I would wager nearly all of us have entered a competition at one time or another. Whether the prizes are small or big, it doesn’t matter – sometimes it’s the thrill of the ‘what if?’ that drives us. I entered a competition on Instagram to enter a cookbook this morning, and it sparked a memory. I remember watching a documentary ( maybe a Louis Theroux one) about people who obsessively entered competitions and won ridiculous amounts of everyday items. Whilst I wasn’t interested in winning a lifetime supply of toilet paper, I thought giving comping, or the practice of entering multiple competitions, a go could be a fun new thing. I was not wrong.
I realised early on that international competitions were quite rare. If I was to go all-in on comping, I had to do it locally and stick to German competitions only, but where to start? I found a great blog post on Die Plaudertasche with some tips and tricks as well as a couple of websites that collate all the current competitions. Some top tips were to enter as many competitions as possible, to enter as many ways as possible: SMS, post, telephone, email. You’ve got to be in it to win it!
I used Einfach-Sparsam and Gewinn-Portal to find the competitions and I honestly lost track of how many I entered. I entered for prizes big and small, but I have no idea how many times I entered my email address or contact details – I guess I’ll find out when all the newsletters and spam emails start popping up! The most bizarre one was for a DVD of season 1 of Lost, a TV series that came out 16 years ago. I’m not sure why the website was giving these away, but I thought it was too funny not to enter so, fingers crossed, hopefully I’ll be re-watching Lost very soon!
I had so much fun doing this, but I can see how it can become addictive. I entered around 30 competitions in the space of 45 minutes. It is truly exhilarating to think you could win something, even if it’s as small as a bag of Haribo or a bottle of gin. I can really see why people devote their days to doing it, setting up different accounts to have the best chance, and applying to the big competitions in all the possible ways. I’m not going to lie, I’m definitely excited to see if I will win anything, but I had to very consciously cut myself off from entering any more. I guess in some way it’s a form of low stakes gambling, but I had to question how much information I was giving out and to whom. Comping was definitely a fun new thing, and one I hope to see some return from!