Our Responsibilities as Giveaway Hosts

Date Tue, December 20 2011

You can’t join any review/giveaway blogger network without seeing someone express frustration because a giveaway winner has contacted her, demanding to know where her prize is. As giveaway hosts, we frequently act as a middle man between winners,  and it makes us look bad when those PR reps and companies don’t follow-through. What’s more is we usually don’t have any power. All we can say is “I’ve contacted my person. There’s been no response” or something along those lines.

But sometimes bloggers go above and beyond to host giveaways out of their own pockets so what happens when those bloggers are the very ones who renege on their words. Now, I don’t want to call anyone out but today I hopped on Facebook to see that a blogger had canceled a giveaway and I was curious. I was thinking some company had backed out and was preparing to feel some righteous anger. I was surprised, however, to see the post that was basically summed up by “I didn’t get enough entries so I’m cancelling it. Woe is me.”

I clicked to see the responses, all of which basically equated so “I know how you feel.” And I understand. I’ve spent money shipping prizes. I’ve spent time promoting giveaways. I spend time contacting people to sponsor giveaways and I’ve been stumped when people didn’t enter my giveaways. I recently ended a giveaway that had very little interest and I was perplexed because it was the type of giveaway that I would have entered myself.

But it seems more than a little dishonest to me to start a giveaway and cancel it halfway through just because you’re not getting enough attention, especially during the busiest time of year for most people and the busy shopping time that has prompted thousands of giveaways. The site owner didn’t receive the feedback she wanted but everyone who had already participated was SOL and would see absolutely no return for their efforts.

That’s not okay to me.. but maybe I’m wrong so I pose these questions:

  • As a giveaway host/blogger, do we retain the right to cancel giveaways?
  • If we do retain that right, is not enough activity an acceptable reason or should there be a reason such as host backed out, emergency, etc?
  • How would you feel, as someone who had entered a giveaway that was canceled?
  • Do you find actions like that to represent the community/blogosphere in a bad light?


2 Responses

  1. Dez December 20 2011 @ 12:49 am

    As a giveaway host/blogger, do we retain the right to cancel giveaways?

    While I think you retain the right to do as you please, I think it’s a douchebag move to cancel something simply because you don’t have enough activity. Some is better than none and it’s not fair to those who already entered. Even if there is only one. They took the time to enter and is unfair to them just because you are not gaining enough “pageviews” or “hits” to your blog. That is not their fault.

    Do you find actions like that to represent the community/blogosphere in a bad light?

    I do when someone speaks up about it, but generally it just tends to go unnoticed. :(

  2. Heather! January 1 2012 @ 5:41 am

    Wow. Yeah, I agree that it’s just not cool to leave the few people who DID enter hanging…AFTER they’ve spent their time and possibly put their name to a blogger’s giveaway (liking on FB, tweeting, etc.). I think that if you put up a prize yourself you should realise and accept the risk that you might not get the publicity you want. Goes with the territory. We would be upset if a sponsoring company did this, so why not hold ourselves to the same standard? Frankly, I’m surprised others were so understanding about it. I wouldn’t be.

    I suppose it might not have been so bad if the blogger had actually said in the contest mechanics that she might do this. Then the risk is on those entering. Otherwise I think it’s a dirty move.

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