Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Comping: A Beginner's Guide

The Beginner's Guide To Comping (The Art of Entering - And Winning - Competitions)

What is Comping?

Comping, otherwise known as the entering of competitions, is one of my favourite hobbies. Not only is there the thrill of winning something, there's the very practical help competition wins can give you.

Is it a get rich quick scheme? No. Is it ever going to enable me to give up the day job? Almost certainly not. But it does mean we can have the occasional treat - and it's good fun into the bargain.


What Does Comping Involve?

Most competitions these days are super easy to enter - you just like and share on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, or enter your contact details on the provider's website. I usually comp in the evenings when we're watching TV, and enter around 150 competitions a day. The return on that tends to be a few wins a week, chiefly small things like books, DVDs, toiletries and food items.

Over the years I've won some really great things though, including £500 worth of Ikea vouchers, £300 worth of driving lesson vouchers (sold those on eBay!), and various tech items like televisions and smart phones. I post monthly updates of my competition wins on the blog:

What I've Won This Month


How Can I Start Comping?

First off, you need to create your comping identity. In other words, set up a comping specific email address (gmail is probably best), possibly new social media accounts, and decide whether or not you are happy to give your phone number out. You will get spam, no matter how careful you are, but the aforementioned steps will help to keep it manageable.

Once that's done you need to find the competitions. My favourite source at the moment is competitiondatabase.co.uk - it lists about 100 to 200 new competitions every day, and easily enables you to keep track of which competitions you've entered. I also love theprizefinder.com, which uses a similar format.

There are (sadly) only so many hours in the day, so you need to focus your comping accordingly. Make a wishlist of things you would like to win and actively seek those competitions out, or search those comping websites by category or prize value. I like to make sure I've entered all the high value competitions, then use any extra time I have to enter giveaways for lower value things which will make good gifts, like chocolates, flowers, toys and toiletries.


Where Can I Find More Competitions?

There are so many sources out there, but here are some of my favourites - not least because they have given me good returns for my time investment!

☆ Blogs: Bloggers are one of the biggest sources of competitions out there - they want the traffic and the engagement, you want the prizes. It's a win-win situation. Most bloggers use third party widgets like Rafflecopter or Gleam to run their comps and pick the winners, so make sure you follow the instructions or they will automatically disqualify you. For more on blog competitions, and up to date listings, check out the awesome superlucky.me.

 Goodreads: 'The world's largest site for readers and book recommendations' also facilitates the winning of hundreds of books each month. Check out the giveaways and, if you're looking for goodreads buddies, my profile.

☆ Instagram: Use hashtags like #ukgiveaway to find competitions on Instagram. IG comps tend to be low entry, meaning your chances of winning are good. To enter you usually need to follow a profile, like a picture, and tag a friend. (If you need a comping friend, I go by the name of plastigffantastig.) The other mainstay of instragram competitions is 'regramming' a photo.

 MoneySavingExpert: Otherwise known as MSE, the competitions time forum has thousands upon thousands of competitions of all descriptions. There are the dailies and other regular competitions, post, phone and text comps, and the general board. It's where I first began comping, back in about 2006, and is still - in my opinion - the most comprehensive source of competitions. The problem is that they're not organised. and the forum format makes it harder to keep track of what you've already entered. 

☆ Tumblr: the social media network most popular with Millenials (allegedly), Tumblr giveaways tend to have pretty good odds and are easy to enter. I've written a full guide to get you started.

 Worldwide: A lot of promoters these days are willing to send prizes worldwide - check out sites like giveawaymonkey.com and online-sweepstakes.com for international listings.

Last but not least, don't forget to check out my latest giveaways:

Win with Babi a Fi


Any Other Comping Tips?

You can make your comping life easier by setting up an email signature with your contact details, and either sorting out your browser settings or installing an add-on to allow autofilling of online forms. Make a note of any wins you're informed of - and if your prize hasn't arrived within 3-4 weeks, get in touch with them.

Beyond that my advice is just to stick with it. Don't get disheartened if you don't win anything in the first couple of weeks; as the old saying goes: 

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again!










23 comments:

  1. This is brilliant, thank you so much for sharing. I've entered a few competitions lately, but I didn't realise there were so many that you could enter! #anythinggoes
    Rebecca from www.thesparklenest.com

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    1. :) Glad it could be useful - it is the hobby that appeals most to my cheapskate nature!

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  2. Thank you for linking up with Blogging Mummy at #anythinggoes I comp however over the last few weeks I have not had much time on my hands to do it. I find a lot of mine through MSE. The best thing I won was a Spa weekend for me and Hubby. x

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    1. That's the only downside, the time. I keep trying to get my OH into it as he's home during the days, but no success so far! :)

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  3. This looks great, I wish I'd read this when I started comping. It took me a while to get wins but it feels like once I win something it's a 'once you pop you cant stop' situation!
    It's the best hobby, especially as a housewife too :) I've won over £1000 worth of items over the last few months, It's so satisfying.

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  4. This looks great, I wish I'd read this when I started comping. It took me a while to get wins but it feels like once I win something it's a 'once you pop you cant stop' situation!
    It's the best hobby, especially as a housewife too :) I've won over £1000 worth of items over the last few months, It's so satisfying.

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    1. That's awesome! It really is so addictive - the thrill of winning is great, especially as it costs nothing to enter. :)

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  5. This is such a brilliant post! I did a bit of comping over Christmas but wasn't sure how much I could get involved. I will definitely sit down and give it more serious thought at some point - and I shall use your tips x #PoCoLo

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    1. So glad it's proving useful! :) I've gone through phases with it over the years, but it was an absolute lifesaver in the run up to last Christmas - all my stocking stuffers and extras (chocolates, bath stuff and so on) came from comping.

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  6. I'm quite excited by my competition identity! I feel like a superhero #PoCoLo

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  7. This is a great intro article into the world of comping! I've been a competition addict for many years now - I won an $18,000 holiday to Thailand in 2014! I love my hobby! :)

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    1. That's amazing!! It really is so much fun - you never know what the next win will be :)

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  8. Such a great post! I read another comping post the other day, and I am really tempted to get started! :) Thanks for the tips xx

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    1. Give it a try! I'm slowly indoctrinating my OH into it too, he's won a few books so far :) x

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  9. Wow I had no idea that there's so much to it! I run competitions over on the blog and often wonder how so many people find out about them - now I know! Great post with great tips 'Picknmix

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  10. Great tips there Jess, and you're right it's lovely to win (and avoid the spam!) Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo x

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    1. It's so exciting when you get a message that you've won - it almost doesn't matter what it is even! x

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  11. I love entering competitions, though I haven;t had tie to do many in months! Nothing quite like the thrill of a winning email :) Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

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    1. The other day OH asked me if I had entered many lately as it's been a slow month for wins. Apparently I need to step up my game to keep him in the lifestyle he's become accustomed to! Lol.

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  12. I used to enter loads when about three years ago, but never had much luck. My brother on the other hand, had won a few decent things. I would be chuffed to win Ikea vouchers!! Thanks for the tips. #FabFridayPost

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    1. It's really addictive once you get into it! x

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