Our top tips for entering competitions

Competitions can be a great way to win all sorts of prizes, from cash to holidays to a wide range of gadgets. There is no way to guarantee a win, but there are some steps you can take when entering competitions to improve your chances and ensure you don’t fall for any scams.

Be methodical when entering competitions

If you want to improve your chances of winning big in a competition, you need to enter lots of them! This requires a methodical approach. Work systematically through lists of competitions to find those that you want to enter and keep an eye on deadlines. Enter the soon-to-close competitions first and sometimes it can help to keep a record of your entries.

It helps to have your personal information to hand as you will need it with every new entry form. There are browser benefits (such as auto-fill in Google Chrome) that can help you complete forms incredibly quickly!

Avoiding scams in online competitions

One of the major concerns when you enter online competitions is whether they are a scam. Clearly, you don’t want to share your personal information with disreputable sites. That’s especially true in competitions where you have to pay to enter.

Be wary of prizes that seem too good to be true and ensure that you have up-to-date virus software.

The logo of the Institute for Promotional Marketing can be an indicator that a competition has been independently verified, but it is not a guarantee. Companies should be listed on the official government register on the Companies House site. Larger and more recognisable names are more likely (but not guaranteed) to be legitimate.


Many competitions will have an option to sign up for further marketing information when you complete the entry form. You may be able to opt to receive e-mails, texts or other forms of communication informing you of future competitions.

There may also be more information about the company’s products. If you are genuinely interested, then sign up for marketing communications. Each company needs to benefit from giving away a prize, and getting consumer information of who are interested in their products is one way. So if you want to continue to see companies giving away prizes then sign up to the ones which interest you!

Do read the form carefully, as different sites will vary as to whether you need to tick a box to receive further marketing communications or sometimes its a condition of entering the competition.

Terms and Conditions for entering competitions

It can be tempting to click the button that says you have read all of the T&Cs without actually reading them. They are often long, the font is small, and you just want to get on with entering the contest. Nevertheless, Terms and Conditions often contain important information, some if which is a legal requirement.

One common rule that is whether it is one entry per person or one entry per household. In some cases, the only way to find out is to read the Terms and Conditions. You do not want to lose out on a possible prize just because you missed a detail that disqualified you. Or because you ended up with unexpected expenses or travel requirements if you win.

Check Your Inbox

It can be helpful to have a dedicated e-mail address just for entering competitions. This makes it easier to keep track of your entries and stops potentially important information from disappearing in a mass of other e-mails. It also helps keep your main e-mail address free of spam.

This does, however, mean that you have to check your competition e-mail inbox regularly, especially if the time for prizes to be announced is approaching. Check spam folders regularly, in case any notification e-mail was accidentally filtered.

By following these few tips for entering competitions, you should be able to maximise both your enjoyment and your winnings, whilst avoiding any potential scams.

Use Competition Finder to help you find and enter all genuine competitions available.