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Contests & Sweepstakes Tips, Advice, and Questions

FreebiesRGreat 56,135 June 2, 2008 at 07:50 PM in Other
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The intent of this thread is for users, both new and not-so-new, to ask questions, and help with tips/advice. This is not by any means the "gospel". Please feel free to add your words of wisdom, and if you have questions, just ask! If you have a tip that will make sweeping easier for folks, please feel free to share. This is a community effort. We all will benefit in some way.


The Basic Advice/Tips for the new-to-sweeping folks.
Enter for the items you want/need. If you have no interest in trips, avoid the sweeps where the only prize is a trip. If you know you can't afford the tax on a new vehicle, avoid entering for those.

Set up folders in your bookmark/favorites. Create a separate one for each month, and file any sweeps you are interested in into the folder corresponding with when it ends. Then, if you have a day where you're pressed for time, enter at least the ones ending that day.

Play the instant win games.

Follow the rules! If a sweep is restricted to only females, a certain age group, certain states, etc, make sure you fit the criteria! If you don't, move on to another sweep that you do qualify for. Do not create a bunch of email addresses so you can enter something more than once, or so you can play an Instant win game more. The Sponsors can tell, and will DQ you. You're better off playing by the rules than cheating and getting disqualified and having NO entries.

Don't immediately dismiss essay required sweeps (or recipes, photos, etc)....well, unless you know you don't want to write something. A lot of people pass on them, so you might have a better shot at winning something.

Don't expect this to be lucrative enough to become a job. Yes, a lot of us win, and often, but not nearly enough to quit a job!

Expect things to go slow at first. It takes a while for the wins to roll in. But once they do...look out!

Expect to occasionally hit a dry spell. It happens to ALL of us.

DEFINITELY USE YOUR REAL INFO! If you use a fake phone number, and a sponsor is calling to notify people of wins, you'll never know what you missed out on. I, and many others, have been doing this for a long time, and we have no problems with sales calls. Also, use your real name. If your name is Robert or Catherine, using Bob or Cathy is ok, as they are known acceptable shorter versions of that name. if your name is Matilda, and you go by Fluffy, don't use Fluffy. Looking at your ID to get an affy notarized, they may reject it because the names don't match. The sponsor may also say "Fluffy won, not Matilda". So stick with using your real name, or something close to it.

Most of all, HAVE FUN! And don't be afraid to ask questions. We were all new to this at one time. Any one of us would be happy to answer questions.


For easy form filling, check out Roboform [roboform.com]. Google Tool bar and the autofill feature on IE also work well.

For Mac users, the best form filler is 1Password: http://agilewebsolutions.com/products/1Password (thanks javaFlower!)

FireFox Form Filler browser extensions: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/...ll&cat=all

To set up the autofill feature in IE: Click on Tools, then internet options, then choose 'content'. When that pops up, click on "Autocomplete", and make sure to check the boxes for forms and passwords on forms. This is not a good idea if you are on a shared/public computer!

February 17, 2009, 3:10 am: System Notice: This thread has been automatically renewed after reaching a post limit. Most of its content has been moved to this thread for reference purposes.

July 12, 2010, 3:23 pm: System Notice: This thread has been automatically renewed after reaching a post limit. Most of its content has been moved to this thread for reference purposes.

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#3316
Thanks for your replies too KMA and crazee_an. Sorry about your misfortunes you went through as well. Sucks. I'll press them a bit further on this and see if they make it right or not. I just can't believe that they would be so unprofessional about it as they have been so far at least.
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#3317
Quote from n1stunnor View Post :
Hi everyone. I'm new here. I'm looking for any advice if you have any. Here's the situation-

I was emailed by an @hearst.com email on Jan 8th at 12:06 pm Pacific saying "congratulations you won the Elie Tahari gift card" it also said to reply with my address and fill out the attached affidavit within 15 days.

I'm posting this from my phone so can't link the contest but its the $1000 Elie Tahari gift card sweep from Elle magazine.

Ok, so, I replied to her congratulations email within 6 hours, at 5:45 pm Pacific on Jan 8th and supplied my address and told her that she must have forgotten to attach the affidavit because there was none attached.

I did not receive a reply so I emailed her again today Jan 10th at 1:31 pm Pacific and asked again about the affidavit. She replied 2 minutes later saying "
Unfortunately there was another winner before you and his email response was received before yours. It is first come first serve. I apologize for the misunderstanding".

Now to me that seems not right and shady. I mean I replied to there initial contact within 6 hours and the email said I had 15 days. Further, I looked at the official rules and in there it says you have 7 days from Initial contact. Any advice? Thanks much.

