Prize Choices - Are They Really Necessary? Stories

In the past couple of months, I've done close to 10 radio interviews alone on the subject of competitions. Usually the questions follow a fairly obvious pattern - tips for winning, what to look out for etc.

Every now and then I get asked the latest trends in competitions. Usually there aren't a lot of new ones. At the beginning of 2011 it was all about the growth of Facebook competitions, and whether or not our members liked them (at the time they didn't but this changed quickly).

Right now, I say the trend is towards choice in prizes, and this can make things a bit complex. In the past, competition prizes have been what they've been. By that I mean, a promoter chooses to give away a pair of diamond earrings as a prize, then that's it. No correspondence entered into.

But, this in itself created a small problem. Sometimes prizes fail, and fail badly. It's not always easy to pick why, but if the wrong choice is made, then the promoter is stuck with the decision for the duration of the competition.

So, you're going to see a lot of more of prize choices in which you can choose between, say, a holiday voucher, grocery voucher, petrol, and so on.

My feeling is that it's a good idea. In moderation.

What I would hate to see is Competitions Guide flooded with choice-competitions. It's hard enough capturing a picture of a prize, sometimes, let alone when we need to somehow cram all 3,4 or 5 into the one thumbnail.

Still, sometimes things can go bizarre. A recent competition (this week) we listed gives an entrant the choice of either $4,000 worth of babysitting, OR, $4,000 cash.

That makes no sense at all. Who in their right mind would go for the baby-sitting???? Sure, the site is kids related, and as a parent whose kids' used to be young, I can appreciate the value of a night or two off.

But, if I took the cash I could still buy a certain amount of sitting services (if I really wanted to), and then spread the rest of it on other stuff.

Is too much choice a good or bad thing?

Yours Comp-letely,

Craig Seitam - 28/2/12


nice one
Tiptip (Member Number: 65258)
maybe for those who for some reason are restricted in what they can do and when they can do it
Stephen (Member Number: 128972)
Winner who can't
I win things. I've always been pretty lucky like that. But I HAVE ALWAYS been unlucky with the prizes. When I was 17 I won alcohol or concert/nightclub tickets I couln't use and now I win things like trips away, which I don't have time for because I am a full time student and single parent. Bring on the choice!

With the comp you mentioned perhaps it should have been $4000 babysitting or $2000 cash, makes more sense.

Kathryn (Member Number: 104996)
wow! I'd be happy with any prize! The choice is a bonus! Thanks, I did win a prize which wasn't suitabe for me, I was happy to give it away to my sister, now that's a WIN!
Sallyanne (Member Number: 96454)
To Have A Prize Choice or Not !
I really don't see the problem for the winner when it comes to having a choice. People today make such a big fuss about such trivial things...sheesh i'd just be happy to win a prize from your site choice or no choice :P
Carol (Member Number: 94627)
Choice is ....... choice!
I think choice is great. But I am finding that the best choices are not offered by more traditional competitions eg tie ins between a promoting body (such as a magazine) and sponsor (eg car maker) as they have a particular product to spruik, but by companies that are compiling mailing lists so they offer shopping vouchers or cash which will cover most people to maximise entries. Although I like these prizes the best, I will not enter any competition that signs me up to receive DAILY emails.
A. (Member Number: 131)
You get what you're given
I don't think it's necessary at all to offer prize choices in competitions. You're at least a little bit fond of the prize when you enter and if you happen to be chozen out of the thousands of people that have put their name into a hat you should count yourself lucky. And even if you don't need a toaster or $500 worth of underwear, for example, you can always regift or onsell the item and you'll still be 1 up. I certainly wouldn't complain about getting something for nothing.
Tesha (Member Number: 81291)
Holiday choices rock
I enjoy the competitions where you get to choose what type of holiday you would like to win. They're a good idea for everyone as you get to choose the break that suits you and the comp runners get a fair idea on the popularity of what people are looking for out of that region.
Reuben (Member Number: 98583)
variety is the spice of life!
Choices are awesome..
It's like shopping for me!
to choose what you'd like to win...
whatever it may be...

Some families are struggling
so cash is a winner
Others are already well off
they'll settle for a dinner!

So keep up the choices
Is what i must say
a car or some earrings?,
gold watch or holiday?

