It’s been ages (read: over a month) since I last updated this blog. My apologies, I’ve just been really busy. Anyway, I’ve got topics already lined up so I promise to keep this more updated, especially after I’ve met a couple of people who have told me they’re actually following this blog. What a surprise!
Back in 2009, I’ve been seeing a lot of contests / giveaways online. At first, I ignored them. I’m a li’l paranoid when it comes to online security, you see, so I thought they were a bunch of scams.
If you’re still a non-believer like I was back then, YOU MUST READ ON! I’m starting to sound like one of those ads you’d see at PTC sites.
When did I start getting addicted to joining online contests/promos? Late in 2009, one of the blogs I follow, Yugatech, hosted a Christmas giveaway. I joined and won Php 500 worth of prepaid load.
The realization that winning that prize actually saved me money from buying load made me want to join more online contests. And that’s when I started scouring the web for local and international giveaways that I can join to win gadgets, Paypal cash, etc.
Whoever said that getting anything for FREE isn’t awesome is just crazy. I know a lot of people who are rich and hold high-paying jobs who still love joining contests. Participating in online contests can be a lot of fun and getting freebies is just as exciting.
Making Money Online Through Online Contests
There are tons of online contests where you can win straight cash prizes AND gadgets or items that you can sell or keep for your own use.
Would you believe that ever since I started joining online contests in December 2009, I’ve already won over Php 50,000 worth of prizes?! I might have even won more, but I already lost count. I will share with you all the prizes I’ve won so far in my next post. Keep posted for that!
Now, how exactly can you make money online by joining these online contests? Let me explain that part better through sharing my experiences…
- I’ve hosted 2 blog contests already on Just Another Pixel – Make a Wish and Thirty on 30. In both contests, Paypal cash was a major part of the prizes for the winners.
Most contest hosts have also recognized how much Paypal cash as prizes can draw in more participants so expect to see more Paypal cash giveaways/contests.
- I’ve won two (2) Nokia 5230 cellphones last year. The first one, I won in DJ Mo Twister’s Twitter giveaway. I’ve been using it for months when I won another of the same model from an international contest, by F-Secure. We decided to sell that phone for Php 10,000. Minus the Php 2,000 I paid customs for the shipping of that phone, I got a profit of Php 8,000. So, it’s like I won that amount from that international contest.
- I’ve always wanted an iPad so when I saw Sulit’s blog contest with that as grand prize, I decided to join. I won. Yes, I got my iPad for FREE. It’s like I won Php 20,000+ cash to buy me that iPad. Cool, huh? One of my friends even won a brand new Mac computer in Sulit’s Christmas card-making contest (shout out to sis Grace!).
- Winning gift certificates from my favorite restaurants saves me money. Just like when I won Php 1,500 worth of gift certificates from Pizza Hut. My long-time friends and I have been planning on a get-together. We got to enjoy free pizza and just paid for our booze instead.
That’s just a few of the perks of joining online contests. Did I say it’s a lot of fun, especially when you start winning?!
About Contest Alerts Blogs and How Pinay Reviewer Started
In June 2010, I finally decided to start my own contest alerts blog – Pinay Reviewer. It was initially just a review blog, but I decided to transform it to my own contest alerts blog.
Pinay Reviewer was inspired by these blogs that I still follow. They are the other contest alerts blogs that I’m currently subscribed to. Make sure you check them out since promos or contests that I’ve already seen on them, I usually no longer post on Pinay Reviewer.
Make sure you subscribe through email to all those blogs’ feeds, including Pinay Reviewer’s, so you’ll be updated with the latest promos online and offline.
Aside from the above-mentioned sites, where do I find out about other promos/online contests? Well, I happen to follow hundreds of Facebook pages and I’ve categorized them depending on which ones usually offer promos or online contests to their fans/followers. When I see an ongoing contest / promo, I immediately bookmark it for posting later on Pinay Reviewer.
I also check out what other people in my Facebook network (read: friends list) are doing. There are times I find out about a contest because someone in my network posted a status or shared it on his/her wall. I also see what FB pages they follow / just liked. Stalker much?
How Do You Join Online Contests?
There are different kinds of online contests that you can join. Here are a few of the most common:
Most Facebook "Likes" or Comments Contests
This can range from creative photography to blog writing. This type of contests is usually what I dislike joining the most. They require too much effort (campaigning, literally begging people to support your entry, etc) and these contests attract a TON of cheaters. Most hosts want to increase the activity and number of fans on their Facebook pages so they hold these kinds of contests.
After the last one where I lost even after days of campaigning and most "real" participants saying my entry deserved to win, I vowed to stop entering contests like this AND to not feature them on Pinay Reviewer unless the prizes at stake are huge.
