Monday, 5 September 2016

10 Thoughts When Comping

Comping is entering competitions and giveaways, which I like to do on a regular basis. Here are a few tips and tricks from the comping world, that can help you succeed in winning, unfortunately there is no guaranteed success, someone could enter the same amount of competitions as another, one could win 100 prizes, the other might not win 1.

Dedicated Email address
Before entering competitions, a lot of them are wanting you to sign up to information or newsletter to be eligible for the prize, setting up a dedicated email address for competition entries, will help combat spam and help you find your winnings easier, some competitions will even ask you to validate your email address, so make sure you check your emails from the dedicated email address.

Dedicated Folders
In your dedicated emails, you might also like to create dedicated folders.
You can set selected folders with filtered words such as; ‘winner, won, winnings, prize’ to go into a dedicated folder so you don’t miss a win, but watch out for emails like ‘winner’ as when you open it, it may just be announcing the winner and it may not in fact be yourself.
When you enter competitions they may also email you to say thank you for entering or if it is entry via Gleam or Rafflecopter they often send you an email letting you know how many entries you have. I often put these in a separate folder, just in case I do win a competition and want to confirm it is a genuine win and not spam before opening or giving any details.

Terms and Conditions
Always read or at least skim the Terms and conditions, most terms will exclude staff or immediate family members that are staff members from that company, from entering.
Check if it is collection only and if it is worth collecting and from where.
Check the age requirements, most are 16 years and older.
Winners usually have to agree to a photo of them collecting the prize or for your name to be included in their article about the prize.
There may also be a clause where you are unable to win one of their prize draws for a period of time, so it is always worth checking the Terms and Conditions.

Tick Boxes
Always check the tick boxes and small print, often they will ask you to tick a box if you do not wish for them to pass your details on and then untick the following box to not send your details on, sometimes the tick boxes are below the submit button, so always check before clicking to enter. This could save you from being bombarded by unwanted phone calls and nonsense calls.

Keeping Track
I would suggest signing up to a website or comping forum to help keep track of competitions entered. On the Money Saving Expert forum, there is a ‘competition’ category where people share competitions and even the answers to the competitions, you can then ‘thank’ the original poster and mark it as ‘entered.’ It is important to keep track as some websites will say ‘one entry per household or per email address,’ but will let you physically enter more than once, so helps you not get disqualified.

There are loads of competitions out there via different platforms, websites, entry forms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media, I tend to look for free competitions as there are plenty out there. Why waste your time entering paid competitions when you aren’t guaranteed to win and you are gambling your money away.
Winnings do not have to be declared as they are a prize or a gift, most competitions are completely tax free, so other than the time given entering them, you won’t lose out.

Appealing Prizes
Entering competitions can take time, spend time entering competitions where the prize is more appealing to you, there will be some where you can win holidays, spa days, experiences and technology, all of which aren’t to everyone’s taste, although many may prefer to enter cash. So I’d spend most of my time entering for the prizes I really wanted or could make use of, otherwise it would be a waste in time and effort.

Higher chance of winning
To be in for a better chance of winning enter competitions that have a low number of entries or those that require effort, whether that be providing a photo or simply having to log into the site.

Form Filling
Certain browsers will have add-ons or will say your details for auto fill out forms. Google Chrome is a good browser that will automatically fill in your forms for you, but not all websites accept autofill so always worth looking properly, but autofill can help save you a lot of time.

You’ll often come across competitions that have required boxes or those with a star* which generally means those boxes are required to fill in and complete your entry. You’ll also notice that some are not required, like your phone number for some, only fill in the information required, otherwise you may have unwanted calls, just like if you forget to tick or untick a box.

Also something to look out for is the competition requirements of entry, as most twitter competitions will be a Follow and Retweet, but read them carefully as some require you to also ‘like’ the post or follow another account.

Those are the main points for staying safe, as well as having a good antivirus on your device you use to enter competitions. Have fun and Happy Comping!

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