I love giveaways, but….
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First, let me say that I appreciate ALL that giveaway hosts/bloggers do to bring me giveaways, bring me chances to win (and I have won A LOT over the years! THANK YOU BLOGGERS EVERYWHERE!!), and bring me all the freebies and deals that they do. I realize that it is a full-time job for a lot of bloggers out there and I am not taking that for granted AT ALL. I love giveaways and I enter them almost every single day and I win stuff all the time. I am a total giveaway junkie!
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What this post is about though, is stuff pertaining to giveaways that make me binky-bonkers and even angry sometimes! I just needed a place to vent about these annoyances/turn-offs/etc. and am using my blog as my soapbox. I will state right up front that what I am about to say may offend some bloggers who host giveaways and I apologize for that RIGHT NOW! Hopefully anyone who is pissed by this post will use it as a learning tool (I am a follower and am voicing my honest opinion about how blogs are handled so its free feedback!) and maybe make some changes to their policies or pass it on to others who may need to read it(or benefit by reading it). I know that I am NOT the only one who hates the stuff I am about to rag on. I have even discussed these issues with several giveaway bloggers who have been nice enough to take the time to talk to me about my issues and agreed with many and sometimes all of them. I also want to say that this does not apply to all giveaway blogs by a long shot or I would have given up entering giveaways a very long time ago. There are just a select few out there that do these things and I have had the unfortunately opportunity to have to deal with them. ALSO by “them” I do not mean the bloggers themselves, but rather the rules of the blogs or entry forms or entry methods etc. NONE of my rant is about a PERSON or even a specific blog (there are TONS out there that do these things and I am not a bully)!!!
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Lastly, before my tirade starts, let me state that I am not a giveaway blogger and would never want to be. I realize that some of the rules and regs and entry issues have been created to help the blogger work more effectively/efficiently or to try to stop cheating that is rampant in the giveaway world. Bloggers have to do what they must to make their blogs work for them. I understand this 100%. I just don’t like the outcome some of the times. OK…I think I have CYA’ed enough here. I know I can’t say all I need to and that someone will end up pissy and maybe feel the need to yell at me, but such is life. I can’t make everyone happy just like no one can make me happy all of the time. So there! LOL Here we go!
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This is a list of grievances I have against certain giveaway rules/regs/entries/etc. These things make me NUTS and sometimes down right FURIOUS! Feel free to chime in with a comment if you agree! Or an explanation that may calm me down, if there is one I haven’t already heard! LOL
*one entry per household/IP address
This one really irks me. My hubby and I used to love to do giveaways together. We have two PCs and would enter contests together and it was so much fun. Suddenly, almost all the blogs I followed started limiting your entries not by person but by household or IP address. This is SO unfair. I am one person and my hubby is a completely different human. Some people have roommates who share the same PC and suddenly only one of them is allowed to enter. Some people have kids or siblings or any of the assorted and various ways people can all live in one household and share one IP address but still be completely different humans and now they are all fucked. This rule took away one of the fun things my hubby and I shared doing together. It completely destroyed that fun together time. I know why they did it…cheaters…people entering under different names/email addresses but being the same person. I even heard one blogger say that one woman was doing it under like 6 different aliases. I even got an email from some crazy stranger saying that my hubby and I were cheaters and that my hubby didn’t exist! Nutjob! Anyway…it sucks.
*winners announced on post or winners page or anywhere else but not emailed directly
How long does it really take to email a winner? I know that bloggers are busy people, but it seems to me that it takes just as long to create a winners post as it would to just email the winner to let them know. It is a hassle to have to bookmark every giveaway I enter where the blogger has this policy and then go back and check every day until a winner is posted, which can be months in some bloggers’ cases. If you are going to make me come back and check, the least you can do is pull the winner and post it on the day the giveaway is over. I currently have like 20 pages bookmarked with giveaways I have to check daily to see if I won and some are as old as June! That is insane! I will even leave comments asking them to post a winner but those usually (not ALWAYS thank you to those who respond) go ignored completely or the blogger deletes my comments! RUDE! Sure I know bloggers have lives! I am not a monster. But part of their life has been chosen by them to be a giveaway blogger, so I feel this is part of their responsibility to their followers and giveaway entrants and their sponsors!