First of all, how can they be so unprofessional that they would e-mail two or who knows how many people that they've won a $1,000 prize when it's for one winner only? I mean, if the first person had 15 days, they should have waited 15 days and not turn this into a rat race by sending multiple notices to see who responds first. I, for one, do not understand how exactly they were able to conduct it this way; especially since it's Hearst. I've won from them and I've never had this happen before, really weird.

Regarding the e-mail reply, I've had that happen a few months ago. I found out because I went on their Facebook site and I saw that they listed the winners, my name, not there. I commented telling them my name isn't listed. The person who was doing the promotion e-mailed me as soon a he saw my comment saying he never received my reply and to forward the e-mail I sent. He said I would still be qualified when he finally received it. I don't entirely know why the first one didn't make it but the second one finally did. I now have to remember that whenever I have to reply to an email, I ask them to respond back confirming delivery of email.

If it was a mistake, then they should just come clean rather than waste your time. I mean it happens, but it's better than giving you the go-around. I could understand if you later read the rules that you're not eligible which happened to me, oops, my fault for not reading, but nowhere does it state that, right?

Here's the rules for the Elie Tahari: http://www.elle.com/Sweepstakes/f...cial-rules

I wish I could help you, but I've never had a scenario like this before. If nothing, perhaps contact another person higher up or a different department to explain how something like this could have happened. Keep us informed so if anything like this ever happens we know what we could do. Good luck.
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#3318
Quote from Jang View Post :
I started doing a lot of entering manually due to lack of wins. I guess I'm just being paranoid about sweepstakes detecting automatic form filling. I use Roboform and on rare occasions Chrome autofill.
I don't think there's much to worry about that. We just hit dry spells. I'm not even sure it's possible for them to detect that. And the time it saves is enormous.
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#3319
Quote from Tyler1986 View Post :
I don't think there's much to worry about that. We just hit dry spells. I'm not even sure it's possible for them to detect that. And the time it saves is enormous.
It's definitely possible for them to detect it. I've tried to enter sweepstakes and received a message saying that my entry can't be processed because I might be a bot. When I went back and entered my information manually, it was accepted. This hasn't happened a lot, but it has happened to me several times.
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#3320
Quote from ChrisB65 View Post :
It's definitely possible for them to detect it. I've tried to enter sweepstakes and received a message saying that my entry can't be processed because I might be a bot. When I went back and entered my information manually, it was accepted. This hasn't happened a lot, but it has happened to me several times.
Ahh interesting, was just going off personal experience, never had it happen myself. But I wonder how a web form knows how the information was entered into it. It's possible that it was a timed thing where you hit submit a second after the page loaded with all the info entered like full address, etc. And they used that to check. Or there is some way that a web form can relay how the information was entered, but I'm not aware of any way.
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#3321
Quote from Tyler1986 View Post :
Ahh interesting, was just going off personal experience, never had it happen myself. But I wonder how a web form knows how the information was entered into it. It's possible that it was a timed thing where you hit submit a second after the page loaded with all the info entered like full address, etc. And they used that to check. Or there is some way that a web form can relay how the information was entered, but I'm not aware of any way.
I've experienced it also - I guess it detects keystrokes. Makes me wonder how many times other sites know I didn't manually type it, but don't bother letting me know so I can have another chance at entering.
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#3322
Quote from Tyler1986 View Post :
Ahh interesting, was just going off personal experience, never had it happen myself. But I wonder how a web form knows how the information was entered into it. It's possible that it was a timed thing where you hit submit a second after the page loaded with all the info entered like full address, etc. And they used that to check. Or there is some way that a web form can relay how the information was entered, but I'm not aware of any way.
They could know if there is a hidden field that gets entered. Like if you use Roboform and have your zip pre-filled. They may have a visible AND hidden field for zip. When you manually enter only the visible field will be filled out. When you auto-enter both would be. That only happens if you use your default info. If you type in the form and save it I don't think there would be any way to know other than timing and I doubt too many sites go through that much trouble.
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L8: Grand Teacher
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#3323
Quote from Tyler1986 View Post :
Ahh interesting, was just going off personal experience, never had it happen myself. But I wonder how a web form knows how the information was entered into it. It's possible that it was a timed thing where you hit submit a second after the page loaded with all the info entered like full address, etc. And they used that to check. Or there is some way that a web form can relay how the information was entered, but I'm not aware of any way.
I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure there isn't too much of what you do on a computer that can't be detected if someone wants to put in the effort to do it. Fortunately, most companies either don't care, or they figure that using a Captcha is good enough to prevent automated entries.
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#3324
Quote from ChrisB65 View Post :
I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure there isn't too much of what you do on a computer that can't be detected if someone wants to put in the effort to do it. Fortunately, most companies either don't care, or they figure that using a Captcha is good enough to prevent automated entries.
Ya did a little research looks like you are right. They can indeed use a script which detects how many keystokes were made into the fields.

