Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I love to SWEEP (And I dont mean with a broom!)

A few years back, I (randomly) entered a contest through Parents.com. Several weeks later, surprise! I had  received a $25 Burger King gift card in the mail. It was like winning the lottery. I jumped up and down (very silly), yelled, whooped, and called nearly everyone in my phone book. My family had Burger King for dinner (Gotta love those dollar menus), and lunch the next day.

Pre-Sweep Win
Fast forward 3-4 years, and you will see my son (Noah) throwing up all over his Grandparents couches. It was disgusting. There was no way those couches would ever be the same, they had to be thrown out. I now, in turn, needed to supply my parents with new furniture....the only problem was, I COULD NOT afford it. So I turned to sweepstakes. I jumped on the computer and started my search: "Win Furniture", "Furniture giftcard", "Free furniture", etc, etc;  Finally, bingo, I hit the jackpot with Gallery Furniture, a local furniture store here in Houston, Texas. It was really simple, upload a picture of your old furniture (Pictured above), have friends/family/strangers "Like" the page on Facebook, and have the most "Likes". After badgering/spamming the heck out of EVERYONE I know, I won!!!! I took my mother to Gallery Furniture the very next day, and picked out a new set of couches. And thus began a Sweeping (Sweepstakes) addiction!

How to start Sweeping:
If you're a Newbie, I highly suggest heading over to OLS and creating an account. Access is free, but they do have the option of being a payed member. For the moment, I am listed as a "Junior Sweeper". (I'm new to the site, and have not paid for a membership, yet.) From various posts in the forums, I hear joining is well worth the money. As for the free membership, OLS lists sweeps in Categories such as "Single Entries", "Daily Entries", "Unlimited Entries", etc; OLS also offers forums that contain a wealth of knowledge. Great site to be a member of, paid or unpaid.

FREESTUFFTIMES   should be on your Favorites toolbar. Free stuff, plus contests.... No other comments, just go do it.

Also, your next step should be to download RoboForm. RoboForm saves your Logins, Stores your passwords, and fills out forms with a single click! What more could a sweeper want?

Can't remember exactly which sweepstakes to return to on a daily basis? No problemo! Be sure to set up an account with Delicious. It's a very user-friendly site that allows you to save a link, categorize it, and pull it up from any location. So basically, it's a portable Bookmark menu bar. Going out of town and want to be sure you sweep? Delicious makes it possible.

Helpful hints towards Sweeping?
  1. Read the rules - I cannot stress this enough, READ THE OFFICIAL RULES. There are so many entries you could miss out on, or worse, you could be disqualifying yourself b/c of a simple mistake. For example,  I was entering a contest that I THOUGHT was a once a day entry. After several days of entering, I went to read the OR's, and discovered that I could actually enter 5x's per day. 5x's!!!!! I had been missing out on 4 extra entries every day!!! (What a rookie.)
  2. Enter - You must enter to win, after all.
  3. Verify your information - RoboForm is an awesome "Sweeping" tool, but it is a Robot after all...mistakes can be made. A simple mistake, such as an incorrect/incomplete phone number/email address can cost you a big win!
  4. Check your email - Check your email, daily at the very least.
  5. Double check Junk Folder - Sweepstakes sometimes get jumbled into your junk folder. If you fail to see a winning notification in time, or worse, accidentally delete it, you just flushed a win down the toilet. :(
  6. Persistence is key - Single entries are great, because you only have to worry about entering once, but many contests are classified as "Daily Entries". Some people get lucky, and can win off of just one entry, but the odds will be stacked against you. So if you enter contests that allow you more than one entry, take advantage, this Momma sure will!
  7. Local contests are your friends - Big national, worldwide contests are great, but thousands, if not millions, of people will be entering. Listen in to your radio stations,  browse through your local papers, log onto city websites. These are little goldmines!
 I'm new to Sweeping (definitely not a "pro"), but I'm pretty excited, and wanted to share what I've learned to anyone who cares to listen. I've already won some great prizes (gift cards, furniture, tickets to events, clothing, school supplies, etc;), and I'm hoping to win more. I hope it's your lucky day too. Happy Sweeping!

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