Raffles & Competition Sites FAQ

Competition sites such as McKinney, Bounty, Elite, Lucky Day and Jammy have become well established destinations for pay to enter prize draws. Their success has also meant that countless other brands have jumped on the bandwagon and now you can win anything from fishing gear to campervans, football tickets to tractors and kitchen gear to guitars! But what are raffle sites all about? How do they work? And what do you need to do if you want to run one? Our Raffles FAQ tries to cover all you need to know.

1. Are Pay To Enter Prize Draws Gambling?

In our view these kind of prize competitions or raffles as they're wrongly named fall into a grey area between gambling and free prize draws. To enter a pay to enter prize competition you usually have to complete some element of skill. This ranges from answering a multiple choice question through to spot the ball. If you're spending money on a raffle with a limited number of tickets then essentially you are gambling that cash on you winning at fixed odds. However skill competitions or pay to enter draws like those above, as well as win a house competitions, are not overseen by The UK Gambling Commission. However they all involved spending money and can be addictive. Therefore we have included a begambleaware.org notice on each listing. Our advice is that you play responsibly - treat the sites like you would any brand that offers bingo, slots or sportsbook gambling.

2. Are These Competition Sites A Scam?

On the surface some of these competitions seem great. However it is important to look under the surface. Not every prize is brand new! Some sites offer second hand cars and watches as luxury prizes. Closing dates can also be misleading. For example you might purchase a ticket for a competition that ends this month. However the terms may state that the raffle will extend it's closing date for a number of times. Prizes are not always guaranteed either. If insufficient tickets are not sold then a cash prize is usually awarded. Our ratings and reviews should give you an idea of the best sites to choose from. The best sites will guarantee prizes regardless of the number of tickets sold. You can read reviews on many sites via Trustpilot but be aware that these are often skewed due to sites offering incentives for positive reviews.

3. How Many Different Raffle Style Competition Sites Are There?

We currently feature just a handful pf pay to enter sites although we're trying to add new ones on a regular basis. Our aim is to try and only add sites that appear to be well established! However there are 10s more of these kind of sites active. Zap Competitions for example power over 30 different brands with it's platform including 7 Days Performance, Carp Gear, Win Vans, Bright Competitions and Giveaway Life. If you drop in on Trust Pilot there are reviews for a large number of sites with new ones coming on board all the time. Visit one of these sites and you're guaranteed to see adverts for even more raffle sites the next time you drop in to Facebook or Instagram.

4. Can I Enter Pay To Enter Competitions For Free?

In most cases you can get free entries but note that these will be usually only be postal entries and you'll need to pay for stamps and postcards. If you send in a postcard entry to a pay to enter prize draw then your entry should be treated the same as a paid entry. Is it worth entering by post? If the entry price is <2 then it's probably not the cost or time - you may as well enter online and pay. For more expensive prize draws it might be worth a shot but we've never known any of the competitions being run by the sites listed being won by a postal entry! On a positive note a lot of the sites will run free prize draws, sometimes via social media, offering credit as a prize and these are worth a dabble. Overall our advice is if you're not sure about these kind of sites then leave them alone. If you are curious then select a well known and established brand rather than one of the many new sites that keep popping up.

5. What Prizes Can I Win?

You name it then you can probably win it via a pay to enter prize draw. Head to our Win A House section for property raffles. Big name brands like McKinney, Bounty and Elite feature everything from holiday homes, property, holidays, cars, cash and tech. Smaller sites like to focus on specific items (although there is always room for other prizes). Carp Gear Giveaways (Fishing), Golf Star Competitions (Golf), Vanny Campers (Camper Vans), Football Prizes (Football), In The Kitchen Draw (Kitchen Items), Guitar Gear Giveaway (Guitars) and Agrigiveaways (Agricultural Prizes) are just some of the sites we've come across online.

6. How Do I Start My Own Site?

If you're thinking of starting your own site then sadly we're unable to help you. If you know how to work with Wordpress then there are plugins available which enable you to set-up a site quite easily although you'll need to think about branding, marketing and payment gateaways. A number of agencies are available who have experience with setting up competition sites. Zap as mentioned above have a good track record. Other options include Embark Studio, Visionary Hubspace, Hilton Web Design, Getty Web Designs and Think Digital Marketing. Note that a link doesn't imply endorsement. Occasionally you may spot competition sites for sale on eBay but our advice is to avoid these under the umbrella of "if it's too good to be true".

7. Any Other Advice About Starting A Site?

For every McKinney, Bounty and 7 Days Performance there are countless others that fall by the wayside. Even Mecca Bingo couldn't manage to make their Mecca Raffles a success. They key to success definitely seems to be having an active, solvent and engaged audience - especially on social media - so that each guaranteed prize draw sells sufficient tickets as fast as possible. Getting that involves a lot of time, effort and money especially when it comes to marketing. Many new comers to the sector automatically assume the build it and they'll come theory. Others wrongly think that people who love free prize draws - like a good proportion of our users - will instantly want to spend 10 to win a car with a site they've never heard of before. Our advice is to research how sites work and cherry pick the best elements.

8. Submit Your Competition Site For Review

If you've run a low odds, pay to enter, competition site and want to be featured in this review section on Loquax then please get in touch. Affiliate partnership options are also available. We do allow some posts to our competition listings but only within specific guidelines and limitations. The reviews and information here is provided for reference only.