Home Panel

I've been a home panelist for a couple of years now. I used to be with a different company but that company has since merged with National Consumer Panel. This is the company I am with right now. It's a fun little thing to do. Each panelist is given a barcode scanner to scan all purchases. We're supposed to scan everything, even gasoline and prescription medicine. Each week, we transmit our data. I transmit mine over the internet. I think there is also an option of transmitting through the phone line. I don't know how that works. Mine is very simple. I simply plug my scanner into a USB slot, choose the transmit data option and wait for everything to upload. It takes but a few seconds.
The scanning does take a little more work, especially with this new system. With national chains, there is usually no need to input prices. With other stores, especially smaller ones, I am asked to input prices. What takes the most time for me though is inputting the coupons that I use. I use coupons with almost all my purchases in the grocery store so that certainly takes time. I usually don't mind. The kids enjoy helping me. Plus I get some compensation for it. And it somehow gives me the satisfaction that my purchases and buying habits do have an effect on manufacturers.