Patricia (Member Number: 96597)
I love choice.
I often see "unwanted" prizes for sale. If there was a choice, people would pick the prize they actually wanted, rather than entering because they just want to win. I don't think it's fair for people to win because they like to win and then sell their prize. Choice would possibly put an end to winning for the sake of winning.
Merryl (Member Number: 56367)
Just give me the money - please! (Or prize, I'm not choosy)
I love a choice of prizes
New kitchen or the cash
An overseas holiday
Or adding to my stash
If I want to win the prizes on offer
I will enter it, honey
But there's one thing I will say
Please! Give me the money!
(Apologies to "I love a Sunburnt country)

Kerry (Member Number: 34770)
Choice is excellent!!
I think it's important to have a choice. Making an informed decision on a purchase is very important. You need to know what your getting for your money and if you can get it cheaper somewhere else, why not?

Kelli (Member Number: 112334)
Is too much choice a good or bad thing?
I think a maximum of 2 or 3 sensible choices per competition is enough, otherwise it becomes a chore to enter it. I don't have a facebook account or pierced ears so I won't enter anything to do with that. If it's possible I think any amount of cash as a prize choice would entice young or older people. There's always a huge variety of competitions to enter on your wonderful site.
Lynne (Member Number: 8958)
As your site welcomes all ages and all differing walks of life variety is a good thing. For example, someone in their 20's is not going to be interested in a prize which would suit someone in their 60's. This means they do not get to participate. Some would consider this a good thing as it cuts down the competition and gives them more chance of winning. Asking someone to donate a prize, but then telling them they have to offer alternatives could deter them from offering at all. I think their generosity is to be loudly applauded not discouraged in this way, so..... for the benefit of all...a mix of both is best.
Freida (Member Number: 122663)
Choice can be good
Sometimes it would be nice to have a choice when you are entering a competition of what prize you would prefer to win as not prizes are wanted by everyone or even sometimes when you first enter a competition you may want to win a particular prize but when it is drawn you may have already purchased this particular item and therefore it is no longer an essential item for you to have. Other times, the surprise of what you may win, can be just as good.
Barbara (Member Number: 96571)
The prizes offered by Competitions Guide are in the main very good.
I consider the prizes to cover most peoples interests
Ray (Member Number: 84388)
Too choose or not choose
Its a difficult question really as everyone has a valid point either way. It seems that competitions are not black and white and have some grey area's and as long as the promoter is clear about whats on offer then its up to us to enter or not. I am still not sold on the facebook competition thing, there is alot of rubbish that flows on from having entered these and I often trawl through my account and delete companies as I dont want to see their constant status updates etc. This would be where the choice would be good, have a facebook comp and a non facebook comp! Saying that, I think its wonderful that we have the option of winning anything at all, sometimes being able to do something or get something that there would be no way afforded otherwise! As long as the promoter keeps it relevant to their products that is the main thing.
Marianne (Member Number: 8619)
Prize choice is a winner!
I usually enter comps where the prizes are things that appeal to me. Having the choice of multiple prizes is much more appealing and would gain more entrants on many comps.
Kylee (Member Number: 121710)
Diamonds or Cash?
I'm new to all this, so the idea of choice in prizes is a few steps down the journey for me. I just want to win something, anything! Having said that, I did have a giggle the other day in a pet food stockist where you could choose $5000 cash or a diamond studded dog collar!!! Having searched through doggy doo for a lost earring before, that's a risk I would never take!!! Cash please!
Amanda (Member Number: 122401)
Spoiled for Choice
I'm starting to enjoy the multiple choice comps, my main problem is that in some cases I want them all so normally opt for the most expensive so I feel I'll have a bigger win!!!! Then again, are the comp organisers more likely to choose someone who has opted for a prize of a lesser value. At the moment we desperately need a holiday but if given the choice I would choose cash so that we can pay off debts and actually be able to afford a vacation of our own choosing.
Deborah (Member Number: 1846)
Choices are definitely a good idea!
It would definitely be nice to be able to choose your prize. People want different things at various moments in their life so the ability to choose what you win will open the competition up to a lot more people and in effect create a wider audience for the promotor which is really what they want, isn't it? Plus the advantage for us competition enterers is that we can choose exactly what we want, desire or is most useful in our current state of our lives. A win win for all, wouldn't you say so?
(Member Number: 61621)
I Love having so many prize choices!
I only enter the competitions which have
prizes that I want to win, for example cash, supermarket vouchers and cars. I
leave the other prizes that I don't want!This gives other people a chance to win holidays and other prizes that I don't want!I'm not being selfish!

