Winter Comping…Brr…

 

 

It’s almost June and June heralds the start of winter and the start of many winter-themed competitions. Prizes such as holidays in the snow as well as gas heaters, slow cookers, winter recipe books, Ugg boots and the usual books, DVDs, movie and theatre tickets will probably continue to appear over the next few months.

The mid-year months are usually dominated in the media by winter sports and competitions with prizes of footy tee-shirts, scarves and those ubiquitous promotional stubby holders and key rings will probably be everywhere. As a form of relief from these, July might also bring with it promotions at restaurants for Christmas in July festivities otherwise the usual holiday cruises (for those wanting to escape the cold weather), cars and other high value prizes will all still be available if you are prepared to work at winning them. August is probably one of the quietest comping months of the comping year but that doesn’t mean there are still not hundreds if not thousands of competitions out there to find and enter. Maybe August is a good time to look about for competitions that you don’t usually enter; new websites and magazines you have never had the time to browse through before. Then take a little break and get ready for the roller coaster of competitions that are held during the last few months of the year.

Perhaps winter is a good time to win a book (if you still read them that is). It’s not that difficult to win a book or two these days. You know those fast disappearing packages of words made from paper and cardboard. Publishers and book retailers are desperate to promote their recent releases as the market for these paperbacks and hardbacks rapidly diminishes. I have won heaps of books over the years and continue to. They make great presents for my bookish friends. If you are a keen book reader like me and would be happy to win some for yourself or to give away to friends, it is definitely worth entering some of the many run by Publishing Houses through their regular newsletters or through their Facebook pages.

Three that instantly come to mind are Harlequin BooksRandom House and Hatchette Books. To win kids books keep an eye out on family websites as well as Kids Book Review. Websites of popular foodie magazines such as Taste or Gourmet Traveller are great places to find recipe book giveaways. Most of these are also found in the actual magazines as well.

If you have moved beyond books and are now into e-reading (is that a word?) why not keep your eyes peeled for competitions with e-readers as a prize then simply download your reading matter for free.

But how about a free trip to the movies on a cold winter’s day? Movie tickets and DVDs all appear to be some of the easiest prizes to win with new movies being released in cinemas and on DVD and Blu-Ray all the time. They are effortlessly obtained from movie promoters by businesses and websites to use as prizes for their promotions and inexpensive to post out to winners. There were actually 100 double movie passes in the last competition I entered, so those were not that hard to win, the odds therefore being extremely good. If movies are your thing, it is definitely worth subscribing to movie promotional websites and Facebook pages like Icon Film Distribution Australia, Madman or Walt Disney Studios (for the kids) to keep ahead of the pack. And if you are interested in attending a premiere of a new release you just can’t wait to see, head over to their official website of the particular movie and check out any promotions there too. Websites like Fliks and Video Ezy and radio stations are also good places to keep an eye on for movie giveaways.

Photo Attribution – Climate Change Research

Nine Notes for Newbies

 

 

  1. Don’t dismiss small competitions run through local businesses, charities, church or your local school, playgroup or pre-school. You often have a better chance of winning a prize through them than through the large, well promoted competitions, especially those advertised on television or national newspapers. Also keep you ears open for competitions on your local radio station or through your local paper. They often have great prizes and less people entering them too.
  2. Do your comping at a time during the day or night when you are the most relaxed. You will construct better and more creative 25 WOL answers then and make fewer mistakes when entering your details into forms. If you get stuck you can always get your kids or grandkids to help you with your answers as they are sometimes more creative, snappy and original. It might be serious to you, but to them it’s just a bit of fun.
  3. Take heart if you don’t win all the time. We all have prize droughts, some longer than others. Not everyone wins all the time. That’s life and sometimes it is good to have a reality check from time to time.
  4. If you are unsure about the legitimacy or fairness of some of the competitions that look at bit dodgy, you can always go to their website for confirmation and then do a quick check of the Terms and Conditions of the competition. In fact, make a habit of always doing a quick run through of the Ts & Cs. As for Facebook Competitions, just enter the ones run through apps (these are run on a separate page to the main FB page) or those that require a thoughtful comment or to upload a photo and where you are not required to �?share’ or �?tag’ anyone.These are the fairest ones and are more likely to be run according to FB rules.
  5. Work out which types of competitions you are best at (like WOL, photo comps, Instagram or Twitter comps or creative comps) and stick to those primarily. This will concentrate your energies and more likely lead to some success.
  6. Don’t let comping take over your life. Get off the computer and spend some time outdoors in the fresh air and make sure you actually use all the movie, concert or theatre tickets you win or cook up a feast for your family or friends using all the freebies you collect along the way. Enjoy your wins! Don’t forget to take a break from time to time to get refreshed. Comping can be a tiring hobby if you take it too seriously. After a break you are likely to be more energised. Don’t worry about all those comps you might have missed – there are plenty more!
  7. Think carefully before committing yourself to too many voting competitions. They are hard to win without heaps of enthusiastic online friends. There are always plenty of other competitions around – don’t despair.
  8. Take care entering Facebook competitions. Facebook clamps down occasionally on people �?over-sharing’ or �?over-tagging’  and are not happy about people operating multiple FB pages, even if they have been created with innocent intentions. Facebook can suspend people or close down their pages at the click of a button.
  9. Don’t be tempted to cheat to win a prize in a competition. Cheats do come to the notice, not only of competition sponsors but also to other compers, who don’t take kindly to them. On Facebook they can easily be reported and shut down and many competition sponsors and public relations agencies managing a wide range of competitions have been known to �?black-ban’ regularly cheating compers. Keep it fair for everyone and it will be a lot more fun!

