Wednesday 28 August 2013

New rules for Facebook comping!

Facebook have announced new rules about how a page can run a competition on Facebook. Until now, even though they were very popular, "Like and Share" competitions, or any other competition that made use of the page's Facebook functionality, were against the rules. Legitimate competitions had to be run through an app such as Rafflecopter, Easypromos or Woobox, which collected the entrant's details, or the page had to tell entrants to enter by email, or direct them to a web page or blog where their entry could be collected. And pages weren't allowed to notify the winner by naming them on their timeline - they had to contact them by email.

I know, I know, pages were ignoring all this in their droves. And getting confused by it too - for instance, many page owners thought they couldn't name winners at all, and were refusing to answer "Who won?" questions, when the rule was actually that the contact to tell them they had won was to be done away from Facebook, and there was nothing to stop them naming the winners once they had been properly contacted.

So Facebook says it has made it easier to administer a competition on Facebook. The announcement is here

While use of apps is still allowed, now a page can run a competition by
  • getting you to Like a page
  • getting you to comment on a page
  • getting you to Like a post
  • getting you to comment on a post
  • getting you to message them
  • collecting votes by using the Like button
What they can NOT ask you to do is to Share a competition on your own timeline, either as your entry into the competition or as a way of collecting extra entries. They can also NOT ask you to tag a photograph, unless you are actually pictured in the photograph.

One rather worrying feature of the complete new page guidelines is that they have removed the part that says pages must contact winners directly so it is now fine for them to just post the winner's name on their timeline and hope that they will claim.

The new guidelines will certainly make things easier for small business pages, many of whom were uncomfortable with the idea of using an app, even a free one, to collect entries. But it's also something of a "Cheat's Charter" - it's going to be an awful lot easier for people with multiple accounts to win, especially when it comes to the dreaded voting competitions.

The part that worries me most is the fact that winners don't have to be contacted directly. Even before the new rules, far too many pages were announcing winners on their timelines. That meant in order to know you had won, you had to be watching EVERY post on EVERY page you follow - and many compers follow over 1,000 pages. Or you had to be lucky and have a friend who happened to see the post, and would tag you to let you know. Or you had to belong to one of the groups that have sprung up to check for winners and see your name posted there, or be tagged by a friend. Now that is going to happen in even more competitions, and I'm sure many compers will miss out on prizes because of it.

Naming winners on the timeline and expecting them to claim has one very sinister effect - it attracts cheats who quickly set up a fake account in the name of the winner, claim the prize and then vanish, leaving the real winner, who comes along later, bemused and distressed when they are told the prize has already been claimed. There seems to be no mechanism in place to prevent this unpleasant practice.

The idea of these new rules is to simplify things for page owners, and that have done, but they must still be a work in progress. How, for instance, is a page owner going to spread the word about their competition if sharing is still not allowed? One suggestion is that people will see it in their friends' tickers - maybe so, but if you have a lot of friends your ticker moves so fast that following it is impracticable, especially if any of them are Farmville fans! Maybe this is a revenue raising move by Facebook - pages will be urged to pay to have promoted posts that will show in people's timelines. Whatever the motive, it seems odd to me that a network that is based on the concept of sharing is refusing to allow it as a means of promotion. Anyone can share a cute cat photo or a saucy joke, yet we can't share the competition being run by a housebound mum who is creating hand made jewellery to make ends meet!

What do you think? Are you going to make any changes to the way you comp? Are you going to monitor every page to see if your name turns up? Are you going to complain to pages that still ask you to share? Or are you just going to wait and see what happens? My feeling is that these changes have been hastily put together and may well change again before long. So I'm joining team "Wait and See"

Monday 26 August 2013

Another lovely giveaway from Chocolate Log Blog!

The latest competition at Chocolate Log Blog is for a tin of afternoon tea chocolates, beautifully decorated with teatime themed designs.

Aren't they gorgeous? And they'd make a great gift for any tea addict.

To enter, head over to the competition page and complete the simple Rafflecopter form. The competition closes on September 23rd.

Friday 23 August 2013

Win some seaweed - yes, really!

I'd like you all to say a big hello to Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary - you might know her better as @TangoRaindrop on Twitter - who is running her first competition. Come on, Grapeviners, let's give her lots and lots  of support!

The competition prize is something very unusual -  as you probably know, I'm a card-carrying foodie, but it's something I've never seen before. A seaweed grinder! Yes, three people will win a seaweed grinder, filled with dried Shetland seaweed that you can grind over your food or into your recipes. I'll certainly be entering, I'm really intrigued by it.

To enter, head over to the competition page and complete the simple Rafflecopter form. The competition closes on September 30th.

