Do you need some extra cash? I’m currently desperately saving for spending money for the holiday I won earlier this month. We’ll hopefully be taking it in April, which doesn’t give me a lot of time. I’ve also promised my 5-year-old that I will redecorate his room, new bed, matching Minecraft theme, the lot. I can’t afford that!! It’s a good job we have internet access for comping and side hustles, right!?
What I’ve found this week
So yesterday, I came across these interesting new sites, in my attempt to make extra cash for the above goals. They are both free cash lottery/prize draw sites, 1 of which is destined to pay us to look at adverts. Yes, really! The other has a daily £1k cash draw. I’ve explained these in brief below for you. Although probably an obvious point, with new lottery type sites, signing up in the early days is highly recommended. You will have far more chance of winning the fewer members there are!
Gener8 is an excellent new concept of using advertising revenue to reward members. It’s currently still in beta testing stages, but they are giving out £100 per day to one lucky member regardless. You can sign up here or read on for more information.
The idea of Gener8 is simple and not entirely revolutionary. It has, however, been done very well and I think it will work. The basic concept is that you add their browser extension and choose your interest preferences in your profile. It then monitors how many adverts you see in a day and awards you tokens for each one. It’s important to know that Gener8 isn’t generating extra adverts. It’s just manipulating ones that you would see anyway to suit your interests.
It estimates a standard user could earn £20 to £40 per month, which is a great pay out for doing nothing. Also, as compers, you have to assume we are at the higher end of that estimate, given the amount of ads we see! The really interesting part is that in 2020, Gener8 have vowed to share their profits with the top users in the scheme.
The token value is not yet defined, so please don’t think they are cash value. For example, on the first day, I earnt 52.08 tokens – which clearly won’t be £52. They will announce the tokens’ monetary value when the reach 50,000 users. Tokens cannot be converted to cash until then. They encourage you to donate the earnings to charity, which is lovely. I would certainly do this for a percentage of mine.
All members of Gener8 are automatically entered into a daily draw for £100. You don’t need to do anything other than check your dashboard daily (this will be accessible from your toolbar). Extra entries to the daily draw are available though, through referring friends. Winning more than once is also possible!
Sounds great right, why wouldn’t you give this ago, nothing to lose as far as I can see!
My second valuable find of the day yesterday was Raffall. This is an app only free lottery and raffle provider, but can be used on both Android and Apple.
The raffle section is not of too much interest to me and honestly, I haven’t looked into it yet. The lottery however, is set at £1000 per day, as well as some smaller cash prizes! To get a token, just download the app, sign up and watch one short video per day. I’ve done this yesterday and today and both videos were shorter than 30 seconds.
Again, extra entries are available if you share the link on social media etc. Please note that the referral code resets daily though, so you have to do it each day to benefit. To be honest, I’m happy with one free chance to win £1k for a 30 second effort anyway.
My Money Saving Page
I think that both of the above could be very helpful in my quest for extra cash and hope you will find them useful too. Those of you who are regular readers will know that I live for holidays and family trips. I always research deals for these as it enables us to do way more. I’ve created a special page to share travel and fun deals and offers with you. It’s a bit sparse at the moment, but my intention is to update it as I find deals. So it’s worth keeping an eye on if you’re interested in saving money.
Dont forget I have a couple of competitions running on social media if you have not yet entered them:
So it’s January, and after the insanity of the December advent giveaways, comping really seems to die a death! As a compulsive comper, I often find myself scratching around for new competitions to enter at this time of year. Does anyone else ever end up half way through entering a comp and then second guessing their motives. I know it’s an addiction when I find myself asking if I would ever really use a hoverboard!? (I walk badly, with crutches)
As usual, I digress. The point is, I’ve noticed quite a lot of people commenting that they are similarly struggling to fulfil their personal comping quota this past week or so. I thought it would therefore be useful, to dig deep and provide you with some additional places to find competitions when the comping cup runs dry.
These 5 lesser known sites all have a great collection of competitions to enter and I highly recommended them. I usually tend to dip in and out of these whenever I have extra comping time anyway, but this month, I’ve been a daily visitor to them all. They have done a great job keeping me busy in the bleak January drought.
Twitaculous is actually a really cool little app (can be used on laptops etc, not just for phones) and the only reason I don’t use it more often is due to lack of time. I’m an incredibly methodical person and as I discuss in my top 5 competition sites post, I rarely get beyond those five. Nevertheless, January has found me wanting for more competitions and Twitaculous has been a great little source. It’s not a pretty format, but it’s easy to use and the service is free. As it’s clear a lot of time and hard work has gone into creating this platform, there is a small voluntary contribution that you can pay if you intend to use the service often. This seems only fair and it does offer VIP access (advert free).
To use Twitaculous, you simply create an account, connect it directly to your Twitter account and it lists available Twitter competitions, complete with a nice easy entry system. Each competition post has its own Retweet, Like or Tweet button, allowing you to enter right there, without following a link to Twitter. It has nice sort functions, including sort by category or the option I prefer, show only those you haven’t entered yet. This is very handy! I would definitely recommend this to those who like to enter Twitter competitions.