Alison (Member Number: 115438)
The Money or the Box - Up the Stakes
When I was a kid, there was a show called The Money or the Box with an Aussie icon, Bob Dyer and his wife, Dolly. Competitors could choose the obvious, $$$, box! Sometimes they got a dud, and sometimes it was amazing. It would be great if promoters occasionally did this perhaps if you had entered previously. Who doesn't love the thrill of a Lucky Dip. I would enter a comp. just to get a free draw in any SECRET prize. It would also be great if there was a site where winners could swap their prizes with each other. Waiting for my gift voucher..LOL!!!!
Karen (Member Number: 122088)
It doesn't really matter to me!
I only enter competitions for things I want to win, I think that is fairer for people who really want and can use the prize. If there was a cash option everyone would win, increasing interest for the promoter, but reducing my chances to win!
Nicola (Member Number: 61049)
I don't like choice. I prefer to know exactly what I am entering for and if I don't want it I don't enter.
I guess this is because I am not very good at making choices and would agonise over whether I made the right one!
Anne (Member Number: 4483)
Limited Choice is Ideal
Choice can make a competition interesting and has the potential to attract more people but having said that too much choice can be overwhelming and sometimes a little confusing. So, just a limited amount seems quite ideal for maximum benefit to everyone.
Melissa (Member Number: 88073)
Carmel (Member Number: 78712)
Choice is best
Having a variety of prizes is not only good for the competition entrant, but also for the promoter. For the people entering the competition, you can choose a prize that suits you. Some people don't like Apple products, or already have one, so having a cash prize is better. Also, some people can't get time off work to go on these luxury holidays offered, so why not get something you can use?
As for the promoters, more prize choices means they have more of a chance of hitting on a prize that people want, which means more people will enter. The more people that enter, the more publicity they get.
Prize choices are a win-win situation for everyone!
Jenna (Member Number: 122004)
Great Choice
A lot of promotions are set up for city people. Vouchers to a movie theatre that is not in my town or voucher to shop 3 hours drive away is costly. Giving people a choice caters to some of us who wouldn't usually enter for the above reasons
Joanne (Member Number: 7753)
Be grateful!
I think entering competitions is a luxury, and to win is amazing! We should be grateful we have a chance to win, not be fussy on 'wanting' different prizes to be on offer. It's simple! Don't like the prize? Don't enter! I don't enter the competitions for things I don't need or want, it takes the chance away from many others that do need/want it! If they start offering more prizes for choice, than it will be harder to win because it's suiting too many people.
Melissa (Member Number: 5286)
The "Illegitimate" Prize!
If you are given the choice of rewards/prizes there may be the risk of the promoter choosing the entry that has chosen the prize they are most willing to give away or they may list multiple prizes, such as, movie tickets, $200 supermarket vouchers or $200 cash and only have the movie tickets available to give away i.e the lower valued prize and they never intended on giving the other prizes away!
This would be a major concern particularly where the competition was judged as "a game of skill" or 25 words or less, the winner is the "best" answer
as judged by the promoter and "no correspondence will be entered into!" as is the case with most of these competitions.
If the competition was a "luck of the draw" type of competition and was run, drawn and witnessed by an independent body then I think the choice of prizes would be fair and work well!
Rachel (Member Number: 55352)
Choice is always good
I think there are quite a few promotions that sometimes would have no benefit as a prize. A choice is great because no one is in the same situation so one prize may suit one person but most definitely not the other.
Chris (Member Number: 53636)
Prize choices already amazing
There are so many comps out there that the range of prizes is already amazing and I really enjoy entering. What I really don't like is those that want your DOB. I don't mind giving my birth year to enter a comp and will confirm DOB if a winner but will often not enter comps who want DOB as condition of entry. Anyeay LOVE the prizes on offer and 3 cheers to the companies who get involved
Julie (Member Number: 45500)
Too many choices spoil the competition
Choices are not necessary, and can often lead to people being ungrateful for what they have won. When people are spoilt for choice they often look at what they can choose from and still want something else, whereas if its one prize, they know what they're getting and can enter or not. I think majority of people would choose cash over other options, so I think a choice should be between tangible goods or experiences. This way the priza can be enjoyed and not duly spent on bills as I'm sure it would be. I also believe that when you click "Agree to T&C" then this is what you're doing, if you don't read them it is not the promoters fault. They are there for a reason. Companies do not have to run promotions and whatever they decide to offer should be looked upon favourably, and not complained about. Don't like it - don't enter it.
Jessie (Member Number: 27679)
More leniency rather than different prizes
I think the promoters should be a bit more lenient in their T&C about transferring of prizes or dates etc as its hard enough to win something only to forfeit it because you can't go on that date but even worse if you can't even give the prize to friends or family as a gift. I personally can't see what difference it would make to the promoter who goes to the event or on the holiday so don't understand the rule. I am happy to win any prize and look on every one as an adventure but things crop up in life and you can't put your life on hold just in case you win an event.
Lesleigh (Member Number: 88523)
Accept Graciously or Donate Generously
