Question: First up, for those that don't know, tell us a bit about Competitions Guide?
Craig Seitam: We're Australia's biggest competitions site, and we list over 300 comps at any time. What's really important to our members is that we don't carry any ads or competitions with 3rd party marketing surveys. We also don't allow any competitions based overseas (unless a very high profile brand), and we don't send sponsored emails. We keep the environment as safe and uncluttered as we can.
I should also point out that we're a husband and wife team. Helen takes care of Editorial and our customers, and I get to do enjoyable interviews such as this!
Question: You guys must have had some pretty nice wins over the years. Tell me about the big ones.
Craig Seitam: Everyone thinks that I'm in the comping game because I'm a comper. Entering has never been something that interests me. I fell into competitions through my former job at Coca-Cola. I really enjoyed putting them together and went out on my own. In 2005 I launched Competitions Guide, which looking back now looked absolutely awful.
Question: So, 12 years, a lot must have changed since then.
Craig Seitam: You can't imagine. When I started it was mostly all entry by post, and secondly by 1900 phone numbers. Web entry was looked down on. I think online has saved forests from being cut down to produce entry leaflets.
Question: Are Australian competitions of high quality?
Craig Seitam: Australia has always had quite tight laws regarding comps. Even if a competition isn't formally registered, if a promoter tries anything dodgy, the public will usually find them out. Put it this way, we put promoters through the ringer before they come on to Competitions Guide, and we find that keeping 300 consistently of good quality is comfortable.
Question: Do Competitions Guide members record a lot of wins?
Craig Seitam: They do, but I always like to keep things in perspective. Everyone dreams of the car or the caravan or the overseas holiday – and this does happen. But frequent winners tend to win a swag of smaller items, and when I say small I'm talking the $500 to $1,000 mark. I know of several members that take care of most of their Christmas shopping with competitions.
Question: Is there a secret formula to winning?
Craig Seitam: Everyone develops their own formula over time, but the biggest trick is to persist for a while. Comping is like any game, you start of as a novice and start to find things that work for you. Random competitions are just about entering your details, and that's purely luck. Skills comps such as Words-Or-Less are where successful compers clean up.
Question: What are your biggest tips?
Craig Seitam: If you take nothing else away from this, remember the number three. On average most members will do two competitions each day, and we add ten. Usually those two are the big value prize competitions. Smaller comps get nowhere near the number of entries, so this means your odds of winning are higher.
The second thing I would say is that harder means better. By this, I mean that the more you are required to do, the better chance of others turning their nose up. Comps requiring a purchase are a gold mine as they tend to have bigger prizes, and small numbers of entries. Even simple things such as asking your street address – most promoters don't even need your street address, but for some reason they feel compelled to ask it. Address can reduce entries by half. I'm a little funny when it comes to asking income details or tell-a-friend, but entrants hate them, and again, this improves your odds.
Question: Finally, can you tell us about your book?
Craig Seitam: I first wrote Competitions-The Book in 2008, and we're now on the 3rd Edition. It used to be a real book in stores, but things changed so much it was converted to an eBook. It's over 100 pages, and we really get into strategies for being a winner, not just an entrant.
The book got me onto TV for the first time, and we've had over 50 national appearances since then. It just goes to show how popular competitions are.
You can only get Competitions-The Book at Competitions Guide, and it's free for Premium Members. I should point out that you need Premium Membership to access all 300 competitions. Put it this way, at $3 a month it's less than a cup of coffee for a lot of quality comping!