When Entering Giveaways Just Ain't Worth It

Several years ago I was big on entering giveaways, I won all the time.  Most of my wins were from blog giveaways.  A couple weeks ago I started back entering giveaways and I'm noticing a new trend with blog giveaways and this new trend has greatly reduced the odds of winning.  To the point where I'm finding they're just not worth the time and effort.

Low value prizes with large blog participation  

This should of been of no surprise considering I often see bloggers requesting help promoting small items on blog forums.  Someone is giving away something valued at less than $100 and they feel the need to turn it into an event.   This amounts to entry forms offering social media follows, comments, etc on a multitude of blogs.  Several of those options aren't terrible, but too often the amount of entries being offered and tasks needing to be completed do not match the size of the prize.  Keep it reasonable. I noticed from running my own giveaways, more often than not, offering too many options does not lead to conversions.  If I keep it simple and offer ten or less easy options, I notice that folks are more inclined to do most, if not all of the extra entries.  Ultimately that's the goal.

Not posting retail values

If the retail value isn't apparent then bloggers need to offer a full disclosure of what is being given away and the total cost.  I see a lot of ambiguity in this regard which should equate to a red flag.  All too often I see bloggers running giveaways that are valued less than $20.00, but it wouldn't be obvious unless you take the time to do a little digging. I just recently ran across a giveaway that offered an obscene amount of entries for a "one month" nutrition box of some sort.  Based on the image of what they had received, I noticed it couldn't of added up to much. Visited the website, and found the retail value to be around $12 or $15.  I'm not about to waste my time and energy on that dinky little giveaway, when I could toss the same amount of time and energy on a something of value.

More than one mandatory option or no mandatory entries

This is one of the biggest complaints I've seen on giveaway forums. One mandatory entry is always best.  Another complaint is no mandatory entries, this is because folks often mistake those giveaways as all or none, and they're are more likely to pass them by.    

Too many daily comments

I recently entered a giveaway that offered a daily comment as an optional entry on one blog and that was fine.  It was a great blog and I actually enjoyed all the informative articles.  The giveaway was for a decent cash prize, so it was perfectly within the realm of reasonable.  The problem is when there are multiple blogs with the daily comment options.  Those of us that play to win by taking advantage of daily, and all extra optional entries, find those to be a bit overwhelming and time consuming. Since this seems to be a big complaint and a deterrent, it may be worth re-thinking.  Of course the less people that are willing to comment  daily on multiple blogs may make those giveaways desirable by offering better than usual odds.  Of course the prize better be worth the effort.

Bloggers not following the rules

"Liking pages" as entry options into giveaways is against FB rules.  It's also against FB rules to offer entry options to share or like Facebook posts.  I notice a lot of bloggers out there haven't gotten the memo.  They're really playing Russian Roulette with their FB accounts, since FB has been known to delete accounts at the drop of a hat.  I won't break FB rules to enter a giveaway.  Not gonna happen.

Not posting winners

Interestingly this is a red flag for most folks that enter giveaways. If you use a form then there is absolutely no excuse.  Really this should only be a problem if you're running a bogus giveaway.

Not verifying winners entries

I recently read a comment where the winner didn't do the mandatory entry.  This may of been due to the giveaway being held on multiple blogs and the entrant wasn't aware the mandatory entry was completed on another blog.  With that said, I have often felt, or sensed, bloggers not verifying entries. This is pure foolishness and it mitigates the efforts of those that play by the rules.

Not sending emails to winners, requiring entrants check back to see if they're winners 

I'm personally not aware that this was even going on for blog, or any other giveaway, but this would, without a doubt, be a deal breaker.

Not offering direct links in Entry forms

Want someone to visit your FB page and leave a comment?  If you're using just about any entry form, then this shouldn't be a problem. It's such an easy thing to do and if you have a list of entry requirements, then why not make it easy for folks, rather than have them search your sidebar for your social media links, when it isn't necessary.

Are you stuck on Rafflecoptor

We all have our preference when it comes to which giveaway form we use. With that said, I think bloggers may have gotten stuck in a rut and use this tool because they just haven't branched out and experimented with other forms.  I have found that the Giveaway Tools form is much easier for verifying giveaway entries than other forms including Rafflecoptor.  I also found that it's much easier to enter giveaways using the GT form. This should really be a consideration for large cash giveaways.  I held a poll on giveaway form preference for those that enter blog giveaways and Giveaway Tools won the poll hands down.  Rafflecotper was the least loved with one solitary vote.

Are your complaints valid?

I've seen some complaints regarding blog giveaways that aren't valid.  Bloggers have to work to bring giveaways.  If one entry giveaways are what you desire then blog giveaways aren't for you.  Don't want to tweet, follow blogs on various social media, then skip the blog giveaways.   I personally have absolutely no problem doing those things, I actually prefer multiple tasks because this will normally mean better odds and I play to win, so I always do as many of the extras as possible.     I just don't like to see entry requirements not equaling the prizes. This is the case when bloggers turn small value giveaways into blogger events.  From here on out I'm going to be much more selective with the giveaways I do enter as well as the ones I share with my readers.


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Unknown said...

I agree with all you've said regarding giveaways.

The many daily comments, on multiple blogs, I just don't have time for and don't do.

I agree: if the prize is small why have umpteen entries? I either don't enter or only do a few entries for those.

Yes, why use Rafflecopter? I don't like it any more; they changed it to the point it makes entering giveaways a hassle and a half. I love Giveaway Tools, though. Great post :)

lisa said...

Thanks Lisa for your comment. It would be nice to see a focus on quality as opposed to quantity.

Unknown said...

I won't lie, many times I have passed on one because I felt that it wasn't worth it

Unknown said...