Quote from KMA View Post :
I've experienced it also - I guess it detects keystrokes.
Spot on, I wasn't aware that a site could report a users activity back like this once the site is loaded and you haven't actually clicked anything to load any more information, the more you know Smilie

Quote from jchenry View Post :
They could know if there is a hidden field that gets entered. Like if you use Roboform and have your zip pre-filled. They may have a visible AND hidden field for zip. When you manually enter only the visible field will be filled out.
I hadn't even thought of that, good idea.
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#3325
Quote from Tyler1986 View Post :
Ya did a little research looks like you are right. They can indeed use a script which detects how many keystokes were made into the fields.
I'll still continue to use form filling software. I don't think that I would want to enter as many sweeps as I do every day if I had to enter all of my information manually.
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#3326
Quote from melan26 View Post :
First of all, how can they be so unprofessional that they would e-mail two or who knows how many people that they've won a $1,000 prize when it's for one winner only? I mean, if the first person had 15 days, they should have waited 15 days and not turn this into a rat race by sending multiple notices to see who responds first. I, for one, do not understand how exactly they were able to conduct it this way; especially since it's Hearst. I've won from them and I've never had this happen before, really weird.

Regarding the e-mail reply, I've had that happen a few months ago. I found out because I went on their Facebook site and I saw that they listed the winners, my name, not there. I commented telling them my name isn't listed. The person who was doing the promotion e-mailed me as soon a he saw my comment saying he never received my reply and to forward the e-mail I sent. He said I would still be qualified when he finally received it. I don't entirely know why the first one didn't make it but the second one finally did. I now have to remember that whenever I have to reply to an email, I ask them to respond back confirming delivery of email.

If it was a mistake, then they should just come clean rather than waste your time. I mean it happens, but it's better than giving you the go-around. I could understand if you later read the rules that you're not eligible which happened to me, oops, my fault for not reading, but nowhere does it state that, right?

Here's the rules for the Elie Tahari: http://www.elle.com/Sweepstakes/f...cial-rules

I wish I could help you, but I've never had a scenario like this before. If nothing, perhaps contact another person higher up or a different department to explain how something like this could have happened. Keep us informed so if anything like this ever happens we know what we could do. Good luck.
Thanks for the reply.

I found a few emails for executives at Hearst (quick google search) and basically forwarded them the email chain I had with the 1st lady. The GM said he will take care of it and the gift card will be sent to me. I will update once/if I get the GC.
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#3327
There is a new game tied to the Super Bowl (not officially) on My Coke Rewards called Coke Zero Squares Bowl

http://www.squaresbowl.com/showLB...c=tabRules

if someone better at it wants to post the details. The game is the usual confusing mess I`ve come to expect from MCR.
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#3328
Quote from Bud60 View Post :
There is a new game tied to the Super Bowl (not officially) on My Coke Rewards called Coke Zero Squares Bowl

http://www.squaresbowl.com/showLB...c=tabRules

if someone better at it wants to post the details. The game is the usual confusing mess I`ve come to expect from MCR.
Posted.....thanks for the heads-up. http://slickdeals.net/f/5795544-Coke-Zero-Squares-Bowl-Sweepstakes-2-3-13?v=1&p=56805702#post56805702
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#3329
Posted like a dozen sport related contests I found online yesterday from American Family website...apparently multiple people were thumbs downing the posts. AFAIK the site is legit (https://contests.amfam.com/). I listed them with the proper state restrictions and everything. I would like to know why people are thumbsdowning my contests. Type of thing makes me reluctant to post things I find in the future Frown Mad
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#3330
Quote from implode View Post :
Posted like a dozen sport related contests I found online yesterday from American Family website...apparently multiple people were thumbs downing the posts. AFAIK the site is legit (https://contests.amfam.com/). I listed them with the proper state restrictions and everything. I would like to know why people are thumbsdowning my contests. Type of thing makes me reluctant to post things I find in the future Frown Mad
It's very rude to thumb down a post, unless there's a good reason - like if it's spam. Not every sweeps is for everybody, so in those cases you just move along. It's very kind of posters to give of their time and effort to post here for others, when there's obviously no benefit to them, so at the very least we need to show respect. I think the ones who give a thumb-down are the ones who never post - if they did, then they'd never think of behaving like that; those are the ones who come to receive, but never to give. When I see a sweeps I post it, even if it's something I don't want (like the ones where you have to create you own recipe). I would find it insulting to see a thumb down on a post I took time to read rules for and enter all the pertinent info - and I would be reluctant to post again.

I'm sorry you got a thumb down - I appreciate all you contribute here.
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