Friday, 2 May 2014

Tips on starting Comping

I started comping (entering competitions) way back in 2000. Things have changed a lot since those days. A lot of competitions back then were entering via postcard or filling in entry forms. Things have changed now and most competitions can be entered online for free so I thought I would start off with a few tips about getting started and then go into more details in further posts.

  • "You have got to be in it to win it." This is the first tip and probably the most important one when starting comping. So many of my friends in the past have asked me how I win so much. The answer is I enter a lot of competitions. You have got to enter, enter. enter and most importantly not give up after a week or even a month if nothing comes through the door. It's hard when you are entering competitions and not winning anything but if you aren't in the competition in the first place you aren't going to win. Someone has to win the competitions.
  • Create a new email address. Be prepared for spam. When entering competitions one of the drawbacks is the amount of spam (unwanted mail) you get. A lot of sites will invite you to register with them to enter or email them. No matter what you do there is no way to prevent your email address being used once you get started. If I could have started comping again right now I would have set up a new email address. I have been comping for 14 years on and off and I get roughly 500+ emails per day and the majority of which is spam. There are plenty of places where you can quickly and easily register a new email address - ie: Gmail
  • Think about what type of competitions you want to win. There are so many competitions online now that you need to start thinking what you want to win. Now I personally enter for goodies I know my family and extended family would like. A lot of friends who have started comping in the past have come back to me and said "I haven't won anything" and I ask them what they have been entering for and they say things like "gadgets, holidays, cash". Whilst these big wins are fantastic and are worth entering for there are also lots of lovely smaller goodies to be won. I personally love nothing more than winning a goody bag for say the latest film. You have to remember the bigger the prize the more people will be entering. Like I said I still enter the big competitions but I also aim for some of the smaller prizes too. It's each to their own really but it's always good to have an idea in your head as to what you would love to win and what would also make you smile to win. Once I have start posting my weekly wins you will see some of the smaller prizes that I win that also makes my family happy.
  • Where to go to find competitions.  I am going to compile a little list here of the sites I use and then go into more details on posts coming up on the blog in the future.

    For web/email competitions I use Money Saving Expert (also known as MSE by fellow compers) - I found the forum hard to use at first but in a future post I will show you exactly how I enter the competitions using the site.

    For Twitter competitions I use the twitter section of the Loquax Forum and again Money Saving Expert as mentioned above. Note: It's always best to make a new account just for entering competitions on twitter as it creates a lot of spam on your feed.

    For Facebook competitions I have a lot of comper friends on Facebook that if I see anything they share and I like I will enter too. Again I enter the odd Facebook competition that is found on MSE or Loquax.

  • Become part of the Comping family - a great thing I have found about entering competitions is that it's like you are part of a family. Once you have joined the pages above and made friends with other compers on Facebook it's great to interact with each other. One of my favourite parts of the day is logging into Facebook or the competition forums listed above and reading what other people have won. For the most part the comping community is great, friendly, kind and happy. You get the odd problem here and there with cheats but for the most part if you need any advice someone from the comping community is there to help. My favourite place for support, help and chat with regards to comping is the facebook group called Competition Announcements & Friendly Chat - the people here are brilliant and always willing to help.
  • Search for your wins - the great thing about Twitter is that when you win a competition on there they usually mention you (tag you) to let you know you have won. The same can't be said for Facebook and some Blog competitions so it's always advisable to check to see if you have won anywhere. My advice is to use Social Searcher  to search for Facebook wins. Just go to the page and type in your name and "congratulations" or "winner" ie for me I would type in :- "Ellen Stafford" winner or Congratulations "Ellen Stafford". There are also a few Facebook groups you can join too where people post winners lists - I recommend joining The winners circle happy one.
    Also another great way to search is through Google again searching using the above terms. Of course one of the best ways to find out if you have won is through comping friends tagging you on Facebook when they see you have won and vice versa if you see someone on your friends list has won a competition tag them in to let them know.
  • Get a Winspiration book - next time you are out and about try and buy a lined A5 notebook to be your new Winspiration book. Every time you win a prize write it in the book so when ever you are feeling low about comping or you aren't winning you can look back through your old wins and remember your past great wins to spur you on and to not give up, your next win could be just around the corner. I have a Winspiration book that has every single prize I have won written in from way back in 2000 right up to my most recent win, prize number 1086 (yes I number my wins) and it's great to get it out and look back. Sometimes you forget some of the past prizes. Here is a picture of the inside of my book so you can see how I lay it out but it's up to you. It's also a good idea to have either another book or place to write down prizes you are waiting for because sometimes companies take a long time to send things out and you might need to chase them up. There will be more info on this later on in my blog.

My Winspiration book

I think that is all for now. There will be more tips and more detailed posts about a lot of the above to come in the future. 

If you wish to make me your first comping friend you can add me on Facebook or my comping account on Twitter

If you decide to start entering competitions I wish you the best of luck and would love to hear from you about your wins. 


  1. Trish - facebook (Patricia Richardson)2 May 2014 at 20:17

    Lovely blog Ellen! :D xxx

  2. some great tips here Ellen, i like the idea of the book, i think i will give that a go, at the moment i record my wins by photographing them, but that's not always possible with some wins such as the breakdown cover i won for my husbands car.

  3. I've only just starting 'comping' and have little idea of what I'm doing. This is great help though, and I'm really enjoying waiting for my first win!

    Euan (

  4. Great post :) I come across new compers asking me questions from time to time, so it's great to write a guide. I like your Winspiration book - I track mine on my secondary blog, but I'm terrible for keeping it up to date :P

  5. I love the winspiration book - I won a notebook recently so this is what Ill be using it for!

  6. great post hun and congrats on all your 2015 win i will def do a winspiration book :)