Tag Archives: Giveaways

Sweepstakes Experiment Update for June

 

So far, I have received ten prizes from the contests I entered during my sweepstakes experiment period in May.  They are:

  • A Coke FIFA World Cup™ Beach Towel ($6.40)
  • A Kindle Book in a Goodreads Giveaway
  • A Miller Lite Cannypack ($12.95)
  • A $100 gift card for pet supplements
  • Tee Shirt and Sunscreen (Local FB Contest) ($35)
  • A Kindle Book in Amazon Giveaways ($8)
  • $5000 in Visa Gift Cards
  • $5 Walgreens Gift Card
  • A Nautica Voyage Cologne Sample
  • A $10 Uber credit

I am so pleased and grateful for these wins!

Many of the sweepstakes I entered, however, have an end date at the end of July or later, so more prizes may still arrive.  After enough time has passed, I will write a post on whether I thought entering sweepstakes all day is worth the time and effort as reflected in the quantity and quality of prizes.

Stay tuned!

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Sweepstakes Experiment: Days 5-10

Enter-To-Win-Contest-And-Sweepstakes

May 19th: Day Five

On my fifth day I entered sweepstakes for eight hours and entered 257. Why did I enter so many more today? Having trouble finding enough sweepstakes to enter (after doing my dailies and finding as many new ones as possible), I resorted to entering amazon giveaways at https://www.amazon.com/ga/giveaways.  Prize values on these giveaways are smaller, but there are a lot of them and they are easy entry, so you get much more entered in a smaller amount of time.

If you are curious about some of the websites I’ve been using to find sweepstakes, here is a list of some of the big ones I rely on daily.

http://sweetiessweeps.com/ (I am a paid member of the Secret Site)

http://contestgirl.com/

https://www.thebalanceeveryday.com/contests-4161941

https://www.sweepsadvantage.com/ (I am a paid member of their Plus site)

http://www.sweepon.com/

https://us.coca-cola.com (Once you sign up click “Rewards”; You can enter codes or AMOE)

https://www.sweepstakestoday.com/

and I follow a Facebook Group called Sweeping Together where links are posted

May 20th: Day Six

I was ill today so I took the day off from sweepstakes.  I will try to extend the experiment by one day to compensate!

May 21st: Day Seven

On my seventh day I entered sweepstakes for eight hours and entered 259.  Entering seems to be going faster now that I have a longer list of dailies created in my spreadsheet, where I just have to click the link and form fill the entry forms.  While I am doing less searching because I realize many of the best sweepstakes aggregate sites list the same sweepstakes, I again entered many Amazon giveaways.

I also won a small prize today in a Miller Lite instant win game of a “cannypack.”

May 22nd: Day Eight

On my eighth day I entered sweepstakes for 7 hours and entered 123.  For the 8th hour, I watched and participated in a Facebook Live Q&A put on by Tom, the owner of https://iwincontests.com/.  I am not yet a member of this paid sweepstakes site, but I am definitely considering joining.

Here are some of the things I learned during the Q&A:

  • Tom has won 56 trips!
  • He mentioned an app you can use for text-to-wins, but I did not catch the name (maybe Future Text?). The idea is, if you want to submit the text at a time when less people may be entering, such as the middle of the night, you can schedule it.
  • His thoughts on free sites versus paid sites were that too many people were entering the contests on free sites. With paid sites you often get low entry or lesser publicly known sweepstakes, increasing your chances.
  • He said that there is a difference between entering to enter (not being selective) and entering to win.

I did submit a question ahead of the Q&A about how to find enough contests to enter if you are entering all day, but this was not chosen to be addressed during the Q&A.

May 23rd: Day Nine

On my ninth day I entered sweepstakes for 8 hours and entered 207.  This included receiving a mailer with a number to bring into a local car dealership for the chance to win up to $20,000.  My number got me a $5 Target gift card and the opportunity to hear their shpiel.  I also won a Kindle book from Amazon today.

And here is a great daily sweepstakes to enter because it has a lot of prizes: Marlboro Find 27 Sweepstakes.

May 24th: Day Ten

On my tenth day I entered sweepstakes for 8 hours and entered 152.  The reason my entering total dropped today may have been due to entering a lot of contests where you are required to watch a video.  The videos on Sweepon are usually brief but they were being choppy and sluggish today.  The videos on gleam contests can be as short as a few seconds or even 20 minutes or longer!  I am not sure yet whether it is worth watching them to enter or get additional entries.  Hopefully it will pay off and I will win some prizes from these!

