Reasons I didn’t enter your giveaway

People seem to like this meme, and it’s nice because I enjoy making lists. 🙂 Robin did a 6 Sticks post last week, and Tori did one today. This one’s topic is reasons. You can learn more about this and find link back methods on the introductory post.

This may or may not come off as an angry rant. Actually, it’s technically me trying to be informative, because YOU are breaking the rules on a lot of levels with some of the things you’re doing. This is to all of the giveaway hosts that are doing ANYTHING on the list below. If you’re caught breaking the rules, your account(s) could be suspended and/or deleted by said social networks. I mean, you do read the terms, don’t you?!

Rule-breaking reasons are stated as such.

1. You host a giveaway without using a third-party approved widget (like Rafflecopter) and require people to Like/friend you on Facebook.

News flash: This IS against the rules! Not only is it an inconvenience to me considering I don’t want to lose my Facebook account for doing something that you’re requiring even though it’s against the rules, but it counts as an entry for a giveaway that [apparently] is something I’m interested in entering. Even worse, if a requirement/entry is to Like/comment a post/picture/etc., then that’s even more against the terms. You did read Facebook’s Pages Terms before hosting this giveaway, right? They even have a special set of guidelines for promotions, too.

You’re breaking the rules, and you’re dragging down all participants with you. I used to email people about this until they told me, “Well, I never got in trouble for it before, so if I don’t get caught it’s fine. If I do, I’ll know it was you who ratted me out.” I was really, honestly just trying to be nice. I’m done being nice to ignorant people. If you don’t follow the rules, you get consequences. I’m so not going to be in the mix of people not following the rules.

Furthermore, having your giveaway directly on Facebook and requiring people to Like, Share, then comment that post to be entered is also breaking the rules. You have to use a third-party application.

P.S. Those pages that use Facebook’s Like system as a voting mechanism are also going against Facebook’s terms.

2. You use Rafflecopter, but you require me to follow 5+ people on GFC, Bloglovin’ or Hello Cotton.

I’m talking about you, who has these in a separate entry, and has 5+ people for me to follow. If it’s sponsored, this entry requirement/option is even more stupid considering the next set is all of their Twitter accounts, all of their Facebook accounts, all of their Pinterest accounts. I also hate it when people require me to subscribe via RSS but make me go through Feedburner first — using my EMAIL. For me, that is one of THE most INCONVENIENT methods of subscribing unless I really love your blog.

However, you don’t care about me. You just care about the numbers. Nothing more, nothing less. And THAT, fellow blogger, is most likely the reason I despise you and want Blogger to disappear. You’re ruining my impression of Blogger for all of the Blogger bloggers that don’t abuse its features and image. But hey, that’s another blog post for another time.

P.S. 5 is enough. Otherwise, I feel like it’s merely spam.

P.S.S. If/When I follow, it means absolutely nothing to me considering I never use those things for my subscriptions. Now I use Bamboo, an extension for Thunderbird.

3. You use Rafflecopter, and one of the entries requires me to go to another page to follow a set of Facebook/Bloglovin’/Hello Cotton/GFC links for the sponsors.

Technically, this is against Facebook’s terms since you are no longer going through the third-party application. Aside from that, this is an annoying inconvenience.

4. Certain entries (i.e. Instagram) equal more entries.

Firstly, this is more for you to moderate, assuming you do moderate them as people enter (see #6). Second, I don’t have an Instagram account because I can’t get one because I don’t have a product that allows me to have one. Also, why can’t entries all just be worth 1? Someone else is getting extra entries, I did the rest of the entries, and now I miss anywhere from 1-10 extra entries because you’ve included Instagram. THOSE ENTRIES could have helped me to win.

And you’re a witch for being inconsiderate and making me feel like the unpopular kid in school again.

5. “Click this if you’ve completed all of the entries above! Be honest!”

Fuck you. 100% of the time I CAN’T because I’M NOT making an account on that service JUST FOR YOU.

6. “DON’T LIE! Winning entries (or the winning entry) will be moderated at time of drawing!”

In other words, this is what you’re freaking telling me:

I will moderate winning entries only. If your entry is false, you won’t win and another person will be drawn.

Here is the problem with that:

If you have, say, 500 entries from people, whether each option was worth 1 entry or not, and only about 20 people joined, hypothetically that’s 25 entries each through all 20 people.

