What can be more annoying than to win something, but never receive it? How easily something just that simple turns from a win-win-win to a lose-lose-lose. I have read countless reasons why a prize is not delivered as promised, and each time I have to wonder what the real reason might be.
Have you had this happen to you? There are more of you than you think! I thought maybe I was just one of the few people who didn’t receive a blog prize I had won. But being around the blogosphere, I have found out that there are hundreds and the list of problems with receiving these prizes run from the mundane to the unbelieveable. In fact, if I didn’t know better I would think there is a eBook you can purchase that will give you 1001 reasons to give a prize winner why their prize isn’t likely ever to be received.
Bloggers are real people, and real people have lives that take priority over anything they may blog about, including giveaways – but there is only so many times you can hear these excuses before you realize they just simply do not care about you, their reader. So who is harmed the most when something goes awry, the winner, the blog owner, or perhaps the sponsor? I say all three.
1st – The Sponsor – I cannot understand a sponsor who doesn’t deliver what they promised. Could it be that the sponsor isn’t fulfilling their obligation because they didn’t like the review of their product? The number of responses, the number of “likes”, “follows” or replies that were generated? But why punish the innocent winner of the giveaway and/or the blog owner by not sending out the promised prize? Did they always have the idea that fulfillment wasn’t necessary once they got what they wanted – a positive review, and more followers? I guess there are times that would or could legitimately happen – but I can’t think of one time it would be justified! If you advertise and allow entries to a contest, blog or otherwise, you should have already have the prize ready to ship. No excuse would be considered a good excuse in my opinion for not fulfilling your commitment.
2nd – The Blog Owner – The blog owner suffers because it’s not universally understood that blog owners don’t control all the aspects in any particular giveaway. Often times the blog owner lets you know when entering that it is the manufacturers or sponsors job to ship the prize to the winner. But that still doesn’t help in the case of non-fulfillment. In my opinion, and everything I write is my opinion, it still leaves them in a situation that can damage their blog and readership. I think that a savvy blog owner would also want to help with that fulfillment, if something does go wrong, although many simply will not. If you don’t receive your “prize” they should contact the sponsor for you and help you resolve the situation. But many cannot find the time or justification to do that for you.
The bulk of the negative feedback with non-fulfillment is really going to be directed at the blog owner. The Internet provides unhappy customers with a reach that is astronomical. Your blog will suffer for each prize not delivered by a sponsor in one way or another. Right now, unfortunately, some blog owners are in it for what THEY receive and could care less if you get anything. Building the traffic, “likes”, and followers they get , so that their rewards are greater is really the only reason they blog. Some blog owners receive both the payment and the prize, and keep both, while telling you there is nothing they can do about it. Some make it impossible for your to claim your win, by limiting the time you have to claim it (24-48 hours), by not notifying you of the win (we do not notify winners), only tweeting you a message late one night, not having any way to contact them easily available on their blog, or virtually making it impossible to know that you did actually win. When this happens, many blogs say that a new winner will be chosen, but I know that in many cases no alternate is ever chosen, and they keep the winners prize as well.
Do you really want to have your blog a part of any of that? When faced with a situation like this, you – the blog owner – must be in control and take responsibility for anything that does happen. You can turn a negative situation into a positive one with your actions alone. If you are only interested in what you earn, get, or accomplish with your blog, maybe having a giveaway isn’t the way to go.
3rd – The Giveaway Winner – The winner also has lost and likely won’t forget it anytime soon. They had the anticipation and the joy of winning, and now are very disappointed, potentially angry. They will tell others who will avoid that blog and product and if it happens enough, that blog will eventually get a reputation for non-fulfillment.
Since, I really don’t understand a sponsor who promises and never delivers, my suggestion would be to have a prepared “back-up” prize. One you are willing to send to the winner in lieu of the advertised prize if they sponsor doesn’t produce the goods. This can be anything — from a gift card, or Amazon Certificate (which you can earn thru Swagbucks) and costs little to nothing to mail – to an actual gift that you received and now are going to re-gift. I’d place information somewhere on my blog that after a certain period of time, or if there is no response from the sponsor that you will send the winner a substitute prize that will be totally left to your discretion and not be in any way a replacement of the missing prize, but in lieu of that prize. This shows your integrity from the get go! Then I would caution you to listen to what other blog owners are saying and stay away from any and all sponsors who aren’t fulfilling their commitments.
I personally unsubscribed to the blog that didn’t even care to help me with a prize I never received and I am buying products from a company who did resolve the situation for me. The whole review and giveaway blog idea is supposed to be a win, win, win. Win for the sponsor, win for the Blog owner and a win for the prize recipient. Let’s try to keep it that way!
This post was written without any payment, and all opinions expressed herein are my own. The link to Swagbucks mentioned in this article is a referral link which may result in points being obtained for any searches.