PrizeDeck is a nice neat little site that provides their own giveaways with a simple one click entry format. Once signed up and logged in, you literally just click enter on the prizes that you fancy. There are no links to follow and no additional information to input.
I spoke to Lon at PrizeDeck about their ethos. PrizeDeck was born of the desire to stand in opposition to the increasing number of prize draw promoters running unfair giveaways (especially on Facebook), with elusive or non-existent prizes, difficult entry methods and dodgy terms and conditions. In stark contrast, PrizeDeck only run their own exclusive giveaways in a fair, honest and compliant way. They always list winners, announcing them both on the website and across social media. The prizes are widely varied and they make great efforts to work with local British brands, particularly start-ups. I have to say that I really appreciate the sentiment of this website and their good nature makes me want to comp with them that little bit more!
PrizeDeck is a relatively new site and I have seen them grow quite significantly over the past year. The prizes are not added daily, but there are at least a few new ones each week and you can set up email notifications for these. The new comps are very obvious, as those you have entered will automatically show you with a big green tick. It couldn’t be simpler!
They also have a blog page, which generally focusses on points of interest in the comping community and their own giveaway sponsors. It’s certainly worth a look if this topic is of interest. Highly recommended.
Prize Ticker is a very new competition listing site, which went live in late 2018. It is a nice simple, but very bold and colourful format, with some basic sort functions such as prize category and one I don’t think I’ve seen before, Age group. This refers to the age group that the prize is intended for. Obviously some of this might be a bit objective, unless it’s very obviously baby related items, so I would tend to steer clear of this function for fear of missing things.
I spoke to Anthony, who administers the new site. His main goal is to provide a place for competition listings and promotions but without any of the adverts or spam. The website, although live, is still undergoing some development and he intends to add a directory page that links to other listing sites, which sounds very useful.
For bloggers and prize promoters, they offer a nice simple upload page where you can share your own competitions at the cost of £1 for 90 days. Whilst other listing sites don’t charge for this service, Prize Ticker guarantee no adverts around your listing and a direct link to your competition.
Snizl is an unusual format for a competition listings website. They are another relatively new site and offer prizes from predominantly small businesses in the East Midlands area, although most prizes are available nationally. I have been entering competitions with them for about a year now and won one of the first that I entered last year for a cute Easter bunny plush toy.
The entry method is simple, as all giveaways are hosted directly on the site. Once signed in, you can just click on the picture of the prize you want, which will go to the main comp page. Click on ‘confirm entry’ and there is the option to share each prize on social media for additional entries. New prizes are not by any means added daily and tend to come in peaks and troughs. They are also very long dated comps, usually with about 3 month entry periods. Still, it’s easy enough not to take up too much time and you might get a nice surprise when you had completely forgotten about it, 3 months later!
rosemary and pork belly (blog)
Rosemary and Pork Belly is a great blog with really varied content, but largely focusses around travel. If you’ve read my “About me” page, or actually any of my blog posts, you have probably got the gist that I enjoy travel. They also have an excellent discounts and deals section, again largely centred around travel. So right of the bat, this is a blog for me. You might be thinking, that’s great, but your post and blog are about comping!?
The format is beautifully simple, with a “new since …” section each time the feed is updated. The descriptions often go above and beyond any other comp listing sites, due to the blog format, so closing dates and terms and conditions are clearly laid out for you. There are not hundreds of competitions on here by any means, but they are great ones, often that I haven’t come across on the big 5.
I love this blog and highly recommend keeping it on your watch list if you are a fan of free holidays!!
Still not enough? Enter My Competition
So there are some of the great additional sites that I have been using to get me through the comping dry spell this January. Are there any new ones there for you? I’d be keen to hear your recommendations for comping sites that I haven’t mentioned yet. There are some that I don’t use because I either don’t trust them or don’t like the format (I’m a bit fussy like that). Please check out my post for comping site to avoid for further details.
If you still haven’t found enough, you can pop over to Twitter to enter my new giveaway, which you will find pinned to the top of my page. I’ve decided to change it up from the Gleam and Rafflecopter entry systems this time around, just to keep things fresh.
Terms and Conditions:
This giveaway is provided by Prizewarriors.com. Entries must be received by 31 Jan 2019 The prize is one Transformers shaped wall puzzle. Open to UK residents over the age of 18 only. Entry is via instructions on Twitter, with an additional entry for those that have commented on this post. The winner will be informed on Twitter within 48 hours of the closing date and have 7 days to claim. Please allow 14 days from claim for delivery of the prize.
Please note: There are affiliate links on this page, this means that I get a small fee if you purchase via my links. This does not cost you anything and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.
Is winning something that we can successfully do together?