That means that each person has a 5% chance of winning.

Unfortunately, if you do not moderate these entries as you go, then the chance of winning decreases per person.

Say only 10 entries of 5 of those people are legitimate.

If you moderate entries as you go, you are being a FAIR giveaway host by giving your participants a fair chance of winning.

The equation:

  • 15*25 for the 15 people who actually did all 25 entries they sent in = 375 entries
  • 5*10 for the 5 people who only did 10 of the 25 entries they sent in = 50 entries
  • Rather than having 500 entries, you really only have 425 legitimate entries
  • The difference is 75 entries.

In conclusion:

  • The 15 people who actually did all 25 entries they sent in now have about a 6% chance of winning1.
  • The 5 people who actually only did 10 entries of the 25 they sent in now have about a 2% chance of winning2.

See the difference? Please moderate as you go, and then again as winners are chosen. Host a FAIR giveaway. Tweet this to share awareness on how to do this!

See?

Math IS used in real life after school.

  1. Rounded up from ~5.88% and using the equation (25/425)=100x.
  2. Rounded down from ~2.35% and using the equation (10/425)=100x.

Sorry, but comments are closed on this post.

Comments on this post

Georgie’s gravatar

I love your rants. They make so much sense and most of the time I rarely disagree. Even when I do, it’s usually for a personal reason. But you’re right — this is informative and you have such valid points. Can I just say, who the hell does #5? Whoever actually includes some of these in their giveaways are not holding a fair giveaway at all.

I feel you on the Instagram thing. I still find it unfair that a heck of a lot of companies who hold giveaways say “like us on Facebook to enter”. I really dislike this. Of course, they can do what they want, but back before the internet existed, people filled in forms and put them in a barrel. I know it’s super easy to do things via the internet and using computer technology these days, but what on earth is wrong with having a form and getting users to submit to enter a competition? Instead you’re using a third-party service (Facebook) to get people to enter your competition, and you’re making them log into their account elsewhere (Facebook) and/or signing up for a service they may or may not know anything about (Facebook).

Not to mention, are you really that obsessed/determined to get “Likes” on what is just a computer-generated page by asking people to enter that way? Grrr.

Angie’s gravatar

As much as I detest moderating entries as I go, I understand the importance. If it’s my money that’s going into the giveaway, I am certainly NOT going to let someone try to cheat. The last giveaway I held on my geek blog had so many cheaters it wasn’t even funny. That is one thing I hate about rafflecopter, there’s no ban option. It’s a pain in the ass to have to ban the IP from your server, especially when they can just go through a proxy after all is said and done.

Anyway, this is a good list and something that people should consider. I certainly will!

Liza’s gravatar

@Angie, I don’t even understand WHY people would put effort into cheating, anyway! I think it gets worse as the prize(s) get(s) bigger, be it in size or price. I doubt other big giveaway hosts actually moderate their entries.

Gretch’s gravatar

Thanks for pointing these out. I wasn’t aware of facebook’s rules regarding giveaways. Makes me wonder how people doesn’t get caught, considering some of those like/share/comment giveaways are all over facebook with thousands of likes. Not to mention some of these are popular brands.

I can’t even stress enough how annoying it is to follow every facebook,twitter,pinterest of multiple sponsors. The instagram part is annoying too. My phone doesn’t support instagram. And I really hate it when I can’t unlock other entries just because I didn’t follow on instagram.

And I don’t get it why contestants can’t just get 1 entry each. It would be far more easier that way. I used to think 1 entry = 1 person. And when there are 500 entries, I didn’t want to join anymore because I won’t win, most likely. LOL

The sad part is, some people who hosts giveaways nowadays doesn’t care whether it’s fair or not. They’re more interested in what they get from it.(*cough*traffic *cough*).

Ashley’s gravatar

You just might be my hero. I almost never enter giveaways because they’re almost always about buying followers. No thanks!

Cindie’s gravatar

Found this post via 20sb, thanks for writing it! I don’t mind when blogs host linkups and shared contests because it gives me a chance to find other blogs I might be interested in, but I don’t enter those contests because I don’t want to be forced to follow x number of people. And I’m with you on the Facebook thing too. I use Facebook for personal use only, and the Pages that I like are few and far between. They are usually a local restaurant or something along those lines, not a blog that I already follow in at *least* one other venue.