A Room Full of #Compers! The London #Competitors’ Club, aka The LCC.

What is the one thing you will NEVER be able to win in a competition?  I will leave you to ponder that for a moment.

For years I’ve been intrigued about comping groups, days where compers get together to discuss there hobby, exchange entry forms, and generally have a bit of fun.  Well back in March I attended my first ever meeting of The LCC, (London Competitors’ Club).

Spotting a tweet out about the day from the very lovely Jane Willis, also an avid comper whom many of you will know from her grapevine blog, I decided to try it out.

A room full of compers at the LCC.

A room full of compers at the LCC.

 

So, did you make a guess?  What is the one thing compers can NEVER win?

Well ‘time’ of course!  Although I have truly wished for more hours in the day over the past few months.  I’ve moved to a new area, embarked on a different career, and am (still)! redecorating.  Comping and blogging have sadly taken a back seat.  But I thought I’d write a post about this experience as coming up on Saturday 28th June 2014 will be another meeting.

I had no idea what to expect at all when I attended the last one, but I was immediately greeted by friendly faces and guided through the day by the more experienced members.  We had a number of fun quizzes, an opportunity to exchange entry forms, a raffle, tea and cake – and of course opportunity to exchange winning experiences.  I went from nervously attending to having lots of fun within the space of 5 minutes, so I am duly converted and keenly looking forward to the next meet up!

For further information please visit The London Competitors’ Club website.

The LCC isn’t closed to those people living in London, it is open to anyone who wishes to attend.  I saw it as an opportunity for a day out in the big smoke and cheekily before the meeting squeezed in a visit to the Ideal Home Exhibition.  (I had of course won tickets)!  I was again a first time attendee, and again would love to return.  Here I am with a couple of bargains I snapped up.

Visiting the Ideal Home Show with FREE tickets!

Visiting the Ideal Home Show with FREE tickets!

 

Well I had better get back to the decorating!  But hope this post has inspired you to search for a comping group in your local area.  Like everything in life, comping is best enjoyed with friends. Be lucky x

Winspiration: Busy moving home so less #Competition #Wins, but no dry spell yet….. fingers crossed!

The last few weeks have been very chaotic as myself and Mr Wills have been moving home.  The place we moved to needs a lot of work, not heavy duty building.  But everything needs a good scrub and (more than a few) licks of paint!  I’m feeling in a ‘nesting’ mood as I have in my life been inclined to be a little nomadic, so I’m very busy trying to source just the right pieces of furniture at the right price.  This is William settling in on the new leather corner sofa, purchased from a private seller on Gumtree for just £250.  Bargain!

William settling in nicely!

William settling in nicely!

 

So my apologies for the lack of posts during this busy time in my life.  Luckily I haven’t hit a dry spell yet, even though I’ve only been comping for one or two hours a week since the move.  I think my hard work and extra hours before is carrying me through!  The biggest value prize since my last winspiration post was 2 tickets to the opera and a signed limited edition print worth £300.  I also had one of those rare, but extremely welcome days, when the wins just keep coming.  It was the week before my radio interview.  Three wins from twitter: A £40 Voucher to spend at Giraffe, a beautiful bracelet from Beaverbrooks – also worth £40, and £50 in vouchers to spend in a local shopping centre…… and then on facebook: A breakfast in bed hamper, (muffins, jams, teas, coffee etc), from Bishops Move worth £30.  So a very good day, wish all comping days were like that!

On Instagram the very next morning I had a fab win of a pair of GHDs worth £145.  My other wins since the last post have been smaller items.  But I’m still very happy this year, I’ve already reached over £2500 in prize value with over 9 months of comping left, woo hoo!

If you read my blog regularly you will know that experiences are prizes that especially appeal to me.  I enjoy doing ‘different’ things, seeing new places, eating lovely food, and often being inspired.  From a simple RT on twitter over the Christmas Advent period I won a Falconry experience for two at Coniston Hotel, in a very beautiful part of the world near Skipton.  The prize was especially appealing as it included lunch to the value of £50.

Falconry Experience & Lunch at Coniston Hotel near Skipton.

Falconry Experience & Lunch at Coniston Hotel near Skipton, North Yorkshire.

 

I had no idea what to expect on the day, (except cold weather which didn’t let me down)!  But I had the most fabulous time.  I learned about the birds from a very experienced guide, and we got to handle an Owl, Harris Hawk…….. and a Golden Eagle.  I think we were very lucky as this isn’t normally part of the day.  There were a mixture of people on the experience, some who were thinking of taking up falconry, to others like myself who really just wanted to get closer to a bird of prey than normally allows.  I have to say I was a bit nervous when the Eagle, (with a wing span of 6ft), swooped down at me.  But afterwards I felt exhilarated.

If you do the experience please remember to wrap up warm.  Standing out on a hillside for a few hours, in the English Countryside, in March, is freezing!  But when the eagle landed it was soon forgotten, and then we headed off to spend our £50 on lunch.  The hotel was superbly furnished with a splendid view in the dining room.  We were led to a reserved table, and have to say the food and service could not be faulted.  It was really a great day.  And yes I did have a starter, main AND dessert!

