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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Promotions for customers
    There's one thing left that I want to do to one of my sites, before I send out a press release for it, and that is to offer a drawing/promotion. In a nutshell, I'd like to offer a drawing for customers only, for something like a $300 gift certificate (and allow the winner to choose between 2 or 3 different stores). I know, it's not too terribly unique, but it's the only thing on my mind right now.

    I'm thinking of letting it run for a few weeks, or a month, and then randomly selecting the winner.

    1) Have any of you implemented something similar before?

    2) Any serious legal ramifications that I need to worry about here? Or notices that I must post?

    3) Know of any good sources on the web where I can read about putting something like this together?

    Any, and all opinions are welcome! Thanks!

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    I also meant to ask: how often you run promotions for your site(s)? Thanks!

  3. #3
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    Some rules might apply from state to state.
    You might have Void where prohibited and definately, if it is a drawing where no purchase is necessary, have a place where ppl are able to sign up even if they do not buy.

    My suggestion. look up ebay or mcdonald's promotion T&C before going into there area cos they have a good legal team studying the laws for each state (plus they have been sued before). So study them and write your OWN T&C.
    All the best

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Eric's suggestions are right on the money.

    Having the total value under $5000 eliminates a lot of the requirements. Being under $500 eliminates even more, if I remember right.

    Make sure you understand the difference between a sweepstakes, a contest, and a game of chance. There are different rules and definitions and I think you probably want a sweepstakes, so make sure you don't step across a legal line.
    Michael Coley
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  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Thanks for the assistance guys. As you can tell - I've never done this before, but am itching to make the site a little stickier, if possible.

    No, definitely don't want to cross any lines - just get more customers. Guess I need to go bury my head in some books again.

    If you've run these before, how'd it turn out for you? Good?

  6. #6
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    I think it is critial in the words that you use.
    One of my jobs, I had the word sweepstakes and I got lots of people complaint + it was against some state rule in CA. So we had to design an area where it says, if you do not intent to buy, you can sign up for free and we did throw the names into the generic pool of buyers and non buyers.

    We gave out computer stuff such as AMD CPU, Linksys wireless routers, $100 PSU and most of them totalled less than $300/day. We ran it for 3 weeks.

    We ran it before x-mas so it rocked!

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    That's probably the one thing I'll need to check into. I wonder if there's a good legal resource regarding this on the web.

    If I find ssomething, I'll post it here for others.

    By the way...$300/day for three weeks? Phew...little beyond my budget for this site right now!

  8. #8
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    The difference is this will be your money and that was his companies money

    But I wanted to do something like this too. On my forum members hold these raffles where they just give away stuff they don't want anymore and usually pick a name out of the hat or something like that. Good for traffic and something they started on their own.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    The difference is this will be your money and that was his companies money

    Didn't think about that (that happens to me a lot).. lol

    I know you mentioned something about your forum before, so my curiousity is up..again. What niche is your forum for?

  10. #10
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    A 99% female one

  11. #11
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoneyBusiness
    That's probably the one thing I'll need to check into. I wonder if there's a good legal resource regarding this on the web.
    Try books you can get at your library or through inter-library loan.
    If you'd like specific citations of regulation of "chance" you might need to visit your closest law library.

    There are many books on the topic.

    (The following are Library of Congress listings and are not affiliate urls)

    The Direct marketing handbook / Edward L. Nash, editor in chief. see source

    See
    http://catalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebr...&CNT=25&HIST=1

    In case of a time-out, click "resume last search" or do a keyword search on sweepstakes+law and you will see many titles.
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  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    A 99% female one
    oh... lol. Guess that effectively keeps me out!

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    Try books you can get at your library or through inter-library loan.
    If you'd like specific citations of regulation of "chance" you might need to visit your closest law library.

    There are many books on the topic.

    (The following are Library of Congress listings and are not affiliate urls)

    The Direct marketing handbook / Edward L. Nash, editor in chief. see source

    See
    http://catalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebr...&CNT=25&HIST=1

    In case of a time-out, click "resume last search" or do a keyword search on sweepstakes+law and you will see many titles.

    Thanks Rhia!

  14. #14
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    There's a lot of stuff on the internet about it:

    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...eepstakes+laws

    Your state should also have their own site with the laws.

    or some other searches like

    sweepstakes laws (your state)
    contest laws (your state)
    raffle laws (your state)

  15. #15
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    There's a lot of stuff on the internet about it:

    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...eepstakes+laws

    Your state should also have their own site with the laws.

    or some other searches like

    sweepstakes laws (your state)
    contest laws (your state)
    raffle laws (your state)
    The only thing is that the world wide web is not necessarily state specific, if you'd like to limit your offer to a certain state, specify the region and spell it out clearly.
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  16. #16
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    If you type your state into the search engine you can find info. Or just type in your state and the first result for my state is the state site. And for my state they have everything there. About government, education, business, laws. You should should be able to find the info there or contact info to find out for sure.

    For example, first result for Florida:

    http://www.myflorida.com/

    Good place to start.

    Or my accountant should know, have to visit him this month anyway.

  17. #17
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    If you type your state into the search engine you can find info. Or just type in your state and the first result for my state is the state site. And for my state they have everything there. About government, education, business, laws. You should should be able to find the info there or contact info to find out for sure.

    For example, first result for Florida:

    http://www.myflorida.com/

    Good place to start.

    Or my accountant should know, have to visit him this month anyway.
    That's true but his website probably can be seen in a browser by someone who lives in California as well as by someone who lives in Florida.

