Master the art of ‘comping’ and you could have a lucrative new hobby on your hands.
1. Know where to find the best competitions
Once you start looking, you’ll find that competitions are everywhere. Get in the habit of scouring newspapers, magazines, websites and supermarket checkouts for quizzes, prize draws and giveaways.
Sign up to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, which more and more companies are using to push their products and services.
Visit our puzzles page for the latest free games and puzzles.
2. Read the small print
It may seem obvious, but pour over the T&Cs of every competition you enter with a fine toothed comb. There’s no greater waste of time than firing off an ineligible entry, and you can cheer yourself up while wading through the small print in the knowledge that you can write off all the entries from rival compers who couldn’t be bothered to do the same.
3. Join a comping forum
Comping is a highly social scene, and there are dozens of online forums and websites to keep you up to speed with the latest prizes and giveaways.
Get acquainted with the comping forum on MoneySavingExpert and keep up-to-date with The Prizefinder and Compers News. It may initially seem weird swapping tips with other potential winners, but there are more than enough prizes to go round.
4. Use shortcuts to fire off your entry quickly
Typing out your name, address, phone number and shoe size a dozen times a day is enough to give anyone RSI. Luckily, technology is your friend. Switch on the auto-fill facility in Windows Explorer and the tiresome bits of comping will be taken away.
You can also type all your commonly requested details out onto a document, which you can copy and paste from to speed up the entry process.
5. Don’t pay to enter any competitions
Watch out for premium phone rate competitions, which often leave you hanging on the telephone for 10 minutes or so before you get to hear any useful information.
It’s worth noting that some popular TV shows let you enter their phone-in comps free if you visit their websites instead.
6. Go for competitions that require a bit of effort
Ever been put off entering a prize crossword because you’re asked to come up with a witty tie-breaker at the end? Don’t be. Competitions that ask for that little bit more will always have far fewer entrants, giving you a greater chance of winning.
Have a look at Winspiration for a few ideas for snappy one-liners if you get stuck.
7. And finally, have fun!
The best way to approach comping is to enjoy yourself and treat it as a bit of fun. If you’re expecting a holiday in the Maldives and early retirement by week two, you’re heading for disappointment. But put in a little time, effort and planning and you’ll slowly begin to reap the rewards.
Like the Saga Facebook page for weekly competitions and follow Saga on Twitter for daily giveaways!