Since I started entering competitions (comping) over a year ago, I have won some amazing prizes. I won a £3,000 holiday, a week's cottage rental in Cornwall, a £250 skin care hamper and our wedding photographer, amongst other prizes. I find it a brilliant hobby and I thought I would share my hints and tips with you.
It is important to remember that comping should be a hobby. You are never guaranteed to win. Think of it as window shopping, and every once in awhile someone gives you something you have been window shopping for.
Five tips for entering competitions:
- Set up a new email address. Your inbox will be flooded with newsletters, entry confirmations and hopefully winning emails. You will be glad that you those emails separate from your default inbox.
- Set up an email filter so that any emails containing the words “winner” or “congratulations” goes to a special folder. Be sure to still eyeball your other emails, just in case.
- Set up a Twitter account dedicated to comping – you don't want to annoy your followers.
- Use a form filler to fill in your forms. You will still need to eyeball the information to ensure that it has been filled in correctly. My favourite is LastPass, but there is also Roboform.
- When filling in captcha codes, if there are two words you only need to enter the wavy word. It will save loads of time in the long run.
People always ask me how long I dedicate to entering competitions, and it completely fluctuates. At the moment I would love to enter competitions for Christmas presents (or items to sell to help towards the cost of Christmas), but I don't have much time. I usually enter a few Twitter competitions each day, but I have also been through phases of entering 200+ competitions per day. IEntering 5-10 competitions a day is a great place to start.
I find all of my competitions on Money Saving Expert, and there is also Loquax. I would suggest that you use one over the other, as they both provide ways of tracking whether you have entered a certain competition. If you use both sites then you won't be able to accurately track what you have entered.
Remember that there is no secret formula to winning competitions and there is no guarantee that you will win. That is why I never pay to enter a competition.