Inspired by the newly found knowledge that 1 in 5 jackpot wins are by syndicates, I’ve been looking at the concept of winning together. I’ve joined forces with Lotto Social, who have kindly allowed me to share an amazing offer with my readers. Before I go into the details, however, the concept of Lotto Social has inspired me to look at whether “winning together” is something that would translate into the comping world. After all, whether it’s lotteries or competitions, the goal is the same, we all just want to win!
sharing winnings with others
The idea of winning together is not a new one for me. My Nan has been an avid comper for many years, so comping is in my blood. For as far back as I can remember, she’s bought the same magazines every single week, just for the competitions section. She spends hours completing the various puzzles and posting the little slips away each week, in the hope of bettering the lives of herself and her family.
As a child and even now, in my 30s, whenever I visit my Nan, she will always have a post-it note tucked away with a list of comping questions she needs help with. In reward, she promises to split the prizes with me. I love this idea of grouping together comping efforts and sharing prizes. I feel that it could potentially work well in the wider comping community, providing it’s easily shareable cash prizes on offer. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments, as it’s something I would seriously look at setting up for the Prize Warriors group, if I had enough interest.
How I discovered syndication
Perhaps the most common form of prize sharing is syndication. I’ve always thought the idea of lottery syndication is genius. It’s a simple but effective idea, more players equals more tickets purchased. More tickets purchased equals more chances to win. The jackpot is so ridiculously high for lotteries, that sharing winnings has never been a worry to me!
I first came to syndication in my late teens, whilst working in a factory painting police helmet plates. Each department where I worked ran a small syndicate, with 20-50 members, organised by an overly enthusiastic colleague.Being me, I joined up willingly and actually had a couple of wins too! It never amounted to much once divided into 50 of course, but any winnings were always a very welcome bonus to minimum wage. It was really exciting winning with a group of people, as the atmosphere was great and we’d often go out together and spend the winnings (usually in the pub!) The possibility of winning big together felt nice, it was a buzz and I certainly miss that.
How do Lotto Social help you to win together?
Lotto Social are a site that offer the opportunity for its members to join an online National Lottery syndicate. As someone who is always looking to up my chances of winning at everything, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to have a go, especially with their amazing sign up offer.
They have kindly allowed me to share this offer with my readers, just click on this link to take advantage. This gives you 10 lines in your first draw for just £1. They also currently have an additional bonus offer, I’m not sure how long for, but it worked for me. Just click the green pop up bubble on registration and for the same £1 you get:
10 EuroMillions lines
10 UK Millionaire Maker entries
5 FREE Instant win games – win up to £7k! (I actually got 10 free instant wins!)
90 Days No Win, Money Back Guarantee
Following this offer, you can choose to continue your membership for £5 per week, which will give you 10 lines in the draw on both Tuesdays and Fridays, or you can cancel any time you like. Another nice option they have is that they offer winnings as bonus funds. Bonus funds are offered at 4 times the value of the win and can be used to purchase more lottery tickets. I think this is a very attractive offer for small wins of a few pounds.
For me it was a no brainer to at least give the first week a try! For less than the price of a 1st class stamp, that’s a really good amount of chances to win. I’ll update you on how I got on once the draws are made! Please remember that you must be 16+ to become a member.
Free Instant Win Games
I was also lucky enough to get 10 free turns on some of the instant win games they have available. The instant win games offer further opportunities to win cash, however, unlike some simple win or lose games, these also give you the opportunity to collect points. If you win points instead of cash, these can then be redeemed against other instant win games. My 10 free turns actually turned into 2800 points, which is quite a few free games, all of which give you the chance to win real cash. At the moment I’m popping into my account every day for 5 minutes or so to play through some points. I haven’t won any cash yet, but I do win back a lot of points, so it seems that you will have plenty of opportunity to win for free!
Giving back whilst you win
This was another attractive benefit of Lotto Social for me. I am not by any means a wealthy woman, but I do love to find any way that I can to give to those less fortunate than myself. Lotto Social actually gives back a percentage of their profits to community based charities. November’s proceeds went to youth homelessness and anti-bullying charities, both very worthy causes. What’s more, as a member, you get a chance to help decide where this money is directed each month. This is a great way to help improve the lives of other, whilst trying to improve your own. So, I guess it’s also a form of ‘winning together’.
Please note: There are affiliate links on this page, this means that I get a small fee if you purchase a membership via my link. This does not cost you any extra and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.
December is fast approaching folks, and for us compers, that means that advent competitions are just around the corner! This can be an exciting time for compers as there are way more prizes on offer than in any other month of the year. It can also be very stressful trying to keep up with it all. Whether you love or hate them, entering advent competitions can be fun and lucrative, providing that you make them work for you.
What are Advent Competitions?
In recent years, advent competitions have become a very popular and novel way for businesses to promote their range, whilst spreading a bit of Christmas cheer at the optimum time of the year for retail sales.
Most competitions are set up as an actual advent calendar, with prizes available behind every door. Each day you will have access to the prize behind the coresponding door. The most common entry method is usually name and email address, so they are nice and quick to enter. Most start on December 1st and run for either 12 or 24 days. The prizes can vary greatly in size and value depending on the organisation providing them. You will also find that some companies like to add in special offers behind some of the doors, rather than prizes, so unless it’s somewhere you were already planning to shop, I would avoid these.
