PART 2: Sweepstake Organization
You may have seen those irritating flashing banners on websites that say you’ve won an iPad, or that you’ve won $100,000,000.00. While those are just scams, you may be surprised to find out that there are legitimate sweepstakes and contests sites online.
Sweepstakes sites are, we feel, the best way to organize, so you’ll get the most return from your time and energy entering sweepstakes. Sweepstakes sites have already gathered sweepstakes and contests from around the internet and put them on their site, which ends up saving you hours and hours (and hours…and hours).
You’ve got to be careful, because a real quick way to get a computer virus is to just Google ‘sweepstakes site’ and click any random link that comes up.
The site we use and love is Online-Sweepstakes. We’ve used it pretty consistently since 2005/2006. Even if you don’t want to invest the $12 for a premium membership, you still have a lot of sweepstakes available on the site. Online-Sweepstakes lets you organize your sweepstakes by type (daily entry, weekly entry, monthly entry, single entry, etc.), which is really important so you don’t enter too often and disqualify yourself. We’ve found that Online-Sweepstakes has the most complete, updated lists of sweepstakes and contests, hundreds of which other sweepstakes sites either miss or post too late.
Another site we have used is Sweepstakes Advantage. It comes with fewer features, but it is completely free to use.
Once you’ve found a reliable, legitimate sweepstakes site, you’ll often find a ‘links’ page. If a sweepstakes site you trust has a link to an other sweepstake/contest site, you’re probably okay to click it.
Search around until you find a site you really like and understand. It is really important to find a site you’re comfortable on, since you’ll be spending quite a bit of your time on it.
If you decide to find sweepstakes on the internet without the aid of a sweepstake/contest site (which we do not recommend), you’ll have to get creative.
Again, Googling ‘car sweepstakes’ is a dangerous way to go since you’ll have to sift through the real and fake (think back to the flashing ‘YOU WON!!’ banners) sweepstakes. Instead of wasting time Googling, think of the type of prize you want. If it is a car you want to win, think of all the different makes of vehicles you’d be interested in winning. Get on Facebook and ‘like’ Ford’s page. Check back often to see if they have any promotions going. Do the same with Chevy, Dodge, whatever kind of car you’d want to drive. Along with this method being time consuming, we find that it is unnecessary since most sweepstakes you can find on your own will already be listed conveniently on most reputable sweepstake/contest sites.
Another way to find sweepstakes is to look on packaging. Do you eat lots of crackers? Soup? Candy bars? Those are all great places to find out about promotions. Sometimes you’ll be required to log on to their site and enter a special code from the can/box. Other times you just look on the inside of the can/box and see if you’re an instant winner. Even though most of the promotions on food products will already be listed on sweepstakes site, you may still need the unique code from that product to enter.
Local contests and sweepstakes are a good way to go since they often have far fewer entries than a state/country/worldwide promotion and typically aren’t listed on major sweepstakes sites. For example, one of our local businesses was giving away an iPad a few months ago. Total entries were less than 400. If that would have been a contest open to the entire U.S., there could have easily been 1,000,000 entries.
What sweepstakes and contest sites do you use, if any?