I am the bacon winner.
Since being on maternity leave, I’ve (occasionally!) found myself with some free time in the day. After intense bouts of mummy-ing (if that is a verb?), my brain can’t really take anything more complicated than a cuppa and something easy/repetitive. If that tea break is at 4pm, I satisfy that repetitive loop by watching Dance Moms (fight, dance, BIG FIGHT, repeat). BUT, if that tea break is in the morning, I comp. My little mister also loves anything with a tv screen, so sitting him on my lap in front of my 2 monitor PC rig will usually keep him happy and smiling whilst I enter away!
What’s comping? Urban Dictionary says:
Comping is the process of entering competitions by a comper or compers, usually via a website such as lottos.
“They are comping members – they are entering competitions in the hope of winning prizes.”
My Comping Tips
When I first heard of comping, I was pretty sceptical of the gains that could happen. So I set myself a challenge; for 2 weeks, I’d use my morning tea breaks entering competitions (pfttt, what ironing?). This started a daunting task; so much lingo, so many sites to join, so much time to send off just one entry! But I persevered, and his is what I learnt:
1. Set up a separate email inbox
Seriously, we’re talking of entering about 100 things a day, with each of them requiring a subscription to a catalogue, or to blog post updates, a separate inbox is a must (unless you enjoy playing where’s wally with important emails on a day-to-day basis).
2. Set up a separate twitter account
So many competitions give you bonus entries for tweeting about the giveaway, and RT Wednesdays/Fridays are in abundance. I’ve had my account for about a month now, but have already exceeded 1000 tweets. This way you also avoid hacking off your twitter followers with the reams of “spam” you’re going to be posting.
3. Have a system for sourcing your entries
When in a zombie trance of entering, it can be hard to find competitions, let alone remember which ones you’ve already entered. I opted to use forums to look for winning opportunities to win. I started with the Martin Lewis forum, before moving on to the (INHO) superior Loquax “closing soon” forum. The Loquax page was super easy to use, and let you check off pages you’d entered (or let you ignore those you didn’t want to enter… ).
4. Use shortcuts wherever possible
Use autofill to enter your name and address. Let chrome remember your logins. Keep a notepad doc with your details in open to copy and paste in. Prioritise competitions that use apps such as Rafflecopter and Gleam.io to get a bulk of your entries done super quick (these apps link to your social media accounts and with the touch of a button will gain you entries through tweeting, retweeting and following, without you having to leave the competition form)
5. Stick with it
When you first start, so many sites require you to register. This takes time. And is pretty But once you’ve got past a week, the sites you visit start repeating, and entry becomes super quick! A notepad is also handy to note down any passwords you come up with.
6. Be prepared for month end
Lots of competitions end on the last day of the month. It makes sense; monthly competition, ends at the end of the month. This means though that there will be a tonne of comps to enter on the last day of the month. I was not prepared. I clicked on the forum to find 400 odd competitions instead of the usual 100… I ended up having many more tea breaks that day!7
7. Don’t expect anything for your time!
At the end of the day, you’re entering a raffle. So even in the smallest of competitions, the likelihood of winning anything is slim to none. But by entering lots, you increase your chances of winning something, and isn’t that what it’s all about? Plus, having zero expectations makes each win a little sweeter.
So, what was my outcome after 2 weeks? From an hour of my time each day, I bagged £410 worth of goodies! Arguably, they are things we really don’t need!
- A block of knives – £20 £35
- The prize provider actually sent out the wrong prize for this one, so I ended up with a brand new Salter cutlery set worth more than my original prize.
- A live DVD of the Rolling Stones – £24
- A “Nuband Pulse” Fitness watch – £45
- I actually already have a Fitbit so this one will go up on eBay
- 2 Tickets to the Americas Cup – £55
- A hamper of rescue remedy – £50
- Surely every new Mum would benefit from this J
- A 3 month subscription to a Nursery Rhyme App – £12
- Tickets to a Teddy Bear’s picnic – £11
- A family ticket to the Cornwall Gardens of Heligan – £35
- The movie “Disorder” on DVD – £9.99
- £100 credit to lottoland.co.uk
- This was brilliant. I planned to do a whole long article charting my investments vs. returns for the credit, but after spending a tenner I realised I could just cash out my credit… so really this prize was £90 cash
- 2 tickets to the National Wedding Fair – £32
- Perfect as we’re currently planning our wedding!
It’s also worth noting many sites won’t email you to say you’ve won; they’ll just post out the prizes. So there may be more to come from this experiment! To me, this has been a worthwhile haul, and something I will try and carry on with when I get the odd free hour (less though, the compulsion to finish every day became pretty stressful).
I am the bacon winner. I don’t bring home the bread, but I bring back the bacon; the bits you really don’t need but really really want.