Some people feel that this method of entering is cheating, since the entrants do not actually visit the sweepstakes website themselves; in my opinion, entry services are only cheating if they enter sweepstakes where the rules of the promotions prohibit auto-entry. There is no general law or rule that says that people have to enter themselves, and if individual sweepstakes want to prohibit that behavior, they should state so in their rules.
Sweepstakes sponsors can receive many benefits from online entry services. They can reach people who might otherwise never find their promotion, and they can let them know about their products through information in their confirmation emails and through links provided by the automatic entry services themselves. Automatic entry can be a mutually beneficial service for sponsors, entrants, and the entry companies themselves.
So should you sign up with an automatic entry service?Automatic entry services are another tool that could help you win. You will receive regular entries into a variety of sweepstakes, which can improve your odds of winning without costing you more time. So if you sign up with a reliable, legitimate company, you could receive some extra wins from it.
How can you tell if a sweepstakes entry service is reliable?Some good signs to look for include:
Length of Time Online: An established company that has been around for years is more trustworthy than a new company that could disappear tomorrow.
User Testimonials: Find out what other people have said about the company by doing an internet search for them (use Blingo to get chances to win while you search).
No Inflated Numbers: Some sweepstakes services promise to enter you into a huge number of sweepstakes. How can they do it? They enter you whether you can win or not. Make sure the guarantees are for your personal entries, not for anyone on the site, and that you are only entered into sweeps that you can win based on easy filters like your age, citizenship, and state of residence.
Commitment to the Rules: Make sure that you don't sign up for a company unless it commits to avoiding sweepstakes where automatic entries are prohibited. Otherwise, you could become known as a cheater, and blocked from entering certain sweepstakes. It's a good sign if they provide links to individual sweepstakes, so that you can check the rules for yourself.
One of the risks of automatic entry services is that you might disqualify yourself if you enter yourself into a sweep that your service then enters. With a good service, you should be able to find out what kinds of sweepstakes they don't enter - such as instant wins, or sweepstakes where automatic entry is prohibited - and concentrate your entry time on those sweepstakes.
Remember that no sweepstakes service can guarantee that you win. It's entirely possible that you could pay a service, they could fulfill or exceed their contractual obligations, and you could still not win any prizes. It's up to you to decide whether the extra entries and the time saved are worth the fees or not.
It's also a good idea to read the terms and conditions of any sweepstakes service thoroughly before signing up, so that you understand what services are included in the price, whether you will be automatically resubscribed at the end of your membership period, and other important details.