Thursday 22 August 2013

Win the Sainsbury's cookbook with Kavey Eats

Kavey Eats is giving away a copy of the 20th anniversary Sainsbury's Magazine Cookbook.

To enter, head over to the competition post and join in by commenting, tweeting or liking the Facebook page  - you can enter once each way. The closing date is September 6th.

And do have a look at the gorgeous recipe while you are there!

Win a bumper pack of cleaning products with Dishmatic

Dishmatic has a great pack of cleaning products worth £50 to be won - ideal for cleaning up after the little ones when they have gone back to school. You can find the competition on their website and it closes on September 30th. Don't forget to get your extra free entries through Facebook and Twitter!

Monday 19 August 2013

Win a £100 Top Shop voucher

Girl in the Lens are giving away a £100 Top Shop voucher.

To enter, visit their blog where you have to complete two mandatory steps, Liking their Facebook page and telling them what you would buy if you won. After that, you can get extra entries for liking, sharing and following them on various social media.

The competition closes on August 31st.

Win a Love Your Gut pack!

This week is Love Your Gut week. After the infections that landed me in hospital, it may be some time before I learn to love my gut again, so the week couldn't have been better timed!

Gut Week 2013 – FREE competition and information packs
Gut Week, the national awareness campaign organised by digestive health charities Core and the IBS Network in association with Yakult UK Limited, is marking its 15th year – so why not get involved? Order or download a FREE information pack today, and you will be automatically entered into a free prize draw to win a Love Your Gut Pack worth £50. The prize pack contains: a water bottle, gym bag, sports towel, skipping rope (which cleverly counts your jumps and measures calories burned), baseball cap and pedometer, along with a range of Love Your Gut goodies.
To enter, simply visit and reserve your free Gut Week pack today! Good luck – and good gut health!
[Note: the competition closes on 9th September 2013 and is free to enter for all UK residents.]

Win an iPad Mini with Ring Automotive

Ring Automotive are giving away an iPad Mini and 5 x £10 iTunes vouchers. All you need to do is upload your favourite or funniest holiday photo on their Facebook page  or print it out as a postcard and send it to

Ring Automotive Ltd,
Gelderd Road,
LS12 6NA.

Closing 18 Sep.

Sunday 18 August 2013

zulily's August Cuties competition

This month's prizes in the regular zulily Instagram competition are a Kidcraft retro kitchen, a Juicy Couture bag and a £100 zulily voucher. You'll find full details of how to enter here  but I'm sure you are used to what to do by now:

Upload an Instagram snap of your little cutie in their trendiest threads
  1. Make sure your profile is public, so that they can see your photo
  2. You need to follow zulilyUK on Instagram (@zulilyUK) and tag your picture with three things:
  • #zulilyUKAugustCutiesCompetition
  • @zulilyUK
  • and either: #zulilynewbie (if you’re new to zulily) or #zulilian (if you’ve already joined zulily)
This month's competition closes on August 31st.

Lots of new competitions to enter

Here is a whole host of new competitions for you. As I have a big backlog of competitions waiting to be posted, I'll just give you the links and closing dates and leave you to investigate them for yourselves!

Win 1 of 3 Family Annual Passes to Blenheim Palace (ends 5th September)
Win an Apple TV & 6 month Netflix subscription (ends 31st August) 


Win a Two Night Stay at the 4* Espléndido Hotel in Puerto de Sóller worth €320 (ends 31st August)
Win a Memory Foam Pet Bed worth up to £270! (ends 31st August)
Win a £20 Amazon voucher from e-pens (ends 31st August)
Win a £250 Chapelfield, Norwich voucher or half term Mini Monkey gym pass (ends 31st August)

Win a spa break in Poland

Your Holiday TV has got together with the Polish Tourist Website to offer you a chance to win a super spa break in Poland, with flights, transfers, meals, pampering and fitness sessions!

To enter, go to Your Holiday TV and follow the link to the competition. There are two questions - with links to the answers - then you are asked to suggest a slogan or catchphrase to promote Poland as a trendy travel destination. A great competition for those of you who complain that there aren't enough tiebreaker competitions around these days!

The competition closes on August 31st.

Saturday 17 August 2013

Win a Masha with Kavey Eats

What's a Masha? It's an electric vegetable masher, and if you're as fond of mashed spuds as I am, you probably need one.  Being a gadget freak, I'd love to give one of these a whirl and see if it can match up to my lovely potato ricer. If you'd like to try one, Kavey Eats is giving you a chance to win one. To enter, visit their competition page where there are three ways to enter - by commenting on the blog, by liking a Facebook page and by Tweeting. You can enter one, two or all three ways.

