View Full Version : Question for you snailers

January 1st, 2007, 8:45am
I've been sweeping for 2 years (exactly!), and I only enter online sweeps. Not only that, I'm lazy, and I don't enter anything that requires me to work/think, like an essay or a photo. So my costs have been limited to my Robo registration and then my premium subscriptions, and I've MORE than recouped those expenses -- all but one of my major wins have been from premium sweeps.

I've only entered a couple of snails, and then only if it was the only way and it was a prize I *really* wanted (the Godiva/Manolo Blahnik one last year, for example).

I know there are a bunch of you who regularly snail as well as online entry, and I'm wondering -- do you find that it pays off? Are you finding that you win enough from your snailed sweeps that it's worth the time/money/supplies?

Thanks for your time!! And good luck to all in the coming year!

January 1st, 2007, 8:55am
It has definitely paid off at our house. From snails, we have won 2 leather jackets, a PS 2 console, various small items, gift cards, and most recently an XBOX 360 console with an inflatable gaming chair and $50 Best Buy gift card.
I keep all of the postage receipts and the receipts for the envelopes and index cards. In the last two years we have spent on average $180-$200 per year snailing with average snail wins of $800-$1000 per year.
We are selective about what we enter, and have better luck at snails with limited entries. But, of course, some folks may spend a fortune on postage and win nothing -- it can vary greatly! Good Luck at all your sweeping adventures.

January 1st, 2007, 8:56am
It never paid off for me. I have tryed and tryed. I only ever put 1 entry in if I find a snail. I used to drop a ton of entries. god luck if you decide to do it. :gvibes:

January 1st, 2007, 9:04am
i subscribed to a newsletter, bought tons of stamps and didn't win enough to pay for the newsletter. i gave myself 12 months and gave up. at least i can say i tried. there were so many success stories that i HAD to give it a try - wasn't for me. plus you get hand cramps from writing all those slips of paper. :laugh:

January 1st, 2007, 9:05am
In January of 2006, I bought a membership to another sweepstakes site -- one that specializes in snail mail sweepstakes. I found that 90% of my wins came from online sweepstakes posted here at OLS, 9% came from local radio wins, and only 1% came from snail mail offered by this other site. I did, however, win $200 from a magazine company that was mail-in. That was pretty shocking.

We have a great asset here at OLS. Her screenname is Dr. Feel Good
She posts a ton of the snail-mail sweepstakes and I have won a time or two from sweepstakes she posted. So, I decided to scrap my membership at that other site and rely on snails found here. There has been talk that the snail-mail section here at OLS will be revamped. (not sure when, but that would take a big commitment --so not expecting it yet)

I agree with others that snail-mail sweepstakes are an endangered species. A lot of sweepstakes will offer both online and mail-in as methods of entry. However, there is usually a rule stating "Limit one entry, regardless of method used." This means you could easily disqualify yourself if you aren't paying attention.

I still keep a stash of snail-mail supplies, but I try to focus on the local snails. I also like to do the local walk-ins and radio remotes.

January 1st, 2007, 9:13am
All my trip wins and many other wins were from mail-ins. I enjoy writing and mailing envies.
By the way.....
:bow: :bow: Dr. Feel good :bow: :bow:

January 1st, 2007, 10:27am
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v672/junebug03/ShowLettersmileyheart.gif I love sweeping and so I've been at it awhile...

I starting sweeping with snail mail and I have won $2,500 and Tailgating screen tent and alot of little things. I started sweeping online about 3 years ago and I've won more online ($5,000 in gas cards was my biggest win last year)http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v672/junebug03/Celebration/celebrate_together_thumb.gif but I haven't given up my snail mailing. As for DQing yourself..you know what you are entering online and so when you see a snail mail offer..just check the email address on "Add a sweep" and it will bring it up..if your entering online, there will be a check mark left of the title...there is your answer.

