Whilst comping online continues to evolve one aspect has mushroomed. Raffle sites which offer entrants the chance to purchase tickets for the chance to win cars, cash and lifestyle prizes seem to be sprouting up every where. These kind of sites are similar to the win a house raffles. Each competition has a limited number of tickets and these usually all need to be sold before the prize is awarded.
Other than the win a house competitions we’ve shied away from raffles. We even banned them from being listed on Loquax’s competition pages because there’s a new one every week and not all of them seem trustworthy. Even this week another potential raffle site was trying to survey Loquax users about whether they enter paid for competitions. So how do we know which sites are trustworthy and which aren’t?
There are review sites like Trustpilot, but when you look closely at them you’ll see that the results are always skewed. Trustpilot want businesses to purchase business accounts from them, then encourage business to push users to them to post positive reviews. Many raffle sites have 100s of reviews posted in just a few days from happy customers. But does this paint a fair picture? We decided not and therefore have created a raffles section on Loquax.
There’s A Lot Of Them
Our raffles section features sites where you need to purchase tickets to enter either a raffle or skill competition. As with the win a house competitions we look at what’s on offer for entrants, how to enter, the prizes, costs and winners. We also look for transparency in terms of results and those important terms and conditions. Most importantly – as with the win a house competitions – users are welcome to leave comments.
So what did we learn looking at these kind of sites? Firstly there’s a lot of them! Although we’ve only covered a dozen or so, we reckon we could easily double that number. In time we will expand the list but we feel we’ve added the most popular brands and a few others we’ve seen through Loquax. Some of the sites seem to be quite successful whilst others – the ones with lower ratings – don’t seem to be doing so well.
Second Hand Prizes
Prizes vary from site to site. Many aim to offer cars and lifestyle prizes, however we did learn that not every prize is brand new. A lot of the raffle sites are happy to put second hand cars and watches up as prizes. This isn’t a problem but we do think more clarity is needed – for example mileage, warranty, MOT etc. One thing we couldn’t see is what happens if a second hand motor prize breaks down.
Costs also vary across the various sites listed. You can enter for some decent prizes for as little as £1 whilst on one site they’ve ran raffles where tickets have been up to £60. If you’re not keen on spending money then no purchase necessary postal routes are available. Mind you we couldn’t find any reference to any NPN entrant actually winning so you might want to save your postage stamps.
Are They A Scam?
It’s understandable why some people may consider raffle sites a bit of a scam. There are a few moving goalposts. Raffles usually have closing dates and a limited number of tickets to be sold. However if not enough tickets are sold then the closing date may be extended. In some cases this extension can be done up to 4 times. Other competitions will not conclude until all tickets are sold and this could be several months or longer.
These kind of competition sites are also not regulated. This means there’s no body like The UK Gambling Commission that can hold promoters to task. However in our view these raffles are akin to gambling, can be addictive and costs can mount up. Some sites have ticket limits per competition but there are no tools such as deposit limits or self exclusion available to players. Note that on our listings we do highlight begambleaware.org!
Should You Enter? Would We Enter?
If you’re considering entering raffle sites then we suggest you check out our reviews first. Choose reputable brands and only spend what you can afford. If you have any doubts or concerns then stay away from them. There are more than enough free prize draws for good prizes to keep most people busy.
Would we enter? At no point during the review process were we tempted to purchase a ticket for any competition. Spending £10 on the chance of winning a car at 2500 to 1 isn’t appealing. The NPN route might be worth a go, but even then! The genuine skill competitions like BOTB.com and Watchlotto did stand out from the crowd. The former also lets you enter from 15p a turn which seems much more reasonable.