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"Why do you enter sweepstakes?"

When I tell people that my hobby is entering sweepstakes or contests, I generally get an underwhelmed response.  "Oh." they say.  I imagine the naysayers think my hobby consists of clicking on endless "Congratulations! You've won an iPod, just click the yellow frog to redeem!" ads.  Bah! Those are scams!  Sweepstaking is a far more complex and dedicated hobby than that!

Where to begin!?  

I belong to a website,
www.online-sweepstakes.com, where the content is so far as I know, completely dictated by the users, the members of the site.  If McDonald's, (a company I won a 30GB video iPod from) has a new promotion, someone (it could be me if I am the first to submit it) will add it to the database at "OLS" as we call it, and I will have tons of information about the sweep at my fingertips.  Starting dates, ending dates, eligibility requirements, entry limits, what prizes are offered, how many, how much the prizes are worth (this is called the ARV-actual/approximate retail value), and even notes from other members about their experience with the promotion, the website, if codes are needed from products, and so on are included in the sweep listing.  

I can add sweepstakes to "MySweeps", an organizing tool on OLS.  I can count when and how many times I've entered, so I don't disqualify (DQ) myself.  I can sort by expiration date, date added, highest rated, type of entry (daily, 1X, weekly), to name a few; however I feel like viewing MySweeps at the time.  On the main page of OLS, the sweeps are organized as well.  I can click on daily entries, instant wins, cash prizes, health/beauty, vacations, vehicles, newly added, soon to be expiring, just any way you can think of, the sweeps are categorized. 

Expired sweep information is kept on OLS, which is very handy when a prize shows up and doesn't have any information about which sponsor it came from.  For instance, I received a fifty dollar gift card to American Eagle Outfitters via FedEx one day.  There was no note from a sponsor, and no sponsor name on the return address.  I went to my expired MySweeps and did a search for American Eagle.  It showed that I had entered a one time entry sweep for this exact prize, sponsored by Star Magazine.  So, that mystery was solved; I was pretty certain that's where it came from!  Now I know that this sponsor (who has pretty awesome giveaways by the way) is reputable and sends prizes out in a reasonable time frame, but that they don't really notify you that something is headed your way! 

Well, so far I have covered how I enter sweepstakes so easily.  But why do I enter them?  Why not!?  I'll delve into that in my next post!


Apr. 13th, 2007 12:31 pm (UTC)
Hey Sam - it's great to see you on LJ! And your post is very interesting. I had no idea it was so easy to enter sweepstakes - well, okay, you keep telling me, but I'm not sure I believed you...



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