Giveaway Conspiracy

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Today we have a special Guest Post from Autum @ Always Purrty Design. Its something we where all talking about one night and decided we wanted to post about it and talk about it. So here it is... 


Giveaway Conspiracy




You want that book. You see that [________] insert blog or author here is giving them away. You can enter a raffle –copter giveaways. This is awesome. You tweet about the giveaway, make a blog post, leave a comment, become a follower, sign up for an e-mail newsletter and other tasks that give you more entries. You wait patiently to see if you have won, but you haven’t. That’s okay though, you are not very connected to the website or author who ran the giveaway. You can always try to enter more.

This is what most of who enter giveaways through raffle copter think. If you don’t win, no big deal. What if you did win though? What if your name was picked and you never knew? You were never contacted and the prize went to another winner chosen by rafflecopter. Did you ever think about that? You probably haven’t because you trust the people that are running these giveaways. You trust the author that is giving away their book or a $20 Amazon gift card. You trust the people running the blogs. For the most part, you should, but there is a very dark side to this easy way to let people win giveaways. I will not name names and I will not point fingers, but I will share what I have heard through the grapevine.

An author, who we will call, Owl Caprise is coming out with a new book! What better way to get people to follow her blog then to have a giveaway. So Owl sets up a raffle copter giveaway. Her friends and family enter, so do 100 other people, but she wants her friend Squirrel to win. All she has to do is keep picking a winner until Squirrel’s name comes up. Then she hits announce, we are none the wiser. We see Squirrel won! Yay for Squirrel! What we didn’t see is the 1st person that was ignored in the giveaway so that Owl could cheat. Owl wanted her friend to win, and so it came to pass. Seeing the success of the first giveaway, she decides to give away a $50 Amazon gift card, the trick here? There won’t be a real winner at all. Owl sets up the giveaway knowing she will never give away that gift card. This one draws in 800 people and now she has 800 new followers on her blog, JUST what she wanted. You just don’t know that she entered herself under a false name 60 times. The giveaway ends and she picks a winner—she will keep picking until she gets her false name and e-mail. She never has to give away the gift card and we are now following her blog. See there was never a giveaway at all.

This is a REAL thing that is happening. People are abusing the giveaway system. They are picking so their friends win, or whoever they want to win. There is no way for us, as people who enter giveaways, to control this. We have to trust that we didn’t win, but the problem that has arisen, is people are cheating in a big way. You may argue that there truly is no harm done, but that isn’t the case. When people choose to cheat on giveaways, we are being deceived. We are giving them free promotion and endorsements. That isn’t fair that our time is being used under false pretenses. The only fix for this that I could see if for rafflecoptor to allow only 3 winners picked maximum in a week’s time period. I understand that some people don’t respond to winning a giveaway and it may take more than 3 times to get someone to respond, but I would rather put in some extra time than be cheated by people who are preying on us. The system is out of control. If you pick a winner, that should be it, end of story. If you don’t think it’s happening, think again.



 ~ Autum @ Always Purrty Design
For all the latest Always Purrty Design Info- Check out my Facebook
You can also check out my personal blog at Pixel-Geek.Org










Any Thoughts? 
And thanks Autum for this post. You rock! 

24 comments:

  1. Great post and I like the names you chose ;) I have no doubt that this is happening but I don't think changing Rafflecopter is going to change anything. No matter how you do a giveaway there is always going to be a loophole. The random number generator... you can keep clicking until you get the number you like. You can write names/numbers down and put them in a hat and pull the person of your choosing. I think no matter what you do, you will always have those that cheat the system if they want to.

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    1. Its true there really is no way to make people be honest or make sure the winner was honestly chosen. Its sad that it happens but there really is nothing to do about it.

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  2. wow. I think an honest giveaway host should contact the winner anyway. It's hard to remember which blog you might've entered for a prize. I never like those Rafflecopter setups anyway (though I've tried a few times). I can see how it would be easy to run a hoax giveaway no matter what method of choosing the winner one uses. I've run a few where I just put slips of paper in and have my granddaughter pick. Even though I've wanted someone to win though, I wouldn't have thought of cheating.

