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I started comping just over a year ago when I came across it in the Moneysavingexpert.com forums and its become into a real hobby for me! below are some comments and suggestions on comping as a whole which you might find useful if you are starting out -
1, there are dedicated comping site around which post all new comps and if required answers to questions. I personally use Moneysavingexpert.com in the forums under shopping and freebies is their comping section. MSE has a great community feel about it and its organised well with posters offering helpful advice. There are others out there but this is the one I use to locate all the comps available. Of course you might get sent a comp via email, text etc so its up to you to do these aswell if you wish but as a good place to start, MSE is the place. How you tackle the board is down tio you
2, Set yourself guides on what you are entering. Its tempting to enter everything and anything but its pointless if the prize is not to your taste, remember you can give you prizes away fi you wish so if you can see a recipient to your prize do it, other wise don't bother. regarding value of a prize, some people don't enter in low value items for say less than £10 but this is up to you.
3, method of entering. I personally don't enter Facebook, Twitter or Rafflecopter comps. Facebook I only do if its form filling in, like and share I don't do because I don't want to annoy my friends. Twitter I don't have so don't do and Rafflecopter I don't understand at all. I only really enter web only comps but this is down to personal choice.
4, time. the first 3 points are all attributed to timing. Entering comps is time consuming if you let it be! Overall I probably spend between 1-2 hours per day entering and viewing all the comps available to enter and I very rarely do weekends but it depends on how much time you have or are willing to use on comping.
5, don't expect to win. I treat comping as a hobby which occasionally might pay out a really wonderful prize, I have been quite lucky to have won something almost every month since I started, the longest I went was probably 2 months without a win which is nothing compared to some people. If you are doing it solely to win you might be disheartened very quickly.
6, when entering check the terms and conditions. For holidays or hotel stays check to see when it has to be used by or if its a certain date only, if you cant make it don't enter it. The small print might be key to a prize so ensure you are happy before entering.
7, cost. I only enter free comps however you have text/postal entry comps which are available, its down to you on if you do these or not.
In the past year I have been very lucky to win vouchers, jewellery, toiletries, make up, food, toys and other items all which total to close to £1000, some people are lucky to win big prizes worth much more than this but it is the luck of the draw. I am very happy with what Ive won and I enjoy entering now more than ever. Its not for everybody, some see it as a waste of time for very little return but for me its hobby I enjoy doing for my own pleasure and I don't let it take over my life. I hope my points are useful to a comper. :-)
I have been entering online competitions since I first discovered that they existed and that has been for a very long time. Undeniably it is appealing when you get an email to your Hotmail Inbox convincing you that you could be a winner and sometimes the temptation to enter is too hard to resist. When you enter them there is so much signing up and divulging of your personal details and some websites end up having your phone ringing off the hook. The reason for that is that in order to enter certain sites competitions you have to provide contact details. It can really be annoying and a total inconvenience. Especially if your phone continuously rings until it wakes you out of your sleep. It seems to me a lot of these websites want a membership fee and that is required monthly. Sometimes they get you to sign up under the false pretenses. They make a very tempting offer and then hide the T & C (The reasons why its a con) somewhere out of sight or really difficult to find and often use letters so tiny you struggle to even see them. Then before you know it they are requesting very expensive membership fees that you did not even realize you had signed up for and this happened to me recently. I was led to believe I would only be paying a small one off fee of £2. They told me I would get a free voucher and have a membership to their competition site.
I thought it would come in handy. Admittedly I should of been a little more suspicious and looked at the small print but I took the offer at face value. The way they presented the offer made it extremely misleading and that caused me not to question it. With genuine competitions anyone who enters has the chance of winning it. No matter how big or small that chance may be. For a lot of people just knowing they could win is enough to make them enter. Even if they do not even like the prize being offered and they just want the chance to compete. It seems the perfect thing to do. All that the participants have to do is enter and then sit back and wait for the results. Some competitions go through stages in which people compete and one by one they get eliminated until finally the winner is revealed. I don't particularly like situations like this when people go head to head. I get the impression there may be a lot of squabbling and I myself avoid them for that reason. Entering competitions should be fun and not stressful. I enter with the hope of winning but it does not mean I can not be happy if I do not for those who do but for some people this is not the case.