Like most snail sweepers you have to have a system and that one works for me. Good Luck this year! :gvibes: :gvibes:

January 1st, 2007, 2:12pm
I have had quite good luck with the snail sweeps. And I enjoy doing them.
I am, however, very selective in the snail sweeps I enter. I've been doing them for 2 years and my prizes have offset the cost more than 10 fold. Just like online sweeping though, you will experience dry spells.
For me, I used to enter those sweeps that had both online and snail mail options. Some people have great success with entering both ways. I did not...so I stopped doing those both ways.
You will have to just experiment to see what methods work for you. And even at that, it may work for awhile sweeping a certain way, and then you'll see that that method is no longer working and you'll have to try something else.

January 2nd, 2007, 8:55am
Could someoene share their snail mail methods? Do you use regular 3x5 cards, buy the pre-stamped cards from the PO, or send a paper in an envelope? I'd like to start snailing, but am a bit confused as to how to do it. Most sweeps say 3x5....but is that in an envelope?

January 2nd, 2007, 5:00pm
I would love to know a great method too.. I am brand new to all this.

January 2nd, 2007, 5:17pm
The standard postcards purchased can be purchased at the Post Office.
They measure 3 1/2 X 5 1/2. A 3X5 card must be mailed in an envelope since its size is too small to be mailed as a postcard. I have snailed for many years. Most of my wins have come from snails. I am still waiting to win big from online sweeps. I have had a premium subscription for over a year and it is yet to pay for itself. But I am patient.

January 2nd, 2007, 10:18pm
I always offset my financial costs, but time costs were high. Besides winning a trip to Aspen and a trip to MA, some pans, a bike, and a few other things, I really didn't win enough to offset the time involved. Online is better for me.

January 2nd, 2007, 10:29pm
I probably only snail mail $20 a year at the most. Last year I won an mp3 player by just sending for 1 code in a sweep. Sometimes you can go out and buy the product with the code on it cheaper that it costs to snail mail, like on the candy wrapper codes for instance.

I guess I don't want to risk losing money so that's why I limit snailing.

January 2nd, 2007, 10:32pm
I snailed a lot for about a year and a half. I didn't win a thing. :(

January 2nd, 2007, 10:48pm
Snail mail has been very good to me in 2006. I won three trips, 4 80gig video ipod, three cell phones, a hdtv, $500 in gift cards, $1200 in gas, and many smaller prizes. :smile9:


January 2nd, 2007, 11:03pm
Just won $25 from a snail--and have won several small prizes. I don't snail sweep much--it isn't the cost of postage, it is the extra time compared to online. I do enter those sweeps that look particularly good.

January 4th, 2007, 10:59am
Thanks for the help! I'm excited to start snailing. I figure it's just another chance to win something, right?
So now I have to run to the PO, but postcards, stamps for them (I'm assuming they don't use the regular stamps but cheaper ones, right?), and I'm ready!!!

January 5th, 2007, 1:18am
I started snail mail sweeps over the summer...nothing yet but am not giving up...I enjoy both ways....

January 5th, 2007, 1:34am
I started entering online sweeps in 1995, and I never thoght I'd pay for stamps to enter by mail... way too expensive... but, in 1997, I started entering a few sweeps by mail, and won a few prizes. I continue to enter snail sweeps on a regular basis. My wins from snail mail far outweigh my online wins - probably by 50x or more.

I use plain white envies, plain cards and paper, and I don't spend a fortune on stamps, 2 rolls a month max.


January 5th, 2007, 1:38am
3 x 5 cards are not postcards, that size is too small to be sent without an envelope and will be returned to you by the post office. If the rules say 3 x 5 paper, they mean paper, not a card and vice versa. The paper shouldn't lined or colored, although some folks do use both...but why chance being DQ'd? You can spend a lot of money real quick on snail mail sweeping supplies and it is very time consuming. However, all that being said....I did win $50,000 in a snail sweep this past year BUT that is the exception not the rule. After starting snailing, I never get all my daily onlines done and that about kills me! Best of luck!!

January 14th, 2007, 9:22pm
I limit my snail mail entries to local contests and I have won exactally 0 ZERO 0. :frown3:

No luck at all. If its something I want normally tickets to an event I still send them in. I do follow all the directions etc, just no real luck with them.

