August 4, 2008 5:12pm CST
I'm officially a sweeper - someone who spends an hour or more a day (average 2 to be a real sweeper) entering sweepstakes. Baby asleep - I'm sweeping! Baby playing quietly next to me, content - I'm sweeping! It helps that I've begun to include the baby with my chores - it takes longer but its less time he's playing on his own. He loves washing dishes with me. I've been doing it for two and a half weeks now. The first week I started I won The Spiderwick Chronicles and ABC Flashcards on a ring for my baby - two different sweeps! The next week I won Saving Grace the series and I was just informed this morning I won The Early Edition the series, haven't received the last yet of course. Here are some tips: First, get inspired by going to forums and seeing people's wins - some list by the month and once people have gotten started most are regularly getting at least a couple of hundred in prizes each month with at least one grand prize a year. They also list tips and tricks in forums. Some will work for you some not so much. I'm a sweeper. I've been doing it a few hours a day for two and a half weks and have won a lot - not money but prizes. I've gotten the Spiderwick Chronicles and ABC flashcards on a ring for my baby the first week, Saving Grace the Series the second and this week I won First Edition the series so far. http://forums.online-sweepstakes.com/forumdisplay.php?f=7 Also do some research on taxes, prizes that add up to over 5,000 will require you to pay taxes, something to keep in mind when entering sweeps for houses and cars. Some will offer money to cover taxes some don't. Also, check to make sure sweepstakes with prizes like trips offer transportation or that its located close enough to you to drive without spending a lot of money. I only enter all inclusive trips sweepstakes - flight, car or driver, hotel and at least a portion of meals. When entering if you don't want e-maills from the sponsers make sure to check or uncheck the box - some sweepstakes fool you - most want you to check if do want correspondence - one or two will say check here if you DON'T want mail. Also make sure you DON'T check for a subscription. A sweepstakes my definition requires no purchase. TV station offer really great sweepstakes - especially scripps network - HGTV (they have a back to school sweeps currently running), Fine Living, DIY etc. HSN actually pays a lot to cover taxes, I like that! I recommend going through sweepstakes site top 100 sweeps or going through their index to find the prizes you really want. Unless you want to spend all day entering, concentrate on the prizes you really want and read rules and notes so you don't disqualify yourself. Some require codes or trivia or other answers - which you can find in forums or on ABout.com and some upc labels you can write down while shopping without purchasing. Some require you to mail in if you don't have a code. Other ways to disqualify yourself is not keeping track if its a 1x entry per household, or not following instructions - for instance the Bloggy CArnival is still running now - blogs are offering great prizes from sponsers they review and some ask just to comment, some to answer a specific question - some to go to sponsers site and choose your favourite item or watch a podcast. Many responders will just say - I want to win! when the rules state clearly not to do this. Also keep a visualization list beside the computer - of the sweepstakes or items you'd really like to win. It does help. Don't get addicted. You'll know the signs - you're spending every waking hour sweeping, you forget to eat and hold your um water, and when you're not sweeping you're thinking of sweeping and when you're sleeping you're dreaming of it! Kinda like mylot. I'm kind of saved from this sort of addiction because I have a baby - a toddler. He needs the majority of my attention so I have no time for online addiction - especially since my husband is addicted already to World of WArcraft! HE works nights and it used to be like pulling teeth to have him wake up during the day for something like pediatrician appt - now he stays up late and wakes up a lot earlier! Since I'm my baby's main caregiver I have to play, cuddle, walk, dance and be silly with him the majority of my time. However, I do fit into the minimum requirements for sweeper. What will you fall under if you start - or if you started? If you haven't - will you?