You have made the choice to enter or remain ineligible by not entering. A prize should either be accepted graciously or donated to a non for profit organisation to benefit from a prize not suitable to the winner. The choice is simple - choose wisely before entering by understanding T&Cs and enter only those comps relevant to your taste. At the end of the day prizes are at companies discretions and gratitude should remain with luck being on your side.
Meegan (Member Number: 37252)
Leave it Alone
Gone are the days when 1 was enough. People, stop being so greedy and just accept the prize... really...
Kirsten (Member Number: 77257)
too hard
Too many choices. I like a competition that has a set prize not a choice. I believe the promoters know what the consumer wants most of the time and I like to see a company that has the stamina to put up one good prize. To have to choose takes away the element of what I'm hoping to win and it becomes I who has to make the final decision. No choices I'll leave to the people who like to have a choice. I'm happy with whats on offer, one item or one piece of furnitre etc, otherwise it just all becomes too hard.
Vicki (Member Number: 693)
So Much Choice is Noice!!!!
A Tv for mum, a watch for my dad, take the kids on a holiday for that makes me glad. All this choice is so great cause it saves me a buck, i am just happy to win anything, just wish me luck!
Nicole (Member Number: 121167)
More prize choice
I think prize choice is a great idea except when one the choices is cash, as I would always choose a cash prize over any other prize. I also believe there should be more prize choice within a prize category, for example if the prize is car instead of it being a specific car it would be great if you could choose any car up to the value of $30k.
Norman (Member Number: 735)
an option is always good ,but vouchers are prob the best option as it allows you to make a choice but you can do that at leisure not being tied into making an on the spot decision
Kerry (Member Number: 119013)
Right choice
I think giving an option can be good if the options are something of necesity for example : petrol voucher, food voucher or clothing.. But i love the comps you know what you're entering for and if you win you know that that';s the prize you're getting..The voucher comps are the best, but have to be very lucky to win them.. I have won a few comps on on Competitions Guide already and love the site so really i think change can be good but not necesary.
Jennifer (Member Number: 7907)
Terms and Conditions, People!
If you don't like the prize, then don't enter the competition!
Olana (Member Number: 34572)
Choice is ideal when prize value is substantial
If the prize value is $1000+, I would definitely prefer a choice of prizes, even if it was just between two. That way you can choose a prize that is most meaningful/useful to you, which is far more satisfying than winning something that you don't really need or want. I like the idea of being able to choose between the prize (i.e. car/day spa retreat/family holiday) or take the value in cash - some people would be thrilled to win a car/spa retreat/holiday but others may find the cash far more useful and practical. I guess offering a choice attracts a far wider range of entrants, and therefore a much wider audience to promote to, which is what the promoting company wants ultimately, so it's a win/win all around!
Bron (Member Number: 9143)
Choice is good
I won a comp last year where I had a choice of cash or a voucher. I say bring on choice.
Mandy (Member Number: 3297)
When is a choice not a choice?
Well, I recently bought some tickets in a raffle. The winner gets a "choice" of winning an audi, or two Holdens, or any combination of cars, motorcycles, motorhomes, etc. And if you like the car you have?
Simone (Member Number: 2251)
Better to have too much than not enough?
Most of the competitions involce signing up to the site etc. I think If the companies offering the prizes are doing so to increase thier customer base (obviously)then have a couple of prizes to choose from will atract a wider variety of consumers to enter! However, as mentioned I don't think it would be all that great if it became a trend! Then people wouldn't be atracted to this. The best prizes are unique ones! something you would go and get yourself!! I mean thats why we are all here isn't it?
Jamie (Member Number: 68724)
I think having a choice of prizes is really spoiling us! I feel grateful for the opportunity to enter and I only enter the competitions where the prizes are something I would really like anyway. If I didn't want it I would rather someone else that would appreciate it win. The fun is in the anticipation of if you win it or not. So whatever way you do it keep those prizes coming!
Sharon (Member Number: 107066)
No spam for me
The only ones I don't like with a choice of prize are the ones that all you get is a load of spam from them. I like the idea of winning something that you wouldn't normally spend money on, like a luxury holiday, and if there are individual prizes we all get a bit more of a chance to win because not everyone will want every prize. Must get back to my comping now :-)
Samantha (Member Number: 90867)
Sensible Choices Only!
In my opinion, yes, it is a GREAT thing, provided the prizes are good and have the same kind of value as the others. Personally i don't know anyone who would pick babysitting money over cash they could just use to pay for babysitting, that one would have lost my vote. However if they offer a variety of sensible choices that many people use today, like cash, petrol, holidays, ect then it's a great thing, after all i'm sure there's been a lot of people who won a holiday but might have preferred cash instead and vice versa. Alternatively you could just choose not to enter the competition if you don't like or can't use the prize, but if you have more options you'll get a lot more people entering!
(Member Number: 24152)
Competitions to me are about fun, not about winning, but when or should I say if I do, it will be the choice of something that we do not have, and probably won't be able to purchase -eg holiday. On one wage their the luxurys you miss out on, so having some choice is great, some people would prefer a computer for the family, some may need a new fridge, me i'm packing my bags and heading off...
Lorraine (Member Number: 99584)
The more the merrier!
A big selection of prizes is only daunting to fussy people ;-] Bring on more variety!!!