*no end date given
I can’t tell you how many times I go to a new blog or even an old blog and they have a giveaway posted with no end date. It will maybe say something like “ends next Friday” or, in the case of entry forms like rafflecopter it will have a days left countdown but no end date in the rules or anywhere on the post. ARGH! I enter TONS of giveaways and often bookmark ones to come back to when I have time. If there is no end date, I have no idea when I have to be entered by! This make me nuts. Please please put the end date and time!!!
*confusing end time
When you put the end time on your giveaway, I am BEGGING you to put AM or PM and the timezone! I can NOT tell you how many giveaways I have missed out on even entering because of confusion over when a giveaway actually ends. It is heartbreaking and frustrating!
*limiting how many times you can win
Most blogs do not do this but some do and its maddening. Limiting how many times a person can win on your blog over a certain period of time is stupid and basically unfair. If the winners are drawn at random then fairness is already built in. Everyone has the same chance to win, so making someone’s luck turn into a punishment sucks. Plus, it keeps people away from your blog during that time frame afterward. If you allow someone to win once a month or once every 90 days then that person, me, will not be back to your blog until my jail sentence is up. Now if the sponsors limit one person from winning their prizes more that once, that is understandable. But limiting your own followers from being able to enter your giveaways is crazy! Let random.org handle the fairness angle.
*multiple entries under one rafflecopter entry
This one really pisses me off and has cost me hundreds of entries over the months since rafflecopter was first introduced to the giveaway world. For starters, Facebook and Twitter have follow/like limits. People like me, who enter giveaways every day, hit those limits pretty fast. As new blogs are formed and join the giveaway world, new FB and Twitter pages are born. I can’t follow them all due to the aforementioned restrictions. Thus, when bloggers host these HUGE giveaways where hundreds of bloggers sign up to help pay for it etc., a problem is born. How to get all the pages liked and followed on the rafflecopter form. Their solution has been to lump all the entries into one entry on the rafflecopter form. This is great, if you haven’t hit your following/liking limits. But if you have, you will find yourself fucked out of tons of entries because you can’t follow/like any more pages. You will go to the page, see that you have already liked/followed over 1/2 or maybe all but one but you can’t claim ANY of those because they have been lumped. This is NOT fair. You are punishing people like me by lumping stuff together. I have discussed this with lots of bloggers and some have agreed and others have been like tough titty sorry for your luck I don’t care tough shit. What a way to treat a follower! If people are too lazy to click all the individual buttons, then that should be their loss not MINE! I should get entries for all the accounts I already follow/like because that is what is FAIR! GRRRR I could go on and on here about this one. I miss the days where bloggers just did their own single blog giveaways.
*mega giveaways with multiple hosts and insane amounts of entries
Pro: enables HUGE prizes for cash or large ticket items
Con: creates a rafflecopter form with over 100 entry methods that can take over an hour to fill out
outcome: molten lava rage from your giveaway entrants
Just stop these or change them! Please! I am begging you! Sure I don’t have to enter them and a lot of them I don’t. I want to win the big stuff but I want a real chance at it too. When the entries are set up unfairly (see previous tagged complaint) or are given too much point value, you end up with entries into the 10s if not 100s of thousands! That is TOO much!!! Plus, if its cash, that works out to like $1 a blogger at most! Sweet lord make it stop! Pay more per blogger or something! LOL Its hard because I want the chance to win these things, but the way they are set up and the amount of blogs involved is just getting out of hand. Sometimes it will be over 100 entries for a $10 GC! Really? At least if you are going to make entering these mega giveaways a nightmare, make it worth my time!