My Advent Competition method
A great way that you can make advent comps work for you is to be selective. There are a couple of things that will happen if you try to enter all of the advent comps you find. Number one, you will become stressed and overwhelmed. Number two, you won’t have the time to enter the usual non-advent comps that are still available in abundance. And don’t forget, as many people focus on the advent comps, those regular comps will be receiving way less entries than usual, increasing your chances of winning!
I’m going to hold up my hands now and admit that I am a bit of a comping geek. Well, you would hope so considering I write this blog! But, even in my life outside of comping, I’m a planner. I plan and I research and I organise. This year I have decided to share my geeky method with you lucky people! Some of this might seem obvious, however, simply by being married to an incredibly non-organised person, I understand that won’t be the case for everyone.
Step 1: Research
Probably a bit of a bold term, research, but for want of another, it does the job. So, this year, I have discovered that the advent competitions have been announced even earlier than last year. I’m guessing we’re going to have a ‘Christmas music in shops’ type situation here and eventually they will be announced the same week as Halloween! Still, in this instance I won’t complain as I think it’s great. Both The Prizefinder and Loquax have their advent lists available and as of checking yesterday (19th November) the links on Loquax are already ‘active’. By active, I mean that links to the various advent websites are live, you just can’t enter the competitions yet. Update: As of 1st December Competition Database also have live advent links!
Have a real good look at what’s available outside of the normal comping sites too. I would recommend going to the websites of brands that you love to see if they will be doing one, as it may not be listed elsewhere yet.
Step 2: Selection
Be picky with these comps! As I mentioned above, there are a LOT of them. Bear in mind that a lot of them will run right up to Christmas eve, or day and therefore if you are looking to use the prizes purely for Christmas presents, you’re probably better disregarding them after a certain date (I suggest around 16th December). More than ever, with advents, I only focus on the prizes that I really, really want.
With the advent links available so early, you can save so much time. Most advent comps will start on December 1st, so if you can have already picked the ones you want to enter before then, you’re at a distinct time advantage!
Step 3: Build your collection
What I do from here is to build my own link collection. I have a folder on my toolbar which contains links to the advent comps that I am interested in entering on a daily basis. As they run for different periods of time, I rename the link to reflect the closing date. I don’t care what the prizes are at this point, as I’ve already decided it’s something that I want in the selection stage, so renaming it as just the closing date lets me know when to delete the link and focus my attention on the rest. Below is an example of what I have set up so far for this year.
Step 4: Enter and Update
This is the order I choose to do my competitions in, you may prefer a different order, but the main point is, have an order! I enter the regular comps closing that day first, then go through the links in my advent folder, followed by any new competitions if I have time. I would suggest keeping the links in each advent folder to a maximum of 15 and then selecting open all. This saves confusion and has a nice methodical feel to it. If you have more than 15 links, I would suggest numbering folders along your toolbar i.e Advents 1, Advents 2. Throughout December, I will follow this routine. It’s also worth noting that some advent competitions are not announced until the day that they open, so it’s certainly worth checking back through the advent competition lists available on the bigger listing sites to update your collection.
Don’t forget about the regular competitions. These will have way fewer entries due to the advents, thus making them easier to win.
Focus on locally based advent competitions, such as your local shopping centres and indepedent shops, as these will have far fewer entries than the bigger brands!
Use form filling software such as Dashlane to complete your entries quicker
Read Facebook notifications last! It’s an overwhelming part of social media comping on any day of the year, trying to read through every single tag notification. At advent time, it can be hellish! Don’t let notifications distract and confuse you, enter those in your collection first, read notifications later.
Have some sort of Christmas themed photo ready for competitions asking for one, and they will. If it has your kids dressed as Elves etc, that would be a bonus but the broader the appeal, the better as it can be used in different categories.
My Top Picks this year!
So here’s a little updae for you (3rd December). I’m really enjoying the advents this year, how about you? I thought I would to a round up of my top 10 advent competitions this year, let ,e know if you have entered any of them.
Travel Up – I love the look of this one and it has some amazing prizes, if you know me, you will know I love the travel and day trip based prizes the most!
Family Travel Association – Whilst the pay off vs. effort for this advent/game is meager, you have to love the idea! The puppetry video scenes of classic movies are hilarious.
Radio City’s Signature Living – The prizes are insanely luxurious hotel stay and I’m not sure if anyone has noticed, but all 25 days are available now. I’ve already entered for the month!
My Mail – You do need to register for an account for this one, but the prizes are HUGE. We’re talking holidays and £10k diamond rings!!
Vegan Life Magazine – I realise this is a slightly more niche appeal. However, after years of endless Christmas gift basket competitions that I can’t enter because they don’t cater to me, this is a welcome treat!
Scenic Tours – Another attractive calendar with great travel related prizes and mostly high value.
Keel Toys – Lovely toy based prizes daily, with the opportunity to win a huge hamper of toys on top of that on 19th December.
