How to win competitions

make money from competitions

We see competitions happening all around us, but is there really any point entering? The answer is definitely yes, and we’ll tell you how to maximise your winnings while cutting back the time it takes to enter.

Is it worth it?

Without a doubt; we put out a tweet asking people what the best thing they’ve won is and we got some crazy answers:

We asked the follower who’d won £10,000 whether he considered himself a “comper” (someone who is always entering competitions) and he said he was just a casual competition enterer, and he’s just really jammy.

In our office people have won everything from perfume to concert tickets just by entering a few competitions here and there, as they say, you have to be in it to win it. We host competitions every single week on Student Money Saver and you can see some of the prizes people have won here.

What you’ll need

There are a few tools all good compers need, and they’re all free to get.

Time - the most successful compers enter up to 100 competitions a week, and it does take a little while to do that.

A dedicated email that you’re able to check - it’ll stop your main account getting so much spam and you’ll need to check it to see if you’ve won anything!

A Twitter account - Twitter is one of the most popular places for brands to host competitions, and it’s really quick to enter “follow and retweet” prize draws. Follow as many fellow compers as you can and you’ll be able to copy all of the competitions they enter.

A Facebook account - most brands use Facebook to advertise their competitions, but be wary of “like and share” competitions from sketchy brands.

A new sim card - this is something you might want to do if you’re worried about nuisance calls, someone in the office had a missed call from a car manufacturer after they entered a competition, it turned out they hadn’t won, but were asked if they wanted to come for a test drive. Disappointing.

Where to find competitions

Social media is obvious, but pro-compers say that they get the best results from old-fashioned giveaways. Look on food packaging, on posters and in magazines and newspapers for competitions and enter everything you find.

Radio competitions (especially if they’re local) can be goldmines, it’s where the SMS fan who won £10k won it!

It’s also worth checking out competitions forums like the ones on HUKD, MoneySavingExpert and Loquax for giveaways that you might not have spotted elsewhere.

We run competitions all the time in our Free Stuff section - take a look.

How to win

Competitions are primarily a numbers game, so it’s best to aim to enter competitions with the least numbers of entries or the highest number of prizes to give away.

Local competitions are perfect for this, so check out local websites and magazines. A key comping tip is that the more effort it takes to enter a competition, the fewer entries it’ll receive (people are lazy), so if a competition requires you to take a photo or write a poem the chances of you winning are already much greater.

At Student Money Saver we give away a lot of prizes, and we usually just pick a name at random, but hosting a competition on Twitter makes it difficult to do this, and we always tend to give it to someone who looks like a “real” person - not just a comper whose timeline is just competition retweets. So if possible try and use your twitter account like you’re a real person in between competition entries to up your chances of winning.

What to avoid

This is common sense, but never pay to enter a competition. They’re usually scams, and you’re not going to profit from it. Watch out for competitions that ask you to call premium rate numbers to claim your prize, too.

A cursory scan of the terms and conditions can save you from entering fake competitions, those with closing dates that are more than a couple of months away tend to be scams, too.