The competition closes on August 30th

Win one of two heart cake moulds

The latest competition at Chocolate Log Blog is for two prizes of a heart shaped cake mould. There's a very tempting recipe for a lemon and almond cake too, which you could bake in it if you win! To enter, complete the Rafflecopter form on the competition page. The competition closes on September 7th

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Win a family trip to Cornwall

I'm just about to head off to Cornwall for a few days of much needed R&R, and thanks to Red  Spotted Hanky you could be going there too!
Win a Cornish Family Adventure!
Pick one of three great Cornish family adventures including:
·         Day tickets to the award winning Eden Project
·         Surf lessons at the Escape Surf School in Newquay
·         Cycle the beautiful River Camel trail to Padstow with Bike Smart
If you win, will whizz you all the way to Cornwall stress free - by train - plus you’ll receive vouchers so you can book a lovely local hotel too!
Competition is free to enter and open to residents of the UK aged 18 and older. Ends 19/08/13

Win an iPad and £500

As I am still slowly recovering and finding it hard to concentrate, I have just quoted the info I received about this competition. The entry link is 
Play at Fortune Frenzy this August for your chance to win an iPad4 and £500 cash!
You might have noticed us making a big fuss about our new range of HD games, well we wanted to celebrate by offering a brilliant prize draw this August.
With the iPad 4’s improved performance and stunning retina display it is the perfect place to show off our eye popping new graphics and game improvements, and if that wasn’t enough we’re throwing in £500 cash to one lucky winner.
We’ve got three of these great prize packages to be won and it couldn’t be easier to enter and all depositing players are eligible, just make sure you follow the steps below and this top tech prize and wad of cash could be yours.
Go to Promotional code from any game menu
Enter code 
PRIZEDRAW8 before Midnight Saturday, 31st August
Deposit a minimum of £10 in August
You will receive 1 entry for every £10 bet in August
The winner will be drawn at random in the first week of September and notified
Cash will be credited into the players account

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Win a breastfeeding starter kit

With my younger daughter expecting her first baby, I'm constantly on the look out for things that will make life easier for her, as she lives too far from home for me to just pop round and get in the way give help and advice. I know she will get lots of advice from her big sister's site, Mellow Mummy,  but I was delighted to see the latest competition on Bras4Mums as the prize is a breastfeeding starter kit, containing 3 bras, a vest top and a pack of pads - just the thing for a new Mum, to make her feel attractive and yet not get in the way of that vital task of feeding baby.

To enter, head over to the competition page and fill in the Rafflecopter form - you have until August 12th to enter.

Sunday 4 August 2013

New competitions - a quick round up

While I was in hospital, several people got in touch asking me to tell you about their latest competitions. As I'm still not well, and have a lot of catching up to do, here is a quick summary of them rather than a separate post for each. You'll need to hurry though, some of them close VERY soon! Apologies for the jumble of fonts - at least it keeps all the competitions separate though!

D-Link The world’s fastest Wi-Fi technology is here and to celebrate we are giving away a fantastic Wireless AC prize bundle. THREE lucky winners will each receive: the new Xbox One, a D-Link Wireless AC Router (DIR-860L),€50 iTunes vouchers and an iPad Mini. And that’s not all... the winning pictures will feature in our advertising campaign!

To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is submit a picture of your shocked, surprised, excited or amazed Wireless AC face. 

Enter the competition:  Closing 17 Aug.

Steel Seal Ltd is giving the chance to win merchandise. To enter submit your content, articles, blogs and stories content and articles must be well written, original and first person. Steel Seal acknowledge a submission of content to be a submission to win merchandise and permission to use, edit for grammar and publish any content. Submit your content and find more details at

Find more information here: This is ongoing and has no closing date.

Red Spotted Hanky
Win one of three luxury experiences in Bath from!
Choose from a session of luxury spa treatments at the Thermae Bath Spa, a torchlight visit to the historic Roman Baths, or a gourmet dinner for two at Brasserie Blanc! Enter here 
The competition is free to enter and open to UK residents 18 and over. Ends 5th August 2013.

Raddisson Blu have 6 prizes of a €150 gift card to be won. To enter, visit and vote for your favourite attraction local to the hotel - you will have a list to choose from. This closes on August 15th.  

Right Venues  the August prize is:
Thorp Park Hotel & Spa, Leeds: 1 night stay including Dinner, bed and breakfast in an executive room for two, and a complimentary bottle of wine with dinner. Enter here Closing at the end of August.

