Competition sites to avoid
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)
- Winnersville (winnersville.co.uk)
- My Offers (myoffers.co.uk)
- Catalink.com (catalink.co.uk)
- Free Stuff (freestuff.eu/prizes)
- Alphalam (alpha-lam.com)
- Offerx (offerx.co.uk)
- Prize Reactor (prizereactor.co.uk)
- Vaniki (vaniki.co.uk)
- Want2Win (somuchwins.com)
- 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.