I hope this post gives you winning inspiration.  Please do share with me your wins on facebook, twitter or even instagram…..  its great to hear your winning ways also!

#Competition: #Win a Wine Bundle & £20 #CASH: Ends Midnight Sunday 23/03/2014

Incase you missed it on Facebook or Twitter the lucky winner of the fashion bracelet was Stephen Little – I’m still waiting for him to get in touch with his contact details, so if you know him please let him know.

But a treat this month, we have a new competition to win a wine themed bundle consisiting of; A wine wedge bottle storage solution, A french waiter wine stopper – and £20 CASH to spend on wine, or infact anything you want!

Wine Bundle & £20 Cash!

Wine Bundle & £20 Cash!

The competition is hosted on facebook using rafflecopter;  https://www.facebook.com/How2bBornLucky/app_228910107186452

This competition is unsponsored and will close at Midnight on Sunday 23rd March 2014.  The winner will be announced within 48 hours of this date.  Good luck!

Please remember to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss out on the latest competitions & giveaways.

How do you define a professional #comper? Is there such a thing as a professional #competition enterer?

In a previous post I asked, can you make a living from entering competitions?  At the end of that post I made the bold statement;  There is no such thing as a professional comper!  I know many will disagree with this so here is my justification, (and do remember folks everyone can have their own opinion, it doesn’t mean someone is right and someone else is wrong).

Depending on which dictionary you use there are a number of different definitions as to what ‘professional’ means, but this short statement sums it up for me;

“Engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as an amateur”

Most people I know who are highly successful in winning put the hours in that would be equivalent to a part, or even full time position.  But they still don’t earn enough to pay the mortgage or rent every month of the year.  They may earn in value thousands and thousands of pounds.  But that can’t always be converted into the actual cash that is needed in your account to pay for the mortgage and bills.  Another guaranteed income stream is generally funding that, with ‘comping’ as a nice bonus.  Competitions can provide a way for a family on a modest income to have a few luxuries in life.  As per the definition above, if you can not rely solely on comping to be your main paid occupation then to me this means you are not a professional comper.  (And is why I dislike the term so much)!

I've been on the radio talking about competitions, but I don't class myself as professional - comping doesn't pay my bills!

I’ve been on the radio talking about competitions, but I don’t class myself as professional – comping doesn’t pay my bills!

 

However, I do believe (and know) there are people out there that make a living from association with competitions.  There are magazine subscriptions, online services, even blogs(!) out there.  Some generate money for the people behind them, those who put the hard work and hours in to make an income.  But to me if someone publishs’ a magazine for a living then wouldn’t they be a professional publisher?  They may be a highly skilled comper as well, but it is the activity of publishing that is there ‘main paid occupation’.  Food for thought!

The idea behind this post came about because I recently saw a national company include in their competition t&c’s, no professional compers allowed to enter!  Its a term that has always frustrated me a little, so I wanted to examine it.  My conclusion from both postings, (can you make a living from entering competitions, and this post), is that there is no such thing as a professional comper.  Personally I’m just well practised, or good at my hobby – I should be after almost 15 years!  What are your thoughts?  Do you like the term professional?  If not, what do you prefer?

Competition: Win a Fashion Bracelet worth £10: Ends Midnight Thursday 27/02/2014

Incase you missed it on Facebook or Twitter the lucky winner of the Beauty Bundle worth over £80, was Lisa Lubbock.

But never fear, we have a new competition to win a fabulous sparkly fashion bracelet worth £10.

Emporium Bracelet worth £10

Emporium Bracelet worth £10

The competition is hosted on facebook using rafflecopter;  https://www.facebook.com/How2bBornLucky/app_228910107186452

This competition is unsponsored and will close at Midnight on Thursday 27th February 2014.  The winner will be announced within 48 hours of this date.  Good luck!

Please remember to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss out on the latest competitions & giveaways.

Winspiration: Its all about Twitter with the #Competition #Wins, & I did get a Valentines meal after all!

Well, even though I’m a comping addict, I have to say I am glad the never ending Valentines day competitions are just about over.  Being a singleton seeing so many hearts and flowers, and asking day after day to talk about how I met my partner, had worn a little thin.  My (non-comping) best friend is also highly relieved.  She was tagged so much I’m told she had to have her phone constantly on charge!  But having had a little moan I still managed to enjoy a Valentines night out.  I spotted a local competition for a Valentines meal package worth £70.  It was on facebook and only had 2 entries, well I just couldn’t stop myself as usual.  So my mum and I had quite a chuckle to ourselves and had a lovely evening with fabulous food, we had a trio of desserts to share that honestly were to die for.

Chocolate Overload at The Kyte Hotel, Pontefract

Chocolate Overload at The Kyte Hotel, Pontefract

 

I have copied and pasted below all the wins I have had since my last Winspiration post in January.  As you can see its definitely Twitter leading the way for me producing most wins.