Dont forget, I still have a couple of my competitions open for this year, with one more to follow this coming Thursday (6/12). See Links below:
As much as it might seem a little bit neurotic or time-consuming to follow my above suggestion, I really do recommend it, as it will save you a lot of time and stress in the longer term.
I’m interested to know if you use any other methods to enter advent competitions and how it works for you. Also, let me know what you win! As much as I am a bit of a ‘bah humbug’ when it comes to Christmas, there’s something really fun about advent calendars. I used to love them as a kid and have desperately been trying to win myself a beauty advent calendar for this year! I love the thrill of seeing what’s behind each door. And who wouldn’t want a new surprise every day!?
Good luck everyone, enjoy yourselves and I hope you win big!
Competition listing sites and forums take a lot of the hard work out of finding the prizes you want. There are a fair few of these available now and each comper will have their preferences, based on what they feel matches their needs. Below I have listed my top 5 favourite sites. These are the sites that I use every day, listed in order of preference.
#1: Competition Database
My absolute favourite comping site is competition Database. I just feel that this site is the best thought out in terms of what a comper might want. It is straightforward, organised, methodical and allows you to manipulate the prize list in a number of useful ways. The site is updated with a huge amount of competitions on a daily basis, by both the site owners and registered users.
Features that I love:
If you register for a free account, you can keep a track of every competition that you have entered through the site.
Your name is searchable in the site winner announcements, based on your tracked list.
The prize list can be filtered to show multiple categories, whilst leaving out any that don’t interest you.
You can filter the prize list to only show prizes of a certain minimum value or search the entire list by sorting into prize value groups i.e ‘Very High Value (£500+)’. I haven’t found this feature anywhere else!
If there is a prize provider that you would never want to win from (i.e any company selling meat or dairy products for me, as I’m a vegan) you can choose to hide all future competitions from that provider. Again, this is a feature that I haven’t seen elsewhere and I love it!
#2 The Prize Finder
Another site that I love is The Prize Finder. This site offers free registration and is updated daily with a large amount of competitions and prize draws. At the time of posting there were 2579 active competitions. This site also provides the use of a handy little tracker tool so that you can mark comps either entered, ignored or saved for later. When entering as many competitions per day as I do, this function is more necessary, than a bonus.
Features that I love:
You can search the entire list across all categories for competitions that close that day. This helps you to prioritize those with limited time left to enter.
You can sort by prize category to only show certain prize types, for example, I will always search by the category ‘Holidays’ first.
You can filter the categories to show only a particular entry method, for example, all Twitter competitions
They have a ‘Monthly Winner’s Stories‘ competition, where they award a £50 gift voucher per month to the member they feel submitted the best story about what they won using The Prize Finder.
Loquax is a forum style site that lists competitions, casino offers and has a discussion forum where registered users can chat about them. They were the first competition listing site in the UK and are still going strong 21 years later! This site is maintained by user submission and has a good amount of new listings added daily. Despite being a forum layout, they do have very nice filtering and entry marking features.
I recently spoke to Jason at Loquax and he told me that they are in the process of giving Loquax a bit of a facelift to make it more mobile friendly. He also pointed me to their blog www.loquax.co.uk/blog/, which has a lot of interesting articles about competitions related news. I will certainly be keeping up with this one myself, now that I know about it.
Features that I love:
You have the option to sort the competitions by those closing within the next day
They have their own giveaways every month, which has great quirky prizes, such as bread slippers!
The posted links are not masked by Loquax and therefore your browser will recognise if you have already visited them via another site (these links should be purple, dependent on browser). This is a really helpful feature and prevents confusion and duplicate entry.
You can click to thank the person that uploaded the link. This is not essential, but I think it’s always nice to show your gratitude. Also if the users that are uploading links feel appreciated, they are more likely to continue doing so.
You can click ahead and enter all competitions closing on any given date within about 30 days
Before moving on, I should put a caveat that I consider the below two websites to be secondary sources. They are the next best websites for if I manage to complete all of the listings available on the top 3, which really are the best in existence, in my humble opinion. At the weekend, there tend to be fewer listings all round, so you might find yourself moving onto options 4 or 5, but on the last day of the month, when 90% of competitions meet their end dates, there is very little chance that I will be going beyond the top 3!
#4: Latest Deals Competitions
Latest Deals is a vouchers, deals and freebies listing site, but I have found the competitions section to be increasingly impressive on this site. There are a decent amount of new uploads per day and I find that some of the competitions listed here, don’t necessarily appear on the other sites mentioned above. The layout is a little different, but I quite enjoy it. It is simplistic and yet has some good filter features.
Features that I love:
You can search by any or all entry methods and any or all amounts of entries allowed at the same time, for example ‘all Gleam competitions that can be entered on a daily basis’. I don’t recall seeing this feature elsewhere and am pretty sure it’s exclusive to them at this time. Really useful!
A lot of the magazine competitions, such as ‘Take a Break’ are listed with the answers to every page. I can understand why some people might not agree with this, but for someone who doesn’t buy magazines, I appreciate the effort and always thank the users listing this information.