Photo attribution – www.onewaystock.com

Dear Competition Sponsor

 

 

Dear Competition Sponsor

On behalf of the many enthusiastic and committed compers in Australia and beyond, I am writing to you to both commend you on your efforts to provide us with the competitions we enter every day and to give you some hints and tips from ‘the other side of the fence’.

We fully understand the aims of your competitions. You want us to engage with your business, your service and your products and in the course of doing so purchase something from you and spread the word: all very possible. However, many competitions are simply not engaging us. We enter them and cross our fingers in the hope that we win a prize but if they haven’t been very interesting or enjoyable, we simply fill in the form with our details and move on to the next one.

The competitions that are more likely to engage us are often simply fun. We don’t want to jump through thousands of difficult hoops to enter. We don’t want to spend hours trawling through your website looking for a hidden code. We don’t want to have to beg all our family and friends to vote for a silly picture of out pet cat. We just want a simple, straightforward competition that not only introduces us to your products but also makes us feel good about them (and you never know; we might even buy some). Just make them fun and keep them simple.

If you are determined to use Facebook to run your competition, please stick to Facebook Rules. Innocent people are being banned and suspended because in many cases you are not. We much prefer competitions run through apps rather than the ‘like’, ‘tag’ and ‘share’ ones which are actually against Facebook Rules. Facebook clearly states that ‘personal timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions’ and that ‘a Facebook Page must not incentivise people to use social plug-ins or to ‘like’ a page’. You can ask entrants in a Facebook competition to ‘like’ a post. Facebook competitions can be interesting ways to engage us with your business as long as there is a fair way of judging the winners, whether by random selection or by the best or most relevant comment.

Most of us enjoy competitions where we have to comment and we also like it if there is more than one prize. The prizes don’t have to be large or even expensive, just worth the effort and if you use prizes as a way of introducing us to your products, this is a better way of ‘sharing’.

     Finally, when a competition is over, please make every effort to contact the winner as soon as possible. It is not too hard to send a quick email or private message to the winner rather than expect entrants to check back themselves. Facebook posts don’t automatically reach all ‘likers’, so just by posting the winners is not much help either.

If you have provided a link to the Ts & Cs of the competition (another Facebook requirement) we will be more comfortable about the legitimacy of your competition and more likely to have a good feeling about your business even if we don’t win. A competition is a great way of promoting your business and we would be happy to share our experiences (not just the competition links) with everyone we know, offline or online if we have had a positive experience: if we have been happily engaged and it has been a fun competition as well as fair. You’ll get a lot more ‘likers’ that way too.

Regards, The Compers of Australia

How Far Would You Go?

 

 

I waited with anticipation and a fair degree of curiosity until the Dracarkis Jeweller’s Facebook page announced the winner of a $10,000 diamond ring through their recent Hearts On Fire competition in April this year, held in Sydney. To enter this competition first you had to solve a number of clues that were posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their website, then you had to access a map and finally on the last day, front up and join in a search in Hyde Park after asking the right person in the crowd to ‘marry you’. Finally you had a chance to find the ring hidden somewhere in the park. The competition was well promoted and appeared to have a huge following – at the beginning at any rate! Good on Dracarkis Jewellers for being creative!

The Facebook post announcing the winner finally went live and there, before us, was a photo of the smiling face of the winner, holding her prize ring in her hand, showing it off to all of us would were too lazy or couldn’t be bothered to go through all the hoops to win it. Silly us…she looked elated and so she should be. Who wouldn’t want to win a $10,000 diamond ring like this one?