I agree with completely. I have entered giveaways where their is 10 blogs on one giveaway and the prize is a $10 prize, what the ? does it take ten blogs to give away a $10 gift? then I have had blog that have 5 enteries for a prize over $100. I like you enter and it drives me crazy how these are run, I'm not a blogger but they way some blogs do this is crazy. I use to enter all the time but anymore it crazy and I like you have a lot ask me to like them on facebook and I'm afraid I might get into trouble doing this? thanks for the article and letting me vent to you

I wish all blogs would realize what we are saying and change things

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lisa said...

Laurie, it's one extreme to the next. I have a minimum of $25.00 for a giveaway.

tannawings said...

Rafflecopter... it has changed. It used to be if you accidently input say an insatgram follow into a pinterest you could correct it. Now you cant. I am starting to dislike rafflecopter.
Bloggers not following the rules-this is getting to be a real problem. I was on one the other day ALL entries were mandatory.ummm no thanks.
Not verifying winners entries- I know this is happening and that s pure laziness on the bloggers part. I have seen some posted right after the contest ended and there is no way they could have verified- there was a mandatory comment and low and behold the person never commented at all.
Blogger events for low prizes or pizes which seem to get passed around. (by this I mean I have seen certain blogs who are connected offer the same prize within a week of it being 'awarded' elsewhere)
Like you I play to win, I m one person I dont have time to comment on 50 peoples instagram accounts or blog posts for a box of cereal. Anymore I stay with the blogs I know and have followed for sometime.

lisa said...

tannawings thanks for your comment. I think you're smart for being discerning with regard to sticking with certain bloggers and nixing the lame giveaways.

Charice W said...

I appreciate all of your information!

Unknown said...

You have great choices in your giveaways, keep it up!

Alison Tolar said...

I totally agree with what you had to say.

Another couple of things I don't like about some blog giveaways is requiring instagram follows because I don't have an instagram account.

I don't mind following on twitter, but I really appreciate when the blogger follows me back. Twitter has a limit of 2,000 follows unless you also have a lot of people following you. It really helps with that when bloggers and sponsors follow back.

Debbie Tom said...

Wow, this is really good information. I have never used the mandatory entry because I felt I didn't want anyone to HAVE to do anything. I didn't realize how it could appear you must complete all entries to get any. Great info!!! Thank you

Kiersten said...

You lose a lot of people with mandatory entries for things like instagram - if you don't have instagram, you can't participate. It sucks

Alexandria S said...

Im still grateful for giveaways....one day I'll win something!!

luminous said...

I'm a newbie, but after keeping careful track of my daily entries, I have noticed that sometimes there are less entries when I return??

Unknown said...

I have had mostly great experiences. I have had a few prizes that I never received and I contacted the blogger and still never received. One was a $100 prepaid Visa card. I was looking forward to that one. Most bloggers have been very kind and try to help speed the process. I like to enter things I like even if they are low value items. It is a lot of fund.

pinksuzanne said...

I have been entering contests for many years and everything you said is true. I have also become more selective on what I enter as you can end up with cheap prizes you have no use for. If it is something I can not use or gift to someone I just do not enter. I would also like if blogger run contests who want you to come back to tweet daily would make it worth your while and not just 1 entry. 5 or more for a tweet has me coming back daily.

Rosa said...

I so agree with everything you've said here, especially bloggers offering way too many options to enter a giveaway! It's a turn off for me and I end up not entering. Also, there are many blogs where I enter giveaways that require you to check back to see if you've won because they don't post the winner and it really makes me wonder...

Laurie P said...

I've done quite well over the last year and a half in winning some great stuff for my kids, but recently I've noticed all the changes you've mentioned. What really gets me tho, are the handful of sponsors that are NOT following thru in sending out prizes. In a couple of cases, I had to initiate contact otherwise they would have just not sent anything hoping I would let it go. So discouraging....
and a HUGE put off, making me not want to following/purchase certain products from certain businesses. P&G being the most recent. Totally surprised by that one. They are a corporation. A great company, very reputable....so I think someone along the way made an error. I won't hold that against them.

Unknown said...

Like lUminous, I HATE going back to a Rafflecopter the next day and finding that most of my daily entries have been wiped out and I have to start over again - ie, it doens't seem that my entries accumulate, so why bother? Also, I cannot stand 15 daily comment requirements! Too many! Better to require 3 or 4 comments per blog over the period of the contest when it is a big prize.

redleaf said...

Thanks for the interesting post. I'm just starting to notice more and more blog contests and yes, there are some that seem to require more effort (in terms of time etc) than the product is worth. BUT I have to say, that it's also the blog that would make it seem worthwhile.

wen budro said...

I am not a blogger but I enter a lot of blog giveaways. That was an awesome post. I agree with every single word. I've encountered each and every problem and situation that you've touched upon. I don't do daily comments or enter if everything is mandatory. Rafflecopter went from being my favorite to my least favorite. I enjoyed reading your post.

Deborah Caudill said...

I am behind on reading a lot of posts and just read this one. I was so relieved to see one of my favorite bloggers bringing all the problems with giveaways out in the open. I too have had problems with not receiving items I have won, but I contined to email until I received my prize. I never got a box of cat litter, but I didn't pursue that one. really like how a lot of bloggers have started asking for your full mailing address. I love that because then you don't have to worry about missing a notification email (which I have done). However, the blogger gives you a choice not to disclose your address if you prefer not to, and they will just email you that you've won. I like the GT much better than rafflecopter too. There is another one that I like but can't remember the name of it. Thanks again for your post.

lisa said...

Thanks for all the great comments. @Deborah I think the entry form you are referring to is Gleam, a lot of folks like it, but the problem is, Gleam automatically selects a winner without verifying entries. That's a big problem for bloggers that verify that tasks were actually completed to prevent cheaters from winning. Although I could be mistaken.


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