<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Home > Nielson scanner woes and Amazon's mechanical turk

Nielson scanner woes and Amazon's mechanical turk

March 16th, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Ok so a couple of projects I've learned about on Savings Advice. I'll tell you about the worst one first because I would like to warn people about it.

The first is the infamous Nielson Shopping Scanner (or whatever you call it.) AVOID it like plague. It's not that it doesn't work well. Oh, it works alright. So you take EVERY SINGLE THING YOU BUY and scan it. Well, actually first you have to select the person in the house who bought it. Then you scan the item. Then you tell it if there was a deal involved. Then you tell it if you used a coupon. Then you tell it how much it was. Repeat ad nauseum per item until you get to the end and put in how much the total was. I know what you're thinking: "Well, if it were me I would just lie." Actually I do lie. A lot. I lie so hard to that thing.

You might be wondering why I would ever order such a thing, not to mention wait months to be accepted into the program. Well, I'm a huge sucker for free things. Supposedly you get rewards for transmitting the results every week, then you get bonuses for surveys and for being a good shopper and transmitting on time. At least the transmitting part is not a problem. It sits in it's charger and self transmits. If you have enough points you can actually get some decent stuff like ipods and electronics. But believe me you'll be scanning things for about a decade before you'll get something decent. Also supposedly you can win some weekly and monthly prizes. But I don't care. I'll be sending it back in a week or so. I guess I'm just lazy but why do all this for so long to maybe get 1 or 2 semi-nice things?

On to thing #2. It is called Amazon Mechanical Turk and it is run by Amazon.com. I learned about it from Ceejay a while back. You basically do really tiny tasks for a very small amount of money, and I do mean small. I try to do the ones from .20 to 2.00. Now a lot of people don't like it because of the small amounts of money that you get from doing work, but sometimes the work is ridiculously easy and can be done quickly.

Some of the "hits" as they are called range from writing stories about your vacation (I received a dollar recently for doing this), reviewing a recent movie, doing surveys about your opinions, as well as occasional games that you play. The amount that you get varies. Also since I've been doing this I've gotten emails from some of the employers asking me to do other similar hits to the ones I've already done for them and gotten bonus money. Critics have complained about the low amount that one receives from mturk. But I don't do it as a job. If I didn't have a full time job I would be better off taking a part time job than doing mturk all the time. However, I enjoy the tasks, as well as doing it whenever I want. When I get bored and have a free minute or while watching tv, whatever. Then when I get some money built up (Amazon has no minimum in order to transfer btw) I can either convert the money into an Amazon gift card or transfer it into my bank account. It's super easy.

Anyway I've spent way to long on this post. I'll give everyone a more personal update soon especially on debt levels.

6 Responses to “Nielson scanner woes and Amazon's mechanical turk”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Thanks for the scanner review. I've I get accepted, I will decline based. I hadn't heard of mechanical turk, so thanks!

  2. dmontngrey Says:

    We participated in the Nielsen Homescan program for a few years. I kinda miss it now - just a little! It's nice to not feel so tied to it when we come home from shopping. The problems I had with it were all scanner related. It just NEVER worked properly, to the point where it just refused to transmit data. I got sick of calling their customer service line to report a bum scanner AGAIN. I would have liked one of their newer self-transmitting scanners, but I had one of the old ones that transmits like a modem through the phone speaker. I'd still be in the program if I could transmit the data.

    For a while there we also participated in their Media Panel and wore this little transmitter everywhere we went. That was kind of fun, but apparently they never received our transmitters back when the program ended. Lots of nasty letters, collection threats, and no promised cash reward for sending them back.

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    Glad mturk's working out for you! I fell out of practice, but I liked it too. I used the income as a discount off an Amazon.com purchase, which was really handy.

  4. girltherapy Says:

    I did the Nielsen thing for a while too. I didn't mind it, but gave it up after a few months. We live in a rural area, and some of the places that we shop don't have bar coded tags, it was less than half of my real shopping that could be scanned. I talked to customer service about it a couple of times, and finally just returned the scanner. I did get a nice gift card tho.

  5. debtfreeme Says:

    Mo mother has been a part of this for more than 15 years. She has earned lots of points and has gotten some very nice things. But it must be mentioned that the system cannot be used on a new phone. It must be used on one set up like a rotary dial with the old hand set. That is her only complaint in 15 years.

  6. Jerry Says:

    I would go crazy having to scan what I buy like that, it would lead me to throw it against the wall after one use, I think! The other things seems like a decent deal, if you have some insurance that you can get access to the funds, and all of that. Thanks for the tips!

Leave a Reply

(Note: If you were logged in, we could automatically fill in these fields for you.)
Will not be published.

* Please spell out the number 4.  [ Why? ]

vB Code: You can use these tags: [b] [i] [u] [url] [email]