10 tips for new compers
I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that comping can make dreams come true.
I’ve been entering competitions for over twenty years and have won over £300,000 of prizes. I’ve eaten a 15 course meal at the world’s best restaurant, and travelled to Glastonbury Festival in a stretch limo with my own butler for the weekend. I’ve stayed in 5 star hotels all over the world, walked the red carpet at the BAFTAs, spent a day in Paris with a personal shopper and seen my son Ryland walk out as a mascot at Wembley… twice!
Yes, comping is the best hobby in the world. And one of the best things about comping is that it doesn’t need to cost you a penny, because most competitions are completely free to enter!
You might have heard of the famous Thomas Jefferson quote “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it”. And it’s true – winning competitions isn’t easy – you need to believe that you can be lucky, be persistent and work hard at it if you want to be a winner.
If you’re new to comping, watch this video for my top ten tips to get you up and running!
Di’s top ten comping tips
1. Be prepared
If you’re going to start comping, set up a new email address. You’ll receive lots of emails and newsletters, so it’s a good idea to keep these separate from all the important stuff in your inbox! Set yourself up on social media too – lots of people join Twitter, Facebook and Instagram just to enter the competitions. Consider your username carefully – don’t have your year of birth in it because some promoters may be biased against choosing older or younger winners. Ideally don’t use hyphens, dots, underscores or random numbers – your name should be memorable, easy to spell and ideally, the same on all platforms.
Most importantly, a new comper needs to be looking for the word WIN everywhere – you’ll find competitions on product packaging, radio, magazines, apps, bus stops, waiting rooms – I even won a competition recently that I saw advertised on a bin in my local park!
2. Focus on the prizes you really want to win
All compers have their dream prizes – a car, a kitchen, an all inclusive trip to the Caribbean… But think about the smaller things that would make life easier and help you save money too: a Netflix, Sky or Spotify subscription, supermarket vouchers or Deliveroo credit. There are thousands of competitions out there, and you’ll never be able to enter them all! It makes sense to focus on entering to win stuff that you need and stuff you want. So write yourself a wish list – or do as I do and make a little bingo card (download my template from my comping challenges blog post!)
3. Enter competitions on websites and social media that you trust
The bad news is that there are a lot of scammers out there ready to take advantage of compers. My tip is to only enter competitions on the websites and social media of brands you know and trust. You can also find competitions collated on listings websites, but some of these websites want as much data from you as possible so they can sell it on to other companies – so be careful which boxes you tick on entry forms! Be careful about clicking adverts when you’re browsing competitions listings sites and forums – even here on SuperLucky, as I can’t control which ads you are shown. Be careful about signing up to freebie websites – and avoid product testing adverts at all costs!
The websites I do recommend for their competition listings are Loquax, Competition Database and Latest Deals – and you can find more in my list of competition websites. Keep in mind that thousands of compers visit these websites every day – the comps get a lot of entries, and you’ll do better looking for low entry competitions yourself. Which leads me to…
4. Put in the effort
It’s easy to enter Retweet competitions, or to Like a Facebook post – but your chance of winning is small. If it’s easy to enter, it’s hard to win – because so many people will take part. To be a winner you need to spend time on the RIGHT type of competitions. The ones that need a bit of effort – whether that’s effort to find them, or effort to enter them. Use Twitter and Google searches to look for low entry competitions and to find the prizes on your wishlist, and visit different supermarkets to look for promotions. If a competition requires a photo or a video, most people won’t be bothered – so make sure you’re the person that can be bothered! Be creative and make your entry stand out – if you can talk them into it, get the family involved too. Comps can be a great way to keep the kids entertained and they’ll be chuffed when they win a prize!
5. Enter local competitions
You’ll find competitions advertised in your local newspapers, free magazines and shopping centres. Do you have a local radio station – it could be an independent station, or maybe you have a regional Capital or Heart FM station? Check their website weekly for new competitions. Lots of local businesses are on social media and trying to raise their profiles by doing giveaways – these won’t get many entries compared to national competitions, especially if the prize is for collection only. Think of the places you visit regularly – restaurants, salons, theatres, gyms – then follow them on social media and join their newsletters. For more tips, check How to find local competitions and giveaways.
