Craig Seitam is the man behind popular Australian competition website, Competitions Guide. He is becoming well known for his expert tips and knowledge, and he took some time out to answer all our comping questions:
What are some of the biggest mistakes people make when entering competitions?
The main mistakes involve people entering competitions that aren’t genuine. Anything involving credit card details, or verification of mobile phone numbers can lead to financial scams. Entrants should take a few minutes to look for obvious warning signs such as lack of terms and conditions or other details.
Do you need to be skilled to write a competition entry or is it a matter of luck?
My opinion is that it’s more about being honest. Entrants often go out of their way to be creative when there’s no need to. If a company asks you what they think of their product, give them real feedback (and mention their brand in your answer).
Promoters may sometimes specifically ask for a creative answer, but if they don’t, just answer the question without rhyming or being overly fluffy.
Is winning about quality or quantity?
It can be quantity, if you have a lot of time. The rule of thumb is that the easier a competition is to enter, the harder it will be to win. Simple “enter your details” competitions attract thousands of entries, so your odds will be less. If a competition calls for a purchase, or something creative, you can bet your odds will be better.
What should we look out for in terms and conditions?
Firstly, make sure there are actually terms and conditions. Sounds silly, but it’s the least a promoter can do. Promoters should provide start and end dates, details and value of the prize, how the prize will be determined, and date and notification details of the draw.
I”m also quite sceptical of non-Australian competitions. Let’s face it, overseas promoters that don’t have something to sell you, don’t have a lot of reason for promoting a competition in this country. Other than to get your personal details.
How many personal details should I give promoters?
Unfortunately, with online entry, you need to give everything they ask for, or you won’t be able to enter the competition. I often advise promoters to lay off some of the questions that they don’t really need to know. Age ranges are fine, but specific date of birth is over the top.
Same goes for income, it’s nice to know, but it’s highly personal. I also don’t like entrants not having the option of providing a landline phone number.
What are the easiest competitions to win?
I have always liked the odds of winning purchase-to-enter competitions in some of the smaller chain stores. Woolworths and Coles get entries in the thousands, whereas competitions at IGA, Franklins, Priceline, and even BIG W give you a much better chance of a win.
Is there a secret to winning 25 words or less competitions?
Technically, there shouldn’t be, as words-or-less competitions should be judged individually on their merits. But, I always suggest including the brand or company name in case the judging criteria is using an automated search to look for answers including this.
I also suggest getting in early. Why would I say this? Try reading over 1,000 entries, and by the time you get to number 100 you’re pretty bored. If your entry is one of the first, it will have a better chance of standing out.
Tell us a bit about your website, Competitions Guide…
www.CompetitionsGuide.com.au lists over 300 Australian competitions, and most of them are free. Apart from being free to join, our point of difference is that we don’t only list competitions that we’ve been paid for. We try to include as much information about smart competition entering, so that our members have the best possible experience.