1 June 2013

How I won a prize a day in May!

For the first time ever since I started comping back in 1997, I won a prize every single day of last month! I generally average a couple of prizes a week, but have been trying more of the 'purchase necessary' instant wins recently and it's paid off. People often ask where I'm winning my prizes from, so this post is a rundown of all my May wins - with a few tips too!

Here's what I managed to win in May…

Travel Guide to Burma
I found this Audley Travel Pinterest competition on a Twitter search - they only had 3 entries (and their current comp only has a handful too!). In this case, I didn't share this one after entering - because I really wanted to win the book! Burma has been on my wish list for ages - now all I need is to win the flights...

Carnaby Street goodie bag
This was actually in London and won with the help of my comping friends - you had to follow clues and tweet a photo of you in front of a Boy George mural. Perhaps unsurprisingly, us dedicated compers were the only entrants!

£40 Vouchers
This was a special event on the same day where the first 100 people to buy something in one of twenty Oxford Street shops won a free gift card - my comping friend and I managed 4 shops and 4 wins!

£25 BuyaGift voucher
I designed a gift box for this creative comp - it took about half an hour but I knew there wouldn't be many entries. I didn't win the £500 top prize but was pleased to get a runner-up voucher.

Makedo Digger kit
Again, this was a Pinterest comp with very few entries - I saw it being promoted on Twitter.

Hamper of make-up/perfume
I spotted this charity raffle prize in my local Boots store and bought 2 tickets for £2 - when they got the ticket book I saw only 25 had been sold, so I bought another 10 (it was due to close in an hour or so). The prize was worth around £70 - and although it cost me £12, raffles are a great way to donate to charity because you have a chance to win something too!

Toddler Beakers
This is a super fun Instant Win on the Cow & Gate Facebook page - give it a go!

£20 Pizza Express voucher
My second voucher win on the J2O daily prize photo comp. You can win one £20 voucher per calendar month, and they're getting about 4 entries a day at the moment so if you enter 4 times on different days, in theory you should win.

Samsung television
Again, this was a comp I entered with my comping friends in London - you had to tweet a photo with the #myfuturerole advert, which was in various stations round the UK. There were ten prizes up for grabs so great odds of a win.

500 Clubcard points
This was in the Tesco 'My Kitchen' App prize draw - you can enter a prize draw every month for points.

Madame Tussauds tickets
I spotted this comp on a Twitter search - the first three to comment won tickets to Madame Tussauds. I was the second to comment, almost a WEEK after they posted the competition! After commenting I gave my comping friend Vic the heads up to enter and she got the third set! I'm going to go in summer - and hoping to get some top quality daft photo comp entries done while I'm there...

£20 Toys'R'Us voucher
Ryland got a runners up prize in the Little Greene 'Dream Bedroom' competition and was most delighted! Bloggers comps have very low entries and I've done well out of them!

Year's Good Food Magazine subscription
I spotted a promotional jar of Tracklements chutney in Waitrose and was lucky enough to instantly win a Good Food magazine subscription with my unique code. It's quite pricey for a jar, but I thought I could save it for my Mum's annual Christmas hamper!

Seven £5 cheques (on seven different days!)
We drink orange juice every day in our house so it made sense to switch to the small bottles of Tropicana when the 'Win £5 every minute' promotion launched. I've probably entered about 18 codes (costing about £10) so far, and won £35. I'm having luck between 7am & 8am, especially at the weekend.

£25 Mothercare voucher
I'm always telling new compers to Like their local shopping centres, newspapers, cinemas, restaurants, etc. on Facebook - these pages run comps that get very few entries. This is my second win from Castle Marina, my local retail park. This particular Facebook competition only had 3 correct entries!

£50 Love2Shop voucher
Mumspanel sent out an email asking for us to answer a couple of questions about brands on a short video. I whipped out my camcorder, popped it on the tripod and made a 30 second film to email back straight away - I knew not many mums would have the time to do this so thought it was worth a try.

Bottle of Lambrini
A simple Facebook prize draw - but with 500 prizes. Facebook is a great place to find comps with LOADS of prizes, and when I spot them I always share them on The PrizeFinder page. The bonus here is that Lambrini bottes currently have a promotion on, so one prize may lead to another...