Each competition shows you how many users have entered via that link. Whilst the accuracy is negligible, given the competition is likely listed across numerous sites, it gives an idea of whether a prize will be popular or not.
There is a point system in place for those users that share competitions or deals on the site. These points can be collected over time and exchanged for vouchers.
#5: Competitions Time
Competitions Time is a comparatively small listings site, however, it does still have valuable content and some nice features. Again, it has a slightly different layout and approach to listing, but still uses the general prize type and competition type categories. You are able to search for all new competitions, but the ability to search by those closing soon is missing.
Features that I love:
Each post has an entry page preview and this can be helpful in reminding you whether you have already visited the page. Sometimes there are numerous websites offering the same prize, so the prize title alone is not always enough to recognise it.
Competitions are rated in terms of ease to enter and effort required. You also have the opportunity to contribute to this rating on each post viewed.
It provides you with a list of the details required from you to enter each competition, which saves you time if they are asking for information that you do not want to give away.
Which are your favourites?
I hope that you will find this list useful and enjoy finding yourself lots of prizes to lust after. Let me know in the comments which competition listing sites are your favourites and why. There are certainly many more sites available than the ones I have mentioned, these are just my favourites based on my personal comping requirements and preferences. I would also highly recommend looking at SuperLucky, which is a far more established competitions blog than my own. It has invaluable information that Di Coke has gathered over 20 plus years of comping success.
Winning at competitions! This might seem like an odd thing to plan out, but it doesn’t have to be anything formal. You can simply have in mind what your intentions are before starting out. If you are comping short-term, it may be to help provide for or pay for a life event, such as a wedding or a baby. You might lust after a high-priced item or holiday that you couldn’t afford otherwise. Or you may just want a stock of products to use as gifts, to save you a little money.
The reason I say “know your intentions”, is simply so that you can use your time wisely. If you are new to comping or always stick to one type, social media comps, for example, then you may be overwhelmed by the total amount of online competitions actually available. Each day I set myself the insane task of entering all of the competitions across all of the listing sites that I use. I have never done it. Never!
What are my comping goals?
I am a comper by addiction, hands up. Having said that, I do have a very clear goal when entering competitions. Travel. I love to travel. I love holidays, mini breaks and day trips so much and barely go a month without ticking at least one of those boxes. Below is a brief explanation as to why winning these types of prizes is so important to me – feel free to skip, it’s just an insight into why I comp the way I do.
Back in 2008, one year after I met my husband and a couple of months before we got married, he was diagnosed with cancer. It was a tough time, but he came through it healthy, thank goodness. In 2009, I needed life saving surgery myself, due to a bizarre exploding cyst. Surgery came just in the nick of time, thanks to the advice of a good friend who demanded I go to hospital, instead of on a night out. Needless to say, my husband and I entered 2010 with a much greater appreciation for life.
In 2013, with one testicle and one ovary between us, we managed to create our wonderful son. My pregnancy and labour were both very unpleasant experiences that I won’t go into here. The worst part of all, being that my son was born not breathing and quite blue, which was absolutely terrifying. At the time, we obviously though we’d lost him, which was the most difficult thing I’ve ever experienced. Thankfully he’s now a beautiful (almost) five year old boy, full of life and very healthy. Thank you NHS, we love you!!
Anyway my point is, as a result of the above events, a part of me did actually die. The previously career driven and luxury apartment desiring Kellie, doesn’t really exist now. ‘Things’ mean very little to me. Experiences and particularly experiences with my family, are everything! Unfortunately, my disability doesn’t allow me to earn the type of income needed to travel much at all, let alone fulfil my monstrous desire for it. So for me, comping is all about winning holidays, day trips and even cash that I can use to book us more of the above.
What’s my game plan?
Of course, you don’t need to have anywhere near as dramatic an explanation for your comping goals. It does help, of course! Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of competitions available online. A colossal amount, in fact. To improve my chances of winning them, I do the following:
Every day I enter competitions using five main competition listing sites, which I talk about here. Firstly I sift through each site using the closing soon filter, to ensure that I don’t miss out on anything closing that day. I try to prioritize prizes that mention holidays, particularly family ones, or days out.
The next step is to view new listings, utilising the categories filter that most competition listing sites offer. I filter by holidays, then short breaks, then day trips, then by cash. Last year some of my cash wins actually helped me to pull off a trip to Walt Disney World for my son’s 4th birthday!
Lastly, I go through the same sites yet again, but this time looking at new competitions in all remaining categories. This might seem like an obvious thing to say, but please don’t waste your time entering competitions that you are not interested in. In my first few months of comping, I got carried away and entered every giveaway that I found. This just ended in me winning a bunch of things that I had no desire or use for. Also, these might have been prizes that somebody else would have loved, so I ended up feeling guilty. I did manage to gift them though!
