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ked
January 29th, 2008, 7:24pm
http://contests.about.com/od/improveyourodds/tp/sweepmistakes.htm

jus_like_honey
January 29th, 2008, 7:28pm
Great, I think I've broken about five of the rules, lol! Thanks for posting this, it was very interesting reading!

denyse_g
January 29th, 2008, 7:29pm
Interesting!

zachabby2
January 29th, 2008, 7:30pm
Nice article. And very true statements! I totally agree with entering only the items you want to win, and that patience is the KEY! Thanks for the info!:twoclap:

sundonja
January 29th, 2008, 7:38pm
Loved the post. Let me just highlight my favorite one, if I may...


6. Complaining about Wins
Sponsors put a lot of time, money, and effort into running sweepstakes. If the winners complain about their prizes, sponsors are far more likely to stop running sweepstakes and use their marketing budget in other ways instead. Unless there is something really fraudulent about a win that you received, be gracious, thank the sponsor, and hope to win a better prize next time. Do not expect sponsors to substitute cash or other prizes unless they specifically state that they will in the rules.

TawnyNY
January 29th, 2008, 7:51pm
That may have been one of the best sweeping advice I've read and I've read a lot!

Thanks

secular
January 29th, 2008, 7:57pm
The first 3 are KEY! Thanks Ked.

jafarhie
January 29th, 2008, 8:02pm
If the winners complain about their prizes, sponsors are far more likely to stop running sweepstakes and use their marketing budget in other ways instead.


Has this been proven or is the writer just guessing?

Trinitie
January 29th, 2008, 8:18pm
If the winners complain about their prizes, sponsors are far more likely to stop running sweepstakes and use their marketing budget in other ways instead.


Has this been proven or is the writer just guessing?

It probably has not been proven. She's just assuming that if one person complains, then the company will stop all contests. It's possible for small sweeps, but not for large corporations like Coke or Kraft.

lindalou1
January 29th, 2008, 8:20pm
7. Not Reviewing Entries Before Submitting
As entering sweepstakes becomes routine, itís easy to fill out a form, hit submit... and then realize that you made a mistake, forgot to fill out a required field, or opted-in for a newsletter you didnít really want. Taking just a second to look over your entry before hitting the submit button can save you from mistakes.


Yes, that is my mistake. I hit roboform and as I hit the submit button I realize that the date of birth or something else is messed up. What do you do? Go back and correct and then resubmit. Then get DQd for entering twice. So, I just leave it alone. :cry2:

rettak
January 29th, 2008, 8:22pm
good advice I live by # 4 if I don't need it won't enter or if I can not pay for the taxes.

susanbe
January 29th, 2008, 8:23pm
Thanks Ked!:smile9:

luchar
January 29th, 2008, 8:23pm
Thanks for the link - this is so helpful - Have fun!

PRECIOUS
January 29th, 2008, 8:28pm
:twoclap:Thank you!

This needs to be a sticky or in the FAQ's for newbie's. :smile9:

minbari
January 29th, 2008, 8:41pm
Great link. Thanks! :bounce:

Miki
January 29th, 2008, 8:42pm
1. Not Reading the Rules- Been guilty of this sometimes
Sweepstakes rules can be lengthy and full of legalese; you should still read them, however. After you get the hang of the terminology and typical layouts, checking the rules will go much faster, and you will not waste time entering contests you canít win.

2. Not Following the Rules to the Letter I do my best to follow all rules
Sweepstakes sponsors are very serious about their rules, and they will disqualify any variation from their guidelines. If a mail-in sweepstake says to send an entry by postcard, donít mail it in an envelope. If an online sweepstake demands a code, donít assume that your entry was accepted just because the form went through.

