February 5, 2023

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What’s The Truth About Free Sweepstakes And Contests?

5 min read

On social platforms, you may have seen some people post a new car, house or a free trip they won through online free sweepstakes and contests. In addition to these impractical-sounding prizes, there are concert tickets, free meals, gift cards or a new iPad. Of course, the news media also race to report on the winner of the sweepstakes.

Most of the winners are ordinary people who express the process and joy of winning to the outside world. When you look at the photos they send out, which are very desirable tourist scenery and concert scenes, you will feel that there are really free gifts in this world. Then, an impulse arises in you to enter the sweepstakes and contests, thinking that you might win the prize, too.

This is exactly what prize sponsors and sweepstakes organizers want to achieve. They want everyone to participate in the sweepstakes and contests after seeing the interviews of the winners, because this brings more traffic and exposure to their products. On the Internet, traffic represents wealth.

Does the sponsor really give away the prize to someone for free?

Why do prize sponsors give free prizes? It appears to be free, but in fact the sponsor gets something more profitable than a prize.

On March 23, 2021, Kris Jenner, the matriarch of the Kardashian family, posted a photo of herself on her Instagram sitting on a grand staircase surrounded by Louis Vuitton luggage and handbags worth thousands of dollars.

The caption read: “Who wants a 20k USD preloaded credit card + this luxury purses pictured here with me?” and added a credit card emoji, four exclamation points, and two notifications that the post was #ad. Participating in the sweepstakes required following dozens of other Instagram accounts and commenting on Jenner’s posts.

Results? No one knows who won the prize. But Kris Jenner achieved the purpose of advertising, because the sweepstakes she initiated brought thousands of fans to other Instagram accounts. Under the giveaway post, one commenter said it looked like a scam.

What is the essence of sweepstakes and contests?

Let’s look at other examples of sweepstakes. On the homepage of SweepstakesBible, a website that provides information about sweepstakes, you can randomly click on a link titled “WIN $16000 IN CASH PRIZES“, and then come to the details page. This sweepstakes requires participants to be at least 18 years old and each person can only enter once.

The condition for participation is to enter the organizer’s website and enter your email address, first name, gender and age. Receive stock market simulation games in your mailbox, play to win prizes. Have you ever tried such a game? You end up watching more ads, or even paying for a company’s product along the way.

Sponsors can attract a large crowd by offering very expensive luxuries, large amounts of cash or preloaded credit cards as prizes. The entry requirements are simple, some require you to fill in your personal information, and others require you to share the sweepstakes on your private social media account.

“From the perspective of organizers and sponsors, sweepstakes and contests are a form of advertising and marketing. The large number of participants makes the winning rate extremely low and the sponsors gain exposure and viral publicity.” Natalie Warb, a financial expert from a coupon website CouponBirds in the United States, explained.

How do participants identify the likelihood of winning?

First of all, control your desires. The more expensive the pursuit, the more time it will take. Even if you don’t pay, lost time is worth more than money. If the award is 10,000 dollars in cash, a luxury or a brand new car, then you can pretend it doesn’t exist. Stay away from events with more than 10,000 participants.

Look at some cases of ordinary people winning the prizes. Founded in 2006, Contestgirl provides an online channel for people to enter sweepstakes and contests provided by merchants. Business-owners can submit prizes and limits on this website. After you register, you can see recent winners and award settings.

  • Ericka won a $3,263 ice skating rink from Nice Rink and USA Today in the Nice Rink November sweepstakes.
  • Melanie won $2,500 from the Box’d Spring Refresh sweepstakes.
  • McKenzie won a queen size mattress and 3 months of meals from Sirrve from the Motherly 12 Days of Giving sweepstakes.
  • ai22 won a pack of Nitro Pepsi worth $21 from Fooji, a water bottle worth $20 from the Gatorade IWG, and an ebike worth $1,999 from the Campspot 12 days of Campmas giveaway. $1999
  • rickstar1 won a trip for two to Napa Valley, California that includes a one night stay at the River Terrace Inn and two tickets to the the Napa Valley Wine Train worth $1,300, from KOST 103.5 and iHeart Radio.

If the value of the prize does not exceed $10,000 and is practical, you can try to enter. Just like shopping, expensive is not necessarily the best, but what suits you is the best. A lower prize value tends to result in fewer competitors, which makes for a higher chance of winning.

Participate in sweepstakes offered by local businesses rather than chain brands. There are few people who know about the local events which make the winning rate high, and you also have the opportunity to verify the reliability of the sweepstakes. Prizes will also arrive later if the sponsor is far away from you. The prizes offered by local businesses might not be huge, like a $50 gift card or a case of Coke. But it’s existing enough, isn’t it?

The sweepstakes on the Internet requires you to fill in your email address, name, age and gender. Such information can be provided, but if you need to fill in your credit card number or social security number, close the page. Entry fees also need to be avoided.

Insist on reading the rules before entering. You will soon understand that the merchant only needs you to help promote it. That means you cooperate with him and get a prize, which is an equal transaction. The more attractive the prize, the more complicated and difficult the rules are, and the more time-consuming it is.

Finally, you need to tell if sweepstakes and contests are scams. Scammers often don’t bother writing rules, or their rules are noticeably lacking in detail, they’re unspecific, have spelling mistakes, or are too short.

Some legitimate sponsors create separate websites to promote their giveaways, but they should clearly state who is hosting the giveaway and why. You may find this information in the rules. If you can’t find any sign of a company supporting the sweepstakes, the giveaway could be a scam.

Don’t be too greedy and protect your personal information, which is the most important prerequisite to enter. There is no such thing as getting something for nothing. When you have the ability to help a business get the word out about them, go for it.

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