*ridiculous mandatory entries
First let me say that sometimes I realize that these are set by the sponsors and I understand that bloggers often feel the prize outweighs the silliness of the mandatory entry request. I get that, but I often wonder if the sponsors realize how much they are asking? Most mandatory entries are easy and fine and I have no issue with them. They will be to follow the blog or like the blog’s FB page or the sponsor’s FB page. 100% acceptable and expected mandatory entry. But some are just gross and rude and greedy! I had one recently where you had to BUY the book to enter the giveaway! Granted it was a 99cent ebook but still! Is that even legal? I can’t imagine thinking it is OK to force people to buy something to enter a giveaway! As a matter of fact, most sweeps and giveaways run by legit companies specifically say “no purchase necessary” and have an alternative entry for those who don’t want to buy something. I am pretty sure that is a law. Anyway…this is just one example. Just realize that the mandatory entry needs to be short, sweet, and easy! Make the bonus entries stupid and hard sure. They are bonus entries and if you want them you shouldn’t mind working for them. But to be fair, the mandatory entry should be something anyone can do and would be happy to do to support the blogger or sponsor.
*too many entries
I have entered giveaways where there were over 20 ways to enter the giveaway. That is crazy. I mean sure, I will do them all if its something I really want, because I want all the chances I can get. And I appreciate having all of those chances. But to be honest, my favorite giveaways are the ones where there is one entry per person period. It levels the playing field and makes it fair for everyone playing. Some blogs do this and I love them. Just putting that out there. Sure I know I wouldn’t win as much and I honestly don’t know if I have ever won something on a blog where I got one entry. But, I love how fast and easy it is to enter. And if all blogs did this, I would enter even more giveaways than I do now! Just sayin’!
*wordpress blogs with comment timing
I am a fast typist. I also copy/paste a lot of my giveaway entries as they are the same entries for every single blog (ones like I follow you or I like you on FB etc.). Therefore, I can enter a lot of comments quickly. UNLESS I hit a wordpress blog. Then its the sit and wait game because you get that nice little message that says “slow down you are commenting too fast.” ARGH! That phrase makes me break out in hives! I am guessing the timing is due to spam comments. I can’t think of any other reason why it would be needed. I just know that I hate it.
OMG captcha is how the devil gets in; I swear! I cannot tell you how annoying it is to be done with a comment and ready to hit submit only to be stalled by having to squint at the screen and decipher gibberish in the form of numbers and letters. Unless I am leaving a comment anonymously, I see no need for captcha. Its a great way to filter spambots I know, but if I am signed into my account to leave a comment, I am not spam! Maybe spambots sign in? I don’t know. I just know that captcha makes me violent!
*TrueTwit twitter validation
OMG this is really annoying! If you are going to make following you on Twitter an entry, then please get rid of TrueTwit! I don’t check my email after every person I follow to make sure my follow went thru! I assume it did and then the next day I get an email saying that they use TrueTwit! I wonder if I have lost any giveaways because I didn’t validate my account to confirm my follow in time? Probably! SO annoying!!
*ridiculous time limits for claiming prizes won
I would say that 99% of blogs give you 48hrs to claim your prize once the winner is contacted or posted. Some blogs only give you 24hrs. Some blogs give you a week. I am not sure who decided that 48hrs was adequate time for someone to be notified of a prize win and get back to you, but sometimes its just not fair. What if you are on vacation? What if your power goes out? What if for whatever reason you do not have access to your email or the web to see if you won? You just get screwed! Personally, I think all winners should have AT LEAST one full 7 day week to claim. Most power or web outages and most vacations do not last longer than that. I am sure that I have lost prizes due to these time constraints and I know for a fact that I almost lost a prize just last week due to this. The only thing that saved me was a tech issue on the blog itself or I would have lost my prize! I am not sure why the time limits have been set so short to be honest. I have never asked why either to be fair. ALSO if you are going to have these time limits, do the winners a favor and let them know you got their claim. Just a simple reply to the claiming email will suffice!
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PHEW!!! THAT FELT GOOD!!!!!
I know there are more things that make me nuts…but these are all of the big ones that I can think of right now. I am sure I will add to my list eventually as new things happen or old things remind me of things I forgot. I hope you enjoyed reading my rant and, if you are a giveaway entrant, you can empathize with me. If you are a blogger, I hope you understand my issues and know its nothing personal. Just something more for me to bitch about! LOL
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