How to WIN stuff.

So, I had a few people ask me about my hobby of competition entering. People in the “know” tend to call it “comping” and call themselves “compers”. I think that sounds SO nerdy and kind of daggy, but whatever. This post will be mostly helpful for Aussies, as other countries tend to run their competitions a bit differently.

The first thing you have to realize is that companies run these competitions to get exposure for their brand and/or to collect your data to get you on email lists and/or for market research. So if you’re not ok with giving out your email address (at a minimum) then forget about it. You could create an email address that you use specifically for comping if you were concerned. Often you will also need to give your address or at least your post code, sometimes your phone number.

In my experience, I have not really had any issues with spam emails, phone calls or mail. I don’t have a problem being on a company’s email list and getting a newsletter from them weekly or whatever. If you really don’t like it, you can always unsubscribe after the comp is over. Sometimes there is also a checkbox on the entry form where you can choose if you want to receive communication from their partners. I almost always choose no.

So, now you want to find these competitions. Almost all competitions are run online now. When I first started entering they were mostly done the snail mail way. So you can spend hours googling, or you can join (for free) the following websites where all the competitions are posted for you! There’s a few others, but these are my favourite.

ALWAYS read the terms and conditions. Sometimes competitions are only for residents of certain states, sometimes only for subscribers of foxtel or there’s some other restriction on it. (If you spend 20 minutes crafting a great answer for a 25 words or less (25wol) comp and then realise you’re ineligible to enter that kind of sucks.) Very occasionally there’s dodgy clauses in there that don’t sit well with me and I give it a miss.

25wol competitions are your best bet. This is the main difference between Aussie comps and the rest of the world. There’s some sort of loophole here that lets companies run comps without applying for permits and licenses if they claim it is a game of skill. Hence, 25wol to enter. And they DO actually read and judge them.

Less people enter these because it requires some effort. Sometimes they ask something very generic like, “Why do you want to win xxxx?” Other times it’s something more like “If you could have dinner with any historic figure, who would it be?” Don’t be tempted to write a typical boring answer, an I-love-your-brand monologue or a sob story about why you want to win xxxx. That is the best way to ensure your response will be ignored. Imagine if you’re reading through 100’s or 1000’s of responses and every second one sounds the same. Think of it from a different angle. And stick to the 25 words. I’ve found sometimes if it’s a REALLY GREAT answer the promoter will have a small tolerance for a few extra words, but it’s always best to stick to the 25 words or less if that’s what the terms and conditions specify.

Of course you can also enter the easy entry competitions too. Just fill out your details and you’re in the draw. There’s usually a lot more entries in these, so your chances are less. If you’re allowed multiple entries as per the terms and conditions, then make a point of entering daily (or whatever the limit is) as this will increase your odds and most people will just go and enter once. I have gotten lucky a few times with these but my big wins were all from 25wol comps. Generally, the more effort required to enter a competition, the less people will enter.

Here’s an easy entry one to get you started. *Disclaimer-  I will receive an extra entry if you use the link to enter.

Win a $500 fuel card.

There’s also the competitions that require a purchase of some kind. These are also a good bet because they’ll have less people entering. I entered one recently where I had to give the barcode for some Superior Gold smoked salmon and they were giving away kitchen aid mixers. I didn’t win, but the smoked salmon was nice. 🙂

I usually only enter if it’s something I need or want. Or if it’s something I can give to a friend or family. For example these days I rarely enter comps for holidays because it’s not really feasible for me to go on a “trip for 2 to London” or “a snow holiday in New Zealand”. I did win a Perisher Snow holiday worth $5000 about 7 years ago before I had kids though. It was awesome!

So, go enter! And let me know if you have any questions or if you win. 🙂

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