6. Read the rules
You don’t need to read ALL the terms and conditions for every comp you enter, but read the essentials. Are you entering correctly – are you following accounts, tagging, using a hashtag, have you got a receipt for the product…? If you don’t enter correctly, you won’t win! Also check when and how winners will be contacted. You’d be surprised how many new compers miss out on prizes because they’re not regularly checking their junk email, or their Instagram and Twitter notifications – read my post how do I know if I’ve won a competition? for tips.
7. Make comping friends
Comping is one of the easiest hobbies to do alone – but it’s more fun with friends! Comping friends will tag you in new competitions, share prizes with you and motivate you to carry on comping if you’re in a dry spell. My Lucky Learners group on Facebook has thousands of members sharing wins, comps, tips and encouragement and we have special posts to find local tagging buddies!
8. Watch out for scams
As I mentioned earlier, sadly there are a lot of scams out there right now. The most common ones are fake giveaways on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook – these will usually be for technology like iPhones or games consoles. If you see a social media competition without any terms and conditions, check their contact details or bio – is there a website listed? If there’s no website, be suspicious and ask yourself, why are they giving away a prize if they have nothing to promote? On Instagram and Facebook, profile cloning is a problem – scammers will copy a brand’s page and message entrants to say they’ve won, then ask them for payment to secure their prize. You should never have to pay to receive a prize. Don’t click the links in suspicious Instagram, Facebook or text messages, and report the dodgy scam profiles.
9. Try purchase-necessary competitions
Comping can be a completely free hobby – but there are certain types of prize promotion where you can spend a little money and have a great chance of winning.
Take standard rate text comps as an example – these usually cost you less than 10p. Shops like Tesco and Poundland regularly run these – look out for advertising in store. But don’t get tempted by the expensive text comps advertised on the national radio stations or TV! For some of these you can enter online for FREE – a SuperLucky reader won £50,000 with her free entries last year. Check my blog post Win cash prizes online in free competitions for current free entry big cash radio comps.
But what about comps in the supermarket? There are so many of them now, and it’s hard to tell at first glance which ones are worth entering. If you’re serious about comping then understanding the terms and conditions and which type of competitions give you the best chance of winning is what you’ll need to learn. Instant win comps where every prize is guaranteed to be won, and awarded after winning moments, are a good bet. If you want to try entering on-pack promotions then check my Compers Shopping list which has loads of current promotions. You’ll also find lots of advice in the Comping Tips section of my blog.
10. Enjoy the hobby!
Comping isn’t for everyone – and the prizes aren’t guaranteed. Treat comping like a hobby, and then any prizes you’re lucky enough to win are the icing on the cake!
But how do you stay motivated if you’re just not winning? Rather than feel miserable about it, I like to try something different. I learn how to use a new app, listen to a new radio station, or I try some recipe comps. If it’s been ages since your last win, look out for comps with LOTS of chances to win. Most people will enter a competition ONCE and forget about it. But you can enter a lot of promotions, especially the instant wins, every single day. Find a way to remind yourself – set an alarm on your phone, stick a post it note on your laptop or use an app.
Successful compers believe they will win amazing prizes – and they do. In the last couple of years SuperLucky readers have won cash prizes as big as £50k and £40k in free entry radio competitions, brand new cars on Twitter – and luxury holidays on Instagram. If you enter competitions thinking ‘Oh, I’ll never win’ – then you won’t! Be positive and persistent, and I promise you the prizes will come. There’s more tips in my post How to increase your chances of winning competitions.
Comping is a fantastic hobby – and it really can change your life! It can help you relax, make new friends, feel less lonely and you can even learn new skills. If these tips have got you eager to start comping, visit my Get Started page, check out my top 5 competitions to enter right now and join my Lucky Learners Facebook group. And let me know when you win your first prize!