nielson TV survey about a month or two ago. No idea how since i’m sure she didn’t sign up. It actually contained $10 cash along with the request that she fill out the TV diary.

    • Mari says:

      My husband got one for the AC Nielsen radio last summer and he definitely has never signed up for this kind of things. I had the scanner for over 2 years (but I never gave them dh’s name) and never got any of these TV/radio surveys. It might not be related. BTW, IMHO, the scanner was definitely not worth my time, I should have stopped wasting my time a lot sooner.

  • Ryan says:

    I wish they would pick me. Then maybe the studio’s would stop canceling good shows!

  • Michelle says:

    Somehow they had my info and they called me to do the television diary a couple months ago and when they said I would get $30, I was totally in! It was a bit of a pain trying to catch what everyone was watching and write it down, but it was totally worth the money :)

  • Melissa says:

    me and my husband do arbitron too, we love it! Its really a lot of money that they send us each month to basically do nothing!!

  • Sunny Mulkey says:

    I signed up awhile ago and was put on a waiting list. Yesterday I received my scanner! I’m so excited to do this!

  • Ann Dee says:

    Can’t find a way to sign up to be an Abitron panel member. Anyone know?

  • beachgirlbecca says:

    Sad … I tried to apply and it said that “someone from my household” was already signed up … even though its just me and my hubby. Oh, well.

  • Tammi says:

    I just did a diary for Arbitron. It was very time-consuming for not very much of an incentive. What you did sounds much cooler…and better compensated!

  • Kim says:

    I tried siging up and it said that there was nothing for the dallas tx area at this time…
    ol well…plus I tried getting on the reserved list and it took be to a “could not find” page…

    • Kathy says:

      I am in the subs of Dallas and I just got my scanner 2 months ago. I used to scan for another company that this one bought out. They were trying to get around to the ones that have done it with the other company for so many years. I did it Shoppers Hotline for about 6 years and I would earn abou $50 in a gift card a year. Not much, but it was fun. Neilson seems to be a little different. I hate having to put in the price I pay for every single item and whether or not I got it on sale or had a coupon and how much was the coupon etc! Shoppers Hotline, I only had to scan the item on most stores.

      • BrandyK says:

        I agree- it is a REAL pain in the you-know-what. I signed up and had the scanner for several months but it was way too time consuming. And completely inaccurate for those of us using q’s, especially with overage. It won’t let you enter a “free” item, or an item that gets overage. SO all my info was incorrect going to them. I complained to the contact stating that it was impossible for me to accurately enter my info, but they didn’t seem to care.

        It got to be way too overwhelming and I finally gave up and sent it back.

        Just a heads up that if you REALLY want to do this, and shop a lot (like I do, especially with the drugstores) it requires a LOT of time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing in my area, Western NY and the reserve list also took me to a page not found. Same thing happened when I tried to do this the last time Collin posted this.

  • MimmieMarie says:

    I did this awhile ago and got $40 bucks cash for writing down the radio stations i listed to for a week. SO worth it!!

  • Jennifer says:

    I got my scanner Saturday and really haven’t had any issues…I already have 1150 in points..I am willing to give it a try. Actually my son loved the part of scanning everything…

  • Laura says:

    I have been on the waiting list for the scanner for some time now. I still haven’t gotten it, but I do get the surveys in the mail. I had done one a few months ago for a Radio Listening diary. My husband and I each did a diary and we got $40 in the mail from it!

  • Rhonda says:

    I received a phone call today from them, but I was at work and couldn’t talk so they said they’d call me back in 1 hour. That was 3 hours ago, :( now I wish I’d taken the call.

    • Kristin W. says:

      don’t worry — they’ll call EVERY SINGLE day until you pick up. but it sounds like if you weren’t already on their list, you only get $5…that’s how it worked for us.

  • Kristin W. says:

    Huh, that’s interesting…we’re doing the TV survey right now and they only sent us $5. nice.

  • Ella says:

    FIRST I APOLOGIZE FOR WRITING IN CAPITAL, BUT I WANTED TO MAKE ATTENTION SO SOMEBODY CAN ACTUALLY READ MY POST. I DO NOT KNOW HOW FAMILIAR ARE YOU WITH THE NELSON SCANNING PROCESS BUT HERE IS WHAT I KNOW.
    ABOUT A YEAR AGO I WAS APPROVED TO BE A PANELIST. THEY CALLED ME TO TALK TO ME ONE ON ONE AND ALSO SEND ME THE PAPERS WHICH I NEEDED TO SIGN A MAIL BACK. LITTLE WHILE AFTER THAT I RECEIVED THE PACKAGE IN MAIL. I WAS VERY EXCITED :) AFTER I OPENED IT AND READ EVERYTHING I STARTED TO BE CONFUSED. FIRST I DID NOT LIKE THE POINTS, BECAUSE YOU HAD TO WORK VERY HARD FOR ALMOST NOTHING. YOU HAVE TO MAKE A LIST OF THE PRODUCTS THAT YOU ARE GOING TO BUY, THEN YOU HAVE TO SCAN EACH COUPON THAT YOU ARE GOING TO USE AND AFTER YOU GET HOME YOU HAVE TO SCAN EACH PRODUCT THAT YOU HAVE PURCHASED. BESIDE THAT THERE ARE MANY OTHER THINGS THAT YOU HAVE TO DO, EVEN WHEN YOU GET USE TO IT , IT DOES NOT GET EASIER. THEN I REALIZED THAT YOU HAVE TO CONNECT IT TO YOU PHONE LINE AND INSTALL THE SOFTWARE ON THE COMPUTER AND THAT IDEA I DID NOT LIKE. SO THEN I DID A LITTLE BIT RESEARCH ABOUT THE NELSON SCANNING PROGRAM AND HERE IS WHAT I FIND OUT. THEY BASICALLY TRACK EVERYTHING YOU DO ON YOU COMPUTER. ALL SITES YOU VISIT, ALL PURCHASES YOU MAKE, ALL SEARCHES YOU DO… IN OTHER WORDS THEY BECOME “YOU”. MAYBE YOU DO NOT MIND THAT BUT FOR ME IT IS SAME AS WHEN SOMEONE STEALS YOU IDENTITY. THEN I CALLED AND SPOKE TO THEN AND TOLD THEM MY CONCERNS , THEY WERE NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT BUT TOLD ME THAT ALL THAT WAS TRUE AND THAT THEY HAD TO DO THAT IN ORDER TO KNOW HOW YOU AS CONSUMER CHANGE WITH THE TIME AND HOW LIFE AFFECTS YOU SHOPPING, BANKING AND SEARCHING NEEDS. I COULD GO ON AND ON WITH THIS WRITING BUT JUST WANTED TO TELL YOU TO DO A LITTLE BIT RESEARCH BEFORE YOU DO THAT JUST TO BE ON THE SAFE SITE. I RETURNED THE EQUIPMENT IMMEDIATELY AFTER THAT BUT HAD TO SIGN PAPERS THAT AFTER THAT I WAS NOT ABLE TO APPLY EVER AGAIN.
    I JUST DON’T LIKE THE IDEA THAT ANYONE KNOWS WHAT I DO ONLINE EVEN IF THAT WAS JUST CHECKING THE MAIL.
    I ALSO DID THE TELEVISION SURVEY BUT ONLY RECEIVED $5 AND I THINK IT DEPEND IN WHAT STATE YOU LIVE IN.

    • Tammi says:

      There is a separate program that tracks your internet usage. This is not the same as the scanner program. If you are part of the scanner program you will be invited to join the online program, but you are under no obligation to do so. It is completely up to you. I have never joined the online program due to privacy concerns, and that is fine with Nielsen.

      • Ella says:

        Well it clearly states in papers and they explained to me very clearly that when you install the software that automatically they have excess to you computer. You can not install the scanner without the software and phone line. Maybe you have different scanner but both me and my neighbor were approved at about the same time and we both canceled the contract and returned the equipment. I would not know either if I didn’t do the research about the program. Anyway good luck to everyone who is doing it and has trust in them, but for $50 a year in not worth all the hard work.

        • Tammi says:

          I have been asked to join the online panel (I believe it is called “Net Ratings”) several times but have always declined. They offer bonus points for being part of the program (and they are very generous bonuses, actually), but I never found the points to be worth the invasion. Also there are two kinds of scanners. My scanner connects to the computer through the USB port, and the scanner software does NOT include the online research program.

          I think it is great that you have researched the program and that you made an informed decision. I too reserached the program and have had a different experience I felt that it was my experience was worth sharing as well.

          • Tammi says:

            Oy, too late to be typing.

            Should have said:

            I too researched the program and have had a different experience. I felt that my experience was worth sharing as well.

  • Shae says:

    I was so disappointed in the NHS program, I was approved and completed several shops.. it took time… a lot of time which unless you are going compensate me for . wont work! I was under the impression I would be fairly compensated for the time I took to do this program.. wrong.. the amount of points you ear sending your weekly transactions and doing surveys is really nothing compared the amount of time it takes… a year to earn 50$ or a coozie.. are you kidding me!
    Now.. if this is something you think is “fun” and you have the time to do it for free or little to nothing.. then go for it! Your exactly who they are looking for; I was gracious for the opportunity but returned my equipment last month..

