Guest Author - Jennifer L. Thompson
Many of us who enter sweepstakes regularly, or even those who don't, have been innundated at some point by online ads and emails for "opinion survey" Sweepstakes. So how do these types of sweepstakes entries work, and are they worth the effort? I've chosen to look at "Opinion Direct" for the purposes of this particular article, however, there are many more out there. I will delve into some of the other sites in future articles, simply for the sake of exploring another form of sweepstakes entry.
So, back to the questions... My initial thought is that, yes, it is worth the effort it takes to walk through a brief survey in order to get the sweepstakes entry, and here are some of the reasons why:
1) Some people will shy away from these types of sweepstakes, thinking them to be a sham.
These misperceptions can actually work in your favor, though, as they can create a smaller pool of entries, thus increasing one's chances of winning a prize. Insofar as the misperception goes, although there are a few less than stellar sites out there, there are actually many more legitimate ones. The prizes offered are real, and have a valid set of sweepstakes rules to go along with them, along with having an alternate form of entry that can be found in the official sweepstakes rules. They also have a start and end time, so you aren't left hanging.
2) There are some who will not be so concerned about the legitimacy of the sweepstakes, yet will not want to take the time to fill out a survey, thinking it may take a long time.
I found that with this particular survey site, Opinion Direct, it took less than fifteen leisurely minutes for me to fill out two surveys. For this, I earned one entry for the $50,000 sweepstakes, and another for the $3,500 sweepstakes (there is also a third sweepstakes available for a prize valued at $1,500). For me, this was ok, as I was just relaxing with my laptop in the living room while my son was watching TV. It really didn't put me out any or take any time away from anything else I might be doing.
3) Some may believe that these sites could bring an inordinate amount of unwanted email.
I did not find this to be true with this site, so far. I have not received one piece of "junk" email from anything related to my survey or to the answers I provided at this point in time. The surveys were done from the site itself, and, in fact, in many cases the site was quite self-contained. By this I mean that if there was specific information that I wanted, related to the answers I provided, I was easily able to get to a site that provided it, and was not required to sign up for anything in order to get there (if, for example, you would like more information on buying stocks, you can go to a stock trading site that will provide you with that information, without recieving the unwanted email).
4) Some may feel ill at ease with giving their personal information out, such as home address and income level.
This can be somewhat of a judgement call, though many sites will allow you to leave out these types of questions if you prefer not to answer them at all.
If you have doubts about a site, you can check with the better business bureau online at www.bbbonline.org. In looking for "Opinion Direct", I found nothing whatsoever, so looked back on the original site to the "about us" page to see if there was another name I might look under. This led me to "Vente, Inc.", which was listed as a member of the Better Business Bureau. Of course, I then kept going and found that this was connected to another level, which was "netshops", also a member of the BBB. I did stop at this as I found it enough to suit me for starters.
Continue on to part two HERE.