3. Lying about Eligibility Heck no! I would hate to be DQ'd from a great prize win
Sponsors offer sweepstakes to their target audience, to increase the success of their marketing. If you lie about fulfilling the qualifications, such as non-smokers entering a contest for smokers only, or saying that you own a small business when you donít, the sponsor will catch and disqualify you. Even worse, you have made it less likely that the sponsor will make the effort to offer sweepstakes in the future. There are plenty of great sweepstakes out there; if you donít qualify for one, find another to enter.

4. Entering for Prizes You Donít Want I don't agree with this completely, if a sponsor offers a prize in another tier that I want than wanting all prizes I am going to enter no matter what people say or think. It is my time, my tax $$
Many sweepers get carried away and enter every contest they can find. The result: they are deluged with wins that they can't use, that clutter up their houses, that boost their sweepstakes tax debt, and which waste the sponsors' advertising dollars. Concentrate your efforts on sweepstakes with prizes that youíd really like to win.


5. Expecting to Win Too Soon Alright, this one does bug me but, I try to keep quiet about it. I have been guilty of complaining about not winning though, we ALL have at some point.
Sometimes people get lucky and hit a sweepstakes win shortly after they start entering. For most, however, it takes much longer. Think about it: before you can win a prize, the sweepstake usually has to end (which can take months). Then the sponsor has to check the entry data, remove duplicates, and draw a winner. This process can take four to six additional weeks.

Finally, the sponsor has to notify the winner, which can take another few weeks. If the winner is unreachable or declines the prize, the sponsor has to draw another name and try again. You may be the tenth person the sponsor attempted to contact.

6. Complaining about Wins I think this is an assumption for the most part. I do agree to be thankful for your wins. The sponsors didn't have to have the contest in the first place.
Sponsors put a lot of time, money, and effort into running sweepstakes. If the winners complain about their prizes, sponsors are far more likely to stop running sweepstakes and use their marketing budget in other ways instead. Unless there is something really fraudulent about a win that you received, be gracious, thank the sponsor, and hope to win a better prize next time. Do not expect sponsors to substitute cash or other prizes unless they specifically state that they will in the rules.

7. Not Reviewing Entries Before Submitting Most deffinately!
As entering sweepstakes becomes routine, itís easy to fill out a form, hit submit... and then realize that you made a mistake, forgot to fill out a required field, or opted-in for a newsletter you didnít really want. Taking just a second to look over your entry before hitting the submit button can save you from mistakes.

8. Not Keeping Track of Your Wins I do this, makes it easier on me and I enjoy watching the list grow.
Getting into the habit of keeping a log of your wins will not only help you at tax time, but it will also help you realize if you have not received a prize that you were expecting. Sometimes sponsors make mistakes, so be prepared to send them a friendly reminder if your win does not arrive within a few months of notification.

9. Giving Up Too Quickly Major mistake on newbies and it bugs me when people complain about my wins when they don't even take the time to enter like I do! I am persistant.
The two qualities that every successful sweeper needs are patience and persistence. Itís easy to get discouraged when the wins arenít coming in, but if you keep entering youíll be sure to hit some nice prizes soon. Read about beating sweepstakes burnout for tips on how to stay motivated.

10. Not Having Fun! Exactly!
Remember that sweeping is a hobby, not a job! Have fun entering, dreaming about the prizes youíll win, and chatting about your hobby with friends in the forum. Enjoy yourself, and donít take entering too seriously!

Pansy
January 29th, 2008, 8:44pm
To me it is common sense that if winners complain over and over, companies will not have sweeps. I wouldn't take a slap in the face over and over, I'd learn what not to.

luvey
January 29th, 2008, 9:00pm
The article was written by one of our own OLSers: wolflady26

You can check out her OLS blog for more information.

Great article wolflady26!

loreli
January 29th, 2008, 9:18pm
Most are common sense but nice to see it in writing to drill it into my brain. Thanks for posting.

stargazer
January 29th, 2008, 9:32pm
:twoclap:Thank you!

