Why do you host giveaways?
Occasionally on this blog I host giveaways. I do this for 2 reasons:
- It’s fun! Every giveaway is like Christmas!
- I get to introduce you to new products and companies that have something worthwhile to offer my readers. I have either tested the product or service myself and/or have researched it and the company online. I turn down more offers for giveaways than I accept.
Are you paid by the companies whose products are given away?
In some cases I am provided with a sample of the product or service in order to try it out before committing to either a giveaway or, sometimes, a review.
I may charge a sponsor a fee to host a giveaway to compensate me for time spent testing the product, writing the giveaway/review post, and promoting it on the blog and social media. If I believe in a product, service, or company, I let people know, and that takes time and effort.
What are your rules for giveaways?
- Giveaways are typically open for 7 days unless otherwise stated.
- They end at midnight, CST, on the last day.
- The winner is selected at random using Random.org or by Rafflecopter, and notified by email the following day.
- If I do not hear from the winner within 3 days, I have the option of offering the prize to a different winner or using it as a prize in a future giveaway.
- Unless the prize comes from me, personally, they are shipped by the sponsor or the sponsor’s agent. I am not responsible for either the shipment or arrival of prizes but will contact the sponsor on your behalf if you do not receive your prize within 4 weeks.
Why are some giveaways for U.S. residents only?
Wonder why some giveaways are for U.S. residents only? It’s not because of stingy sponsors but because of international laws and regulations. Even each of the 50 states has different laws regulating contests of all types and trying to figure out those laws in addition to international laws of every country for each person who enters would be a legal labyrinth.
This article contains more details about these issues. It’s surprisingly complicated and, between you and me, ridiculously so.
I wish it were different for my international readers, but ignoring these laws could cause big problems for some sponsors.
Why do you use Rafflecopter?
Ah, yes. Rafflecopter.
Occasionally I use this service because it allows readers to increase their chances of winning by Tweeting about the giveaway, leaving a comment, answering a poll, sharing on Pinterest, liking something on Facebook, etc.
At the same time, it gives us a chance to show our appreciation to the sponsor who donated the prize by visiting their website, ‘Liking’ their Facebook page, etc. Sometimes their donations are worth hundreds of dollars and they deserve a nice online boost.
I understand that not everyone likes social media, which is why simply leaving a comment on the blog is always an option.
However, your comment must be registered with Rafflecopter in order to be counted among the entries. It’s every bit as simple as leaving a comment with your (hidden) email address, except it’s with a third party, Rafflecopter.
When a giveaway ends, Rafflecopter selects a winner at random with just the touch of a button and provides me with their name and email address. That is so much easier than counting all entries (sometimes they end up in the hundreds!), going to Random.org for the winner number, and then finding the winner’s name!
If you have comments or suggestions about giveaways…
Please email me at lisa @ thesurvivalmom.com.