I HAVE ENTERED A LOT OF COMPETITIONS BUT WON ONLY A FEW TIMES.
I have won around fifty pounds from Scratch Cards on the National Lottery website. I was silly though and gambled it all away. What can I say? It is addictive! I won a competition on Ciao and that has been one of my favorite out of all which I have entered and won so far. I constantly win Swag-bucks via completing offers and using their search toolbar and have cashed out four times. I once won a free Maybelline goodie bag via a Facebook competition and got quite excited about that as it contained products that I really like but ended up very disappointed because it never arrived. I have won on bingo sites like Bingo Port and Bingo Street but they were small wins. It really is down to luck and the reason I know this is that my mum buys Scratch Cards regularly and always wins. I always joke that she has a lucky leprechaun following her everywhere she goes. She has won hundreds!
There are even ones that want to take five pounds or more from your mobile phone every single week for something you probably will never win. I often wonder if these particular ones are scams because I have yet to hear of anyone I know or even anyone I do not know winning them. I decided over these last few days to quit comping and instead focus all of my attention on my reviews because the feeling of getting good ratings and recognition for something you put effort into is a million times better than any prize that any competition site could offer and is a lot more worth my time. That is not to say that occasionally I will not be tempted and maybe enter one or two but I certainly will not be spending as much time as I use to on them.
I have seen some people on different websites arguing with each other over competitions and it totally goes against the whole point of them and that is to have fun. Well in my opinion anyway and in times like these when you get emails telling you that you have won a competition that you have not even entered. It is really getting much harder to tell the difference between scams and genuine competitions and the fun is going out of it because as I fill in my details I am always wondering in the back of my head if its a scam or not. If I had to recommend a site to someone that you have a fair chance of winning competitions on it would be SwagBucks, Ciao or Dooyoo because all three of these sites are rewarding and worth your time because you win not by luck but by the effort you put into them.
I've always been one to enter the odd competition that I see online, but it's only in the last couple of months that I have properly got into 'comping'. I was spurred on by reading the blog of someone who regularly wins things. I started off by googling to look for competitions and then realised that there are several helpful sites such as Money Saving Expert and Loquax, which help you find compeitions and offer advice. Since then, I have been spending time every day entering compeitions that are posted on MSE and also retweeting competitions that are posted on Twitter. There are also many good competitions to be found on Facebook.
I keep a list of site that have 'dailies' you can enter or games you play in order to win, and I do these in the background while I'm doing other things such as reading and rating on Dooyoo!
My first win came in the form of a pair of Henry Holland tights from Pretty Polly. I had joined their email newsletter and was subsequently entered in the monthly draw to win. Since then I have had several smallish wins including a book, face wash, shower gel, and lipstick. By far my best and biggest win was a complete shock because it was something I didn't even remember doing and was before I really started properly comping. It was a £250 Argos voucher which I had won from the quarterly draw of people who filled in a 'How was your delivery service?' survey. I was completely shocked and over the moon.
That gave me even more inspiration to continue comping. I get a total buzz from each win which means I am spurred on even more and it just goes to show that if you put in the time it may pay off. Either that or I'm on a winning streak.
If you told me last year that I would enter competitions as a hobby then I would have said that was mad, but now I've started I'm afraid I just can't stop!
There are three types of competition, in my eyes. Those you stand a fair chance with. Those which require far too much effort for no chance whatsoever. And scams.
And it's very important to distinguish which is which because the last thing you want is to be wasting your time, or worse, ripped. Off. Before I go any further, always remember to follow my ground rules:
1. A reputable competition will NOT ask you for information you are not comfortable giving. At a minimum they will ask for your name, address, and possibly phone number and e-mail address. This is much the same as the old 'answers on the back of a postcard'. If you have to give 20 minutes of detailed survey for a remote chance in winning a telly...it's not really worth it to me.
2. NEVER give your card details. A competition is a chance at winning - NOT gambling with or risking your own money.
3. Don't buy a product you wouldn't normally buy just to get an entry into a competition. There are loads of competitions out there - you don't want a house full of cat food just on the offchance of winning a car, especially when you have a dog ;)
OK - so - here's my (slight) success stories. I am a member of the very large and very successful Money Saving Expert community. The competition boards therein are a fabulous source of competitions - all free to enter, safe and categorised! Easy peasy!