Michelle (Member Number: 118140)
Choices are worthwhile.
I feel that if given the choice between prizes there would be more entries. I have come across competitions where the prize has not interested me so I pass...such as Holidays as I cant go on them. If there was the choice of cash or a Holiday I would eagerly enter! I dont see what harm this would do to either party....the promoter or the entrants. Well it would be good for companies promoting themselves to give entrants the opportunity to choose as it makes the comp more interesting. Also if an entrant won a holiday and in the end it was inconvenient to go due to unforseen cirumstances it would be very dissappointing and result in negative feedback if there is no compromising possible. So, giving choices when it comes to holidays/cash is a good idea.
Lea (Member Number: 61598)
Another Yes and No!
I think prize choice is on the whole good. It makes the range of comps that it’s worthwhile to enter wider but sometimes if you can choose between a number of prizes I end up focussing way too much on that choice instead of thinking about what could be a winning answer! It can be too distracting!
Vicky (Member Number: 6013)
decisions, decisions
The choice is endless, it's amazing, so many different prizes to choose from, I love that there are some that only have 1 prize, but then others that have many.
As they say "you've got to be in it to win it", I just enter most of them and hope for the best!
Narelle (Member Number: 71454)
A Choice Would Have Been Good!
I can relate to this right now!I'm all for a choice within reason, of course. My experience is a little different to what prize was on offer but when I could use it!
Just this week I overlooked an email I had off a hotel site, that I had entered on Facebook and won. Apparantly I HAD won a night in Sydney for a particular date next month.Last night I got their second email telling me if I do not respond or name someone else to take my place by close of business last night, I would forfeit the prize and someone elses name would be drawn. So as I am not able to make it on that date, I emailed back and said I can't make it then, so I missed out! It was also too late to nominate another person.
My reasoning is, if I entered this competition, I should have won the voucher for a night at this motel, whenever I wanted to use it, within reason, say within 6 months and not public holidays. It was a 25 word or less and if I was clever enough to win their competition, I should have been entitled to the prize!
Lorraine (Member Number: 3145)
Yes and No
Some competitions I have come across, I have not even bothered to enter because none of the choices suite me. Which I imagine there are other people out there doing the same, which means the promoters are loosing out. I think companies need to make the right selection in prizes. But in saying that, I think that having choices is great, because not everyone wants the same thing so by doing such a competition they would attract more entries with a wider variety of prizes! By the way guys keep up the good work love the site!
Tanya (Member Number: 2085)
Spoilt for choice!
Hmm, I think it's a good and bad thing..... Say for example the choice was from an iPad or a voucher, if you already had an iPad you could choose the voucher as your prize instead. But I do agree that sometimes too many choices are a bad thing, I'd rather win say a holiday to the gold coast and take my kiddies for a trip to remember than win a cash prize and it just all goes on paying off bills...... For me entering competitions is about having fun, and maybe, just maybe if I'm very lucky winning a lovely treat, not supporting our household by paying off bills.... But hey, that's just my opinion..... ;)
Fiona (Member Number: 2124)

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