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# The Giveaway Conspiracy
Friday, November 30, 2012 / permalink
I did a little article for Awesomesauce Bookclub. You can see the original post here: http://www.awesomesaucebookclub.com/2012/11/giveaway-conspiracy.html

Giveaway Conspiracy

You want that book. You see that [________] insert blog or author here is giving them away. You can enter a raffle –copter giveaways. This is awesome. You tweet about the giveaway, make a blog post, leave a comment, become a follower, sign up for an e-mail newsletter and other tasks that give you more entries. You wait patiently to see if you have won, but you haven’t. That’s okay though, you are not very connected to the website or author who ran the giveaway. You can always try to enter more.

This is what most of who enter giveaways through raffle copter think. If you don’t win, no big deal. What if you did win though? What if your name was picked and you never knew? You were never contacted and the prize went to another winner chosen by rafflecopter. Did you ever think about that? You probably haven’t because you trust the people that are running these giveaways. You trust the author that is giving away their book or a $20 Amazon gift card. You trust the people running the blogs. For the most part, you should, but there is a very dark side to this easy way to let people win giveaways. I will not name names and I will not point fingers, but I will share what I have heard through the grapevine.

An author, who we will call, Owl Caprise is coming out with a new book! What better way to get people to follow her blog then to have a giveaway. So Owl sets up a raffle copter giveaway. Her friends and family enter, so do 100 other people, but she wants her friend Squirrel to win. All she has to do is keep picking a winner until Squirrel’s name comes up. Then she hits announce, we are none the wiser. We see Squirrel won! Yay for Squirrel! What we didn’t see is the 1st person that was ignored in the giveaway so that Owl could cheat. Owl wanted her friend to win, and so it came to pass. Seeing the success of the first giveaway, she decides to give away a $50 Amazon gift card, the trick here? There won’t be a real winner at all. Owl sets up the giveaway knowing she will never give away that gift card. This one draws in 800 people and now she has 800 new followers on her blog, JUST what she wanted. You just don’t know that she entered herself under a false name 60 times. The giveaway ends and she picks a winner—she will keep picking until she gets her false name and e-mail. She never has to give away the gift card and we are now following her blog. See there was never a giveaway at all.

This is a REAL thing that is happening. People are abusing the giveaway system. They are picking so their friends win, or whoever they want to win. There is no way for us, as people who enter giveaways, to control this. We have to trust that we didn’t win, but the problem that has arisen, is people are cheating in a big way. You may argue that there truly is no harm done, but that isn’t the case. When people choose to cheat on giveaways, we are being deceived. We are giving them free promotion and endorsements. That isn’t fair that our time is being used under false pretenses. The only fix for this that I could see if for rafflecoptor to allow only 3 winners picked maximum in a week’s time period. I understand that some people don’t respond to winning a giveaway and it may take more than 3 times to get someone to respond, but I would rather put in some extra time than be cheated by people who are preying on us. The system is out of control. If you pick a winner, that should be it, end of story. If you don’t think it’s happening, think again.

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