The reason I won so many things in certain categories (but not the ones I had hoped for) is that some categories tend to have fewer entries, therefore increasing your chances of winning. If these categories interest you, then you’re at an advantage. unfortunately flowery crochet sets and horse blankets are not really for me.
Maximise your chances of winning – check list
Know what you want to win, or at the very least, what you really don’t want to win
Prioritize your time so that you focus on your most desired prizes first
Think local – enter competitions that are only open to residents in your area, local magazines and shopping centres often run these
Use the filters on competition listing pages to find your favourite prizes more easily
Don’t waste your time entering competitions when you don’t want the prize!
Cut down on time entering competitions by using a form filler – I use Dashlane
Avoid entering competitions on certain sites that provide very remote chances of winning
Search your spam email folder and do social media searches on your name to check for missed winner announcements
Try to choose lower entry competitions. Social media competitions and gleam or rafflecopter style entry systems all show the amount of entries received, this works best on the closing date.
If you are willing to enter the competitions that require effort, such as writing a caption, taking a photo or asking your kids to draw a picture, these usually have far lower entry than standard prize draws!
Everybody wants to know which competition sites are the best to use, but not many people ask which competition sites to avoid. There are many “competition sites” which exist simply to gather your private information for marketing purposes. You can usually spot these because they ask for more information than a normal online competition. At most, I am happy to share my name, address, email address and possibly date of birth. Competitions that ask for much more than that start to raise my suspicions.
Some of these sites, although their main purpose is to gather information, do still have a genuine prize to win, although it’s often not exactly as it seems and there are generally hoops to jump through in order to claim it. There are also some that are simply scams and don’t have a prize available at all. Once you have been comping for a while and have had a good look at the type of sites I am referring to, you will become confident in spotting them for yourself.
Please bear in mind that this post is my opinion only. Whilst some of my advice will be from direct personal experience, a lot will be an educated guesses based on these experiences. If you feel that any of the sites below shouldn’t be on the list, then I would love to hear success stories that prove me wrong. Let’s face it, another credible source of prizes can only be a good thing! But if you want to save yourself a lot of time and improve your chances of winning prizes, I would advise you to avoid the following:
Sites that exist purely to gather information from you:
Instant Win 4 Now (instantwin4now.co.uk)
My Offers (myoffers.co.uk)
Surf 4 Prizes (surf4prizes.com)
UK Free Win (ukfreewin.com)
UK Prize (ukprize.co.uk)
Active You (activeyou.co.uk)
My Offers (myoffers.co.uk)
Free Stuff (freestuff.eu/prizes)
Prize Reactor (prizereactor.co.uk)
Dynamic Rewards (dynamic-rewards.org)
Sites that require you to pay to enter competitions
Not everyone will share my opinion, but I see comping as a free activity. I refuse to pay to enter a competition, whether it be directly, like with the sites below or via purchasing a product. If I purchase a product that I would have bought anyway and there happens to be a competition on the pack, I will always give it a go, but I would never buy an item just to enter the competition – that’s what they want you to do!!
ITV (itv.com/win) Paid Entry – although they have the occasional free comp with smaller prizes
BOTB (botb.com) Paid Entry
Simply Prizes (simplyprizes.com) Paid subscription required (Although a 14 day trial is sometimes available for free)
Compers News – Paid subscription required
WeWin4U (wewin4u.co.uk) – Paid subscription automatic entry site
Bauer Media Site Competitions – Are they worth it?
You will probably come to realise, as I have, that a fairly significant percentage of the online competitions available are provided by Bauer Media. They are an enormous media company that own hundreds of magazines, newspapers, radio stations and tv channels. This means that they often have excellent prizes on offer, however, the chance to win them is relatively low.
Bauer media competitions usually run across numerous different websites (which all share the same prize). They can also run for long periods of time, often over a month. This usually applies to the magazine sites, many of which also allow daily entries. These can often be identified by the web address precursor ‘winit’ or ‘winsomething’. Bauer Radio station and TV channel competitions generally have shorter entry periods and much bigger prizes than their magazine counterparts.
All of this, of course, means that the amount of entrants for each prize will be colossal. Having said that, I’m not going to advise against Bauer media competitions. Personally, I do enter them. I’ve also won a large prize in the past from one of its radio stations, proving that, although unlikely, a win is certainly possible.
I work on the basis that somebody has to win! But do bear in mind my advice about prioritising your time. My method is to only enter a competition on a Bauer media site if it’s offering something that I REALLY want. If time is minimal for you, you might be best to skip them, or at least leave them until very last.
On hearing my long and impressive list of prizes, a lot of people say to me, “Wow, aren’t you lucky!”. Well actually, no, I’m not. I mean in a very loose, ‘I live in the developed world’ sense of the word, then sure, you could say that I am a lucky person. But actual luck, the suggestion that some people will always win more competitions than others?Nope! I don’t believe that for a second.
Let me start with a really important piece of advice. Comping (that results in winning) requires a lot of time and effort. You have to be relentless, you have to be resilient to losing and you have to stay positive. Otherwise, you may win one or two prizes over a long period of time, but the frequent and regular wins will elude you. Frequent competition wins are not a result of luck, they are a result of chance combined with effort.
