I've always been quite lucky and I remember winning my fare share of competitions as a child. When I went to college, I found myself becoming addicted to entering competitions. It was only recently that I realised I've actually been side-hustling all that time. I don't enter massively now due to time constraints but in that 2 year period I have won the following which amounts to almost £5000 in value.
Entering competitions takes very little effort and absolutely no start up costs making it a good side-hustle option. In addition, you can enter as many or as few as you want, just your odds of winning increase the more you enter meaning it can be as time consuming as your want. It can be quite a time consuming process in particular when you are converting your prizes into cash. However, using online competition sites can help make it less time consuming.
How to make money through giveaways?
Making money through giveaways is relatively simple. Enter (and enter lots), Win, either keep the prize or convert to cash by selling. I would recommend creating social media accounts which you use for your competition entering only to ensure it doesnt get too messy (or you don't annoy your FB friends). When determining whether to sell, I look at whether I will use the prize, has it appreciated or depreciated already and, it is worth more I if use it? I primarily use Amazon and eBay primarily to sell on prizes and they are the quickest way and usually get the highest value. Though if you can sell to friends or family especially with gift cards you can often get the full RRP.
Some of the prizes we have won include:
- Amazon Gift Voucher- I won this through a Channel4 competition and initially thought I had won £100, but had in fact won £1000. My parents were looking to buy some big home goods at the time and so we agreed to swap the Gift voucher for cash.
- Art prints- I've won a couple of art works in my time. But in 2014 I won £3300 worth of Art from Eleanor Leone Bennett. As she is an up and coming photographer so I decided to keep the art work to allow it to appreciate in value.
- Annual Taste card- This prize gave us 2for1 meals out for a whole year at a variety of restaurants and was well worth more than the £75 cash value and had the potential to save us £100s over the year.
Where to find giveaways?
There a few really great sites that compile competitions listings and allow you to easily track them. I initially used ThePrizeFinder exclusively. However, now I use it in conjunction with MSE Competitions Forum. I find that ThePrizeFinder is easier to navigate but MSE has more listings. It a good idea to only enter for prizes you would want, so use the search functions on both of these sites to help you be more efficient in your entries. For those of you who are reading from the USA YoungAdultMoney regularly compiles a list of competitions. Another great option is to keep your eye out for local competitions in shops and newspapers. These generally have far fewer entries than national competitions thus increasing your chances of winning.
Di Coke is a master comper and has written extensively about how to be strategic in how to find and enter competitions to have the best odds of winning. She goes into this and more in her book SuperLucky Secrets which we would highly recommend if you are interested in starting this awesome hobby.