    If money is involved and identities, cover yourself because a webpage can be seen by all the states and it can be seen by other countries as well.
    People from all over might respond to your offer (and sometimes complications can arise).

    You go ahead and do the offer you want, I'm not dissuading you from whatever it might be but from my own experience with offers online, I prefer to ask for non-personally identifiable information that can not be tracked back to an individual (if the info can't be tracked, you can't get sued -- but the answers gathered from individuals can be aggregated and you'd be surprised how soon that could all add up to interesting information that could help your business)

    If you are offering some type of promotion "by chance" spell out your terms clearly in your privacy policy and/or in a TOS or something like that.

    If the promotion of chance is only offered to residents of Florida, say so.
    Last edited by Rhia7; August 18th, 2006 at 04:47 PM.
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  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback guys - guess it's a bit more complicated than I thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    If money is involved and identities, cover yourself because a webpage can be seen by all the states and it can be seen by other countries as well.
    People from all over might respond to your offer (and sometimes complications can arise).
    Interesting. What kinds of complications are you speaking of here - if I follow the rules/regs of the state my business resides in?

  19. #19
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoneyBusiness
    Thanks for the feedback guys - guess it's a bit more complicated than I thought.

    Interesting. What kinds of complications are you speaking of here - if I follow the rules/regs of the state my business resides in?
    My advice ends here

    You could get into problems depending on jurisdiction.
    You live in your state but the problem might be involved with a person from a different state, a different jurisdiction. What might happen if the person gave you identifiable information and then an identity theft problem occurred and you were somehow dragged into the fray/blamed? It could happen.
    Problems happen that some people don't envision because they assume.

    If you are dealing with real people's identities & you are dealing with money, be careful.

    If you are dealing with a lot of money in one of your "promotions by chance" -- (and there are different categories) you might want to specify applicable jurisdiction.

    Remember also that state laws can be different but the problem with interaction via the Internet is that you are not necessarily dealing with someone from your state.

    You may be dealing with state laws over the Internet, but you are also dealing with interstate and federal.

    Drinking laws (as an anology) -- some states have an 18 year old threshold and some states require that the person who wishes to consume alcohol be 21 [can cause problems if the 2 states are adjacent].

    Once I made an offer over the Internet because I wanted to see if I could create an effective CGI page and I was also looking for entertainment.
    I thought other people were looking for entertainment (as I was) but that wasn't the case.
    This was like a "lead question." People filled out a CGI form.
    There was no money at all involved at any stage.
    I wanted entertainment but that's not what I got.
    I found out that my CGI page worked It worked too well

    This offer did not invlove money at all but it involved a person filling out a CGI form with a potential response from me as a reward (and there was a disclaimer that I may or may not be able to answer the CGI question)

    I was bombarded by responses from all over the United States and a couple of other countries. People were giving me more information than I had ever requested -- I was almost becoming "involved" with these people or it could have been seen that way. People were giving me their names and addresses and personal information that I did not want.

    Out of my own volition, I approached 2 "Powers that be" because the whole thing was getting out of hand.
    I was told by the 2 "Powers that be" to yank the CGI page and I did.
    I was also told that if I attempted to do something like that in the future, to specify that I only wanted a nick-name only and non-indentifiable information.

    That is all that I wish to reveal.
    Last edited by Rhia7; August 18th, 2006 at 05:50 PM.
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  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    ok, thanks for clearing that up!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    The difference is this will be your money and that was his companies money
    Close Trust but you did not hit the nail on the head as you always do

    It was neither my money or company's $. I would to call up the manufacturer / vendor and ask them for stuff. 20 mfg * 3-4 products/mfg

    On a diff note:
    Here are some links to keep you awake reading tonight. Definition is the first link. The other are some T&C.
    Have fun
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweepstakes
    http://www.mysurvey.com/rules_sweepstakes.cfm
    http://www.valvoline.com/pages/prize...rged_rules.asp
    http://www1.iwon.com/home/companyinf...11878,,00.html
    http://www.sandisk.com/register/officialrules.asp

  22. #22
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    "It was neither my money or company's $. I would to call up the manufacturer / vendor and ask them for stuff. "

    Ah yeah, that's a great idea. I was thinking about something like that too. Lots of affiliates have forums, could be about whatever subject. Let's say cars. Ask a car merchant to provide a prize or something for the forum members for a contest or something. And say this prize provided by merchant.com. Something along those lines. And you don't need a forum, can just work it off your site.

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Sweet, thanks for the links.

    I only want to offer this prize to customer's who've purchased from my site. It seems it's still called a sweepstake, even where purchase is necessary to play. Going to dig some more to make sure.

    I'm going to get something together soon. Man...hard work just to give a $300 gift certificate away!!

  24. #24
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    If you have the right traffic and volume, the merchant will provide.
    it comes back to ROI for them and at my old company, we were able to give out free things and turn around and ask it from the mfg which they did reimburse us.

    This works well with review sites..

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador MoneyBusiness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    "It was neither my money or company's $. I would to call up the manufacturer / vendor and ask them for stuff. "

    Ah yeah, that's a great idea. I was thinking about something like that too. Lots of affiliates have forums, could be about whatever subject. Let's say cars. Ask a car merchant to provide a prize or something for the forum members for a contest or something. And say this prize provided by merchant.com. Something along those lines. And you don't need a forum, can just work it off your site.

    Now that is something I'd love to implement (once my site is worthy). Make my site interesting, and do it without spending a penny!

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