Comping is a great hobby. It can be creative and challenge us mentally as well as social and just fun. Who doesn’t enjoy those days when the prizes arrive? But how far would you go in order to win a prize?

The steps that the winner of the diamond ring had to take were not as complicated or as daunting as some that compers I know have been prepared to go to in the course of securing a prize. Here is one story from a fellow comper that I am sure not many of us would be happy to replicate.

The competition was run by UBank, who offered the opportunity to win $1,932 (which was the average saving one could make at the time if they switched their home loan to UBank). Entrants had to say what they would be prepared to do to win the cash and they also had to be prepared to go through with their pledge if they won one of the ten prizes up for grabs. The only problem for the said comper was – his pledge was to man a Kissing Booth in the Queen Victoria Markets (in Melbourne) and raise money for charity. That was all well and good, but the stunt was also to be professionally videoed and uploaded to YouTube. Despite some early nerves, he duly went through with it, received his prize and actually admitted that it had been fun.

The other two prize-winners, who were bold enough to go through with their pledges were a male entrant who walked down Rundle Mall (in Adelaide) in full drag and a female entrant who dyed her long hair green (the UBank colour).

Would you have gone through with these? I’m not sure I would have but…? How far would you go? To get you thinking, here is a list of things I definitely wouldn’t do.

(1)   I wouldn’t do anything naked.

(2)   I wouldn’t cook anything in public. This is basically because I am just a lousy cook and probably wouldn’t get chosen anyway.

(3)   I wouldn’t do anything that would cost me money because essentially, I don’t have any (which is why I would have been hoping to win the prize).

(4)   I wouldn’t do anything where I would be too cold (winter) or too hot (summer) because I am a wuss.

(5)   I wouldn’t do anything that involves my hubbie because he is not into comping. Yes…he’s missing out, I know.

And that’s how far I wouldn’t go! For now.

A Comp Queen

 

 

Sarah Phillips is no ordinary, run-of-the-mill comper.  She has taken her comping hobby to a new level over the last year or so after starting her very popular blog – Diary of a Comp Queen. Now, on top of winning some pretty amazing prizes on a regular basis from week to week, she is also running giveaways through the blog for her many followers as well.

Sarah began comping seriously in May 2012. “I read a story in Take 5 magazine,” she tells me, “about a lady who had won over $600K worth of prizes over the course of a few years! I read all her hints and tips and wanted to put them to the test.” Not long after she started comping she began receiving packages containing prizes of all kinds nearly every week, so she kept going.

Sarah enters everything and tells me it doesn’t matter whether she wants the prize or not because she usually uses them for Christmas and birthday presents or donates them to charity, like through the Salvation Army Christmas Tree appeal. Sarah also loves winning toys. “My daughter’s birthday is in December near Christmas,” she explains, “so as it is a long time for her to wait to receive presents I like to give her a mid-year treat.”

     Although Sarah has won hundreds of prizes including a complete cleaning pack from Better Homes and Gardens that included a dishwasher, her ultimate goal is to win a car. “I read a story about a woman who had won 3 cars in the space of 5 years and after reading this, I am definitely not going to give up the dream,” she tells me. Winning keeps her motivated but also does hearing about other people’s wins.

Sarah’s Diary of a Comp Queen blog and Facebook page is rapidly growing in popularity and after one year (or so) she has over 1400 followers. While Sarah posts of her wins, hints and tips for entering competitions, she also runs great giveaways which I occasionally enter. Just before last Christmas I won a great pack of 2015 Calendars which were perfect for Christmas gifts at the time. When I asked her for a few tips for newbie compers here is what she had to offer: “Don’t just enter comps with big ticket prize; enter comp with smaller prizes too that way you will be spreading your luck around.” Her second tip was: “Always read the Ts & Cs and take note of all the important information such as the cut off date and the number of times you can enter because if you can enter more than once, you will increase your chances of winning.”

     Sarah loves using sites like competitions.com.au as a starting point to finding suitable competitions, then any sites she finds that have regular comps she saves to a favourites list and checks back on them regularly for any new ones. She now finds plenty of competitions on Facebook to enter too (don’t we all!).

I have been following Diary of a Comp Queen almost since she began writing it and as well as finding it inspiring, I love to direct others to enter her giveaways as well. I have watched it grow over time and am constantly amazed by Sarah’s energy and dedication to this fun and often lucrative hobby that many of us also enjoy. If you don’t already subscribe to it you can find Diary of a Comp Queen at www.compqueen.com.au. It’s worth ‘liking’ her Facebook page as well!

Photo Attribution Archer10