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Neilsen Homescan Consumer Panel: Earn rewards for scanning your purchases

The Nielsen Homescan Consumer Panel is once again accepting new applicants in many locations.

If you are accepted as a panel member with Nielsen Homescan,
you will be sent a small hand-held scanner and will scan all the bar
codes of everything you purchase. Once a week, you'll transmit this
information to Nielsen and you'll earn points which can be redeemed for
a variety of items from the Nielsen Gift Catalog.

The Nielsen Homescan Consumer Panel is a "mini-USA" that represents all
types of Americans. Manufacturers and retailers will look at the
information you send to them to decide what products to make and sell to
consumers all across the country.

I posted about this opportunity awhile back when they were accepting applicants and many of you left comments on your experiences. Some of you did not enjoy doing this at all and some of you found it quite enjoyable. If you're interested in hearing about others' experiences in this program, check out the comments on this post.

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  1. Jennifer Leonard says

    I joined from the last time you posted and it’s really cool. I enjoy sharing information that may improve the way companies market things or even develop new products just by learning the way the average household shops. Plus the points to earn stuff is pretty awesome.

  2. says

    I received my scanner a couple weeks ago and read all of the instructions on what was required. WOOOF!!!!! I returned it back to them the very next day.

    They don’t tell you that you pretty much have to set up all the stores in your area, have to enter store, price, sale price, coupon value, coupon source, other shoppers with you, etc, etc on each purchase. Why don’t they give that information up front instead of making you think all you have to do is scan the UPC code of each item you purchase and then transmit that in?

    Good golly, I use coupons on everything I buy and I am certainly not going to take hours and hours to enter all that info for a few measly points a week. It would have taken me a year at least just to get something decent. They don’t give you points based on the amount of work you put into it, just by the week.

  3. Celia says

    My mom participated in this while I was growing up, we racked in so many rewards that we’ve gotten a coffee pot, new tv, vcr (before dvd’s) and other things. I joined a year ago. It is hard to scan especially if you are a couponer and I admit I “forget” to scan a lot of purchases BUT it is well worth the long-time commitment! :)

  4. Michelle Norris says

    I was accepted the last time you posted this information but they have me on hold because there are no scanners available right now. Once one cecomes available then they said they would send one my way.

  5. Lisa says

    I also signed up last time you posted and also got a message that I was on the reserve list. We’ll see. From the sound of Julieann’s post, it will be a lot of work for us coupon moms. Not sure more “stuff” is worth that much work. I’ll have to see if/when I get one. Thanks for sharing the info nonetheless!!

  6. Amanda says

    I done this for 2 and a half years. It was fun at first but does require a lot of time and effort. You have to have your reciept handy while scanning purchases. It is often tricky going back over your receipt trying to pick out what price you paid for things and what sale you used and what coupons you used on what….especially on big grocery trips. I saved up enough in 2 and a half years to get a handheld vacuum. I done my weekly transmissions and all of the surverys, so it does take a long long time to save up for a big ticket item. MY NUMBER ONE PROBLEM with this program was getting the weekly transmissions to go in properly. I constantly had to uninstall and reinstall the software to get it to work. And it was always very difficult to get a hold of a customer service person and get a timely reply. I eventually got tired of this and returned my scanner to them two weeks ago.

    I hope others have better luck than me.
    God Bless

  7. Karen says

    I tried it also and after one day, I realized the amount of time and effort to put into honestly calculating everything we bought was NOT worth the prizes being offered. Very low points for all the work involved. I sent back the scanner the next day.

  8. Melissa says

    I agree with the other poster, I have a scanner and i think this is kinda crazy. I have been doing this for a year……I have received nothing yet…..If I have to scan even more to get at least one thing for free then this is just not the thing for me, I think I’m putting my scanner in the box to go back.

  9. Kara says

    I was having trouble getting past the survey page 1. I called the company and they said I would recieve an email in 2-3wks that would allow me to fill out the application in full. If my demographics are a right match for my area, they will send the scanner, if not, I’ll be on a waiting list till I fit the demographics.

  10. Krystal says

    I am hearing two stories from people involved in this. I am on a waiting list but before I get started I want to be sure this is a big enough return for the time invested into it. So, how much(points translated to $ rewards) do you get for how big a time commitment? I would love to hear from those who have actually done it.

  11. Krystal says

    Ok, so I asked my question before I realized that there were comments on the other post. I read them and I think I will be telling them “No Thanks”. It sounds like all pain and very little gain.

  12. Briana says

    I received one six months ago and sent it back too. It was wayyy too much effort for the return. The points didn’t accumulate very quickly, and the process took a really long time.

  13. Bonnie says

    Michelle… you can have my scanner because I’m sending it back this week. I’ve done this for about a year and its NOT for us. The points take a looonnggg time to add up and the prizes aren’t really that great. Some people might like scanning things just to give out information, but that’s not for me. To each is own.