What I highly recommend is that you sign up for a 'competitions e-mail' so you can sign up to competitions using that (because invariably you'll get a lot of harmless newsletters in with your WEMs (winning emails!) )
My favourite type of competition is the instant win, because I am impatient and love to know if I have won straight away! I also enter the 'answer this simple multiple choice question' type competitions and some of the more creative ones like thinking of a caption or drawing a picture.
In 2008/2009 (I haven't done as many competitions since July 09 as got married and was spending a bit of wife time/attempting to make my job a career time...I'm getting back into it now) I did probably 10 competitions a week (a TINY amount compared to some of the dedicated compo-ers on the MSE forums) and I won:
A cruise to Amsterdam
3 ipod shuffles
1 ipod nano video
£50 Faith shoes voucher
£50 Virgin Experience Voucher
£25 John Lewis Voucher
Lots of DVDs
About £200 in cheques
6 Bacardi Breezer sets (everyone in my family has one!!)
Lots of cuddly toys
A lion (OK a lion sponsorship, he lives in a zoo in London :) )
Lots of makeup
About 10 pairs of earrings, a few necklaces
5 Cadbury's chocolate gift sets
...and loads of other stuff! So for very little effort it's well worth it. In fact, I love the competitions, especially the little instant win ones - because that little feeling of excitement when you see the 'CONGRATULATIONS' on the screen is a real buzz!
So ignore the nay-sayers, because you don't need to be a hardened, 9 to 5 compo-er to to find competitions fun and even profitable. You can afford to pick and choose. I have a full time job, a home to run, a husband who moans when I ignore him too much, and I spend all of 10 minutes every few days having a browse of the competitions and seeing what's on offer.
You probably couldn't march up to your boss and flamboyantly shout 'I QUIT!!' with your winnings. But competitions are a great way of getting surprise treats, having a bit of harmless fun, and hey, if you do get luckier than me and win a car, don't forget to nominate me for a crown!!!
When you get to a stage when you see the word "Win" and you think "ooo what can I win must go and read that" then you know you are getting a bit of a competitions addict.
Yes I have done that often and then seen the word was Windows or similar!
I must admit though that I get phases where I will go a week and do every competition I see and then wont do any for ages.
Where are the competitions
You will find them in magazines such as take a break, chat and Thats Life but although I have done these off and on for years never won from them although I have heard of a friend of a friend etc who has won.
The best competitions are here on the internet. In fact there are thousands and most with good prizes.
Why do the ones on the internet? well you havent got to buy a magazine to enter, you dont have to buy the stamp or the postcard to send them.
If you start to do competitions I would do a lot but dont expect a win within the month.
Only go for the competitions that has prizes you or your family would want if you won.
Never buy a product just to do the competition.
When I first started doing competitions on the internet I limited, and still do to spending one hour a day just doing them and most of the time not that long.
My husband said I wasnt going to win anything and I was thrilled when I won one of those little air plants.
Then I asked my husband to try his luck and yep youve guessed it he won first time a holiday for two to Jack Daniels distillery in Nashville and 5 days everything paid there.
He also done it again 2 years later and won a fantastic holiday for 2 to Dubai staying in the Jumero Beach you know the one 6 star shaped like a wave. It was again a holiday of a lifetime.
I have won things inbetween like cds etc that my children said they wanted and been lucky.
My last and brilliant win is a trip to Venice, 2 nights in a hotel and coming home on the Orient Express. This though is when my Grand daughter is due to arrive into the world, my sons daughter, so we have given it, and the promoters have agreed, to my daughter and her husband to have a second honeymoon. I think the promoters are pleased as well my daughter loves having her picture taken and well who would you rather see on a site for publicity as they are going to do the competition yearly!
Never say those words "I wont win" unless of course you never enter any competitions.
Good luck and I hope you will win something as there is a lot to win out there.
