COMPER: NOUN – A person who enters competitions in newspapers, magazines and online to win consumer goods.
My name is Dean and I’m a Comper.
Well I must be as that’s what I do. Pretty much daily I spend time entering competitions featured across many media types and thankfully have had a decent amount of success. Here is my Comping story.
It first started around 10 years ago when I entered a competition in a local newspaper. It was only for a DVD but I won it and from there it all began! In the weeks that followed I entered a few more local competitions, won a couple and with my newly gained confidence started a wider search.
I soon ended up on the Money Saving Expert Competition Forum and quickly started entering hundreds of competitions a week. The wins soon rolled in. Most just small ones like DVD’s and low-value vouchers but also in there were some decent victories like football tickets, days out, holiday breaks and games consoles.
I had a system, spent an hour or two each day entering and enjoyed refreshing my email account in the hope of seeing a Winning Email (WEM). The communities on those forums were useful and supportive, celebrating your wins and encouraging you during the dry spots.
Work and family life took me away from comping for a while but when I did return I was quickly back into the groove and WEM’s were once again arriving several times a week.
In my time doing it I have won several hundred competitions despite not going for some of the most popular options. I personally don’t enter any competition that cost me money, like ITV, text or postal and a lack of time also prevents me from Radio phone-ins and ones that take ‘effort’.
I keep it simple. Twitter – Facebook – Instagram – Email – Website.
If it takes longer than a minute to enter then I am not a fan. The more comps I enter, the more a chance of winning in my book. Whatever it may be.
In recent times I have switched to Loquax to enter my competitions. It is one of the biggest Comp websites out there but there are several other good ones.
I like to enter by ‘Closing Date’ making sure I have entered all today’s comps, tomorrows and preferably for every day for the next 2 weeks too. With competitions added regularly it is almost a non-stop thing but I find that an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening doing it keeps me well on top of things.
Of course the above is just how I do it and others have different and more successful methods. Most love to do the Radio comps and big prizes are there to be won on that but I just don’t have the time to do it unfortunately.
As I said, I have won hundreds of competitions over the years. For each one I keep the WEM or Direct Message and file them in folders as a reminder, (I have 6 folders). One day I will add the value up to get a rough idea but a quick guess would be around £50k worth of goodies.
My favourite ones however are the money can’t buy experiences it has given us as a family. We have played Tennis at Wimbledon with Tim Henman, had access all areas at music events, and each of my 3 boys have been football mascots for our favourite team. Being big sports fans we like to win tickets and have fortunately have won lots. We are also lucky enough to have won holidays and short breaks away which have been great.
– Set up a dedicated Email account – You will soon have hundreds of emails rolling in as most competitions will only be able to be entered when you join a mailing list. You probably will not want your main email clogged up with this wastage.
– Set-up dedicated Social Media – If you are a big Social Media user then it is best to steer clear of using your main accounts for Competitions. Your friends may also get annoyed if you clog up their Twitter feeds with your Retweets.
– Be patient – The wins don’t always come rolling in straight away! But when they do, it will have been worth the wait!
– Be Organised – Have a system, print your wins, keep things tidy.
– Autofill – Set-up a type of autofill on your computer. For most of the competitions you have to enter lots of details. Its far quicker to do this with the click of one button.
– Get invloved – The main sites have great forums that offer advice and support when needed. From there you can also gain friends or acquaintances that are handy to have when you need to tag them in Social Media comps.
– Local Competitions – Seek out competitions in your area via newspaper and online outlets. The ‘Devon Chronicle’ is more likely to pick a winner from Torquay than a winner from Sunderland for example. Also do regular Google and Twitter searches for Comps. If you live in Cardiff the searching ‘Cardiff Competition’ or ‘Cardiff win’ you may find a chance of winning something local that has been missed by a Competition site.
– Enter lots – I find it’s a number’s game. At a rough guess I win around 1 in 250 comps entered. Sometimes that may be just be a pair of trainers others it could be a holiday. The feeling of recieving a WEM is a good one though so follow the advice above and get cracking!
– Enjoy it! – There is no point doing it if you hate it and find it a chore! Setting up quick entry systems helps plus keeping things organised lets you know where you are at. I also prefer to do it when watching something on the telly as while half-concentrating on Eastenders for example I can enter 50 or so comps without realising and am well on the way to getting what I need to get done that day.
Well thats how I do it and it has worked well for me over the last 10 years and it is something that I still do and enjoy to do today.
Good luck if you are at the start of your Comping journey and if you are already going through it and just need inspiration then go get entering – the next WEM is just around the corner!
If you have any questions or comments feel free to fire away!