    I guess some people will do anything for the publicity, but hopefully this is a rare thing. I like to think authors are mostly ethical people, but then again - they are just people. Honest, dishonest, ethical, unethical - they're people in every profession and walks of life. Sucks though.

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  3. Whoa! I know doing giveaways increases following but I never heard of this conspiracy thingy. I have won some but didn't get they prize and that suckedc
    Coz its from the same publisher. I hope I don't encounter something like this

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  4. Lol I am all about conspiracies. I have heard of this happening. It just amazes me how dishonest people are!

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  5. Thanks for this post it didnt even occur to me that this is happening. That is sad really. I have not ran a giveaway my self yet because i am new to the blog world and the post office close to us is revamping. But i have never though of cheating my way into people following me. Knowing that it can happen now it really is baffling. If you dont want to give something away, don't. If you want to give it to your friend or a certain person, just do it. Tricking people will eventually catch on and spread a bad rep anyway. I hope

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  6. This has been going on since the beginning of time. Anytime you have a prize and a lottery system, people are going to cheat. Rafflecopter has been a godsend for me. It makes it soooo easy to run a big contest and contact the winner(s). I always send an email with a link to the contest they won because there is no way they remember. We just have to take the good with the bad. But awareness is important and if people think someone might be checking up on them they might not be as likely to cheat.

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  7. This is terrible. I mean, I heard that there were ways to cheat the system but this is ridiculous. The whole purpose of us having giveaways is to reward our READERS. Sure maybe our best friend is the only one reading what we have to say, but who knows if that winner just might give you some extra attention they haven't if they hadn't won?

    There were two instances that I won and never received the book but they were both messed up situations that weren't the bloggers fault and they both made up for it. I hate that so much dishonesty goes on in the blogging community. I haven't had to witness any of it myself but I hear about it and that's not what we're about.

    Some people are just in this for all the wrong reasons. They will get what's coming to them... GREAT POST!

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  8. As someone that does giveaways on my blog the only time I've picked another winner is when a known giveaway cheater was the winner. I've seen their name around the blogging community as one that enters giveaways by cheating and I saw that they attempted to cheat on my giveaway so I thought NEXT.

    But yeah this is terrible for people to do. Why have a giveaway at all? Just give the person you want to win the book/gift card.

    I use to enter tons of giveaways but now I just stick to blogs I already follow and know the people running them. And I trust those people so I never thought about this problem.

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    1. I'm going to sound really naive, but how do you cheat on a giveaway? When I have accidentally tried to enter a rafflecopter giveaway I have been to before, the stuff I have already clicked on is greyed out.

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    2. Not that I cheat nor intend to - I just thought rafflecopter took care of the entries.

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  9. I have to pick a new winner 2x because of the person not contacting me back. After a few emails even tweeted to one and no response I decided to pick someone else before I completely forgot and no one got a prize. But after 100+ giveaways I am sure those are good odds.

    I have won like 5 giveaways this year. And have not got 3 of them. One of them only ended 2 months ago so there is hope. But these are giveaways run by bloggers for publishers. One blogger told me the publisher is known for it and there was nothing to really do. Which sucks since I had to go through and follow all these things and not get the books in the end. That one happened in Feb. so I am pretty sure I am out of the prize.

    Anyways though it is sad people cheat. I don't enter as many any more. I mainly stick to the bloggers I know.

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    1. Wow, that's too bad! I've entered quite a few giveaways, but I honestly haven't won too many. The few I did win I promptly received it. I would be VERY upset too if I "won" something, but never received it. I did have a giveaway recently for signed copies of a book, and after over a month of the winners not receiving their books I contacted the publisher. I received emails after saying that the books were not signed, but instead included a signed book plate. I was so embarrassed... I felt like it was MY fault, that I had false advertised. Even though I obviously had no idea. I was really upset. I emailed the publisher back, but this hasn't been remedied yet, so I really don't know if it ever will be. I'm so sorry to my followers... it makes me not want to run giveaways anymore. :(

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  10. Anyone who does this is an....well I won't say what they are because that would be rude, but you can imagine that it wouldn't be really nice, like at all. I enter rafflecopters and do hops and such, but only for those books and authors I want to read or already know. But if I found out someone did the things you talk about, I would unfollow them so fast my monitor might spin, and not ever read another book or review they wrote. Ever.