Thank you for reading x
For sometime now I have been entering on-line competitions and have enjoyed moderate success, CDs, a short break in Scotland, Books and Football tickets and on Monday night I was thrilled to discover that I had won a major prize A CRUISE. It was early evening when I received the telephone call asking for confirmation of who I was then the excitement building up I was asked to get a pen and paper so I could take all the details of this fabulous prize. The company?s name was The Fulfillment Company and I was given the name and employee number of the person calling. Followed by all the details Holiday for 4 people 3 nights in Orlando 3 nights in Daytona Beach 3 nights Imperial Cruise around the Caribbean stopping in Bahamas First class service throughout with the use of a car He was also going to throw in: - A digital camera and matching 2 piece leather luggage (as I was the last person they had to contact) This phone call had lasted for 20 minutes whilst he explained the details then came the sting!!! He asked me for a payment of $936 (£600) on my visa card as security on the holiday. Immediately alarm bells started to ring. Usually if you win something you don?t have to pay for it. He then became more persistent and slightly aggressive. Could I give him my Visa number, expiry date and my name exactly as it was on the card. At this point I realised something fishy was going on and was not going to give out all my details to a total stranger so I told him I would have to look for the card and could he call back in 10 minutes. After I hung up I dialled 1471 and was not surprised to find it was a number unobtainable. After I hung up I was surprised at how quickly I had been taken in. All my other wins had sent emails first asking for confirmation and an address etc to send the prize to. The next day I received an email asking me to register with them to claim my prize. I put it in t
he trashcan where it belonged. The moral of the tale for me was, If something sounds to good to be true then it probably is and also there?s no fool like an old fool! I am not sure if this is in the right catergory as I didn't no where to put it
Absolutely anyone can win competitions. You don't have to have any qualifications, and there is no secret formula. All it takes is persistence and determination. I have been entering competitions for about three years now, and I absolutely love it. It is purely a hobby, and I am by no means a professional comper. I enter competitions anywhere and everywhere, especially in magazines and newspapers, and also on the internet. The best magazines for competitions, I think, are Chat (68p), Take a Break (68p) and That's Life! (60p). These come out weekly, and have quite a few competitions in them, as well as stories, fashion items, and the rest of the stuff you might expect from a magazine. The prizes range from cars to cutlery, although I haven't won anything from them - yet. There is a very useful wesite that gives you all the answers, so you can refer to it if you get stuck. The website is www.comping.ukgateway.net. Of course there are lots of other magazines that have competitions in them, it just depends on your budget, and how much you are prepared to spend. If you don't want to spend lots of money, a good site for postal competitions is www.compnet.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. The site is clearly laid out, and there are plenty of competitions to keep you going. Just make sure you have lots of postcards to hand. The internet is a great source for competitions, and where I have had most my wins. It is a cheap way to enter competitions, and there are some fantastic prizes on offer. I enter around twenty online competitions every day, sometimes more, sometimes less. In just depends how I'm feeling. It would take you forever to search for competitions yourself on the net, but there are websites that do all the searching for you. The two that I use are: http://www.loquax.co.uk http://www.theprizefinder.com Entering competitions is a lot of fun. I have had many wins, including books, videos,
CDs, concert tickets, perfume, saucepans, and cash (£2,000). However, the best win for me was 4 VIP tickets to a Robbie Williams concert, and a signed tour programme. I am a big Robbie fan, and will treasure that signed tour programme forever! I think the idea of winning something for free is what gives me a buzz. I would love to win a car, or a nice holiday somewhere hot. Who knows, maybe someday I will. Each day I wonder if the postie will bring me a winning letter, or parcel, and I love that excitement. When I'm feeling a bit down, a win really cheers me up. If you're thinking about entering competitions, a good place to start is the local paper. It may contain a competition, and the chances of winning are greater, as entries are limited to local people. Tiebreaker competitions are also good, and require a bit of skill, so they are worth having a go at. People often steer clear of tiebreakers, because they think they are no good at them, but it is definitely worth having a try. Who knows what the judges are looking for, and you might just get lucky. Another tip is to look out for entry forms in shops and supermarkets. There are usually lots of competitons around, and very often all you need to do is fill out your name and address, and post it in store, or send it off. For postal competitons, look out for free postcard in places such as the cinema, university, café, or bank. They could be anywhere, and will save you a bit of money. You can even cut up old birthday or Christmas cards, or buy a pack of cheap card, and make your own. If you are going to start entering competitons, I wish you luck. Don't get despondent if you don't win straight away. Keep going. The more competitons you enter, the better chance you have of winning. That big win could be just around the corner. And remember, you've got to be in it to win it!