Prize Jar: a website to avoid

Have you heard of Prize Jar? This new website has been widely promoted on Bauer radio stations and websites as a great source of giveaways, so I thought I’d check it out at Unfortunately, I was disappointed! It’s the pay-to-enter prize draw format which is so popular now – you buy tickets to enter a prize draw, at a cost of either £1.50 – or a very expensive £3!

I’m concerned about the number of pay-to-enter prize draw websites that are popping up, and I’ve previously shared my concerns on the addictive nature of them, in my blog post Pay to enter competitions – are they gambling?  Every week I’m contacted by yet another new competitions website, based on exactly the same pay-to-enter model as Prize Jar, asking if I will promote their website!  I don’t agree to promote any of these sites, the only exclusion being Omaze, who offer an easy FREE online entry route to win some incredible and unique prizes (see my post How to enter Omaze prize draws for free if you like the sound of that!)

Pricey Prize Jar 

I think that Prize Jar sets a dangerous precedent for popular and respected brands like Bauer to start pushing paid prize draws to their customers. There are plenty of great free-to-enter prize draws and competitions on the Bauer radio and magazine websites – and I’m sure the Click to Win Competitions must raise plenty of advertising revenue – but I think Prize Jar is a rather cynical money-grabbing addition to their portfolio.

As for the addictive nature of a site like Prize Jar, this worries me. Unlike many raffle sites, at least they have set a limit to the amount you can spend on draw tickets – but that limit is an incredibly high £240 a month, or £2880 a year! For people with an addictive personality, it might well be a step towards a gambling habit and I’m disappointed that Bauer are promoting this.

Of course there are also a handful of free-to-enter prize draws on the Prize Jar site – but to enter them you need to earn points, and points are earnt through referring friends to the site. And I’m not sure most compers would be happy to recommend a site like Prize Jar to their mates, when there are so many free entry comps online and on social media.

Look for the free entry routes

Pay-to-enter prize draws do sometimes have a free entry route detailed in the T&Cs, and but for Prize Jar it involves buying a first class stamp and sending off a postcard (there’s also a limit of one postcard per draw). I do wonder how it’s still acceptable to describe this as a ‘free’ entry route when a first class stamp now costs an eye watering 76p though! 

Bauer do offer a genuine free entry option for some of their on-air radio comps though. Although it’s not advertised on air, you can enter most of the big cash Bauer radio promotions on Absolute, Magic and Kiss up to 12 times for FREE online – see my popular blog post Win cash prizes online in free competitions for details of current cash prizes on offer. 

Comping doesn’t need to cost any money

Entering to win prizes need not cost you a penny, and you’d do well to steer clear of sites like Prize Jar. Most UK competitions are completely free to enter – in particular those shared on social media. If you do want to spend money on entering comps, then try the standard rate text entry competitions (such as those advertised on Tesco shelves) which will only cost you around 10p. Or get involved with purchase-necessary competitions – you spend your money on a product with the opportunity to win a prize (but you’ll also still have the product too!) – make sure you learn which type of on-pack promotion format gives you the best chance of a win though!

I’d love to know your thoughts on Prize Jar. Have you heard of any winners? Will you bother sending off any postcard entries for their prize draws? 

11 Responses

  1. Caroline says:

    Prizejar has now closed.

    • Di says:

      That’s good news, thanks for letting me know Caroline! Mind you, I do wonder what might be coming next….

  2. Sharon Howard says:

    Since you originally posted this report on Prize Jar many of the previously free to enter comps on Bauer Radio stations are now + which makes them no longer free, not even a postal entry. In fact the company now makes up to 10 times more from competitions than the prizes are actually worth, so where does this money go? I also query the charity events they are heavily involved in and how much of the donations made by phone actually go to the relevant charities. Life is becoming one big con and it is so easy to get drawn in. This false hope is the real cause of poverty in the UK.

  3. Frances Heaton says:

    Well done for deciding not to help promote sites such as Prize Jar. Although I had heard vaguely something about them, haven’t been tempted to enter their competitions.
    The only comps I pay to enter are Tesco text competitions. They are charged at standard rate, and I was lucky enough to win £100 Tesco giftcard recently through entering their text competitions.
    Also, I entered the Trebor contests where you bought the products, and sent a photo – promoted in your newsletter. Luckily I won £5.
    I also enter most of the ITV competitions, sending a stamped postcard. But I don’t need to buy the stamps, as I am a Royal Mail TNS panellist, and receive monthly payments in stamps. Not been lucky enough to win yet, but definitely worth trying.
    Thanks for all the help and advice Di.

  4. Gill says:

    I have enormous respect for you, Di, for refusing to promote companies like Prize Jar. I’d not heard of them until you mentioned them but I agree, it does smack a bit of greed by these companies and it’s akin to gambling, in my book.

  5. Jackie Talbot says:

    I entered once online and then sent two postcards for separate competitions, the postcard entries were never added to my overall entries. In the Terms it stated you would receive an email confirming your postcard entry this never happened so I contacted them. I sent her a screenshot too, this has now disappeared from the site. What concerns me is that the postcard entries are handled by a third party company Fonix and I wonder if they are entered at all.

    • Gill says:

      I have heard this from other people, Jackie. 98% of the time I use the pistol route to enter, rather than pay hefty prices for text entries and I would be fuming if my entries were not included.

      • Gill says:

        I, of course, meant the POSTAL route, not the pistol route. I think the pistol route is a tad too aggressive!!

    • Caroline says:

      Firstly, as i have a £2500 Tag Heuer watch which i won via the postal route it indicates that they are counted. I queried the lack of info on the profile regarding postal entries and had this response.
      We use a third party to manage our postal entries. This company is the same company that manages most postal entries in the UK for competitions such as the one you entered and the process is very similar to other competition sites they work with.

      We allow postal entries to be submitted during the course of each competition, and whilst these must be posted by the closing date, we allow three additional working days for postal entries to arrive. On the fourth working day after the close of the competition we are notified by the third party of the total number of postal entries received for that competition.

      Each postal entry is assigned a unique reference number and added to the draw, and if a postal entry is drawn as a winner, we inform the third party of the reference number and they provide us with the details of the corresponding entry. We then contact the customer and issue the prize.

      Given this process, we do not register a postal entry in a customer’s account at unless it wins. However we will add this to FAQ so its very clear to everyone who enters by post.

      However, if you wish to earn a Bonus Point for your postal entry, you should follow the process outlined in Terms 5, 6 & 46 of the T&Cs, which is flagged in FAQ

  6. yvonne says:

    I hadn’t heard of prize jar until reading this but would never pay to enter any of their competitions nor would I send off any postcard entries for their prize draws.
    My opinion is that Bauer are getting far too greedy. It was only recently they took over 50+ radio stations putting a lot of people out of work and ripping the heart out of local radio stations around the UK. To see that happen to many presenters and staff some who had spent years working on these stations was horrible and so sad.

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