    The one thing that does bug me about rafflecopter though is that when you enter via email (I don't use FB), for some reason it logs me in with my blog/pen name email and not my other one (the one I use when I do enter giveaways.) This annoys me greatly though it's likely my fault for not checking. I've learned to just always log out and then log in before I even begin to enter a giveaway to make sure I am using the right email address.

    Thanks for the post, this was really informative and thought provoking!

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  11. That makes total sense, a way to just gain followers and not give a gift to anyone, that's shadddyyy business right there! However, if not for your thoughtful post here, I probably wouldn't have thought of some one doing that just to gain followers.

    Big disappointment!

    Thanks so much for your informative post, we should all be more careful huh!

    I just started following your blog and hope you can stop by my page and follow back as well? I just had my first book cover reveal today and I am very excited, come and check it out!

    www.themakeupmother.blogspot.com

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  12. Hi! Great post! At first, when I saw your post in my mailbox (because I follow via email) I thought, YAY, another Giveaway! LOL But I started to read the post and I was OMG, you (Autum @ Always Purrty Design) is so right and I thought about it too! The thing I saw the most is when a blogger or else (I don't want to put names) does a giveaway, but he never announce the winner! SO I come back at the end of the giveaway, wishing I was the winner, but I never knew if it was me or someone else because the rafflecopter widget don't display the winner and/or the bloggers don't publish the name of the winner! ON my blog, I don't necessarily do a post for the winner, but always ''announced'' on the widget!

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  13. For me, when I hold a giveaway, I make sure to always contact the winner. I don't announce it on my blogs anymore, but I make sure to notify them. Some of them don't respond and they've won the grand prize.. well, that's sad. they practically had 3 days to claim it.. what if my email went to their spam mail? is that my responsibility, too? i don't think so.. but it's possible that people never claim their prize because of that.

    what if there's a winner that responds 2 days later after the deadline and you've already picked a new winner and they've already claimed it? the original winner gives you some kind of a story (sob or otherwise).. what to do? sometimes, it's better not to hold a giveaway at all.

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  14. Wow, I never even thought about this. I've never cheated and I run giveaways weekly. I guess maybe I'm naive, but I just assumed other bloggers were the same. It's terrible to think people are rigging the giveaways. :( My readers for sure can trust that I DON'T do that, nor would I ever. My giveaways are fair and square. So sad... and so true. Good point, Autum, and well said. It's just sad that this stuff actually happens...

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    1. Yeah Lisa, I was really naive about this too. That all changed when I actually heard the gory details from someone who knows an author doing it. It's really sad! That's not going to stop me from entering giveaways, but it made me think!

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  15. I think it's horrible that people would stoop to that just for followers! I know it happens everywhere, but it still burns my buns to see it happen! I am not a blogger just a follower and I have won a few giveaways so far...some e-books that I promptly got, others are mailed to me and I have only received one thus far. They are all fairly recent so I am not too worried. I enjoy reading so much!

    Right now I get my book fix from books I have won or the Library so if I win a book I am terribly excited and check the mail every day until it arrives lol My oldest daughter has even gotten into the swing of it (She's 11) She runs inside when she gets home from school and asks if a book got here yet. I have entered into quite a few just for her because we choose books every month to read together as well.

    Granted I enter into a giveaway all excited hoping I win, but if I don't I just go on and put that book/series on my TBR and hope I can get it for a present later. This might sound horrible, but I enter because they are free...I cannot afford to buy books right now so winning one is the highlight of my day!

    I truly appreciate all of you bloggers that work so hard to put these reviews out there and host giveaways/blog hops! Coming form an avid reader and follower it means a lot to me :-) I have found many new authors and books that I love to read because of reading the reviews you guys post. I wouldn't know the first thing about running a blog like this lol So my hat is off to you wonderful bloggers :-D

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