1) Is purchase really necessary?
For a lot of compers, this amazing hobby is a way of saving, or even making, money. Therefore having to buy something, like a product or a magazine, could be out of the question. This doesn't meant that they cannot be looking for competitions in the supermarket. The other day I found this competition on the side of neck of a Belvoir cordial bottle that had no purchase necessary in very small letters. Just shows, it's always worth checking before buying.
|Mission Competition Facebook group post|
2) Get the inside knowledge
Products that you do need to buy tend to have a code somewhere on the packaging to enter online. These can either be found on the outside of the packet (such as the barcode) or a unique code hidden inside the container.
Now, is one better than the other? Call me paranoid, but I like to go for one that is hidden so that no one could steal my winning code. On top of that, even if your code hasn't been pinched, other ones may have been meaning that there could be more entrants. Most competitions ask you to keep the receipts, but unfortunately some people will still chance it.
3) Keep the evidence
Can you imagine getting a winning email, jumping for joy and then realising that you've binned the receipt and packaging that is required to claim your prize? Unfortunately it does happen, so be sure to keep all your receipts for purchase necessary competitions.
I like to keep mine in an expanding file so that it's not a massive chore to find them if ever I do need a receipt. Every so often (i.e. rarely) I go through this file and bin the old receipts for competitions that are over and done with. It's nice to keep on top of things like this, however rarely it happens.
4) Go for the mop-up draws
Just because a competition is finished, this does not mean it's over. No, I have not gone insane, most competitions have a mop-up draw that can go on for months after the original promotional period has ended. I look out for products in the bargain aisles that are on the cheap because the packaging is 'out of date'. Great way to get a good bargain and enter a competition! The majority of people will only enter a competition during the promotional period so, even if there are less prizes, there may also be less entrants.
Also, always check what the prizes are. Often the mop-up draw is cash, so if you don't like the look of the main prize on offer, save your codes for the thing you really want to win.
5) Waste not, want not
As a student, money-saver and comper, I hate waste. Therefore, I don't like to buy products that I wouldn't actually use. For example, I'm not a big fan of belvita biscuits, however I really fancied the coffee machine on offer in their latest competition. My solution? Buy the product, enter the code (if it's on the back of packaging) and donate the unopened packet to the local food bank.
This doesn't work so well if the code is inside the product, such as the Maynards competition to win flights to New Zealand. Luckily my future brother-in-law loves sweets and was perfectly happy to help me polish off a pack in exchange for the code!
6) Save the best til last
Here's the big one: when to enter. For some competitions, it will not matter in the slightest. For example, a competition that all the entries go into one massive draw. If it's a daily or a weekly draw, you may be better to save your codes for later on, near the end of the competition. This is when promotional packaging is harder to find and so less people will be entering.
I remember tweeting Actimel asking where all the promotional packaging had gone, even though there was over a month left of their competition. They told me that only a certain number was made and so it was first come first served. Lesson: buy it when you see it, even if it's not started yet, and save the codes for later in the promotional period. Just don't forget that you bought them.... On the other hand, if it is the first few days of the promotion, get in there early, as people may not have heard about the competition yet, or shops may not have the promotional packets in stock.
This also works for winning moments. If you are entering at the start of the promotion, you'll be one of many and therefore less likely to hit that winning moment. However, if you hold back your codes, less people will be entering, and winning moments may even run over giving you an even better chance of winning.
So next time you hit the shops, get ready to switch up your shopping list. I love coming home with random items and creating a meal with random ingredients just because they had a competition on them.
What do you think of purchase necessary competitions? Comment below and let me know about your successes, opinions and most random item that you have bought for a competition!
Luck and Love,