A few months ago I received an e-mail inviting me to join the Nielsen Panel and quickly signed up. The idea is simple – once you’ve been shopping you scan all your barcodes and prices using the hand held device which then transmits the information early Sunday morning. You then earn points to be spent on various rewards through their website.
The system wasn’t without its fault though. I signed up, a delivery date was arranged back in December and the scanner never arrived. I thought nothing of it – perhaps they had filled their quota and decided they didn’t want me to be a member. I then received a phone call in March asking if I was still interested, and the delivery was rearranged. It arrived a week later.
I’ll be honest – scanning your shopping is boring. You also have to scan the price and whether the item was on any offer or promotion, which takes me around 10 minutes after each shop. At first the rewards seemed pointless, until now, 8 weeks later, I’ve amassed 1400 points…and they’ve been lucky if I’ve managed to scan one week worth of shopping, and due to being on holiday I went 5 weeks without scanning. Not bad at all!
Is it worth doing? Well that’s up to you! There’s a wide variety of rewards on offer, including a coolshot hairdryer (3050 points), a single duvet (2850 points), iPod dock (2750 points), digital kitchen scales (4371 points) and even two tickets to see a Westend show and an overnight stay (43900 points), and you know I’ll do anything that helps me to make money or reap rewards. There is a slight downside to this, in that if you forget to scan or tell the scanner that you’ve not been shopping they may ring you to ask if there are any problems. This might put some people off, but I was just able to tell them that I hadn’t been shopping that week. I was then reminded that there’s an option on the scanner to say you’ve not been shopping, and if I used it I would still earn points.
Quite honestly I’ve not made up my mind as to whether to keep this or not. I have since returned the scanner and during my time scanning my shopping, I never received any item for my points. You can return the scanner at any time which is handy, so you don’t have to commit to it forever. It is quite a faff and I’ve often put away all my shopping before remembering to scan anything. Since seeing how many points I’ve amassed I may be sticking with it.
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