I enter a lot of blog contests (this isn't news to anyone who follows me on either Twitter or Facebook). Most are run legitimately..... but the few that aren't really piss me off.
I was a little skeptical of one blogger when they sent me a tweet to enter their $100 Visa GC giveaway. When I looked at their blog, it was brand-new and VERY bare bones. I know enough to know that sponsors generally don't give away Visa gift cards - they give away their products and/or services. This was also the VERY first post the blog did. Another alarm went off.
I entered though because I'll give anyone the benefit of the doubt the first time... but I remained skeptical. I did notice that the giveaway also had a loooooong window, and as I posted more entries I observed the website got more polished. That in and of itself wasn't a red flag - heck, most blogs evolve.
When the winner was announced - "Yahira" - I thought hmmmmm. A one-hit wonder, who did the required comment but nothing more. No Blogger profile or email, either. It could happen I suppose, but how convenient.
As time went on the blogger hosted other giveaways.... heck I even won a couple of them, and got my prizes (they were all sponsored giveaways though). She also posted several reviews/articles, but they seemed to be better written than the posts that I knew were hers, which made me wonder if they were taken from other blogs. I didn't worry enough about it to do any digging, but it stayed in the back of my mind.
Then in the fall, she posted a $100 Amazon giveaway, and I thought to myself... here we go again. Is this yet ANOTHER fake giveaway to boost her blog so she gets better review offers? I entered though, because I still wasn't sure... but I watched it with a very critical eye. When it came time to pick a winner, "Amanda LeAnn" was chosen, and guess what? Another one-hit wonder (I looked through ~2,000 comments to confirm it). No Blogger profile or email address provided. Just the required entry, nothing more.
I guess this second "giveaway" was done to boost their standings so they could get Christmas presents to review? I don't know. I did stop entering their giveaways though because even though I'd entered and won a couple of sponsored ones, the whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth.
They just recently ended a $150 Visa GC giveaway..... and guess what? ANOTHER one-hit wonder won! Congrats to "Lindy Trent". Thankfully she did her one-hit wonder post late in the giveaway, so I wasn't forced to search through ~5,2000 comments to find it.
This really pisses me off.... especially since I'm STILL smarting from the whole CoutureNerd fiasco. I mean honestly, there is sooo much out there that can be won legitimately, or reviewed legitimately... it's so easy to boost your readership or page views... why post fake contests? I wish there was a better way to police this stuff.