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Nine Things To Watch Out For When Entering Online Competitions

We all love to win something, but you need to be careful that your comping is under control

We all love to win something, but you need to be careful that your comping is under control

Whether you’re trying to save a little money on tech or just looking to win some prizes, entering online competitions can be an enjoyable and exciting pastime, and it can also net you some neat (and usually expensive!) items. Some competitions are free to enter; however, often, the competitions with higher-value prizes may charge you to enter, and these are the ones you need to be more careful about when entering.

Entering online competitions isn’t always as easy as you might think it is, and if you’re not careful, you might fall prey to some common pitfalls.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a guide to help you navigate this occasionally difficult world. Here are 9 things to watch out for when entering online competitions!

1. Not all sites are the same

You might be tempted to think that every online competition website is created equal, and that they’re all essentially offering similar things.

This would be a misunderstanding, however. Some sites have different prizes, for instance, as well as different stipulations and conditions for entering.

Some sites might even be unscrupulously trying to steal information, which is why you should stick with safe competition sites like CompetitionGo or similar.

2. You’re not guaranteed to win

It doesn’t matter how many tickets you buy or what other measures you try to put in place; the simple truth is that on a competition website, you aren’t guaranteed to win.

If you go into a competition with that mindset, then you’ll have fun, and if you do win, then it’s a pleasant bonus that you can add to your experience.

However, entering a competition with the expectation of definitely winning a prize is a mistake because you could well end up disappointed; the chances of you winning are very slight, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't enter, after all you have to be in it to win it!

3. Prizes often refresh

Don’t see something you like when you visit your favourite competition website? It could be worth waiting a little while.

Competition websites’ prizes often rotate on a regular basis, which means that if you don’t see something you want right now, you might well do it in a few hours or even a few days. It's not such a problem if entry is free, but if you are paying for the privilege of entering, then step back and think about if the prize is worth the entrance fee.

Don’t feel like you have to participate just because you’ve got some money to burn or a desire to win something. Wait until you see a prize that you really want before you enter.

4. Read the rules carefully

Any above-board competition website will list its rules for anyone to read. If you don’t see a set of rules, then you should be concerned because a site might be trying to obfuscate something.

When you do find the rules, though, make sure that you read them very carefully. Don’t omit anything because the last thing you want is to be caught out by something you didn’t realise you needed to do.

Alternatively, you might, for instance, go to buy lots of tickets for a certain competition only to realise that this particular site doesn’t allow multiple purchases.

5. Many sites offer cash alternatives

If you’re really not seeing the prizes you want from a competition website, then it’s worth inquiring as to whether or not the site offers cash alternatives.

In short, these alternatives are usually universal prizes that roughly match the cash value of the prize on offer, and if you win the competition but don’t want the item in question, this could be a solid alternative.

Not every competition site offers this perk, though, so again, read those rules carefully!

6. Check payment methods carefully

The vast majority of competition sites will both accept and offer several different payment methods, usually including direct bank transfer, payment by PayPal, or debit and credit card transfer.

If a competition site insists on using one particular payment type over any other, then you should ask yourself why that might be, especially if it’s not a payment method traditionally subject to oversight.

Caution is the watchword when it comes to picking a good competition site.

7. Make sure to input your address correctly

If you’re lucky enough to win a competition, then the item will usually be sent to the address you input either during registration or at another stage.

It is, of course, imperative to ensure that you put in the right address during this time because if you don’t, your item might end up somewhere you don’t want it to.

The competition site may contact you to resolve the discrepancy, but you can’t always count on that happening.

8. Look into social media and online reviews

To verify the veracity and scruples of a competition website, one of the best things you can do is look into that site’s social media presence and online reviews.

Good competition sites will have robust profiles on sites like Facebook, as well as platforms like Instagram or X (formerly known as Twitter).

They will also have pages on sites like Trustpilot, which they will hopefully have claimed, so you’ll be able to see the experiences of other users.

9. Look after your money

Just like with any pastime that involves spending money, it’s a good idea to ensure that you don’t overspend when it comes to joining online competitions.

Keeping a close eye on your funds and making sure you don’t exceed a limit is a good way to have fun without feeling financially irresponsible or causing damage to your finances.

If you need to, don’t be afraid to recruit a friend or family member who can join in the competitions with you and can also act as a failsafe just in case you do find yourself spending too much.

When the fun stops, stop - GambleAware is a free service offering free advice and help to anyone concerned about their gambling habits.


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