Thursday, November 13, 2008

Giveaways: Why NOT to Enter

Lately I've gotten a little addicted to blog giveaways. They're fantastic because even if a lot of people enter, you still have a 1 in 300 chance of winning instead of a 1 in 6.7 million chance. (Unless it's Dooce doing the giveaway, and then it's closer to the 6.7 million.) Sometimes you have as much as a 1 in 10 ten chance of winning.

Since I started entering these giveaways, I've won my fair share of cool stuff. Oddly, most of it is art. (You should see the wall clutter in my kids' playroom.)

High on the possibility of winning, I spent a few weeks entering every giveaway contest I came across. Not every contest promised something I needed, but FREE! and FREE! and did I mention FREE?!

I have recently come to my senses. Because something free that you don't need is still something you don't need. So now I only enter giveaway contests if the giveaway is something that I have a concrete use for. (Sometimes that concrete use is as a gift.)

This theory can be extended to freebies that are tossed into kids' meals, shopping bags, free samples, or anything else. If you're not going to use that free sample of face cream, turn it down. If your kid is going to quickly tire of the plastic car that comes with his Happy Meal, order a la carte instead, or pass the toy back through the window.

I'm going to further extend this theory to good deals on coupons. I know people who have discount buying down to an art. If you do this sort of thing, just make sure that the things you do get are things you will use, otherwise you're still wasting money—just less money. Or do like one blogger I read, and donate your cheapie extras to a food bank.

Because the easiest was to declutter is to not have to declutter. If you don't bring it into your house, you don't have to worry about getting it out of your house.


Whirlwind said...

I've totally been buying ala cart at McDonalds. I hate all the toys I end up tossing anyway.

Sue @ My Party of 6 said...

I have been unofficially trying to get rid of at least 10 things a day, but I realized yesterday that I bring more than 10 things a day back IN.

BetteJo said...

Oh amen! I wanted to comment on someone's post, but it was a giveaway for something I would never use - craft supplies for something I admire but would never do myself. So I commented but asked that I not be entered in the giveaway because it would be wasted on me!