Sunday, 20 January 2013

Not CIMA today, well you need a day off now and then.

As there is nothing more I can do CIMA-wise until I have spoken to the Boss Man tomorrow, today's post is about my previous favourite waste of time - comping.

I have always entered competitions, my first win was a Good News Bible for coming second in a quiz, I think I was about 7 or 8 at the time.  Whilst I was still living at home, I won a real Christmas tree, Mum was not too impressed with this as we were picking pine needles out of everything for a good three months.  However, my next prize was appreciated - a year's worth of toilet rolls!  Not the most glamorous of prizes admittedly, but certainly useful.

Not long after I moved out, I won a huge gas fired barbecue, it was far too big for my needs so after I had struggled with it a few times I stuck it under its fitted cover and forgot about it.  Mum offered to sell it for me.  Now even though this was probably about 15 years ago, the barbecue was worth £600 new, I'd only used it a couple of times and it was still gleaming.  Mum did sell it, and very pleased with herself she told me that she had got £30 for it.  And she was keeping £10 of that as commission.  Thanks Mum!

After that, I couldn't win anything, all my luck seemed to have dried up.

In December 2011 I was not sleeping, I was going through some stuff (that's for another post) and I would almost always wake up at 2am so would get on the Internet.  After trawling through various sites (not those sort of sites, I have no interest - again that is for another post) I found a competition site which listed 100s and 100s of competitions, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

After that, any hours that I wasn't at work, travelling to and from work or asleep were spent comping.  I entered everything and anything, even for prizes that would actually be of no use to me.  I won a few little things that were given as mass giveaways - a beach ball, an inflatable strawberry(?) - but my first 'proper' win was not until March 2012, it was a basket containing an Easter Egg, tea towel, oven gloves and a very expensive meat thermometer.

Since then I have won more mass giveaway items (lanyards, money off vouchers etc etc) and a few bigger things, a Martini Royale set from Bella Italia, a deckchair and bottle of Southern Comfort from, well, Southern Comfort, a signed book and some Magners Cider.  In December I won an iPad Mini courtesy of Tactus, I was over the moon!

However, as I was becoming more selective of the competitions I entered, only entering competitions that were relevant to me, I was finding less and less to enter which obviously meant less chance of winning, having seen people having success on Twitter, sometimes winning 4 or 5 times in a day, I decided to chance my arm.  This was the decision that killed my love of comping.

Whilst I am aware that there will always be cheaters in competitions, and fake competitions too - a recent jewellery store competition is one that springs to mind - Twitter makes them obvious, particularly the 'follow & retweet' ones.  

So many people seemed to be winning with their very first, and sometimes only, tweet.

A beauty therapist won a competition to win a hamper of a new brand of skincare from a start-up company.

A mobile hairdresser won a competition to win a brand new design of brush from a well known  hair brush company.

Food bloggers were winning food competitions, beauty bloggers winning cosmetic competitions.  (Am pretty sure CIMA don't run competitions, darn it!).

I have now accepted that in this day and age of instant gratification, I am going to have to get the things I want the old-fashioned way, go without luxuries and save up!

I will still comp, but will not be searching comps out.  If a competition pops up on facebook, or email or in a magazine and it is something that I can use, then I will enter it.  I'm not expecting to win anything, after all, if I can't win stuff entering 400 or 500 competitions a week, then how am I going to win stuff only entering 9 or 10?

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