Friday 2 August 2013

MY AUNT - a cautionary tale for compers

Early last year my 88 year old aunt had a telephone call. "Congratulations, you have won a holiday worth £1,500"

Now most people reading this will be compers, and would be whooping with joy, but my aunt is blind and can't fill in entry forms or read websites, so she knew very well that she hadn't entered a holiday competition. However the caller was insistent, "you answered a telephone survey 18 months ago. I expect it's slipped your memory"

Well, elderly people DO tend to forget things, and nobody would remember the details of every phone call for 18 months, so my aunt accepted that it was genuine after all. She agreed that the presentation would be at her home, that same afternoon.

When the time for the presentation arrived, a rather scruffily dressed man and woman arrived, carrying a large case, and proceeded to give her a presentation...... about an air purifying system. The man surveyed the house, to work out where the purifiers were to be located, or so he said, and then as it was obvious my aunt wasn't planning to buy, packed up his case and started to leave.

"Just a minute," my aunt said, "What about my prize holiday?"

The man made a big show of searching through his folders and patting down his pockets.

"Oh dear, I must have left the documents in the office, " he said. "I'll pop back with them this evening."

"I'm sorry," my aunt replied, "but I won't be at home, I always go out on Monday evenings"

They agreed he would return on another day, and the man left.

When my aunt got home from her evening out, the house had been broken into and ransacked. Her TV and special electronic equipment for the blind were gone, her collection of ornaments, and all her jewellery.

Of course her visitors from the afternoon had left no contact details, so they were untraceable, but it was obvious that the "survey" had been to find where all the valuables were kept and what the easiest way into the house would be. And her mention of going out that evening had been like offering them an invitation on a silver salver! Naturally, nobody came back during the week with a holiday voucher.

Not content with that, the rogues waited a few months until she would have had time to replace all her valuables, and then came along on another Monday night and stole everything again.

And a few months later they tried a third time. But this time my aunt had decided not to go out that evening because of snow, so was at home when she heard sounds of the window being forced, and called the police. The robbers were frightened away, but now my aunt is too frightened to go for her much loved Monday evenings out in case they come  back and empty the house yet again.

The moral of this story is to make sure that whenever you are told you have won a prize, only believe it if you are ABSOLUTELY certain that you entered the competition, but more importantly, to make sure elderly friends and relatives know this too, and that they never invite strangers into their homes without checking their identity and ideally having a younger adult around.


It's something to bear in mind if you win  a holiday – even a genuine one - because once when I won one, the local paper was sent a press release about it and phoned to interview me. The reporter asked , "When are you taking the holiday?" and was surprised when I refused to tell him. But if I had done, the dates would have been published, and my name and street too. How easy it would have been for every burglar in the neighbourhood to make a date in their diaries to pay me a visit that week!

Some more tips, that apply if EVER anyone suggests presenting a prize to you in your own home. After all, even if it is a genuine prize, you don't know how trustworthy the person bringing it might be.

1. Do your best to arrange for it to be somewhere else, either in their office or in a public place. And make sure somebody knows where you are going, or comes along with you.
2. Ask for time to think about it, and get a name and phone number so that YOU can call THEM back. Don't agree to wait for a call from them. That way, should anything bad happen, you will have their contact details for the police.
3. If a presentation in your home is unavoidable, make sure you are not alone when they come. Agree a time for their visit and have a friend, neighbour or family member present. If they can bring along a large dog, so much the better!
4. If any product other than the prize is mentioned or any sales pitch launched, tell them to leave immediately.  That big dog could be a real help here!

Thursday 1 August 2013

I'm home - thank you one and all

As most of you know, I have spent the last week in hospital after being taken so ill on the way home from visiting my mother that I had to check in to a motel overnight on Thursday, being unable to drive any further. I got home early on Friday but my GP sent me straight to hospital, where I was diagnosed with two different infections, which were fighting each other and causing very high fevers and wildly fluctuating temperatures. I was also severely dehydrated, and being diabetic and having been unable to eat, also had to have insulin.

It's been a pretty rotten few days, and I couldn't have got through it without the wonderful support of my husband Mark. As well as his regular hospital visits, he has kept as many people as possible informed of the situation, which has resulted in an absolute torrent of get well wishes, every single one of which has helped to boost my strength and make me look forward even more to getting home and being in touch with you all again.

Now the problem I face is thanking you all. I've had literally hundreds of cards, emails, blog comments, tweets, LCC messages, Chatterbox messages and Facebook posts. It would take me weeks on end to reply individually to each one, so I'm going to post this message everywhere I can and also use it as a generic reply to all the lovely emails. I'm sorry not to send something more personal and home that this time you will forgive me! I'm very glad to be home, but still weak and recovering, and of course a long way behind with things.

My current hope, as long as I have no relapses, is to get Grape Vine in the post next Tuesday, so it will be less than a week late. Thanks to all the subscribers for their patience

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible

Jane XXX