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Magazine Sweepstakes: Are Magazine Sweepstakes Scams?

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Question: Magazine Sweepstakes: Are Magazine Sweepstakes Scams?
Are magazine sweepstakes scams?
Answer: Magazines like Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, Redbook, and more sponsor many great sweepstakes. Magazine sweepstakes are oftentimes very valuable - and a lot of fun to enter. Magazine sweepstakes aren't scams - but there are two things to remember when entering them:

Lots of People Enter Magazine Sweepstakes.

Some people think magazine sweepstakes are scams because they've entered them, sometimes for years, without winning. Remember, however, that these sweepstakes are advertised not only online but also in the magazines themselves, which means that they reach hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of readers. Woman's Day Magazine alone has a circulation of more than 4 million readers.

Obviously, not all of those readers enter the sweepstakes, but it still gives magazine sweepstakes a large pool of potential entrants, which means that your odds of winning sink. It's certainly not impossible to win - I've won several magazine sweepstakes myself. But don't be surprised if you don't beat the odds.

Watch Out for Unwanted Subscriptions.

Many times, magazine sweepstakes also give you the opportunity to subscribe to the publication when you enter the sweep. The publishers call this a courtesy, to make subscribing easy.

If you're interested in receiving the magazine, by all means take advantage of the offer; but be careful if you don't intend to subscribe. I had a problem myself with a Good Housekeeping Magazine Sweepstake that subscribed me, even though I entered through the "click here to enter without subscribing link."

Magazine sweepstakes are not scams; they're great opportunities to win. However, be aware that the odds of winning could be lower, and take the following steps when entering, assuming you don't want a magazine subscription:

  1. Enter Without Subscribing:
    Look for a link or a radio button that says something like, "Enter sweepstakes without subscribing." If you don't see one, read the sweepstakes rules to find the entry method without signing up for the magazine; there will be one provided somewhere.
  2. Be Sure There Was No Mistake:
    Even after you enter without subscribing, watch out for a mail or email that says you subscribed to the magazine.
  3. Cancel If You Receive an Unwanted Subscription:
    If you receive one, contact the magazine's customer service department, or return the invoice immediately and write something like 'Did Not Subscribe - Please Cancel' on the invoice.
  4. Don't Ignore Problems:
    It's important that you don't simply ignore a magazine invoice. Even if they do not have a credit card to use to charge you, magazines can cause trouble for people who do not pay their subscription fees. I've heard of people who have had negative reports added to their credit reports claiming they didn't pay their magazine bills. So be proactive if you are signed up for a subscription you don't want.

Don't be afraid to enter magazine sweepstakes - they are both fun and profitable. Just be aware of the drawbacks of this type of giveaway.

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