Photo / Video Contests
These contests are really fun. You get to put your creative skills to good and profitable use.
I usually end up being a lurker or just part of the audience in these contests because of a ton of talented participants. I love going through all the entries and silently betting on which one would bag the prizes.
When joining these contests though, make sure to read the rules and Terms of Agreement. There are some photo contests where the host will take all the ownership of the photos from the photographers, which is something that’s frowned upon. Read the fine print always!
As what’s implied, you need to buy something to join these contests. I don’t particularly like joining them because, one, the chances is pretty slim; two, it’s not for free.
Here, your chances of winning maybe a li’l slim. I’m pretty lucky when I join raffle giveaways so they’re my favorite. In fact, most of the contests I’ve won were because of a lucky pick.
Facebook / Twitter Tagging/Posting Contests
These ones are the easiest to join since most of them will just require you to post a message on your wall or on Twitter, tagging the hosts’/sponsors’ Facebook pages or Twitter accounts. The hosts usually raffle off the entries at the end of the contest.
There are a ton more types of online contests, but the ones I listed above are just a few. It’s really up to you which ones you want to join, depending on how much effort you want to put in AND how badly you want to win the prize.
How Do I Claim My Prizes from Online Contests?
Alright, so you’ve joined an online contest and luckily won. How do you claim them?
NOTE: You have to make sure that when you join an online contest, you’ve read all the mechanics, rules and Terms of Agreement carefully. You might be surprised to know after being picked as the winner that you can’t actually claim the prize ’cause it’s open to US residents only, or something like that.
Here are some of the methods of claiming prizes that most contests offer:
- Through courier.
They’ll ask you to email or send them a private message with your mailing information. Make sure you include your contact # just in case the courier gets lost. This happened to me twice.
I usually join contests where prizes will be mailed to the winners. I own and manage my own business (a computer shop) so I can’t really afford to travel everytime I win something.
I’m from a distant area of Malabon so it’ll take a lot of time and transportation money before I can claim something. If the prize isn’t too expensive, I won’t bother claiming them or I’ll ask a friend to pick it up for me, just like what I did when I won a L’oreal gift pack.
- Pick Up at the Office / Meet-up Somewhere Convenient.
These are claiming options in contests where the prizes are huge or they really need to verify your identity before handing out the prize/s.
If their office or meet-up preference is too far from your area, make sure you request for other claiming options. Pizza Hut and Magnolia kindly considered my request of having my gift certificate prizes mailed to me after I sent them a message/email. I have yet to receive my Magnolia Chicken Station gift certificates though as of this writing.
- Print Voucher / Coupon.
This rarely happens here in the Philippines. I’ve only experienced this once. But, this is very convenient to both the host / sponsor and the winner/s. All you have to do is print out the voucher they sent you and present to the merchant (a restaurant, spa, etc) when you visit them.
Tips When Joining Online Contests
In over a year of joining online contests, there are some things I’d like to share with you that might be helpful when you start your "career" of being an online contest addict like me :
- When joining Twitter contests, make sure you are following all the host/sponsors Twitter accounts. That way, they can easily send you a direct message if you win.
I remember this Rayban Twitter giveaway where my win was nullified because I wasn’t following them. I was shocked and figured that it was because of the Twitter problem I was experiencing at the time of the contest. Can you imagine how upset I was knowing I could’ve won one of Rayban’s latest pair of sunglasses?! Argh!
- If it’s a race-to-get-the-correct-answer contest (for the lack of a better term), trust your instincts (most of the time).
I remember this Twitter contest hosted by Julius Babao. I should’ve won if I didn’t change my first answer.
- If it’s a writing contest, as long as it’s not yet the deadline, you can make changes to your entry. Don’t worry about what others would think. If there’s no rule against it, go ahead and change your entry ’til the deadline.
- With all the online contests you’ve joined, it’s easy to lose track of them. Make sure you bookmark a contest you’ve joined or save the URLs in a text file. This way, you can easily remember and come back when it’s time for the announcement of winners.
- DON’T CHEAT. I can’t stress this enough. It’s better if you win fair and square.
- If you haven’t won a single contest/giveaway, don’t lose hope. I’ve joined over 100 contests and only won like 30% (a rough estimate) of them, but that didn’t stop me from joining contests. Think of it this way – you started with nothing and if you win, then, that’s something. Okay, did that make sense? Hahahaha.
What I meant by that is if you don’t win, tough luck. Move on to the next one. Don’t cry over spilt milk. (Insert other appropriate idioms here). Don’t sour grape either. Just enjoy and have fun.
That’s it about online contests. If you have questions or clarifications, feel free to holler at me at the comments section.
Next post will be the list of prizes I’ve won so far from joining online contests. Keep posted!