Before I started blogging, I was a “sweepaholic”. My days consisted of entering a crazy amount of sweepstakes, and not the kind where you have to answer pages and pages of surveys. These were real sweepstakes by real companies, with real prizes. You may have read my post about how I won a car in a sweepstakes, but in addition to the car, I won so many other wonderful prizes. As a matter-of-fact, each year I wrote down everything I won (but since redoing my room, I cannot find the lists for the life of me).
Some people think I just have good luck, and maybe I do have some, but I think it’s just like anything in life – how dedicated and diligent you are for something you really want. I was VERY dedicated to entering sweepstakes, and it certainly paid off.
There is a judging agency for sweepstakes – they are kind of a neutral third party, if you will. They oversee the sweepstakes, choose winners and award prizes. As you enter more sweepstakes, you will begin to recognize the main ones. I might not have taken the winning email for my car seriously had I not recognized the name of the judging agency (ePrize).
Start with a reputable sweepstakes site. I personally used Sweeps Advantage, because it was free and I found their site really easy to navigate, save my sweeps, etc. Unfortunately now you have to pay a monthly fee to use this site. There are plenty of others you might try. Another really good site is Online-Sweepstakes.
Use a form filling program like Roboform, or your browser’s autofill feature. I don’t mean ones that automatically enter you in sweepstakes (that is frowned upon, and just a bad idea in general and could potentially disqualify you).
Find a system that works for you! I’m sure all sweepers have their own way of keeping track of the sweeps they enter. This is important, as there are several different types of sweepstakes. Here are the different types:
Instant Win: These allow you to win instantly, right on the screen! Usually these can be entered daily. You will also be entered to win the Grand Prize (in most cases) – and this is how I won a car. When you enter daily entry sweepstakes, you usually sign up initially (entering all of your info) and then subsequent visits you will only need to enter your email address to see if you are an instant winner.
Daily Entry: You can enter every, single day. Some however, require you to wait 24 hours, so make sure you check.
Weekly Entry: You can enter these once weekly – usually every 7 days. If you use SweepsAdvantage, you can check it as done each week and that makes it easy to know when it is okay to enter again.
Monthly Entry: It’s just as the name implies.
One Time Entry: You can enter these only once. Sometimes it is once per person, sometimes it is one per household.
And of course, these days there are also blog, Twitter and Facebook contests/sweepstakes.
Legitimate sweepstakes are run by brand name companies, magazines, etc. I really love the magazine sweeps, and won several expensive beauty products from their sweepstakes. Other items I have won are home theater system ($500 ARV), $500 cash from Reader’s Digest, a 3-piece set of Le Creuset Cookware, Paula Deen Cookware, and lots and lots of gift cards ($1,000 Merry Maids and SO many others), DVDs, clothing, . It would take me days to list everything but it is really impressive.
Follow the rules!
Probably the most important thing to remember is to not cheat! If it says one person per household, then only do that. They more than likely check IP addresses too, so if you enter everyone you know, even at different addresses, they are wise to you 🙂 Read the rules! Especially the first paragraph or so – where they tell you who is allowed to enter.
Californians cannot enter sweepstakes run by alcohol companies. Stupid, I know.
I really, really miss entering sweepstakes. I stay pretty busy with my blog, but I always hope that one day I can catch up, so I can squeeze a few sweeps in here and there!
Do you enter sweepstakes? What have you won?