I would like to share my personal tips for entering sweepstakes online. My name is Jennifer and I am the owner of SweepTight.com. Sweep Tight was born because of my sweepstaking hobby. I created it with the intention of sharing sweepstakes with friends and family. I quickly discovered the world of blog reviews and giveaways. Now that I run sweeps of my own, I have less time to enter them. But, I still try to squeeze in as many entries as I can to maintain this exciting hobby! Here are some personal tips I’ve picked up along the way:
Sweepstakes Entering Tips
Patience and Persistence are required: Sweepstaking is not for everyone. It requires a lot of patience and just as much persistence. You may get lucky and win something right away, but for some your first win won’t arrive for 6 – 9 months or longer. I find the act of entering relaxing and somewhat therapeutic. This is not the case for everyone. If it feels like a job then you will lose interest quickly.
Create Accounts: You might want to create a special email just to use for entering. This way your winning notification emails won’t get lost in your main account. You will also start receiving a lot of newsletters from entering. I like to keep it separate. I recommend having all the top social media accounts – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Social media is always changing and growing. It’s best to just roll with the punches and go with the flow. Otherwise you could miss out on entries.
Read the Rules: Do not waste your time by entering a sweeps that you are not even eligible for. So many times I have entered something and then realized, wow, this is for people ages 55 and over.. Whoops! It’s not the end of the world, but that was time lost. Also, there are cases where you can disqualify yourself. If it’s only one entry, do not try to enter more than once. Official rules can be overwhelming, but you will learn how to skim them quickly over time.
Enter for Items you Need or Want: When I first started I would enter every single sweepstakes that I could find. I guess I just wanted to WIN…anything! After winning a few prizes that I had absolutely no use for (a hunting rack?? I hate hunting!), I decided to only enter for things that apply to me. This also frees up the prizes for someone that really does want them. Someone out there was probably crossing their fingers for that hunting rack.
Enter all Types of Sweeps: With the growth of social media there are now chances to win everywhere! I recommend exploring them all. Don’t just stop at national online sweepstakes.
- Blog Giveaways - Blog giveaways can be extremely easy to win. They can be more work, but the odds are better than huge national sweeps.
- Contests – Contests that require skill have excellent odds, too. Since they require a task not a lot of people will enter.
- Hang Tags – Check your local grocery stores for hang tags, entry forms, or sweeps info on the packages.
- Snap Tags or QR Codes – Check for Snap Tag entries. These are images on packages that you scan with your smart phone for an entry – I am not too familiar, I just know they exist.
- Mail-in Entries – If there’s a prize you really want, check for a mail-in option and mail in some of your entries. Since not a lot of people do this anymore, imagine your odds if they pick from that bin!
- Twitter Parties – Twitter parties can be intense and confusing, but once you go to a few you can see what they are all about. You can win some really cool prizes during them.
- Just keep your eyes open! There are more than I have listed here.
Get Scam-Savvy: Learn how to spot a scam! Winning a legit sweeps should never require you to send any money, or sit through a seminar of any kind. Sometimes if a prize is of a large value you will have to fill out a 1099 or other paperwork, but never send money! If you ever feel uncomfortable or leary call the company. It’s better to be overly cautious than get caught up in something creepy.
Beware of Taxes: You have to claim income taxes on the prizes that you win. It’s your responsibility to add in the smaller wins, but if you win something of a large value you will typically receive a 1099. We won two trips in one year (yay!) and had to claim over $10,000 in prize winnings (boo!). Make sure it’s worth it to you, and that you have the money to back it up. Discuss all tax liabilities with your accountant.
Read Success Stories: Join a group of sweepstakers or just read about their winning stories. During a dry spell it can be really tough to keep on entering. Hearing about the wins of others can reinvigorate your excitement and motivate you to push on through. Over on Sweep Tight we have a Sweeper’s Spotlight where people submit their winning experiences. Every time I read one I am back in the game!
Stay Positive: Keeping a positive attitude is HUGE. I literally yell at people when they say “I will never win anything…” or anything like that. You will not win if you constantly think or say negative statements. I am a huge believer in “like attracts like”. The message that you send out into the universe is what you will receive back. I am not going to get all preachy, but just keep this in mind. Create a dream board of the things you would love to win. Enter with every intention that you WILL win. I promise that’s a whole lot better than pouting and expecting nothing from this hobby.
Well, I just threw an awful lot of info at you and I hope I didn’t scare you away! This truly can be an exciting hobby. Every day there’s a chance that you will receive a phone call or email informing you of the next big win!
Jennifer is the owner, editor, and main product reviewer of Sweep Tight. She originally started her blog to share her adventures in sweepstaking with friends and family. Soon after, she fell into the amazing world of product reviews and giveaways.