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Top Money Saving and Comping Tips from a 21 year-old Student keen to make my limited budget stretch the semester!

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Luck and love!

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

A Beginners Guide to Comping: My Top 5 Tips


A Beginners Guide to Comping


I have been comping on and off for a few years now, and more seriously for the last 9 months or so. In the first three months of 2016 alone I have won over £1,700 worth of prizes. This includes numerous tickets to shows, make-up products, 16 boxes of tea (you can never have too much) and an iPad among many more. So what’s the secret to my success? Am I just really really jammy? Well, luck may be a small part of it, but there is also a lot of time and effort that goes into comping, making it all the more rewarding when you do win!

Want to jump on this winning bandwagon? I don’t blame you, it's a fun and addictive hobby. Here are my top tips for new compers:


1) Have dedicated comping accounts


Be prepared to receive loads more emails. Seriously. Loads. By entering your email address to find out if you are chosen as the winner, you are also often signed up to newsletters automatically. These can be great as you instantly find out about new competitions from the promotor, but it can also mean barrels of emails you really have no interest in. By setting up a new email address, you can still keep on top of your important emails among all the promotions - gmail are a great  free option. 

Similarly, I would recommend having a separate Twitter account. Almost all Twitter comps want you to retweet the competition to your followers to the spread the word. This could result in your non-comping followers quickly becoming annoyed and unfollowing you. I had a friend accidently follow my comping Twitter account ( @LaurieBeat ) and unfollow me within a couple of hours because he wasn’t interested in comping. He did tell me though, that if he was into comping it would save him a lot of effort having to look for comps, as I was retweeting them all! On this note, it also helps to be sociable - for more on this check out my comping friends blog. This is a great way to find new giveaways and keep motivated during a dry spell.

2) Be specific


Some compers out there will enter everything and anything – even if they don’t want the prize. On one hand, I can see their logic – you’ve got to be in it to win it after all. However, if you’re winning things that you don’t need or want, what’s the point? Unless your main aim in life is to have a garage full to bursting of random cookbooks and posters for a film you’ve never heard of! Also, I feel that it's a bit unfair to win a rare Star Trek memorabilia prize if I'm not a Star Trek fan, when it could make someone else very happy.

By making a wish list and seeking out competitions to win these certain things, you will find the hobby much more manageable and also so much more rewarding. When I heard that the Yoga Show was coming to Glasgow later this year, I sought out as many competitions for it as I could and have managed to win 2 pairs of tickets - perfect for me, my mum and my sister! To find specific competitions, search Google and Twitter for the prize followed by the word ‘win’. Superlucky Di has a great blog on it which can be found here.

3) Look for that magic winning word everywhere


You will be surprised just how often the word ‘win’ is emblazoned on things when you’re looking for it – magazines, crisp packets and TV screens are just some of many examples. When you’re out shopping, always look out for promotions (and check the closing date – some shops can be lazy), and if you see a free magazine ALWAYS pick it up. These often have free competitions as part of the advertising that helps pay for the mag. I like to flick through these magazines and cut out any competitions to enter, or jot down the details in a notebook. A giveaway to enter, and the chance to learn some random facts to use in a pub quiz - a win-win for sure! 

I am constantly entering competitions - whether on my phone when I'm on the bus, out in the shops or at an event. There is always an opportunity to comp. It really is such a versatile hobby! One of my friends summed it up brilliantly for me the other day when she said that ‘comping is a way of life’. It’s a way of thinking, from coming up with slogans to knowing where to look, and it is something that you just do as part of your routine. I can’t imagine myself not comping any more – it’s part of who I am.

4) Be organised

I love lists and pretty notebooks, and so It would be rude not to have a little notebook just for comping. In this, I write down competitions that I see when I am out and about or browsing the net. Then, when I have more time later, I can sit down and work through the comps. Be sure to note down the closing date too so that you aren't wasting your time!

Bookmarks online are another great way to be organised. This can be found at the top right of the screen, at the end of the address bar. You can create folders and sort the competitions further.  For competitions that require daily entry, this can save a lot of time and effort hunting them down each day.

5) Put the effort in

Whenever someone tells me how lucky I am to be winning so many prizes, I struggle not to roll my eyes. Yes, luck is a big part of it, but comping takes effort. Whether that’s re-tweeting hundreds of tweets, or seeking out those low entry comps, it will take a bit of time. Similarly, don’t expect the prizes to start flooding through the letterbox the second you start submitting those entry forms, it can take a while to get the hang of it, but stick at it and you will be rewarded! :)


The other aspect of effort is the type of competition that you enter. The vast majority of compers will just fill in online forms or enter simple ‘retweet to win’ Twitter competitions. This means that those giveaways that take a little bit more time and thinking will have less entrants – increasing your chance to win! Great examples of this are photography and slogan competitions. I write down slogans that I think of in my notebook, and I am forever taking snaps on my phone when I'm out and about of unusual things that would make a great entry. I then save all these photos to an album on my phone so that it's easy to access them - remember that organisation is key.

So now that you are fully equipped with your beginners comping guide, all that's left to do is get entering! Good luck, and comment below to let me know how you get on or share your own tips. You can always learn more in this wonderful hobby.

Luck and love, 

Laurie

Update: I now have a Youtube Video on my Beginners Comping Tips. Check it out here! 



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