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I get paid for doing my own shopping
Shopandscan is a new market research survey measuring the purchasing of households around Great Britain. Members are invited to join this consumer panel and record their purchasing by means of an in-home barcode scanner (The Clicker).It is about doing your normal shopping - supermarket, clothes, gifts, DIY, anything etc; then getting the goods home, scanning the barcode, down loading the barcodes and GET PAID FOR IT. That's it basically. Now I'll tell you in more detail.
How I became Involved
Well to be totally honest, I don't really know! Shopandscan is part of TNS and I do surveys for them, so I think I must have done a survey at some stage and they thought I'd be suitable, so invited me to join.
What happened Next
In the post I received a large envelop with my clicker, a clicker serial lead and a personal user guide. The user guide, together with the web site told me everything I needed to know.
I'll tell you about the web site later, but let me tell you about the clicker. The clicker is a small device that fits into the palm of the hand. You simply point it at the barcode and press the large button. A line of red light appears. You have to make sure the line spans the width of the barcode. The clicker then lets out a brief ripple of sound to confirm you have successfully scanned.
Firstly you do your shopping. When you get it home, you get your user guide out. First you scan the barcode on the blue card that is next to the purchasers' name. (Every member of the household is registered). Next you scan go to the yellow card and scan the barcode for the shop you bought the goods from. Shops are categorised and in alphabetical order to make it easier, i.e. Supermarkets - Asda, Tesco, Convenience/Small Grocers - Alldays, Spar, Costcutter Freezer Centres Specialist Food Shops - Baker, Butcher, Milkman Home and Garden - B&Q, Homebase, Garden Centres Large Stores - Argos, Debenhams, Wilkinsons Drinks - Off licence Newsagents/Bookshops - W H Smiths, Newsagent Chemists - Boots, Lloyds, Other Chemist Drug Stores - Bodycare, Savers, Superdrug Health Food Shops - Holland and Barrett Pet Shops - Local shop, Pets at Home Other Shops - Avon, Internet, Mail Order, Duty Free (Every category has loads of shops listed; I have just provided an example)
Then you go to the green card and scan the barcode next to the price you paid. Finally, you scan all the bar codes on your shopping.
At the end of the week you connect the clicker to your computer and download the bar codes. A day later you receive a message saying your points have been awarded to your account.
Advantages You get paid for shopping. Initially you get 10,000 point (£10) awarded to your account just after you register. You then receive 1000 points (£1) each week. Your points are sent to you when you ask for them in the form of high street vouchers. The vouchers can be used in loads of places - supermarkets, Debenhams, Boots, Argos, restaurants. I am going to let mine mount up and treat myself to something nice later! It's also something new, different and fun to be involved in.
Disadvantages It would be better if you could scan your shopping whilst out shopping. It would certainly save time. But unfortunately you have to scan the goods when you get them home, because you need to put the price in first. Sometimes the clicker doesn't scan the code and you have to try a few times. It can get frustrating. You end up arguing over who is clicking the weekly shop!
The website is really bright, cheerful and easy to use. You enter your username and password, and then away you go. It has a section on FAQ, account section, how to scan and problems.
To download the barcodes from the clicker just connect the serial lead to the serial port. It can be left attached. Then attach the clicker. On the website is the section Transmit Barcodes and it only takes 5 seconds. It beeps whilst it's doing it, so you know its working.
So, there you go. That's how you get paid to shop.