I also spent part of my time entering Coke sweepstakes.  Although each one has an AMOE (Alternative Method of Entry), I have been collecting cola caps for some time and so I spent time entering codes.  What I noticed in general today is that I have been avoiding Facebook or Instagram giveaways where you need to post a comment, as well as skill contests.  Perhaps when I hit a wall in searching for new sweepstakes, I should give these a shot!

Another thing I noticed today was that for many smaller sweeps by smaller companies I am having difficulty locating rules and determining end dates and entry frequency.  Does anyone else run into this problem?

 

Sweepstakes Experiment: Prep and the First Four Days

girl at computer

May 14th : Prep Day

My initial concern about my two-week experiment (entering sweepstakes eight hours per day to see if the quantity and quality of my prize wins increases) was how to find enough sweepstakes to enter for that many hours.

So, I made a brainstorm sheet of locations I could look for sweepstakes when I started the following day.  These included local television stations, local radio stations, giveaway and contest searches on Facebook, sweepstakes listed on aggregate contesting sites, and consulting with a book I bought on Amazon called Just Your Luck by Wayne Brown (2017). Brown’s book lists sweepstakes sites and rates each one by giving them a 1-5 star rating.

May 15th: Day One

On my first day I entered sweepstakes for eight hours and entered a total of 126.  Now, let me clarify that when I already have a list of daily contests created and can just click the link and autofill the forms, I can enter that many sweeps in about 2 hours.  Why was I working at a slower pace over a longer time?  Here are my theories.

  • I was searching for new contests and had to add each one into an XCEL spreadsheet so that I could properly track the data I’m collecting.
  • Even with my prep list, finding new contests to enter can be challenging. I noticed that many different sites listed the same contests, so finding unique ones was time-consuming.
  • Many of the new sweepstakes I entered used Gleam forms, on which you can get additional entries into the contest by completing various social media actions. A form fill will not work on these, and often the sites require you to visit each social media link for a minimum of ten seconds.

But overall, I did not feel like it was an eight-hour day.  Since I was on a mission to find sweeps, I was busy and concentrating on my goal.  I even won one instant win prize on my first day – a Coke FIFA World Cup beach towel!

May 16th: Day Two

On my second day I entered sweepstakes for eight hours and entered a total of 108. On this day I realized that Sweepstakes Advantage has a great list of Facebook sweepstakes, so I did not need to spend as much time searching for them myself.

Some Facebook giveaways use forms that allow you to use your form filler.  Others are individual posts where you need to like, comment, and share. I have not read it, but I know that Wendy Limauge, the woman behind Sweeties Sweeps, wrote a book called Learn How to Win Cash and Prizes on Facebook (Social Sweeping 101). If you are not comfortable sweeping using Facebook, perhaps this book will help.

Again, challenged by finding enough sweepstakes to enter, I ended up finding an article that looked promising called ”100 Websites to Submit and Promote Online Contests.”  The article was geared toward sweepstakes promoters but did have a comprehensive list of sweepstakes sites.  But, much to my disappointment, upon further investigation, the article had many links to non-working sites or sites that were up but had not been updated in years.  Most of the more current ones it listed I already knew about.

May 17th: Day Three

On my third day I entered sweepstakes for eight hours and entered 150.  This was the first day sweepstaking felt more like a job than a hobby.  I was not as excited to be entering them and beginning to feel tired from fitting these extra eight hours into my schedule.

I also got some unwanted results from my increased sweeping.  Normally, I enter sweepstakes just 1-2 hours per day and I’ve been doing that about nine years.  In all that time I’ve only gotten one scam phone call and one solicitation phone call as a result.  But on this day I had an increase in both spam calls and e-mails.  I got five or six unwanted phone calls.  But since I use a Google Voice number as my sweepstaking phone number, I can easily block numbers from calling again.  And this seemed to work because my phone was very quiet on Friday!

May 18th: Day Four

On my fourth day I entered sweepstakes for 5 hours (I had a personal situation that took me away for a large part of the day) and entered 98.  My largest challenge was again finding enough sweepstakes to enter.  However, I noticed over on the Facebook page for Contest Queen that she was asking for people to submit questions for a live Q&A happening next week on sweepstaking.  So, I submitted a question about how to find enough sweepstakes to enter if you do it all day.  Hopefully I will have my answer soon!

The Two-Week Sweepstakes Experiment

experiment

In the past couple of days I have re-watched some old documentaries about sweepstakes enthusiasts.  These include the TLC pilot show High Stakes Sweepers and the Canadian-filmed Winning for a Living.  The subjects of these shows range from those who are simply serious hobbyists to those that literally earn their living by sweepstaking.  One common theme all the subjects seemed to have was that they were continually receiving prizes!

