Meet the compers: Rachael Simmons
The lovely Rachael Simmons joins me for the final interview in this series of ‘Meet the Compers’. Rachael is a busy Twitter comper – you can find her @thebendyslow – and has won lots of movie-related prizes, including trips to several London premieres!
Hi Rachael, and thanks for joining me here on SuperLucky for a Q&A!
How and when did you start comping?
I started in February 2012, I came across a competition thread on MoneySavingExpert when I was looking for advice on ways to save money. I saw a list of prizes someone had won and thought “Nah, there’s no way people win all this stuff. Do they?!”. I decided to try entering competitions for a month as a trial, and I’ve never looked back!
Which websites, forums, magazines or resources do you use for comping?
I use MSE, The PrizeFinder and make my own tailored Twitter searches. I also Google search for key words and phrases weekly.
You love winning tickets to film premieres! How many have you been to – and which stars have you met?
October 2014 was a particularly good month, I went to three! Dracula Untold, Horns and The Imitation Game from Tattinger Champagne, which included a ticket to the after party! I actually won two lots of tickets for Horns, so I was able to take both my mum and sister. We met Daniel Radcliffe, Charles Dance, Luke Evans and Benedict Cumberbatch. Also I went to the premiere of Mr Holmes, with Sir Ian McKellan!
What’s the best prize you’ve won?
In the last year I’ve won two holidays with the Guardian, the first in January was £1700 towards the holiday of my choice, so we went to Rome in April. On the same day, I also won a 2 night London hotel stay and an iPhone 6 in a different competition. That was a VERY good day! The second holiday is a mini-break to Iceland which I’m taking next year. Ironically my comping wishlist for the year said “Holidays – Italy or Iceland”!
I was also lucky enough to win not one, not two, but THREE pairs of tickets to see Blur at Hyde Park this summer, so I took all my mates!
Do you have a winning competition entry that you’re particularly proud of?
I made a Pinterest board with ideas for an ideal home which won me a annual Family Merlin Pass with a furniture company. Most recently I took part in the Three Mobile treasure hunt with Uncharted, travelled around London and used the Recho app to get clues, then ended up at a store, gave a secret password and won a £100 loaded SIM and a power-bank charger.
What type of prize promotion do you enjoy most?
Twitter, Twitter and more Twitter! They’re easy and fast. I used to never win anything on there, but now it’s my favourite way to enter. Also as I work in London I love comps where it asks you to find an underground poster and take a selfie, that sort of thing. I always try to make the effort when I can. The Actimel golden bus stopped next to me the other week, so I grabbed my phone and took a quick photo and tweeted. The next day I won £100!
What tips do you have for Twitter comping?
I think it certainly helps to have a good amount of followers, but never cheat and use a bot to gain more, just be yourself! Also (particularly for low entry Twitter comps) NEVER just use your account for comping, I truly believe that some companies check your accounts, and if you post regular things and chat with friends as you would normally it could make all the difference.
What do you think the future holds for comping?
I think Apps such as Blippar and Recho will be used more as phone technology advances.
Are there any types of prize promotions you’d like to see more or less of?
Less Rafflecopter, I can’t stand it! I’m a speedy comper by nature and love to plough through them quickly. I know a lot of compers are more ‘slow and steady wins the race’ which I completely understand, but that’s just not me. All compers have certain strengths, whether it’s a good eye for a photo, a penchant for slogans or skilled in finding hidden comps, and you should always use your strength the best you can.
Is there a prize you’ve tried to win but it has always eluded you?
An Xbox One. I won £1000 with Magic last year which got me a PS4 but as a gamer girl I really REALLY would like one!
What would be your top comping tip or piece of advice?
Make them laugh! I 100% believe you are more likely to catch their eye with a funny comment on a Twitter or Facebook post than a sad one. Also I only allow myself 20 seconds of daydreaming about a possible prize, then forget about it and move to the next one!
Some fantastic tips there Rachael – thank you so much, and best of luck winning that Xbox One in 2016!