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July 20, 2014

Honesty Is Always The Best Policy

In Sweepstaking, you always want to be honest.  It doesn’t hurt to be that way in every aspect of life, but in Sweepstaking, it really is a must.

I’ve heard a lot of discussions over the years about entering with fake information, so that you don’t get a lot of junk mail or spam.  Now, why in the world would you want to do that, considering that a lot of the time, the sponsors automatically send the prize to the address you registered with?  A lot of times, they will contact you by telephone or e-mail you to verify your address, but once you’ve been entering sweepstakes for a long time, you are bound to get a lot of surprises; prizes you didn’t even know you won!  AND, some of them will send an affidavit that you have to sign before you are even deemed the actual winner.  Believe me, you WANT these sponsors to have your correct mailing address!
In regards to junk mail, I don’t get a whole lot of it.  I do get a few things here and there that I didn’t really opt-in for but to be honest, it’s nice getting a lot of mail.  My poor mailman may not think so, but I enjoy having a full mailbox.  Mostly, though, I don’t get a whole lot of junk mail stemming from sweepstakes.  I get a few from the travel oriented ones, but that’s about it.
It is not a bad idea to set up an email address that you use only for sweepstakes.  You will get a lot of emails.  There are some that allow you to opt out from getting their emails, but even on a lot of them I have found that when I opt out, I still get their emails.  It doesn’t really bother me, though.  I check them every day and a lot of the time, I will find alerts about new sweepstakes those companies are running.  There is nothing better than being the first to know about a new contest, so I certainly don’t mind!
Not too long ago, I had someone ask me, “Wouldn’t it be better to enter all false information except the email address?”  No, that wouldn’t be better and to be quite honest, I’m guessing that will disqualify you from the majority of sweeps out there.  On “congratulations” calls I have had the first thing they want to do is to verify the information I gave them on the form I filled out.  I can imagine if there were a spelling error or something minor, they would fix it, but imagine if all of the information was incorrect.  They’d say they were sorry and go on to pull another entry as the winner.  Furthermore, if they don’t have your correct phone number, they can’t call you anyway.
Another thing about honesty is karma.  If you’re not doing your sweepstakes entries in an honest fashion, that’s bound to be giving off bad karma and in this hobby you need good karma.  Keep your karma good and good things will happen!
Lastly, I will pass on something I learned in regards to this.  I moved years ago after I started doing sweepstakes.  A month or so after, I did a Google search for my own name.  I found it on a list of potential winners for a big, big one.  I immediately called the administrator and told them I had moved and they pulled up the entry info based on my email address.  When the gentleman asked me to verify my information,  I told him the old address and said I had moved though.  He apologized and said he wasn’t allowed to accept a different address.  Now, mind you, this was going on like 12 years ago and the main reason was probably that my telephone number changed.  Now if we move, we get to take our telephone numbers with us, thanks to mobile phones, so I’m certain way back then, it just looked suspicious to him.  Also, I’d entered with my nickname as opposed to using my legal name.  The whole thing was a mess and I just got the feeling that the fellow thought I was trying to “pull a fast one”.  The moral was I missed out on a $5000 prize.
Regarding phone calls, if you review the rules, most sweepstakes have a clause about your telephone number being used only to contact you if you are a potential winner.  There have been a couple I’ve entered that stated that you “may” be called for marketing purposes, though.  And they did call.  However, it was only to pitch their service or product and they were extremely polite and weren’t pushy at all.  It’s up to you whether you will get those kinds of calls.  You just have to read the rules.  I’ve entered about a zillion sweepstakes over the years and I’ve had MAYBE seven telemarketing calls and I expected each of them because I read the rules and decided the chance to win the prize was worth a two minute phone call.
Don’t worry about a little junk mail now and then.  Set up a separate email address if you don’t want to deal with thousands of emails in the email account you use for work or personal matters, but don’t use false information because it wont get you anywhere in this hobby.
Most of all, HAPPY SWEEPSTAKING!  And keep an eye out for more tips and strategies right here on Sweepstaking.net!