Yes, who would have thought that having a giveaway would be so 'stressful'. It's been open for 5 days and things for me just haven't turned out as smoothly as I had expected.
If you've taken the time to read this then thank you very much. This is quite a serious post and I've taken time out to inform you about this.
I've been getting many entries in the past few days and it has meant a lot to me. At first I was really skeptical about my giveaway being interesting or worthy of entering. It's actually my first giveaway where I've gone out and made purchases for the winner. As you may or may not recall, my first giveaway was kindly sponsored by Kiwiberry1.
Many people have said that it is a very generous giveaway with the amount of products but really, I've pretty much combined 2 giveaways in one. I started collecting for my 100 followers giveaway but the sponsored opportunity came by and I decided to make my 200+ followers giveaway even bigger and perhaps more exciting.
Only if you've hosted a giveaway before, you'll understand exactly what it's like to organise it and count up entries. Some people choose to do the counting after the giveaway has ended but I want to announce the winner as soon as possible - the day after the giveaway has closed.
Also by counting the entries, I've been able to make it more fair for the entrants. Not everyone is fair and I've encountered unfairness within my entries. What's really unfair is that people have ignored my rules and have just entered the giveaway, just for the sake of entering to win.
I did a little rant about this on my Twitter and it frustrated me how a number of entrants were not reading the rules and thought that they would be eligible for the 30th item. I'm sure that I stated everything clearly and carefully, in bold writing and enlarged. Is it really that hard to read and understand?
Of course this won't affect all of you because there are many of you who did read and follow the rules. That really meant a lot to me, especially when seeing unfair entries. Seeing the fair ones made me smile =]
I won't name names but for those who have not read the rules properly, I may have contacted you via Twitter. I am not going to chase anyone down further by emailing them if they don't have Twitter. What disappointed me even more was that there were people who I've thought of as loyal readers and bloggers have also not read my instructions carefully and did not follow the rules.
As a generous person, I made the 30th item another option for everyone but some people obviously didn't pick up on my generosity. There are already 29 items in my giveaway prize, yet some think that they can get a 30th to the value of $20 if they've only submitted 1 entry?! Come on seriously, where is the logic in this? Don't be so selfish. You're meant to submit 5 entries to be eligible. I'm still not accepting people with less than 5 entries to get a 30th item. They are my rules so I ask you nicely to please obey them.
The fact that I've gone through all this trouble for my readers and that the people who have disobeyed the rules think they can get away with it really upsets me. I didn't have to have this giveaway, I chose to do this for my readers. I don't gain anything out of this. It's more of a loss than a gain anyway because there can be people who are sore losers and unfollow me when the winner is announced. That's also their loss too because they will be permanently disqualified from my future giveaways. That's if I choose to have more in the future...
I ask myself, 'is it really worth the time and effort for this when I get nothing in return?'
It's only worth it when people are loyal and actually read what I have to say. It's called a giveaway for a reason. I want to give back to those who have supported me on my blog and have given me such wonderful feedback on my posts. I wish i could give each and every one of you something to say thanks. Having this giveaway is my way of saying thanks because I am grateful and I expect my readers to be grateful of this too, not to take advantage of it.
Speaking of reading, I mentioned on Twitter that by reading the entries that have been sent through, I have learnt quite a bit about each entrant. Whether they have read the rules or not tells me whether they are a loyal reader or just someone who wants in without taking the time to visit or read my blog. If someone cannot read, comprehend and follow my rules, then what chance do they have of reading my blog posts?! Even if they do visit my blog, they might be more of a skim-reader where they understand the gist of my posts but never see the finer details.
There's nothing I can do to prevent people from entering unfairly. Just because I have 200+ followers does not mean that I don't know who you are. I know most of my readers and their names anyway. If you've entered and I don't see you as a follower then it's pretty obvious to me that you didn't even read the first rule on my entry form. I went through the trouble of making an entry form just so that people don't skip parts. It was my first time making one too.
Having a form there didn't make it heaps easier for me because I know that people would have just jumped straight to the form to enter without even reading my post on the giveaway and everything I mentioned. Some said that they're following me on Twitter and I clearly did not see them on my followers. Seriously, if you're going to do that then I can just disqualify your entry without you knowing. Easy as that. If you're going to lie to me then what makes you more deserving of winning the prize?
I wish I didn't have to post this but people still don't get it. Having a mini rant on Twitter wasn't enough to get it through to people's heads so this was what I resorted to. I'm sorry to the people who have obeyed the rules, I want to make this more fair for you too. I wish that people would be more considerate of others instead of thinking just of themselves.
If I decide to have another giveaway in the future, I am going to be more strict thanks to those who decided not to obey. Since these 'rule breakers' have affected my 'joyful giveaway' which hasn't even been that joyful for me, I'm closing this giveaway 1 week earlier, on the 8th of December. It may or may not have an impact anyway but at least it might be one week less of dealing with people who disobey my rules.
If you think that maybe your entries may not have been approved by me or if you are unsure on something, please contact me: email@example.com
You still have time to alter your entries or perhaps 'fix' anything that needs fixing. Maybe you'd like the 30th item even though you've only put in 2 entries. This will be the last and only formal warning. Let me just reiterate:
- Some have said that they can't enter because they don't have Twitter. You don't need to have Twitter to enter. If you've read carefully, you can just enter with your name and email address. You must be a public follower of my blog through Google Friend Connect. Twitter is just for extra entries.
- The 30th item is ONLY and I repeat ONLY FOR PEOPLE WHO COMPLETE THE 5 ENTRIES. The 5 entries are:
1. Name & Email address - Your Google Friend Connect name and the email address so that I can contact you if you are the winner.
2. Blog entry about my giveaway - Make a blog post about my giveaway, include the link to my post for my giveaway and include the picture.
3. Picture on your blog's sidebar - Just save the picture that I've used for my giveaway and put in on your sidebar of your blog. If you don't know how then please ask me.
4. Follow me on Twitter - Provide me with your Twitter username.
5. Tweet about my giveaway - It's on the form to copy and paste.
Not so hard is it? I still don't understand how people can skip this important information. It really worries me. Do they not read instructions before trying something or using something? That's so dangerous.
So yeah. Sorry for this very boring post. I had to do this to hopefully get the message across and hopefully make people think twice before entering. These people who are not obeying the rules make things harder for me. I don't think they realise that and it's probably people who wouldn't consider giving away anything...
It's sad how among this blogging community, people can be like that. I'm so grateful for the majority of bloggers and readers who are nice and give me the motivation to continue blogging. Thank you so much.
In case you skipped the part or missed it, the giveaway deadline is now 8th December 11:59PM GMT +9:30 2010. This means that the prize will be shipped out earlier for the winner =]
I could even end it tomorrow if I wanted to because it's all ready to be shipped out.
Now I just hope that this prize goes to someone who deserves it and is a loyal blog reader.
Thanks for reading,