Online Competitions & Giveaways: What You Need To Know

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Everybody loves a freebie. Which is why free competitions and online giveaways are becoming more and more popular with Aussies today.

Unfortunately, that means that scammers and cyber criminals are also rising in prevalence, lurking on the internet and trying to fleece you of your personal information and banking details.

Whether you are entering a competition being hosted by a big corporation or are looking to participate in a simple social media giveaway, it’s vital to understand the rules and regulations that accompany comp hosting and the application process.

This guide will provide an overview of what you need to know before entering online competitions and giveaways along with information on what is required to host a competition in Australia. 

Read on to learn how you can see the red flags of a non-reputable competition provider, and how you can keep your personal information safe when entering competitions online.

Understanding Australian Permit Requirements

One of the most important things to understand when entering an online competition or giveaway in Australia is the permit requirements. In some cases, you may need to obtain a permit from the relevant state or territory government authority in order to run a competition legally. 

This requirement typically applies to competitions that offer prizes valued at over $5,000, and the exact rules and regulations may vary depending on the state or territory.

For example, in New South Wales, you may need to obtain a permit from the New South Wales Fair Trading office if your competition offers a prize valued at over $10,000. 

In Victoria, the permit requirement applies to competitions with a prize pool valued at over $5,000. It’s important to research the permit requirements in your state or territory before running a competition or entering one as a participant.

Running a Legal Competition or Giveaway

Whether you are planning to enter a competition, or host one yourself, understanding the legalities in your state or territory is crucial. Some of the legal factors to consider with competitions in Australia include:

  • You must ensure that your competition is not classified as a ‘lottery’ under Australian law. Lotteries are typically only permitted by registered charities, and running an illegal lottery can result in significant penalties.
  • You must provide clear and concise terms and conditions for your competition or giveaway, outlining the entry requirements, eligibility criteria, and any other relevant details.
  • You must ensure that your competition is fair and not misleading, and that the winner is chosen based on objective criteria rather than random chance.

In addition to these legal requirements, there are several best practices that can help you run a successful competition or giveaway. For example, consider partnering with other businesses or influencers to increase exposure and reach a wider audience. This may allow you to host a larger competition than you would be able to if handling the endeavour on your own.

Entering Online Competitions and Giveaways

With all that necessary preliminary information covered, let’s finally take a look at how you can efficiently enter competitions and giveaways online. 

First and foremost, it’s important to ensure that the competition is legitimate and legal. Look for clear and concise terms and conditions, and do your research to ensure that the competition is being run by a reputable company or individual.

It’s also important to understand the entry requirements and eligibility criteria. Some competitions may require you to submit a photo or video entry, while others may require you to complete a survey or follow a specific social media account. Make sure you understand the requirements before entering, just to make sure your chances of winning prizes are as strong as possible!

For competitions that require applicants to submit a written answer (like those that ask for something under 25 words or less, for instance) consider having a friend read over your response. Having a second set of eyes on your competition entry can help you find any missed opportunities to stand out.

Be sure to also read the terms and conditions carefully before entering. This can help you know just how to prepare and what may be expected from you if you do walk away with a prize.

Legal Requirements for Social Media Competitions

Now let’s look at one of the most novel aspects of managing a competition online: social media. Social media has become a popular platform for running competitions and giveaways, but it’s important to understand the legal requirements involved. 

In Australia, social media competitions are subject to the same legal requirements as other competitions, including the need to comply with permit requirements and provide clear and concise terms and conditions. In addition, social media competitions may also be subject to specific platform guidelines and rules.

For example, Facebook has specific guidelines for running paid promotions on its platform, including the requirement to use a third-party app to administer the competition and include a disclaimer that the promotion is not sponsored or endorsed by Facebook.

Instagram also has guidelines for running promotions on its platform, including the requirement to include specific language in the promotion description and comply with local laws and regulations.

It’s important to review the guidelines for the specific social media platform you’re using before running a competition or giveaway to ensure that you’re complying with all legal requirements.

Online competitions and giveaways are popular for their ability to engage audiences and offer exciting prizes. However, there are legal considerations to keep in mind when conducting or participating in such events. Failure to comply with regulations can result in penalties, damage to brand reputation, and legal action.

All things considered, in order to run a successful online competition or giveaway, organisers must ensure that the competition rules are clear, fair, and easily accessible to all participants. They should also be transparent about the eligibility criteria and prize details, including any taxes or fees involved. Moreover, organisers should not engage in false or misleading advertising, and they should not require participants to provide excessive personal information.

Participants also have a role to play in ensuring the fairness and legality of online competitions and giveaways. They should carefully read the rules and regulations before participating and report any suspicious or fraudulent activity. 

Ultimately, following legal requirements and regulations is essential for the success and legitimacy of online competitions and giveaways.

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