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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Giveaway Pet Peeves

Besides hosting giveaways here, I enter them, too. I like winning stuff. Lately, it seems more and more sponsors just don't get how giveaways, technically contests, work. Or they completely understand and choose not to abide by the rules, since they feel nobody enforces them. Here are the biggest ones that I've run across lately. Did I miss any that drive you nuts?

Before reading my list, I want to add that I am not a lawyer so please don't consider any of this legal advice.
  1. Tweets too long. Many giveaways provide canned tweets for you to post to get an extra entry. Twitter tweets have an 140 character limit. I can't tell you how many times I've seen canned tweets that were over 140 characters. Once, I saw one that was well over 1,000 characters.
  2. Requiring a like on a Facebook page. This is against Facebook rules. Sponsors can require a like of a status/message, but not of their page. Nobody at Facebook seems to enforce this rule but you wonder if the giveaway host is going against those rules, do you trust them to pick an actual winner? Requiring the tagging of friends is also taboo.
  3. Requiring a purchase to enter. This is illegal. Sponsors have to provide a way for people to enter the contest without a purchase. It may not be as convenient to enter w/o a purchase, but it still has to be possible. Typically, this is a mail in option that requires you to provide a SASE to get a code sent back to you to then enter online.
  4. No clear end date. The giveaway form is setup with an end date but the form only shows that the giveaway ends in so many days or hours. Please put the end date somewhere in the text of the rules. 
  5. No time zones. An end date and time is great but if they forget to include the time zone, when is 11:59 pm? Actually, including the wrong time zone is something I'm seeing, too. 11:59pm EST is not the end of day in New York this time of year. We're in Daylight Savings Time. End of day is 11:59pm EDT if you want east coast end of day.
*Read my Disclosure


  1. I love this list. I don't think I've ever been bothered by #5 too much. 1, 2, and 3--definitely! #4 for those sites who still just request a commment instead of a form--they almost never have an end date.

    Another thing that bothers me with the Rafflecopter forms--they want you to click a link to a website but they put it in text instead of using html to create a real link.

    Thanks for saying some of the things that have been on my mind and keep up the great work with your site!

  2. Amen! To add to the list - Having too many entries. I'm not going to spend a half an hour clicking through entries. I skip those.

    Also, when one entry takes you to another page and you have to complete all those entries in order to click the one on the original page. For example, clicking on "Follow Blogger X" takes you to a page where you have to follow them on Bloglovin, Twitter, FB, Vote Picket Fence, Endorse on...etc. If you get to the bottom of that list and you don't have a Twitter account, you've just wasted your time because you can't claim the entry on the first page.

    I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who finds these "issues" annoying. Not big in the scheme of life but it's nice to vent to someone who understands :)

  3. Totally agree! I am always disappointed when the mandatory entry includes liking someone on Facebook. I choose not to 'do' Facebook for personal reasons. I should not be penalized for that.

  4. Thank you so much for listing these issues.

  5. #4 & #5 are pet peeves of mine. 1-3 are very true and I just make sure I read the rules.

  6. These things drive me nuts too.... especially the retweets that are too long. There is no excuse for that.

  7. I agree with your list. I've got a few more. I do the Instagram loops some lately and there is one account that for some inexplicable reason Never opens for me. When that happens I have just wasted a lot of time and probably some follows. It is infuriating.
    For blog giveaways I don't like when there are entries that require me to sign up for memberships or such AND when those entries though not mandatory count for say 100 entries when the other normal entries count 1 or 5. I try to avoid those.

    1. The inexplicable reason is you've been blocked by that person. If you log out, you'll be able to see what you're trying to look at.

    2. This happened to me again and it's very troubling! Do you have any advice as to how to deal with being blocked. I wish I knew WHY, if there is a reason, because I certainly don't mean to do anything wrong. Literally all I do is follow accounts and like photos and rarely comment (always nice). Instagram has some awesome giveaways and I hate to stop trying altogether. I know I will never ever have a DSLR camera unless I win one.

      It seems to me that if a giveaway requires a like and follow on All accounts to even have a chance to win, then the participants should not be allowed to randomly block people.

      Sorry, this bothers me way too much! I appreciate any input you might have. Thanks.

    3. I don't know why some co-hosts randomly block people. If they're trying to give their friends a better shot at winning or what. Maybe they just don't like your picture. Maybe you happen to be every fifth person who that happen to block. Who knows. Yeah, it is annoy. Yeah, I still enter them myself. No, I've never won an Instagram giveaway.


  9. Oh my gosh, I wish this could be shared everywhere!
    A couple quick thoughts:

    >> "Requiring a like on a Facebook page. This is against Facebook rules."
    ...Ugh, this has been bothering me so much-- I had no idea it was against FB rules! My FB page/feed looks NOTHING like it used to. I almost never browse FB casually to see what my friends are doing, or to catch articles/posts from magazines/blogs/etc. that I'm following.

    >> "Requiring a purchase to enter. This is illegal."
    ...Just a few days ago, I was looking online and trying to figure out the difference between a "sweepstakes" and a "giveaway." But I learned that once a fee is required for entry, the contest is officially/legally a lottery.
    I really haven't seen any giveaways requiring that a purchase be made, but a just recently saw a couple where making a purchase gives the entrant A LOT of entries.

    >> "No time zones."
    ...OH GOD. I hate this one. I'm in Central, and things get SO confusing. Plus, I stay up all night. (It's 4:30am right now.) Between about 10:30pm and 12:15am or so, it just gets so weird.

    I've got a couple more pet peeves, as well as a few things that just annoy me personally. I'm somewhat new to entering giveaways, and I'd say that the most difficult thing for me has been opening up my social media accounts (except for Facebook). I'm a pretty private person, and not a fan of social media in general. I only had Twitter for a week or two before I started entering giveaways! And oh, my god, Instagram... I have tried, and tried, and tried. It's changed my IG experience entirely, and for the worse. I'm just doing this in the hopes that it will all pay off some day... Some day. I hope. :(