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Entering and Winning Sweepstakes

Contests and sweepstakes are found just about everywhere. We have to think about contests and sweepstakes as a hobby to start with. If you enjoy this hobby you can become very excited when you find new sweepstakes, new prizes, and when those packages start arriving at your home. 

Hobbies are part of the excitement of life and excitement gives you something more to look forward to. To get started, I want to give you more information about how to enter, how to find and how to avoid certain types of scams that are associated with sweepstakes and contests. 

There are basically two types of sweepstakes online and mail in. Of course the online sweepstakes are those types that you will enter your information on the web, which sometimes will include your name, address, phone number, and birth date or age. Sometimes this will include photographs, essays or similar type surveys that have to do with the products or company you are entering for. 

Mail in sweepstakes is a little broader including mailing in postcards, papers, proofs of purchase, and phone in entries. There are all types of rules and regulations that are going to go along with entering sweepstakes and contests by mail, but generally they are the same as entering online, with your name, address, telephone numbers, your birth date, your age, or sometimes an essay, a picture, a description or even a recipe. 

Phone in entries are generally surveys, name, address and phone number, easy to enter and almost always a toll free number so you dont have anything to pay. Mail in entries are always free, you shouldnt have any cost associated with entering a contest or sweepstakes 

Now About Costs 
Let me say one thing again, you shouldnt pay to enter a contest or sweepstakes. If you have to pay ten dollars, five dollars or even a dollar, it most likely is not a legitimate sweepstakes or promotion. A contest, sweepstakes or promotion is something that companies will put out there so you and other consumers want to purchase their products or to learn more about using their services. It should be free to enter or we suggest that you dont enter. 

You should never pay taxes, shipping fees or other costs associated with winning a prize until after you receive the prize. What I mean by this is that sometimes scammers out there will tell you if you pay $200 for shipping your new television is going to be shipped directly to your home. Dont do this! Legitimate promotions and sweepstakes are going to pay for shipping costs no matter what. You may have to pay taxes later, but this is reported only on your tax returns, you never pay it to the company that is sponsoring the promotion! This is an important fact so you dont spend money on something you are never going to get!

Getting the Most for your Entries
To get the most for your entries and to increase your chances of winning always follow the rules! If the rules state one entry only, then you should only enter one time. Often times all of your entries will be disqualified if you enter more than one time. 

Other things to remember are the age restrictions. It the contest says enter if you are between 12 19 then you cant be 35 and enter. The rules are stated to give the group that is being targeted the best chances of winning. If you dont fit the profile, dont enter because you will be wasting your time, you will not end up winning. 

Watch the dates! 
All entries for contests and sweepstakes will have entry deadlines. When a entry is due before a certain deadline, be sure that your entry is received by that time, or your entry will be disqualified. To ensure that you are entered and that you have the best possible chances of winning, watching your dates and how often you can enter is important for entering any type of contest, online or offline. 

In entering contests online or offline, you increase your chances of winning just by entering. There are millions and millions of people in the world, but many do not take advantage of entering any types of contests or sweepstakes. You will find all types of sweepstakes and contests online, everywhere that you go, on boxes when you purchase things that the store, in stores where you walk into the store, and you will find then on receipts when you purchase items, and they are listed in the newspapers and flyers that you receive in the mail. Enter, have fun doing it and you will see what types of free stuff you can actually win you will be surprised!

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