£50 Voucher to spend at London Furniture Online http://londonfurnitureonline.co.uk/ Twitter
Wine Duo Zizzi Restaurants Twitter
£50 Restaurant Voucher Brindisa Tapas Kitchen Twitter
Hawaiian Tropic Aftersun Gift Set Hawaiian Tropic Twitter
£15 Voucher Holland & Barrett Twitter
2 Tickets to Premiere of Cuban Fury LoveFilm Twitter
Couple’s Pleasure Sex Toy Set Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium Twitter
Ragdale Hall Spa Day for 2 Late for Reality Blog Blog
SupeMyBreak Suitcase & Travel goodies Superbreak Pinterest
Pair of Cinema Tickets to see ‘Endless Love’ Sheffield Star Twitter
Valentines Meal for 2 at Kyte Hotel – Pontefract Izziwizzi Wakefield Facebook
Sterex Aloe Vera Soothing Gel Sterex Electrolysis International Limited Facebook

 

The Ragdale Hall Spa Day for 2 is my favourite win of this batch, its a place I have hoped to visit for some time, (and it has a value of £174)!  But honestly I’m so pleased with all my wins to date.  I’ve been putting extra hours in and it has paid off, with my winning total now at almost £2000.  I hope the rest of 2014 continues to be so kind to me.  I had another Pinterest win from Superbreak which was great as I’ve only been creating boards for a couple of months.  The prize was a suitcase filled with travel goodies, so my mission now is to win a holiday to get good use out of them.

My #SupeMyBreak Suitcase & Travel goodies from Superbreak

My #SupeMyBreak Suitcase & Travel goodies from Superbreak

Twitter is coming up trumps for me at the moment, but where are you getting most of your wins so far this year?  Please do share with me your wins on facebook, twitter or even instagram…..  its great to hear your winning ways also!

Is it worth giving up work to enter #Competitions? Can you make a living from entering #Giveaways?

As a successful comper for almost 15 years, I’ve often been asked why I don’t give up work and concentrate on entering competitions.  But can you make a living from comping?  Can you earn enough from giveaways and promotions to not go to work?

The short answer to this is NO!

I’m sure there may be people out there who would argue this point, as always in life people have different opinions.  But these are my reasons as to why you should not set upon comping as a career, but enjoy it as a (potentially lucrative) hobby.

  • THERE IS NO GUARANTEE YOU WILL WIN – Firstly and most importantly this is what you must realise.  Yes there are ways to improve your chances, (which I share on this blog so do subscribe)!  But you can have very long dry spells even when you enter 100s of competitions daily.  The mortgage or rent still needs to be paid during these times.
  • MINIMAL CASH GIVEAWAYS – Actual real hard cash competitions are few and far between.  It is unfortunately the currency in which you need to pay your mortgage or rent.
  • RESALE VALUE – If you are a very lucky and/or hardworking comper it is likely you will win some high value prizes.  A widescreeen TV, an iPad, maybe even the compers dream of a car.  If you were to sell these items yes it would generate income, but unfortunately not the full rrp.  It is likely if you did win a fabulous prize you’d probably want to keep it for yourself anyway, (I know I do)!
  • HOLIDAYS – Many holidays (and some experiences) are non-transferable and can only be taken by the winner so resale is not allowed, and no income can be generated.  Thats fine you say, you like holidays anyway.  But imagine you’ve just had a call to say you’ve won 2 weeks in Hawaii.  You have to go straight away though, and you haven’t made enough from comping this month to pay the mortgage or rent.  If you go you will miss two weeks work of entering as well.  Its not a situation I would like to be in.
  • AN ADDICTION – Any seasoned comper will tell you entering competitions, if you are so inclined to the hobby, is highly addictive and takes over your life!  We gladly spend hours filling in our details, taking wacky photographs, and coming up with tongue-tastic tiebreakers simply because we enjoy it.  If we could make a living and give up our jobs we definitely would as we’re all a bit bonkers!

Arguably entering competitions is more about saving money than making it.  It would take time and effort to sell on and make profit from the numerous small prizes.  But winning such goods as tea-towels or toiletries saves you from buying them.  I know I’m not alone in gifting some wins which saves on birthdays and at Christmas time.  Even winning a holiday saves on that budget.

Can you make a living from entering competitions?

Can you make a living from entering competitions?

Most people I know who are highly successful in winning put the hours in that would be equivalent to a part, or even full time position.  But they still don’t earn enough to pay the mortgage or rent every month of the year.  They have another guaranteed income stream for that.  Competitions can provide a way for a family on a modest income to have a few luxuries in life, but in my personal opinion there is no such thing as a professional comper.

I hope this has given you a useful insight if you are new to entering competitions and had questions to ask.  For those seasoned compers amongst you it would be great to hear your thoughts?  I have another post planned to discuss the term ‘professional comper’, something I personally find a little irritating!