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Buy to Win

A bulky unsolicited letter package arrived in the mail today. Inside was a mail order catalogue with WIN in big letters splashed across the front page followed by ‘one of these fabulous prizes’ which included $20,000 cash, a diamond bangle and a selection of ruby jewellery. Then, of course, came the catch – ‘order today to be eligible’. To buy or not to buy? That is the question I need to ask myself when confronted with the large variety of competitions that require a product purchase to enter

Obviously the main aim of competitions (or trade promotions as they are known in the corporate world) is to encourage more potential customers to try their products to ultimately increase sales and raise brand awareness in the marketplace so having to purchase a product to enter seems perfectly logical. But is it reasonable for me to buy everything I come across just to enter the competition? Will I be tempted? Will it be worth it?

I don’t usually buy through mail order catalogues but this time I thought ‘what the heck’, flipped through the pages and found a couple of things that might come in handy. So I filled out the order form and sent it off. I’ll wait and see but I won’t hold my breath.

One of the most alluring competitions lately (it has ended now) was through McDonalds, the prizes being 28 Subaru’s in 28 days. To go into the draw you had to buy one o f their meals. As much as I would love a new car I’m not into fast food so I looked into my local IGA supermarket for some other ideas. I was lucky. There were a few competitions. All I had to buy was two Golden Circle products (I bought a tin of pineapple slices so pineapple upside down cake will definitely be on the menu this week) and a jar of Vegemite and one of peanut butter (we always need these). The last one was through Dairy Farmers – buy a litre of milk (always need this too). The instructions on the bottle were to enter through www.preferredmilk.com.au to go into a draw to win prizes including a number of coffee machines. All entries now in!

I am sure these ‘purchase to enter’ competitions work for businesses otherwise they wouldn’t keep running them. I have actually bought products in the past to enter competitions, come to like them and continue to buy them, for a while anyway.

There are some competitions that my way unexpectedly simply by buying something I actually wanted. Such as the other day when, along with my package of clothes ordered through Ezibuy came a leaflet offering $1000 spending spree as a prize by writing a review online. No worries. Easy. Done. Have I mentioned before that a couple of years ago I won a $100 voucher from them for doing absolutely nothing? I don’t buy from them for the competitions – I actually like their clothes.

I suppose the end result of all my musings on this topic has resulted in the idea that it is probably best to only buy products to enter competitions that you either:-

(1) need yourself

(2) can give to someone else as a gift

(3) would seriously like to try or

(4) is not too expensive or can be justified as part of your budget.

The most important thing to remember is to ALWAYS ask for a receipt and keep it somewhere safe. Nearly all ‘purchase to enter’ competitions will require you to provide a receipt as proof of purchase to claim a prize. There would be nothing worse than winning a prize but not being able to claim it as you didn’t ask for a receipt, keep it safe or you had lost it.

I will put together more on this next week when I take a close look at ‘the fine print’ – that is the terms and conditions you need to adhere to tightly when you enter competitions in order to win. I’m getting to figure all that out as I proceed slowly along my journey. I’m glad you are joining me.

After working for thirty years as a journalist/historian, Jenny started writing sci-fi for children and adults and occasionally illustrating them (when she was not spending time with her grandkids). Most have been published in The School Magazine, anthologies and online. She has also been contributing to a wide variety of magazines such as Antiques and Collectables for Pleasure and Profit, Australiana and Nurture. Now essentially retired Jenny has taken up a challenge of entering and (hopefully winning) competitions. Jenny will track her journey through this challenge here at www.competitions.com.au.

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  1. tina crossley

    thanks jenny for all your advice very helpful.last year I brought a bottle of jameson irish whiskay entered the comp won a $2000 chair and ottoman very happy girl.never thought buying alcohol would reward me

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