    • Tammi says:

      I think that’s the great thing about Hip2Save. Collin posts the opportunities, and it is up to us to decide. I don’t find the program “fun” but also don’t find it very time-consuming. For me, it’s a win. For someone else, it isn’t.

  • Deb says:

    I was chosen several weeks ago. We got the scanner and I was scanning all my purchases-you have to scan every single item you ever buy! That’s for every family member too. With me doing deals multiple times a week, it became exhausting to stop and record all that stuff! Not as glamorous as it appears.
    Here’s the kicker-you have to hook up the scanner to your pc to transmit the info to the folks. When I hooked it up and attempted to trans all my info, it would not work. I called the Co. only to be told I could not participate if I have a wifi air card for internet service!!! No where on their site or info that comes with the scanner did it ever mention the fact if you use an aircard, they don’t have the technology to support this type of transmission from your pc! Are you kidding???
    I was asked to return their equipment right away.
    I suggest you be very certain you are willing to devote all the time to this, as it requires.

  • Stephanie says:

    I just think it is funny that I learned all about the TV Neilson ratings and viewing statistics in one of my classes last quarter and now it is being posted here lol. Television companies usually do the most of their research “counting” in May, that’s why TV series always have big cliff hanger episodes in May, so they probably send a lot more of this stuff out around that time.

  • Josie says:

    I’ve been involved with three of the Nielsen programs:
    1- They mailed me cash and asked that I log all of my t.v. viewing for about three summer months. I do not know how they picked me because I had never contacted them before that time.

    2-I moved and had a new last name. I was once again blindly contacted by Nielsen and asked to be a part of their home computer program where they tracked all my internet activity. I had to load a program, but they awarded me with savings bonds. After about five years they told me my participation was complete and the program ended.

    3-This is the one time I signed up for something with Nielsen and it was the home scanner; I hated it so much that I sent it right back. It was way too much work! It was hard to get the scanner to scan, hard to enter every single price with coupons and sales, and the prizes were not anything that I would even want. They do send a box and a Fed Ex return label, but you do have to physically go to a FedEx office to ship and I do not live close by to one so this was inconvenient.

    In my experience, Nielsen has always contacted me, and signing up for the home scanner may not help get onto any of their other programs. Nielsen seems to know how to find the people that they are interested in.

    • vlasta says:

      wow! pretty scary stuff IMO. I have seen an Tv airing on NBC called Big brother is watching, I believe was the name, scary stuff.

  • Carissa Kemna says:

    just got $30.00 in the mail from them today! funny that I should read a post on here about it at roughly the same time. :)

  • angela says:

    I signed up for NCP a couple of months ago and was told there wasn’t a space for me at the time. I got the tv diary and $30 a few weeks later. Now, today I have gotten an email with a short survey telling me a slot is open. Said they will be in touch…..we’ll see….

  • Lindsay Smith says:

    I’m due to receive my scanner via Fedex any day now…. interesting to read everyone’s experience. I’ve only seen a few people post positive experiences with them… does anyone else have something positive that came from scanning for Nielsen?

  • Amber says:

    Just a note because i see concerns on the reviews- i just got my scanner this week and it doesn’t require any software or internet monitoring to use the scanner. the information is transmitted by holding the scanner up to the phone after you dial their 1800 # i don’t see how they’re tracking any information of mine except what i voluntarily add to the scanner.

    • Tessa says:

      I received my scanner & I too have to hold it up to the phone. So far it’s been ok (2 days), they were all small purchases. I’m trying to figure out how to remember all the coupons I use & for what item I used it for when I go grocery shopping…yikes.

  • [...] out this post here to see how one reader snagged $30 in cash as a National Consumer Panel [...]

  • [...] they are not accepting applicants at this time, don’t worry.  Check out this post over at Hip2Save about a reader who got $30 cash for taking one of their surveys.  I got put on their waiting list, [...]

  • Tracy Cook says:

    hey, i have been a ncp scanner for 4 months after waiting a good long time for a scanner…..but i have never gotten cash to do anything for them….lucky!

  • Dollfayce says:

    Just received my scanner today and it’s much different than what anyone here has talked about. When I need to transmit, I plug it into my router…when I’m done, I unplug. No software, no access to my computer. Looking forward to it!

  • I got $30.00 in the mail today almost though it was junk mail how unfortunate that would have been huh what a super easy way to earn $30.00 will definitely be sure to do any Nielsen things that come through the mail so hopefully I will receive some more money :) Thanks for posting this

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