This needs to be a sticky or in the FAQ's for newbie's. :smile9:

wolflady26
January 29th, 2008, 9:40pm
Thanks so much for the compliments and for the feedback! I'm so glad to see how many of you enjoyed the article!

I've also posted a little bit more about why I think that number 6 - complaining about wins - is a valid mistake in my OLS blog (http://forums.online-sweepstakes.com/blog.php?b=247), if anyone is interested. :)

luv911fun
January 29th, 2008, 9:45pm
great info, thanks!!

this should be required reading when signing up for OLS.

ironbutterfly
January 29th, 2008, 9:49pm
http://contests.about.com/od/improveyourodds/tp/sweepmistakes.htm

I just fell in love with your avatar :sweat:

sissy76
January 29th, 2008, 9:54pm
This must have been written by a sweeper:D

alyssasmommy07
January 29th, 2008, 10:06pm
I have broken a few of these rules but I usually dont enter sweeps for something I dont want unless I am entering to win it as a gift for someone like I wouldnt enter to win a guitar if I dont even play the guitar or know anyone who does

cpnqn
January 29th, 2008, 10:12pm
I find that list pretty humerous- as a LONG time sweeper...

the NUMBER ONE mistake most make... golden rule...
1. if you do NOT enter, you WILL NOT win...

I agree about entering for things you don't want- sometimes you get stuck with the things you don't want for the prize you did want... I tried to get the gal that won the truck years back to trade me for the cap- it was a no-go... can't understand why, it was a LOVELY hat!

Keeping your chin up is the hardest- we're the ONLY group of people likely to hear more then 20 times per day that we're losers! :frown4: S'okay... I don't mind. You can't win them all or I'd have had the house, cash and cars YEARS ago... until then, I'm SATISFIED with my track record... which I don't really keep alot of track of, I'd go crazy doing that. I know it's coming, I'll wait from there.

mlminwilm
January 29th, 2008, 10:16pm
Yep, I'd say those are pretty accurate.

Mamajama
January 29th, 2008, 10:23pm
It probably has not been proven. She's just assuming that if one person complains, then the company will stop all contests. It's possible for small sweeps, but not for large corporations like Coke or Kraft.

I agree. Most big sponsors have other companies running their sweeps, so they probably don't hear most of the complaints directly. Also, the sweeps are about getting your product seen by the consumer - not about the person who wins the prize - so I bet complaining has little negative effect.

I would be interested to know if anyone has any firsthand experience with this.

wolflady26
January 30th, 2008, 6:41am
4. Entering for Prizes You Donít Want I don't agree with this completely, if a sponsor offers a prize in another tier that I want than wanting all prizes I am going to enter no matter what people say or think. It is my time, my tax $$

Oh, I totally agree. I meant that it's a mistake to enter every sweepstake indiscriminately, because it takes up time that you could spend improving your odds of winning prizes you really want. There are so many more great sweepstakes out there than I could ever enter in a day! If you want any of the prizes, I definitely think you should go for it.

jackie241
January 30th, 2008, 7:11am
Very acurate info.

Janir
January 30th, 2008, 7:24am
I've read this a few times before & agree, it's GREAT info!


I do agree that whining & complaints to the sponsor are counter-productive. Yes, of course there are times when we sweepers have a legit complaint, I've had them too, but I've heard of horror stories, such as a Pepsi-sponsored trip sweep where the winnner says "I only drink Coke" ETC...


IMO, thank-yous are a must! Threatening lawsuits, etc, over a stupid DVD or whatever, are killing the Golden Goose. I've sent sponsors pics from trip wins, believe me, they really appreciate them, usually it's a first for them!

I realize that a lot of you old-timers know this, I'm just giving a heads-up to newbies.

YES, I do think that positive feedback from consumers is important. You all would not believe the letters/emails I've gotten in appreciation.

Think about it, O.K.?

sharkaye
January 30th, 2008, 7:27am
Great article, thanks for sharing!

