Rules 101

Rules 101- Sweepstakes Rules Made Simple

It is essential that you always read and understand sweepstakes and contests rules before you enter. In this article, I’ve listed the most confusing sweepstakes and contest rules and explained them.
If you are a sweeper you’ve read a sweepstakes rule that was vague or just down right hard to understand. You want to get your entry right so you aren’t disqualified. Understanding the official rules is key when entering online or by mail. In this article, I’m going to explain some of the most difficult or confusing sweepstakes and contests rules I have come by over the years. These sweepstakes rules made simple will help you win more prizes.

Mail a SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope).
Usually, the rules will state a handwritten self-addressed stamped envelope. Which means write your address out like if you were sending a letter to yourself and put a stamp on it. Don’t use address labels. Place this envelope in another envelope with your address and the address you are told to send it to. Add a stamp and mail it.

Sometimes an entry may require a postcard. If it states a postcard, use a postcard. You can buy these from your post office and they come with prepaid postage. All you have to do is add the information on the front (blank side) and address the back side (postage side) to whom the rules state to send it to. If you want to add your return address in the upper left corner, you can but it’s not required. However, if they don’t ask for your address make sure you include it just in case it is returned.

*****If the rules state postcard and you mail a piece of paper in an envelope your entry will be thrown out. If you mail your postcard in an envelope it too will probably be thrown out.

If it states mail your information on a 4”x 6” piece of paper, that’s what it means. Measure and cut the plain paper. I just use printer paper or 4 x 6 blank index cards. Place your entry in an addressed envelope as described, add a stamp and mail it. Too easy!

Use of bots, micros or scripts, third parties, automatic services are not permitted. These are tools and programs used by services that enter sweepstakes for you. This is a big no-no in most sweepstakes official rules. I would never trust anyone or anything to enter for me anyhow! This does not mean you can’t use a form filler or Roboform.

Sometimes rules state that your information must be entered manually. Which means type it in yourself. No RoboForm. No form filler. Manually means manually. Some people will tell you it’s okay to still use a form filler when it clearly states manually. I say why risk being disqualified because these only pop up occasionally. Don’t be lazy and miss out on a great prize.

Only one entry per household or one daily entry per household. This means your kids, husband and sister-in-law can’t enter because you live in the same house and share the same address. Only one of you can enter or you will be disqualified.

If a sweepstakes reads only one entry allowed and you enter more than once, you may be disqualified. However most of the time only the first entry will count. Don’t take a chance of being disqualified. Once means once.

For daily entries make sure you enter every day until the sweepstakes is over. Each entry will increase your chances of winning.

24-hour entry period. This confuses a lot of people. If you try to enter a sweepstakes for the second time and it won’t accept your entry, it’s probably because you’re trying to enter again too soon. A 24-hour entry period means wait 24 hours from your last entry before you enter again.

All mail-in entries must be postmarked by a certain date and received by a certain date. You will be wasting your time to put your entry in the mailbox after the specified date. When it arrives they will look at the postmark and throw away the envelopes that go past the deadline.
The envelopes that come in after the must be received date will be discarded also. Get your entries in on time. Don’t waste your stamps.

AMOE (Alternate Method of Entry)
Sometimes there will be an AMOE in the official rules. Which mean you can enter online or the AMOE way, not both. Although read carefully because some sweepstakes do allow you to enter more than one way. Other methods may include call in, text message or by mail. Other methods of sweepstakes entries may include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Read the official rules. 

Always read the official rules before entering a sweepstakes or contest. Implementing this habit will help you become a more skilled sweeper and eliminate your chance of being disqualified. Whatever you do, don’t listen to the naysayers. You can win some great prizes, I have. Follow these sweepstakes rules made simple and start winning. There are enough prizes out there for everyone so get to sweeping! 

Always read the official rules.
Happy Sweeping!