When you are trying to win an online competition, you will, of course, want to use a strategy that will maximise your odds of winning. You might be tempted to try and even tilt the odds in your favour by not completely following the rules, but if don’t play by the rules then you will risk disqualification.
If a company sees that you are bending or breaking the rules of the competition, then you will not be eligible to win the prize. This is then just a waste of time for you and for the sponsor. You have spent time to find and enter the competition for nothing, because you won’t be able to win the prize.
Every competition will have a set of rules that has the details of who can enter, how, when and how many times you can enter. The rules will also have other information like prize details and how winners are notified.
The rules are a type of contract between the sponsor and the entrant as both sides know what to expect. Sponsors will need to ensure that the winners have followed the rules, so they will go through every entry they receive before choosing a winner or they will double check their winners are valid before announcing them. If anything about the entry is off then the entrant is disqualified before they are notified.
You might be wondering how to avoid disqualification…
Mistakes That Will Get You Disqualified From Online Competitions
There are some easy mistakes to make when you enter online competitions that can get you disqualified.
Entering Too Often
Every competition will have an entry limit, which tells you how often you are able to enter. There are some online competitions that will only allow you to enter once, others will allow you to enter every day, some only allow you to enter on a weekly basis and others may allow you to enter as many times as you like. You need to know what the entry limit is because if you ignore this and enter too often then all of your entries are disqualified.
The Residency Requirements
Most competitions are restricted by geographic region whether it is by country, province or even city. You need to check that your area of residence is eligible for the competition, otherwise, you will be disqualified and you will have wasted time entering the competition instead of looking for competitions that you can actually win.
The Age Requirements
There are online competitions for kids, adults and retirees. Most online competitions will be open to people that over 18 years of age, but you should check to see if there are any age restrictions.
Other Restrictions to Know
There are some giveaways that will have extra restrictions about who is able to enter. You may have to have a membership to a company to enter or you need to be a customer with a subscription and other such things, for instance. You need to read everything to make sure that you are eligible.
Not Following the Entering Rules
Read the rules on how to enter and follow these. You should only enter for yourself and make sure that you fill out all required fields correctly. Check and double check your entry before you submit.
If You Are Affiliated with the Sponsor
In order to avoid any type of favouritism, companies will not allow their employees or any business sponsors to enter the competition. This may also extend to family members of employees and others that are associated with the business. If you have a relationship with the company in any way then you should check to see if you are restricted from entering.
Mistakes That Will Disqualify You From Skill Based Contests
Skill based contests will have extra rules in place that you will need to follow in order to avoid disqualification.
Your Essay is Too Long
Essay contests will usually impose a character count or word limit. If you go over this limit, you risk being disqualified, even if it’s a good essay.
Your Files are Too Large
Photo contests will usually have a limit on the size of photos that you can submit and video contests may have a time limit. You need to adhere to these limits if you want to enter.
Your Ingredients are Wrong
Recipe contests will usually have a certain list of ingredients that you need to use or to choose from. Your entry will be disqualified if you don’t use the right ingredients or a specific product.
Ignoring the Theme
Contests have a theme and to stay in the running, you need to make sure that it is clear how your entry fits the theme.
Watch for Logos
Many contests like video and photo competitions may state that you can’t use any logos or copyrighted information in your entries like music.
Cheating for Votes
There is a number of legitimate ways that you can get votes for your contest entries. If a company believes that you are cheating to get votes then you will be disqualified.
These are the most common ways of getting disqualified from an online competition but they are not the only ways you can be disqualified. There are entrants that have been disqualified for overlooking a small detail in a rule, for using wrong entry methods and so on. You must always read the rules for an online competition and make sure you know them and understand them.