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

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?

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!

#Competition Terms / #Comping Definitions / #Comper Acronyms

When I first started out entering competitions, almost 15 years ago now, the focus was on postal competitions rather than the web.  There was a lot of terminology that went with the hobby, and still is!  I was a little bamboozled to say the least.  So, for any newbies out there here is a quick guide to some common competition terms you may encounter, along with their definitions.

  • Comper – An individual who enters competitions
  • Comping – The (some might say) art of entering competitions
  • Professional Comper – The Press tend to use this term for very successful compers
  • AIOE – All In One Envelope (a little extinct now but back in the day you would enter multiple competitions from one magazine, for example, by putting all entries in one envelope, isn’t the www a magical thing)!
  • CD – Closing Date
  • DTT – Day Time Telephone
  • E/F – Entry Form
  • FB – Facebook
  • Follow & RT – in reference to a competition on twitter indicating you should Follow the company or individual hosting the giveaway, & RT the competition tweet
  • FPD – Free Prize Draw
  • Like & Share – in reference to a competition on facebook indicating you should Like the page which is hosting the competition & Like & Share the competition post
  • LWE – Long White Envelope (those were lovely days when the postie brought more than bills)!
  • NPN – No Purchase Necessary
  • OOM – Order Of Merit
  • PC – Postcard
  • POP – Proof Of Purchase
  • PPE – Plain Paper Entry
  • SAE – Self Addressed Envelope
  • STD – Spot The Difference
  • TXT – Texting competition ie. Text to Win
  • WEM – Winning E-Mail (more of these please comping fairy)!
  • WTC – Winning Telephone Call

Comping is a hobby which can be very time consuming, but also extremely rewarding.  I sometimes feel I need an assistant though to help me get through all the ones I want to enter!

William

 

If it would make your life easier you can follow me on any of my social media platforms and check out the competitions I am entering:

https://www.facebook.com/sue.mellor.750

http://instagram.com/mesueyouwho

http://www.pinterest.com/MeSueYouWho/

http://www.twitter.com/mesueyouwho

Please feel free to share your accounts below so we can share the comping love!  Also, please do let me know if you have any comping terms to add to the post.