The Win A House sector of competitions is rapidly dwindling. At time of writing we have just 3 (soon to be 4) open competitions. Of these 3 all of them have extended their closing dates beyond their initial end point. Whilst those competitions battle on, a number have recently closed. Golden Ticket Online from Mr Motivator is offering refunds whilst Fred’s House has pulled the plug early – more on that below. Raffle House have also just closed their doors but it’s unclear whether they will be dishing out a cash prize or keys to a new property. If it’s the latter then that may be a little boost for these kind of raffles.
A Property Competition Like No Other
However, if Raffle House adopt a similar approach to Cadivus, another recently closed house competition (12th June), then expect to see a few newspaper headlines about it. Cadivus, latin for windfall apparently, launched at the end of December 2018. A flashy affair that the owners described as “a property competition like no other”. We did question this in our review of the competition – after all they weren’t actually doing anything new. Their prize of a £2 million home in South Kensington looked great but it failed to attract enough ticket sales (300,000 were required).
This meant Cadivus joined the growing list of “win a house” failures. As per the terms and conditions, a cash prize was awarded and a nice sum of £53,500 went to “Caroline from London”. Although that’s a decent prize where things unravel for Cadivus is that this competition raised £227,000. This means that the owners kept £173,500 to cover their costs and other expenses relating to the competition. Holding on to over 75% of the take does seem to be excessive and a breakdown of costs (if ever revealed) will make fascinating reading.
Fred Has A £14,000 Loss
Cadivus aren’t the first house raffle to notch up some hefty expenses in the process of marketing a competition. Win A Mega Home caused controversy when they awarded a £110,000 prize earlier in the year. Their expenses – around 85% of the take – were astronomically high, especially when compared to Win A Maida Vale Home. They sold just over 4000 tickets but awarded a £79,350 prize. Cadivus sold an estimated 20,000 and gave away a prize nearly £25,000 less. Cadivus, like Mega Home, must have spent some seriously stupid money on wasted advertising space!
On the flip side of the coin is Win Freds Home. Their competition wasn’t scheduled to end but the owners have pulled the plug early. On their website they’ve detailed their decision. Only £10,300 was made in ticket sales, but the cost of the competition was at a remarkably high £21,000. This is on par with Maida Vale’s expense sheet by the way. Despite the lack of ticket sales versus outgoings the owner still paid out a £7000 cash prize (70% of the take) and took a hit of £14,000. They advise other people to “never ever think about offering your home in a raffle or spot the ball competition”.
None of the above comes as a surprise. Golden Ticket Online was a woeful excuse of an exercise. The website had little information about the competition or prize. It may have been Mr Motivator’s property but even he couldn’t motivate this effort. Win Freds House wasn’t a great competition either. Our review indicated that the website was “poor in terms of design and content”. Additionally the owner didn’t seem to understand anything about the internet deeming our link from Loquax to their website “a scam”. See the Facebook comments on our review page for more info.
When a new start-up in this area claims to be “a property competition like no other” it demonstrates they’ve not reviewed what has gone before. Cadivus may have had a glossy website but that’s all they had that was different. We’re not surprised it failed to conclude. What possibly is a surprise though is that if Win Freds House can figure things aren’t going well after spending £20,000 – why did Cadivus throw £173,500 at costs and expenses when it must have been obvious they were never going to sell 300,000 tickets?
All eyes are now on Raffle House. This particular competition has been determined to create a win a home winner, but can they actually deliver? It’ll also be interesting to see what level of costs they have incurred during the rollercoaster journey that started way back in April 2018. If this competition results in a property winner then that may reignite a little more faith in these raffles. Another Cadivus type story may well consign win a house competitions permanently into the “scam” bucket.
However, other folks are undeterred by the bad rep win a house raffles have. A new competition, winmydreamhome.com, has launched and they tell us that they believe they are the “most open and transparent property prize draw on the market”. The prize is a £2.1million home in Kentish Town and there’s a fixed end date of 31st December 2019. Nobel claims, but with just 2 competitions completed in 50 we’re not expecting to see a property prize winner here.