Diggers book
Ryland regularly makes stickers and paints postcards for entry into kids comps. We probably buy one comic/magazine a month (this particular prize was from Fantastic!) and I usually make sure it's one with a form to complete, which keeps entry numbers down. I also like to cheekily take iPhone snaps of other comic competitions while I'm in WHSmith - but shhhh, don't tell the staff!

£500 Hillarys vouchers
My only real 'biggie' of the month - this was a simple repin to win prize draw - no secrets to winning this one, but Pinterest entry numbers will be much lower than website prize draws or Facebook comps

Bottle of Baileys
For this comp, Baileys posted a selection of ingredients on their Facebook page and asked fans to create a cocktail from them and upload a photo. I happened to have a bottle of Orange Truffle (a previous win of course!) on the go, so whipped up a mixture of vodka, instant coffee and nutmeg and served over ice, It tasted great - but drinking it at 10.30pm on a Tuesday probably wasn't the best idea… Again, there weren't many entries to this one so I knew it would be worth the effort! I was proud to get over 600 likes & 100 shares when they posted my winning recipe up on the page!

£25 iSubscribe voucher
This was a 'Purchase Necessary' competition listed in Compers News magazine - you had to buy any Carte Noire coffee at a Co-operative store, then enter your receipt details online. Top prize was a trip to Paris, but there were a THOUSAND runners up prizes of a £25 voucher to spend on any magazine subscription at iSubscribe.com. This type of competition - where you need to buy a certain product at a certain store - are low entry because of the effort involved, so they're definitely worth a go - especially when there are loads of prizes.

Feather and Black kids pyjamas and teddy
This was an easy one - count the sheep on their Facebook app! - and a prize awarded every day.

Bottle of Shloer
Shloer was on a two-for-one at Tesco and one in ten promotional bottles wins a prize at www.shloer.com - I won a voucher for another bottle!

£25 Photoworld voucher
This was a Rafflecopter giveaway on Clare's Maybush Studio blog - blog comps are a good source of smaller prizes!

Dot-to-Dot festival tickets
Fred Perry tweeted that you could enter a prize draw at the Nottingham store for tickets to the Dot-to-Dot music festival - when I popped in to ask about it, the guy behind the counter told me they had more tickets than entries!

Clutch bag
This was a runners up prize in a Limetr.ee bloggers competition - I wasn't going to enter this, but after a bunch of complaints (including mine!) they decided to change it from a voting to a judged competition, so I showed my approval by entering!

Daft Punk CD
I've recently set up a new Twitter account to test out a few theories while I work on the Compers News guide to Twitter. My theory? You're more likely to win if you RT *and* reply with a relevant comment or funny story. In a month or so I've entered about 300 RT comps and won three - for these I'd sent a reply to the competition tweet as well as Retweeting it. I won my Daft Punk CD from @tropicalskydeal. Twitter comping is an ongoing experiment - I'm now giving Twitninja a go too… watch this space!

£50 Gap voucher
Grazia asked followers to tweet a 'selfie' of themselves in a Gap changing room - top prize was a £500 shopping spree, and 9 runners up won a £50 voucher. This only had a handful of entries due to the effort involved, but as I was in town it only took a few minutes to pop into Gap and take the snap! I took some yellow sunglasses in as my prop - the winner @For_Kate (learning from me I hope!) actually took a bright yellow sunshine into the changing room to stick on the mirror - now THAT'S what I call creative comping!

Salad servers
Another 'Purchase Necessary' entry - buy a promotional bag of Steve's Leaves salad (Waitrose and Tesco are your best bet) and enter the code from the bag on the website at www.stevesleaves.co.uk - you'll find out instantly if you're a winner! My advice - keep trying with the same code until you win.

And there you have it - a full rundown of my lucky month! As you can see, I have most success with promotions involving effort - whether that's purchase of a certain item, taking a photo, going somewhere specific or writing a blog post. That's what makes my hobby fun - it's not just sitting at a computer, you can find prizes everywhere you go!

I hope those of you going through a dry spell can glean some ideas and inspiration from this post - let me know how you get on!