Now, I enter sweepstakes faithfully a couple hours each day – every day.  Yet sometimes days or even weeks will go by without winning high-value packages or letters in my mailbox or e-mail.  So, I wondered what would happen if I stepped up my game.  What if, like some of the documentary subjects, I entered sweepstakes for 8 hours per day?  Would my number of wins go up?  Would the quality and value of my wins increase? Will I be able to find enough sweepstakes to enter to fill all those hours?

I am going to take on the challenge for 2 weeks and see what happens.  My plan is from May 15 – May 29 I am going to enter sweepstakes for eight hours each day.  I am going to keep track of which sweepstakes I enter. Then I am going to wait a month or two to see what and how many prizes roll in from the sweepstakes entered during the experiment time-frame.

Do you have any guesses as to what the experiment results might be?

*For comparison’s sake, from May 1-14 I won 15 small prizes (mostly instant wins) with a value of around $145 total (averaging less than $10 value per prize).

A Winning Playlist

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It can be easy to get discouraged when you’re in a prize dry spell.  This can especially happen around the winter holidays time, when so many contests are ending, but you haven’t yet received any winning notices.  And you may not until after the New Year, since people at the prize-award agencies may be on vacation until then.  One way I find to keep my spirits up is to play music that celebrates winning while I’m entering contests.  It helps me to visualize recieving the prizes I entered for, and to keep a positive attitude during dry spells and long notification waiting periods.  Check out this song list “80 Songs About Victory, Celebration, Success, and Winning.”  Did this list miss any? Let me know what songs most motivate you when entering sweepstakes!

Reflecting on Sweepstakes Resolutions

Reflections

Since the end of the year is approaching, I looked back to my January post “Sweeping Resolutions” to see what I have accomplished and what I still have left to get done.  In that post, I had set out four sweepstakes items I wanted to accomplish before the close of 2017.

The first was to schedule monthly meetings of the Boise Sweepstakes Club.  I already had a dedicated Facebook page for the club where I post local and regional sweepstakes.  But I wanted to build a community in my town around sweepstaking where we could meet every month to talk sweeping, support each other, enter sweepstakes together, and make the hobby even more fun and social!  So, in July I started a page on meetup.com for Boise Sweepstakes Club, and in just 3 months we have 15 members.  This does not count all the folks who like and follow Boise Sweepstakes Club on Facebook.

My second resolution was to enter even more sweepstakes.  To help achieve this goal, I decided to attend the National Sweepstakes Convention this year. It was held on a cruise and introduced me to many more resources for sweepstaking.  You can read a bit about the convention and the entire adventure on my other blog here. I am utilizing a lot more online sweepstaking information sites than I was before the convention, which has allowed me to find more sweepstakes to enter.

Next on my resolutions list was to reapply to teach a sweepstaking class through my city’s community education program.  You may remember that the first time I applied to teach the course, my idea was turned down.  However, I am happy to report that I was selected to teach the class earlier this month, and the class, entitled Sweepstaking: Fun & Free, was held October 9. Six people registered for the course, but only three showed up for the class.  I still had a lot of fun teaching it, and my students seemed excited to learn.  I am awaiting feedback, and to hear whether I can teach this course again in the future.

My final sweepstaking resolution for 2017 was to write a memoir centered around my years doing this hobby.  It is the only resolution I have not taken steps toward, so to ensure I would push myself to complete it before the end of the year, I signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  A memoir is not a novel, however, if you write in the nonfiction genre they simply call you a “rebel” but you can still participate via their free website for writing support. The idea of NaNoWriMo is to write a 50,000 word book in just the 30 days of November.  It is not meant to be a publishable piece at the end of one month.  It is more to encourage you to get a draft down.  You can edit it later after the month is over.  As of right now, I am registered at the NaNoWriMo site with a working title for my memoir, a brief synopsis, and my husband is working on creating a book cover for me.  If I do complete my 50,000 words in 30 days, I’m considered a “winner” – and I love that word!

Putting in a Little Extra Effort to Score the Prize

local-giveaways-button

It’s possible to win a prize in any sweepstakes.  Someone has to be the winner!  But there are certain conditions that make it easier to win.  It is much easier to win a regional or local contest because the entry pool is much smaller.  Now think about how many people will go out of their way to attend an event or go to a business to enter for a chance at a prize.  It’s not likely that near as many people will do this, because it is much more work than entering online or on social media.