January 15th, 2007, 3:00pm
I see the PO online has 10 stamped postcards for $2.60... is that a good deal for the postcards?

January 15th, 2007, 3:09pm
I see the PO online has 10 stamped postcards for $2.60... is that a good deal for the postcards?

That's your postcard + your stamp. Postcard stamps cost 24 cents, so each postcard costs you 2 cents. Pretty cheap, IMO.


January 15th, 2007, 3:16pm
That's your postcard + your stamp. Postcard stamps cost 24 cents, so each postcard costs you 2 cents. Pretty cheap, IMO.


thank you.. I wasnt sure of the current postcard rate... so yes, these are a great deal.

January 15th, 2007, 3:26pm
I have been snail-mailing for about 10 years and just recently started entering on-line. The last two years I've been very faithful about mailing my entries and have had very good luck. The most important thing with mailing entries is PATIENCE. Sometimes it can take months for the prizes to be awarded after the draw date.

Alot of on-line sweeps are limited to one on-line entry with no limits on mail ins, so I'll do my on-line entry and then also send some in by mail. I've heard many times lately that on line sweeps are the "wave of the future" and I'm beginning to believe that, although I won't give up my snail mails. I subscribe to two newsletters and now OLS so I stay pretty busy. I'm excited to see what my on line entries bring this year!

In a nutshell: I would recommend snail mail along with on-line sweeps. Just remember to be patient! :smile9:

January 15th, 2007, 3:36pm
Thanks for this thread OP!

I would love to hear tips from the snail mail sweepers
of what a newbie to snailing should know...like where is
the best place to get the items or do you make your own, etc.

January 15th, 2007, 3:44pm
I'm primarily a snailer..... Check my win list. 2006 was a slow year. I moved twice and started a new job. My 2007 plan is to get back into the online sweeps more and eventually going about 50/50... I won a trip to Europe from Godiva three years ago. My biggest win was from Skittles. I've done very well in regional liquor/beer sweeps. Unfortunately they are illegal in CA. I guess I'll need to move back to NM..good luck.... :cool2: :cool2: :cool2:

January 15th, 2007, 4:14pm
I have been a snailer for years. The last few years I spent more on postage than I won. I have won more online lately than snail.
My strategy for this year is to only enter by snail those that can't be entered online, or if online is only 1 entry but you can enter unlimited snailmail, I will snail those too.

For those just starting snailmail, I would suggest only buying postal postcards for those that call for a standard postcard or specifically say 3 1/2 by 5 1/2. I use cereal boxes and make my other postcards (4 1/4X 6 usually). I also use frozen food boxes and anything that is about that weight of cardboard that you can easily write on with a Sharpie. I have also bought colored cardstock at Walmart and made my own cards out of that.
Like someone else mentioned, if it calls for paper, use paper. If a card, then use a card. If it is paper or 3 x 5 card it can only go in an envelope. There have been the odd one or two that have said they sent a 3x5 card in the mail and it went through, but why chance it? Unless they won, how do they know it it made it to the destination? Could have been lost.

By the way, my biggest win of $5000 cash a few years ago was on a colored cardstock that I cut myself.


January 16th, 2007, 2:01am
I use nothing but standard postcards you buy at the post office and nothing but plain white envelopes.
I have never had a year when I spent more on postage and supplies than I won. 10 years and counting.


January 16th, 2007, 2:12am
I entered lots of snails for a year and a half. I didn't win one single thing. So, I have given it up for now. I might consider some locals. But, that's about it.

January 16th, 2007, 2:49am
My take is that there is a hardcore group of some stubborn snail-mailer only peeps out there, &there are so few snail-only sweeps that they are hit pretty hard by those who refuse to enter online. Therefore the casual snailer doesn't have a very good chance. I've even noticed a change in this past year, one snail sponsor I used to win nearly every time from, not so lately....

That being said, I STILL snail, it's my 1st love & even though I may not win as often, I generally win bigger. Plus, it's enjoyable! Onlines to me are just grunt work, I do them, but it's a chore.