4 Common Sweepstakes Prizes

If you’re not entering sweepstakes you may be wondering about the types of prizes you can win. It’s possible to win anything, and some people have won the most unexpected and craziest things like even sex toys, an aircraft or a race horse. Prizes like these are atypical; more ordinary and usable stuff are typical as prizes. Below are five more common types of prizes being given away in sweepstakes and contests:

Store gift cards and gift certificates to shop. Almost every company that sells a product line has given away shopping credits to their sweepstakes winners. It’s a natural for a merchant. What better and more thrifty way to promote their stuff than by giving away their own merch?

Free products. Same as above info on gift certificates. What they’re selling you could win. Smaller companies ship wins out by themselves most often; larger companies would likely use a judging agency to distribute prizes to the winners. (Tip: if you’re not interested in the company or the prize, it’s good etiquette to skip the contest and go onto another one you do like.)

Cash. Yep, cold hard cash is a very nice prize win, and it’s given out more substantial amounts than you would ever believe. Large companies tend to give out cash prizes as checks. Smaller companies may award smaller amounts, like a $25 Visa gift card. Personally, the oddest cash prize payment was 18 American Express gift certificates my mother received in a UPS special delivery envelope.

Free trips. These are great for people who have the time to get away, and they’re given out far more often than you’d ever believe. Sometimes a sweepstakes trip is tied to a specific even, and you’d have to go on the trip at the time the sponsor defines. Other times, when the trip is not tied to an event, you’d have the opportunity to choose your departure date. People who enter sweepstakes and contests over a long period of time tend to win multiple trips. If you talk to them, they may mention that they’re repeat visitors to common destinations such as New York City, Los Angeles, Orlando and Las Vegas. (Tip: if you’re not interested in the destination, or know you simply can’t get away to take the trip, leave it for someone else. There are lots of other trip giveaways you can enter.)

Lots of people are concerned about the notification process and would like to know how to be prepared. Sometimes when you win any of the above, the prize will show up unexpectedly at your door. (In the case of a trip win, you could be notified via UPS or FedEx courier.) More often, you’d receive an email notification tell you a great prize is yours.

It’s your responsibility to answer the sponsor and confirm your information within 48 hours (usually). If you miss the notification and don’t answer, the sponsor would be forced to pick another winner. Always be alert for your cash, trips, merchandise and gift certificate wins when you enter giveaways and sweepstakes.

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  1. Amy, you pose a great question. I’ve eneetrd recipe contests a few times and although I haven’t won, I did get an honorable mention in a Whole Foods contest which lead to a little attention from CNN with the recipe which led to nothing more than a few extra hits to the blog and a couple of women seeking me out at my place of employment one afternoon. Nothing scary or stalker-ish, just an interesting Andy Warhol moment.I think I may view the whole blogging thing as a bit of a personal competition. I have to get a post published by xx:xx or I’ve failed. If I don’t get something cooked and shot by XXday I’ve lost. Getting a photo into FoodGawker or Tastespotting is like winning a medal that day. And the list goes on. But these unspoken, not verbalized personal challenges make me better at what I like doing Writing, Cooking, Shooting and Sharing it all.I wonder if there’s much difference between giving content away in a contest with the potential of a prize or putting the same info up in a blog post for anyone to view and use whether legitimately or not and having nothing to gain other than the satisfaction of completing something and putting it out there to share with others?I wonder if different blogging niches have the same, thought-provoking discussions as food bloggers do?

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