Finding the Competitions
Competitions are everywhere, from doctor’s waiting rooms to supermarket shelves to across the World Wide Web, but the art of finding the good ones can be a skill in itself and requires a finely tuned comper’s eye.
The Comper’s EyeThe key to finding the best competitions is not to look in the places everybody else is looking. The price of the National Lottery being the most well known competition in the UK, for example, are winning odds of 14 million to 1!
A competition in a newspaper or a magazine, on the other hand, could attract only around 5,000 entries, and the keen comper eyes can spot those unusual promotions, obscure website and minor publications offering competitions with odds of one in fifty.
Competition MagazinesThe idea behind online and offline competition magazines like Winner’s Friend, MyComps and Simply Prizes is to save a lot of effort, fine-tooth-combing and comping eye ache by compiling a great many lesser known comps in one place. These publications are not usually available as single issues but as yearly subscriptions, thereby often amounting to £50 to £60 in costs and a considerable commitment. For keen, confident and habitual competition entrants whose homes are then suddenly bombarded with prizes they might prove a bargain, but the casual or desperately unlucky comper might well rue the day they ever signed up.
It is worth bearing in mind that if these magazines have a large and dedicated comper readership then the obscure competitions they list are not the obscure and easy-pickings they once may have been. For this reason many compers prefer to hunt down their own competitions in a variety of competition hotspots, away from the jealous prying eyes of the comping community!
Competition HotspotsThe best way to develop a comper’s eye is to keep a watch for competition opportunities at all times, not just on a thirty minute coffee break but every hour of the waking day – always keeping an eye out for that ‘WIN’ banner, whether out shopping, at the local cinema, the bank, the petrol station. Hardcore compers don’t even stop at bedtime - their comping eye goes off searching through their dreams for inspiration!
For the traditional competitions, many retail outlets, such as supermarkets and clothes shops and even banks, feature competition entry forms on their counters and instant win offers in their aisles. The large circulation of national tabloid newspapers means that they can afford to give away some spectacular prizes such as lavish holidays, huge cash sums and even houses. Of course their popularity means the odds of winning are very low, so publications such as free store magazines, local newspapers and small specialist magazines, offer a better chance of tasting sweet success.
Some less traditional avenues to consider include appearing on a radio or TV quiz. These offer the not too nervy comper great opportunities to win fantastic prizes in game shows specialising in, for example, word skills or general knowledge.
Internet SpottingThe internet is a vast, intimidating splurge of largely mindless rubbish and so picking out the quality competitions can be a time-consuming and migraine inducing task. When venturing onto the web, the most basic facility any comper should have is an internet search engine like google, and some searching skills.
When using a search engine it is wise to make sure the search question has been fine-tuned so as to save getting a lot of random and unhelpful web results. For example keep the results limited to the UK and always type whole phrases like ‘prize draws’ and ‘slogan tiebreakers’ in inverted commas, so that it searches for the phrase and not the individual words.
As with the material world there are also numerous internet sites offering guidance to the best comps on the web, as well as vast array of other useful information. These include Loquax, Compfinders, Comps Org, the Prizefinder and Zoom. Unfortunately, as with the material word, many of these sites request subscription fees in exchange for their valuable information.