So here's the list of all the things I've won online (I won a color tv when I was five but I'm not counting things like church raffles and whatnot).
From MK: Earth Angel Diaper Co Gift Certificate (which I think that I used to buy a Planetwise Pail Liner)
From Cam, A Woman's Place Blog: a set of head covering patterns
the book I Just Can't Take It Anymore (Destructocon Toddler got ahold of so I need to find the scotch tape)
From Go,Baby, Go Diaper Retailer: A Gift Certificate (which I think I used to buy two diaper covers)
Balanced Mama: A Babu Diaper
Maybe you're thinking, tell me your secrets. Well, here's how you do it.
1) Pick raffles that have a low number of entries- The lower the entries the more likely you'll win. For high number of entries, I do a couple of clicks and that's it. No point in wasting my time tweeting every day since the odds are stacked against me.
2) Do as many chances as you can- If it says to Tweet everyday, then by all means do so. If it's a low entry raffle, it gives you more chances.
3) Don't go after everything- Pick a category. Say something you need, is useful, or desperately want. Then find a way to get on "the list" of every major blogger, retailer, and manufacturer/company who gives away prizes like that. No point in trying to enter for an Ipad with a Mommy blogger. They normally give away things like baby clothes and baby shampoos. What an I-Pad try a techie blogger, Apple, or Best Buy (not that I think Apple and Best Buy do giveaways). I participate in cloth diaper giveaways. Change-Diapers.com has a list of all the cloth diaper giveaways on Fridays.
4) Check Facebook and Google Connect- Once you've like a million different blogs, you can easily know when a new giveaway is coming up by watching your Facebook NewsFeed or your Google Connect feed. Say your thing is food items. Someone who does a variety of stuff from coupons to recipe books has a giveaway for four boxes of cheerios, you'll know sooner. And since they offer a variety, someone who is into free coupons will most likely pass up the cheerios. (yes, people really do give away cereal boxes).
5) Stay on top of it- I strive to enter at least three giveaways a day. I started doing this around Mother's Day when there was a large number of blogs hosting a giveaway hop. And in less then a month, I've already won something.
6) Don't be Greedy- After I entered and then completed the Flats and Handwashing Challenge, I realized several things. One is that we have way too many very usable diapers. I think I have about 2 doz prefolds and we only use about 6-12. I also have several fleece diapers which don't work for us because of compression leaks and two diaper covers that don't fit my kiddos (I also have newborn stuff which I'm holding onto until menopause). These diapers don't work for us, but that doesn't mean they don't work for others.
Giving Hope, Giving Diapers is a non-profit lending organization that lends cloth diapers and cloth diaper supplies to low income families across the continental US. There are other diaper banks/diaper lenders out there, but GHGD is country wide. There are no governmental organizations that give diapers to low income families. So diaper banks like GHGD really fill in this need/gap. They will accept anything even if it's in need of major repair (I'm guess they strip it for parts to repair other diapers).
So by entering the contests, I'm padding my stash but also will be giving what doesn't work for us or what we don't need away. That's right. I enter contests for other's benefit. I have some time (it's really only a few clicks) and I have an always-on internet connection. Many families don't have this luxury. So I enter giveaways as another one of my time/talent things. Incidentally, Kim of Dirty Diaper Laundry does diaper reviews. She usually takes diapers that she doesn't need and donates them too. It's where I came up with idea.
We don't have the ability to spread our treasures around, but I try my best to participate in the other categories. I grew/grow out my hair and cut it for Locks of Love, another non-profit who makes wigs for children with long-term hair loss like alopecia. I try to donate blood.
So enter giveaways for the things you need and donate the rest. You maybe surprised about how this helps fill in gaps. That I-pad may help out kids in schools. Those cheerios can be donated to a food bank. And my diaper wins will help other families who would otherwise have to choose between diapers and food.
The real secret to my success isn't really a secret. Once you know your doing something for the good of others, it's real easy to click.