Tricia316
January 30th, 2008, 7:36am
Very good info! Especially numbers 1-3! How many times (lately) have we reaad threads about people having to turn down (usually) trips because they didn't read the rules to see the dates, specifics, age requirements,no transportation, ect?

And I do think big companies skip some sweeps after a bad rash. The whole Coca Cola NASCAR ticket debacle last year is a great example. I don't know if Coca Cola will ever give away tickets in that number again after they had an employee screw up the Congrats letters and turn it into a customer service nightmare. They fixed it in the end but it was probably a hassle for them.

Tricia

Janir
January 30th, 2008, 7:50am
You 're right, Tricia, that is a very good example! I was involved in that debacle, they did try to make it right, but HEY! Why on earth would they want to do it again?

jcns
January 30th, 2008, 7:52am
I actually think #10 is much more common than people will let on.

sheri
January 30th, 2008, 8:14am
I THINK THE WRITER IS A MEMEBER HERE AT OLS! :laugh:
These are all given as advice to almost every newbie who comes to the forums asking for tips on winning!

Janir
January 30th, 2008, 8:25am
Yeah, but most ignore it!

jklkj
January 30th, 2008, 8:31am
Sending a thank you is important.
I only enter sweeps I want to win but it may not be the grand or first prize.

The only thing I do not like about sweeping is too much email and too much mail EVEN when I opt out.

I enter and forget about it. Winning is always a nice surprise.
Since I only enter through OLS I have my list and have used it several times to make sure I've entered for the prize. I've caught some frauds and took them to the post office to report them.

Miki
January 30th, 2008, 8:50am
Oh, I totally agree. I meant that it's a mistake to enter every sweepstake indiscriminately, because it takes up time that you could spend improving your odds of winning prizes you really want. There are so many more great sweepstakes out there than I could ever enter in a day! If you want any of the prizes, I definitely think you should go for it.

I totally understand! When I first started sweeping, I entered for anything and everything just wasting my time. My comment was directed mainly to those who think you shouldn't enter if there is say 3 different prizes and you only want one or two of the prizes offered. That is just silly to me.

Great article btw.

wolflady26
January 30th, 2008, 10:06am
Heh, I did the same thing. I was nearly buried under Gatorade water bottles, heh! :D Even after giving away as many as I could to friends and family, I was still inundated ;)

tomfarr
January 30th, 2008, 2:47pm
Very good, thanks for sharing.

TawnyNY
January 31st, 2008, 8:41am
Heh, I did the same thing. I was nearly buried under Gatorade water bottles, heh! :D Even after giving away as many as I could to friends and family, I was still inundated ;)

LOL, I tried to sell them at a garage sale but no takers.

wolflady26
February 1st, 2008, 8:51pm
I did the same thing! Boy, are those garage sale shoppers savvy!

valcal
February 1st, 2008, 9:07pm
http://contests.about.com/od/improveyourodds/tp/sweepmistakes.htm

Great post. They left out 11th rule. Stay out of forums..........:smile2:

SharDan01
February 3rd, 2008, 10:08pm
I loved it! Wolflady, I signed up for the About.com e-newsletter as well. Great stuff!

I used to work in the promotions department of my company (still work there now but in a different department). Our fulfillment people, unfortunately, were used to people trying to get even more for their prize such as extra night stays, extra $$ if they decided not to use a portion of the prize, etc. I think people don't realize that even a big company has to get approval from the Finance and Legal departments before anything can be sent to a winner and many times, what is in the rules is as far as they can go. If Marketing has only allocated a certain amount of budget to a prize, well, then that's it. If it includes airfare, it might be because Marketing made a trade with that airline for free tickets so they cannot give the winner the $$ instead.

On the positive side, however, the fulfillment team LOVED getting thank you notes and photos. They post them all over their offices and you can just see them beaming when they show off the photos and thank you notes.

CUDDLES
February 3rd, 2008, 10:32pm
Very Good...Thanks