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Comper's tips: how to make money entering competitions

20 June 2017

Di Coke has turned her passion for entering competitions from a hobby into a full-time job, and she's sharing her top tips with you.

Woman entering competition on smartphone
Lots of competitions are hosted on mobile apps.

How to enter competitions and win

Professional comper Di Coke has earned some £300,000 in holidays, cars, cash and more in prize draws and customer competitions. Here are her insider tips on how you can do the same:

Play fun, free online games, including crosswords, sudokus and codewords, at our new website Exceptional.

Be selective

You’ll need to enter at least ten comps a day to become a frequent winner, so don’t go after prizes you don’t really want. Make a wish list of items, from small things like vouchers and meals, to big things like a holiday or kitchen appliance, and focus on those.

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Look local

Contests in shopping centres, newspapers, free magazines and on regional radio are good, as there won’t be so many entrants.

Use Google

Search for keywords such as ‘competition’, ‘win’, and the prizes you want. Filter results to UK only, and for the past week, to ensure comps are current.

Competitiondatabase is a good source of Twitter and Facebook comps; you don’t usually need to give an address or phone number to enter.

Take photos of your food

Record recipes you create at home – you never know when you’ll be able to enter them into cookery-themed competitions. Take the photo in daylight, and hold your camera or phone horizontally above your dish, using a square crop.

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Enter creative competitions

Promotions where you need to put in a little effort give you a better chance of winning. Most people can’t be bothered to write a poem or do a drawing.

Write to magazines

You can win cash and prizes for reader contributions – the more specialist the publication, the better the odds.

Practice your slogan writing

Clever couplets are popular with judges. Try to include a reference to the promoter, product and prize. Rhymezone is great for finding rhymes and synonyms.

Let your hair down

Plenty of competitions require entrants to take a selfie or video, which puts people off. Be brave and have fun. Use props such as hats and stick-on moustaches to make your entry stand out!

Avoid ‘survey’ websites

They offer prize draws but are time-consuming and every box you tick is likely to generate junk calls, emails and post. And you’ll be competing with thousands of other entrants.

Buy to win

Lots of products have codes printed on the packaging that you have to enter on the brand website for a chance to win instantly. Be aware, though, that if the advertising states the prizes are only ‘available’ to be won, there’s no guarantee they all will be.

Read the rules

It’s important to know what you’re supposed to be doing. There’s no point in putting lots of effort into an entry if the winner is going to be chosen at random.

On Facebook

Valuable prizes are rarely given away in ‘like and share’ promotions. Check the ‘about’ section of a Facebook page carefully. If you’ve doubts, don’t enter.

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Get a memorable email address

Gmail is the best option, and try to keep it short and sweet – you’d be surprised how many times you have to type or write that address on entry forms.

Guard your privacy

To cut down on the amount of emails or other messages you receive, double-check before ticking any boxes on an entry form. Opt out of receiving further information if you can, and NEVER agree for your details to be passed on to a third party.

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Invest in a smartphone

Or see if a family member has one to pass on, when they upgrade. Lots of competitions are hosted on mobile apps like Instagram or Blippar. Your local shopping centre probably has an app too.

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Get involved in the comping community

Join a competition website or forum such as Loquax, Money Saving Expert, Compers News or one of the friendly Facebook comping groups, for advice and tip-offs on new competitions. There might even be a comping club near your home - see a list on my website

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.