There are ways to improve your chances and increase your effort, but there is no way to improve your luck, unless you are superstitious or religious. I am neither. I am stubborn though and I have a really strong work ethic. Work ethic might seem like an odd thing to reference when talking about a hobby. However, when you take the definition of work, ‘activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a result’, it’s easy to see how this could apply to my suggestion.
By no means am I trying to put anybody off comping! That’s actually the exact opposite of why I’m here. I just want to be as honest as I can, so that I don’t give anybody false hope. Comping is great! I have won A LOT of prizes. A rough calculation is that I have received over £11,000 worth of prizes in the past 3 years.
Now, £11,000 for free is not something that many people would turn down. It also isn’t a 3 year salary that many people would accept, certainly not in the western world. So please believe me when I say, to live exclusively from the proceeds of competitions, is practically impossible. Once you’ve accepted that it’s not an easy or quick fix to financial hardship, feel free to get very excited about comping.
How much time and effort is ‘a lot’?
One grey area of course, is that people have different ideas of what ‘a lot’ is. The interpreted value of prizes will also vary greatly from person to person dependent on desire, wealth, lifestyle and personality. I thought, therefore, that it would be helpful to show you my interpretation of ‘a lot’ of effort.
My standard week day during term time – I work from home
Wake 6am – Mom duties followed by 1 hour of comping whilst my son gets ready for school
Work 8am-3pm with 1 hour break (most of which will be used comping or doing paid studies)
3pm Mom duties until bedtime
7pm – My son goes to bed and I comp for about 1 hour before having a late dinner
9pm – I enter competitions from now until bed time, which is generally between 1.30 and 2.30am. (I don’t sleep well, due to pain)
Total estimated competitions entered per day is somewhere between 200 and 400
As you can see, I spend a large percentage of my day entering competitions. Please bear in mind that I have medical conditions, which result in me spending a lot of time sitting. I can only do a maximum of about 30 minutes house work or other physical activity at a time. I realise that it’s incredibly unlikely that the majority of people, parents in particular, will have this much time to contribute to competitions, but it gives you an idea of my effort vs rewards. This provides me with a win ratio of about 1.5 items per week.
There are ways to increase your chances of winning compared to time spent, which I discuss in other posts such as How to maximise your chances. I should also add that my way is not the only way to comp. Some people may disagree with my methods, but it’s what works for me in my given circumstances and it may suit you too!
Seasoned compers, like myself, will have realised a fairly recent and dramatic rise in social media competitions. Companies, brands and even individuals are finding that giveaways help to increase visibility of and interaction with their social media pages.
Other benefits of giveaways include online reviews and brand loyalty. For example, Joe Browns weren’t a company I had ever bought from before, but since winning a top from them, I consider them to be one of my favourite brands. The quality and fit of the prize I received from them instilled faith in their products. I will also be reviewing the various holidays that I win on my blog, once again, providing value to the awarding organisation.
What sort of prizes are available and where?
Most social media platforms offer a plethora of prizes. The majority of these are found across Facebook and Twitter. Instagram competitions, however, are becoming increasingly popular too. There are even prizes to be found on Pinterest and Google+ if you look very carefully.
The general rule is, the larger the brand name, the higher the value of the prize offered. Higher valued prizes though, do tend to receive many more entries. This means that you have far more chance of winning a low value prize from a small independent company, than a large TV from a major electrical supplier. A great tip is to leave entering social media competitions to their closing date, this gives you a better idea of how many total entries there will be as you can see the amount of likes or retweets a post has.
The prize type depends largely on the nature of the business. For example, I once won so much bread from Roberts the Bakery, that I fed my extended family for weeks! Often cinemas give away free tickets or movie merchandise packs and clothing companies tend to give away clothes. I know, shocking!
There are some strange exceptions, however, which I really enjoy stumbling upon. One example was a funeral directors giving away an iPad! I enjoy these little anomalies so much that I have created a monthly competition in their honour . I will award a prize for whatever makes me chuckle the most and my goal is either to find the weirdest prize in general or the most absurd prize in relation to the organisation giving it e.g a vegan bakery giving away a pig’s head.
The most widely used and easiest entry method is the “like and share” or “retweet to enter” type competitions. These are quick, easy and provide an amazing pay off in comparison to your effort. There are also competitive competitions, where you may have to submit a photo or come up with an idea or caption. These require more time and effort, but generally have far fewer entries, because people can’t be bothered with them. I can recommend entering those if you can find them!
My pet peeve in social media competitions is the ‘tag a friend competitions’. I entirely understand, of course, that the main reason for social media giveaways is to promote their brand to a wider audience. That being said, I just really don’t like tagging people.
I enter so many competitions, that the constant tagging of friends and family is at best annoying and borders on rudeness. Sometimes I will enter ‘tag 1 friend’ competitions, but some ask for 5 tags or more, which is just too much for my very polite nature. This is why I created the Prize Warriors Social Media Group.