Over just the past week and coming week, there have been five giveaways here where I live in Boise in which the rules require you to enter in person.

This past weekend a local coffee shop was having a grand opening celebration of their newest location.  They advertised for the opening on social media.  I saw on Facebook that they were giving a bike away as part of the celebration, but you had to come into the new location to register to win.  However, their ad only gave cross streets and no exact address.  My husband and I drove to the approximate location, but had no luck in finding the shop. So, in the end, I did not get to enter the giveaway.  This was a big mistake on the shop’s part because it limited the exposure of their new shop.  On the other hand, whoever won the bike likely had even less competition than usual for a local contest.

A local car dealership is giving away a backyard makeover. No purchase is necessary to enter to win, but you do have to physically go to the dealership to register to win.  I entered one of their giveaways last year, and remember that I did not even have to listen to a sales pitch.  I just told the associate I was only there to enter the drawing, and got to do so. For their current giveaway, I noticed the ad for it on Facebook today.  My husband and I drove down to the dealership only to find they were closed.  It did not say this in the ad, but perhaps I should have realized it was Sunday!  But the contest is going on until the end of the month, so I have another chance to enter.  Because the location was advertised, it is likely more people will enter this contest than the coffee shop one.  Indeed, the prize is also much bigger for this giveaway. However, being a local contest and the fact that you must enter in person still make the odds better than a national contest.

This weekend the local PetSmart was offering a drawing for a $50 store gift card which could only be used on certain limited items.  The occasion was celebrating small dogs.  The contest rules stated that you had to enter the drawing between 1-2pm that day and must be present for the drawing at 1pm in order to claim your prize.  When we arrived at the store a little after 1pm we realized that not many people were present.  It was a very hot day and driving in a hot car to a pet store was probably not on many people’s priority list.  In addition, having to wait around for a drawing to happen does not fit into everyone’s busy schedules. My husband and I were both allowed to enter (meaning it was a per person entry and not a per household).  We waited the hour, but unfortunately were not drawn as winners. But considering all the circumstances that would deter people entering this local contest, the odds were better than usual.

Today was National Ice Cream Day, and to celebrate McDonald’s was running a one-day promotion.  You were supposed to download the McDonald’s app, use it to claim your free ice cream cone offer, and then at the store you had the opportunity to win a year’s worth of ice cream plus a check for over $4000. The prize could be given at any freestanding McDonald’s nationwide, but you had to follow those steps to enter.  What was not clear from the rules was how a winner was determined.  Was it from scanning the app’s coupon? Was it something the employee had to do to enter you? I asked at the counter about that, and the employee had no idea that the sweepstakes was even happening, let alone how to make sure I was entered.  I have had other experiences with national chain employees not knowing about contest’s their company is running.  Clearly this is a training issue.  Either the company is not communicating with the managers, or the managers are not communicating with their employees.

Next on my list is a Camping World giveaway of an RV.  This contest started with the opportunity to register in advance of the prize day, and have a code e-mailed to you.  You then must bring the code to your nearest participating Camping World to check if your code opens the vault.  If it does, you are a winner!  Next Saturday is the big day for that, so I have it on my calendar to show up with my code to try!

My final advice is to make that extra effort to win local contests.  You might not win every single one, or maybe you won’t win any, but the odds are in your favor!

Valentine’s Sweepstakes: Looking For Love in All the Free Places

Wouldn’t it be nice to give your sweetheart an epic Valentine’s Day gift?  What if you could do this but not put a dent in your wallet?  Even better, right?  Then be sure to enter the Valentine’s Day Sweepstakes now being offered by many companies, radio stations, and more!

This is an excellent time to check for local giveaways where you have a greater chance of winning.  Local businesses, restaurants, hotels, radio stations, and television stations may be offering the chance to win date nights, gift cards, flowers, candy, gift baskets, and Valentine-themed items.

Here is a national sweepstakes to get you started:

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

Charles M. Schulz

The Gimbal’s Fine Candies 2016 Valentine’s Day Sweepstakes winner will get a custom Valentine’s Day baking set packed with Gimbal’s signature Cherry Lover’s candies.  Plus anyone who enters will receive 10 percent off their next online purchase with Gimbal’s using code VDAY16.  ENTER HERE

Don’t delay in getting entries in for Valentine’s sweepstakes because many of these entry periods will end prior to Valentine’s Day so that you can have the prize in time to celebrate!

One final note is I’m going on vacation next week, and won’t be posting again until I return.  But stay tuned because I have something VERY special coming up for my readers in the next blog post and you won’t want to miss it!