Win, Win, Win!
Entering online contests is fun and can be lucrative. There’s so much stuff given away each and every day, and some of that stuff can go to you! It’s a little like playing the lottery, without spending any money!
Why do companies give Stuff Away?
To get something from you! Usually they want to collect one thing: your contact information. Quite often you only need to give them your email address, but sometimes they also want your home address. Occasionally they are also collecting market research and your spending habits.
Do you want to give any of this away? Of course it depends on the individual but for most people, the answers are:
* Home Address: Why not. It’s a bit more junk mail. Not nice for the trees, but that’s what a recycling box is for.
* Market Research: Why not. The companies aren’t collecting information on YOU, but information on ‘people like you’. They are collecting demographic data not personal data (and they very, very rarely ask for this anyway – but when they do, it’s in the form of ‘what kind of magazines do you subscribe to?’ or ‘What’s your age?’ Etc. If you are dealing with reputable companies, then these questions are always optional.
* Your Email Address: NEVER! If you are dealing with a reputable company (every contest on this site is checked and safe) you will not have to be concerned about having your email address sold or traded. You will, however, usually have to give your email address and ‘opt-in’ (subscribe) to the company’s newsletter (usually monthly).
The best solution to this is to give out an address you don’t mind receiving junk with. This is rarely your main email address. If you would rather not receive these newsletters to your main account you can also set up a special ‘contest’ email address though Hotmail or Yahoo (I.e. JimSmithContest@hotmail.com). You will need to check this email address regularly as some contests send winners notification though these email addresses.
The amount of email you received will be manageable, but only if you enter legitimate contests. There are many scams out there where there is no prize to actually win, and all email addresses submitted are actually sold. If you enter these contests, you will be inundated with spam! The best advice is just to enter contests that are listed on this site. All the contests listed here are legitimate. They are run by well-established companies and have been checked out to be safe.
Be sure to check back often and many of the contests can be entered daily or weekly, and new contests are added regularly.
Good luck, and let us know when you win something!