During 2020 and 2021 win a house competitions were incredibly popular and sparked the launch of a number of raffle platforms hoping to cash in on that popularity. Prize Villas, Visit Central Italy and FrogHopping are just some of those platforms. Instead of running just one prize draw at a time these platforms encouraged home owners to use their services to sell their properties via the raffle mechanic. However it’s not been an easy ride! Prize Villas closed their doors in June 2021 “due to the very recent failure of their card payment processor”. Now joining them in the closures department are Visit Central Italy.
All Contests Have Been Cancelled
Visit Central Italy launched their first property competition at the start of 2020 and concluded the year with their first winner. This sparked the launch of several other prize draws with properties in Rome, Perugia, Reggio Calabria and Kenya up for grabs. However these draws were beset with issues including alleged “database hacks” and “cyber attacks”. Despite this the contests continued with all due to close within the first few weeks of 2022. However entrants have now been told the contests have been cancelled and that Visit Central Italy are part of Travel Deals Group.
The Visit Central Italy website simply announces that “Visitcentralitaly.com is now part of the Travel Deals Group. Effective January 1, 2022 All contests have been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. For a prompt refund, please email [email protected] with a copy of your receipt for a full refund”. Do let us know if you are owed a refund and whether you receive it or not. We’ve not been able to find out who “Travel Deals Group” actually are and there’s no information on Companies House either. All we do know is that Visit Central Italy Ltd was set-up in August 2021 after VisitCentralItaly.com was dissolved.
They Didn’t Pay Us
In February 2021 Loquax entered into an affiliate agreement with Visit Central Italy. This agreement meant we’d earn a small commission on ticket sales. In June we noted that our login was broken and that no sales had been tracked since May. We were told that the site had been hacked but once that was sorted all data would be restored. That didn’t happen and in August we noted the site was done. Then we were told they it was due to a cyber attack but Site they were tracking affiliate sales manually and we’d have a new link within the week. Nothing happened! We decided to remove all links and move the site to “not recommeneded”. In hindsight we should have done this much earlier.
Can Property Raffles Survive In 2022?
It’s fair to say that the house raffle purple patch of 2020/21 is pretty much over. At time of writing there are just 20 active prize draws including two from Omaze and a handful on Raffall. Once when there was a new giveaway popping up every week we’re lucky to see one every month. Those raffles that are running – or have recently closed – in general don’t seem to be performing well either. FrogHopping, another platform who hoped for huge success, recently closed six competitions and all resulted in cash winners of between £300 and £4000. Surprisingly, despite these poor performances, two of the properties have been listed for a second time. There are positives with the likes of Omaze and Tramway Path who continue to create property winners. In many ways a smaller sector with respectable platforms running the prize draws might be the best way forward.