If any of you are looking at this via my Facebook page, you may be well aware that a hobby of mine is entering competitions. I started when I became pregnant with my daughter, struggling to find work at 4 months pregnant and having to find alternative things to keep my mind active during the day!
I am not mad on the process, it can be tedious entering your details again and again in the hope that you may get a treat at the end of it. When I started, I didn’t honestly believe I would win anything. I have proved myself wrong on that count, having been incredibly fortunate considering I don’t dedicate hours to it.
Above: Batman Onsie won for my daughter via Facebook.
Some people do, they spend hours every day entering everything they see to increase their chances of just winning something! I do believe that those people must be neglecting their real life and forfeiting just simply living in order to win things, but I guess everyone has their own system. I try not to do it on my daughters time at least.
Above: Goodies for my girl won via Facebook.
Entering competitions can be a really rewarding hobby. I have joined a page on Facebook where those that are members will keep a look out for any members names in winning comments etc, which is so helpful as a lot of competitions, especially Facebook comment and share ones, do not always tag winners and you have to search for your name yourself. So this group is lovely and all congratulate each other on big wins etc, even though the majority of them have never met each other. It’s a comping community I guess and it works for them. And has done for me on a few occasions.
Amys Kitchen food vouchers Via Facebook.
Comping also gives opportunities to meet new people. Entering local competitions especially means your odds at winning are higher as more than likely you will have to collect the prize in person, meaning only local people within a certain distance will enter it.
I had a wonderful experience through a Facebook competition run by a local Greek Deli. I simply had to like, comment and share their post on their Facebook page and I was randomly selected from about 600 entries to win a gorgeous Greek hamper, which I collected from their shop in Birmingham, taking my daughter and then partner along to sample gorgeous produce and meet the owners. We were there for about an hour and I try to pop in whenever I am in Birmingham to pick up some favourites.
Above: Greek Deli win and Emilia trying the jam samples 😉
Of course, nothing online comes without a few nasties. There are some people out there who do not play by the rules and have several emails, several accounts, several computers, entering things 4 or 5 times over. This is unfair but it does happen.
Also, people can be spiteful or jealous, say if you win something and they wanted it, you can be subject to bitchiness. I have heard of people even reporting other people for selling on prizes on Ebay etc. As far as I am concerned, they obviously have too much time on their hands. If you win, it’s up to you what you do with the prize. Its yours. The way to stop this from happening is only to share news about your win with friends you know you can trust, or try not to respond to any bitterness from anyone else, as they will soon get bored and find someone else to moan about!
Above: Jules Destrooper Biscuits via Facebook.
On the whole, however, I have had more positive things come out of comping than negative. Now I have a toddler to run around after by myself, on top of keeping on top of the normal daily stuff that needs doing like washing etc, I really don’t do very many at all. I might enter one or two on my phone whilst my potatoes are boiling. I might enter another on the evening whilst I wait for the kettle to boil. If you can fit them in like this, you don’t notice you are giving them time and it doesn’t encroach on your daily life. I used to sit down for an hour each evening and dedicate that hour to comping. I just don’t have the energy these days and that doesn’t work around my life anymore, so I just do what I can.
Above: Greengate baking selection via Facebook.
It honestly is luck of the draw, you have to be in it to win it, as they say, and if you enter, you have a chance at least. I went months without doing any over the christmas and new year period, mainly down to personal reasons, then I randomly entered just two Facebook like, comment and share posts and within 2 days had a notification saying that I had won a hamper full of toffee for valentine’s day. It swings in roundabouts and you could enter loads and win nothing for ages. That has happened to me too. That is just the way it is.
Above: Valentines Hamper via Facebook.
I do a few here and there that take my fancy and it seems to produce a few treats a year, nothing life changing, but it’s always nice to receive something for little work or effort that will bring a smile to either mine, a loved one or my daughters face.
Above: Ginger Grouse Case via Facebook.
So if you fancy giving it a go, here are a few tips I have picked up along the way.
Facebook Competitions: These are the ones I focus on mainly because they are very easy.
1.Most of these ask you to simply like and share a post. Just like you would on a friends post. However, the promoters of competitions do like you to comment too, whether they state it or not. So even if you just write a few words or even write “liked and shared”, this will go in your favour. I have never won a Facebook competition that I havent commented on, and there’s been a fair few in the early days, so that should tell you something.
2.When you share a post on, your settings at the bottom of the post must be changed to public rather than just fiends, as a public share is what counts as a share to promote the competition. I entered for months not realising this and once I discovered this my luck started to change. It really does make a difference.
3.Keep the share on your Facebook wall until the competition has ended and the winner has been announced. Most Facebook competitions will announce the winner on the actual competition post, failing this, they will make a separate announcement on their Facebook page. I say to keep it until the closing date as mentioned earlier, not all promoters tag you into the winners post, they often say “Congratulations so and so” without tagging your name, so it’s always worth keeping the post, checking, then you can delete it from your wall once you know you havent missed any wins!
Above: 1st Prize Vegan Lipsticks via Facebook.
I don’t do many of these but I have had wins from these!
1.There is no way, like with Facebook, of checking if you have won these. If you win a competition that you have entered your details online with, you will be notified of the win via email or telephone directly from the promoter in most cases.
2. Sometimes, your name is simply drawn and the promoter does not even notify you, in which case, the prize will turn up at your address without warning, which happened to me with a £100 LUSH hamper I had only entered to win about 5 days previously. When that happen, it feels great!
3.If you do not wish to be contacted by third parties or spam mail, always make sure you tick this option at the bottom of the entry form or else you will receive loads of junk to your email!
Above: Various voucher wins
1.In most cases, for say, some toiletries or something, you should be fine to just enter. Most companies will cover the cost of the postage to winners and things like that. However, if you are entering big ones, like a holiday, always check the terms and conditions before you enter! I have known of people who have won 5 star holidays and not been able to take them because they didn’t look at the date properly, with some things having to be taken within certain weeks. Always check the terms on hamper competitions too as very often I have found these are collection ones! I was very lucky with my toffee hamper, they posted it wicker basket and all!
2. If you are not sure where to find competitions, a good place to start is theprizefinder.com. This was my starting point and is so handy as it separates the competitions into categories like Facebook, Twitter, Instant Win etc. If you sign in you can also keep a competition tracker which keeps a record for you of which ones you have entered and how many you have done. It’s a great site and I love that you can tick them off as you do them!
3. Share! Either find a group on social media like I did that shares competitions with each other or other people you know that are interested. It makes it much more fun not having to search for the competitions before you then sit and enter them!
Above: Both items won via the advent comps at christmas via Facebook.
The pictures above are just a selection of the bits and bobs I have won over the last three years, so take my word, it can be done!