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?

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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!

Valentines Gifts in Unusual Places

With Valentines Day just around the corner, and people searching for the perfect gift for their Valentine this year, SportsDirect.com are hosting a new competition in the form of a blogging challenge.  Well I’m always up for a challenge, and I certainly have one as I’m single.  So I thought rather than looking for gifts for the non-existent man in my life.  I would focus on searching for presents that would be suitable for a lady like myself!

I think Sports Direct is a place most people would assume would be suitable for mens gifts only.  Well I discovered after viewing the website this is very wrong.  There are pages and pages of goods just aimed at women!

The first section I headed for on the Sports Direct website was accessories, and jumping out at me was ‘ ladies bags’.  A girl can definitely never have too many shoes or bags.  I was really pleasantly surprised at the quality of designers, and quantity of styles which were available.  I absolutely love tassels so my first choice, (if there really was someone buying me a gift), would be this fabulous tote bag from Firetrap.

Firetrap Tote Bag

Firetrap Tote Bag

Firetrap is a brand I know and trust.  This is why I am absolutely amazed that this bag is only £15 – that’s less than half the original price.  So you can even pick up a designer bargain for Valentines Day!

My friend and I were looking at holidays recently, (dreaming of escaping this cold weather), so I next headed over to look at sunglasses.  Which I have to say I could have done with this morning, it was so bright and sunny as I walked William I was squinting.  There was again a wide selection that were all very reasonably priced.  I’m a fan of classic looks so these aviator shades by Karrimor stood out and would be my choice at £19.99.  With 100% UV Protection they are sensible as well as stylish.

Karrimor Rica Sunglasses

Karrimor Rica Sunglasses

You might be guessing by now I’m a bit of a label queen so I headed over to the brands section to see what else I could find.  Exciting stuff there are so many big names.  I really like a label called Voodoo Dolls as I’ve found it suits my style, there was so much to choose from it was heaven.  This button-up sherpa hoodie is my top pick because it is so wearable.  Just the thing to keep warm and cosy in this weather, it would look great with jeans and is priced at just £16.

Voodoo Dolls Button-up Sherpa Hoodie

Voodoo Dolls Button-up Sherpa Hoodie

Jewellery is a gift ladies always love to receive on Valentines Day.  Well it was certainly a shock to me that Sports Direct even cater for this, so no excuse now boyfriends and husbands!  I like this Miss Fiori Dive Bracelet Watch as I’m a huge fan of animal print.  The black dial is a bit different, and the diamante bezel means its dressy for evening wear.  Another amazing bargain as you save £38.99 on this watch, its only £11!!

Miss Fiori Dive Bracelet Watch

Miss Fiori Dive Bracelet Watch

Sticking with the animal print theme my final valentines gift, (to myself), is this snuggly onesie by Golddigga at £11.99.  Perfect for a cosy night in on the sofa when I do find the love of my life…….. until then it’ll be me and Mr Wills!

Golddigga Verl Onesie

Golddigga Vel Onesie

I hope this piece gave you some Valentines gift inspiration even if only for yourself, (aren’t they always the best presents)!  But if you do HAVE to buy something for the fella, there is absolutely loads of stuff for him too at Sports Direct.  I had lots of fun writing this post, if you would like to enter the competition too you can here.  Be lucky!