  14. Caroline says

    I could not agree more with everything that Julieann said!! I did the same thing – returned the scanner the very next day after reading the material and realizing it was not just scanning your purchases after you go on a shopping trip. It is waaay more involved! I didn’t see anything in the rewards catalog that was all that exciting either. My time is more valuable!

  15. Judy Hamby says

    My husband tried this for one week and decided it was waaaayyyyy too much work. Also, we are older and don’t really buy much except groceries and I temd to live on loss leaders, coupons, discount stores, etc. We sometimes go to six or seven stores a week. The prizes seemed a little cheezy especially since we have everything they offered. If they gave cash or gift cards it might be worth it. He returned it the same week.

  16. Kelly says

    I too received this and sent it right back. It seemed like way too much work and I looked through the reward book and didn’t see much that I would want.

  17. Lisa says

    Did you all get a phone call before you were chosen? I applied a few months ago, and noticed a call from neilson on my caller ID – but that was the last I heard from them. I wish they would have emailed me instead!

  18. Janice says

    Very time consuming and I did not find the rewards worth the time involved. There are just two of us, can’t imagine doing it for a family. EVERY purchase has multiple steps – the gum you pick up a the the gas station, the soda you get from the machine, even ebay purchases. Coupons add several extra steps for each coupon. I persevered for six months but then sent it back. Not even an acknowledgment, or a note of thanks. They make a lot of money off the info. you give them ( and it is a lot of personal stuff) I think the rewards should be much higher. Six months= a $10 gift !!!

  19. Sarah says

    I did this for a while and wish I had never started it. I had problems with downloading software, transmitting info, and every time I turned around more sheets would come in the mail with new barcodes to separate the purchases. By the time I would get home from the store, get my receipt, scan each barcode (if it worked), scanned the category sheet, entered coupon, source of coupon, the price, and confirmed it made putting groceries away a very long process. It would be better if they would let you scan the bottom of your receipt to transmit. If you go vacation, you have to scan that you can’t scan. I had a problem with my scanner and called three times about it. They transmitted codes, transmitted new software, had me download more software, and finally said to return it. Well, after the first call, I was put on a list of “to return scanner”. Within a week after my last call, I had two phone calls from the company inquiring where the scanner was. Two weeks after that, I had a letter from a law firm stating I would be turned into collections and “could” be prosecuted for theft if the scanner was not returned. Even better- before I made the second call to the company about scanner problems, I was blocked from the website because I had not scanned. I earned points and never got to choose a reward from the site so I did over a year’s worth of work for nothing. Be very careful!

  20. Wendy says

    I was accepted but like many, I am returning the scanner also. It is too time consuming for me and not really worth it. Good for someone who has the time.

  21. says

    This sounds like fun, but there is no way I’d have the time to do all this…. if I did, I’d be better off spending the time doing coupons and such. It does sound like fun though!

  22. Roxanne says

    Lisa, I’m in the ranks of people who sent the scanner back as soon as it came and I found out all the gruesome details.

    Anyway, YES, they do prefer to contact you by phone. I guess they don’t want to send a pricey piece of equipment to a person they’ve never talked to on the phone. Even though I only had the scanner for a few days, I know I talked to them on the phone at least 3 times.

  23. stacyb7120 says

    Be prepared to spend LOTS of time on this. It involves alot more work than just simply scanning the products. You have to answer multiple questions about each item, enter the actual price (which you have to look up from your receipt), etc. My time is more valuable than what this takes for the small reward. So not worth it for me!!!!

  24. says

    I have to admit that when I signed up after your last post I was a little apprehensive, after all of the comments. When I received the scanner and all of the instructions I was quite tempted to send it back right away because it seemed like a lot of work just to get it set up. It took me all of 30 minutes to get everything set up, the practice trip scanned and transmitted, and all of my stores scanned into the scanner. I’m glad I didn’t send it back.

    I have since scanned in two trips to the store. I use a ton of coupons, and have had to enter the prices of my items, but it only took about 5 minutes per trip. Not nearly as time-consuming as I thought it would be. Love it so far!

  25. says

    The first time I applied they were not accepting applications in my area. The next time I applied, I received an email saying they were processing my application. But after reading all these comments, I think I’m going to decline. I have enough on my plate!

  26. says

    Does anyone know if you get access to the data you enter into the scanner? I pretty much already record all this info about pricing and coupon usage in my grocery price book, and I’ve wanted to try to use a scanner to auto-update a pantry inventory for a while. But if I can’t have access to the data I’m sending in, it wouldn’t be worth applying for.

  27. melissaintn says

    I sent mine back too. The way I read it was that you could scan all year and not even have enough points to earn a wallet.

  28. mommakeene says

    I did this for about two months. What a joke. They said that the scanner would have prices for items in its memory-not so. I had to enter every price and size for every item I bought. I sent the thing back to them. I do wish they would ask for feedback from people and improve the process.

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