With the introduction of Amazon Giveaways, Amazon has made it easier than ever for small publishers, sellers, and manufacturers to get the word out about their products by using promotional giveaways. Yet, even though a giveaway system like Amazon Giveaways makes advertising products super cheap and easy, there are some independent giveaway hosts out there that are gaming the system so they don't have to give out a prize.
Let me first say that most independent giveaway hosts are honest and they are using Amazon Giveaways as they are intended. Amazon is also not to blame, though there are steps that they can take to fix the issue.
So what is the problem exactly?
I have discovered that certain giveaway hosts are setting up their Amazon Giveaways to make it more likely than not that there won't be a winner. If you look at the bottom of each Amazon Giveaway entry page you will see the rules for that particular giveaway. It is there where you will find information like when the giveaway ends and how the winner is chosen.
The problem is that some giveaways are set up with a short entry period with the winner being chosen only when 20,000 entries have been received. So unless the giveaway is really popular, it will expire before it can reach the 20,000 minimum.
Why run an Amazon Giveaway where there is no winner?
Besides using a giveaway to promote a new product or brand, giveaways are often used to collect subscribers or build up a brand's social media juice. Amazon Giveaways can be set up to gain Twitter followers, get retweets, or best of all, get Youtube video views. And we all know that Youtube views help to get your video pushed up in Youtube and Google search results.
The winner is not you
I have seen first hand a particular Amazon Giveaway Host use popular products like the new Amazon Echo or Fire Tablet to lure people in only to have the giveaway end after only a day or two with zero winners. Each person that enters thinks they have a chance at winning, but little do they know that while the host is racking up the Youtube views, the chance of a prize being given out at all is very slim. This host has used the same technique several times.
I have sent feedback to Amazon explaining to them what I have stated here and that I believe there is a flaw in how some of the giveaways that use their system are run. I haven't heard back from them, but I hope they will see my email and work on a solution.
The possible solutions to fix the problems are simple enough. Either require that a giveaway must have a winner after it ends regardless of whether the minimum entry number was met, or limit how many times a host can run a giveaway where no winner is chosen. The better option, though, is to have either an 'entry minimum' or an 'end date' for the giveaway, but not both.
Again, Amazon is not the problem here. In fact, I won a prize from Amazon using Amazon Giveaways. But I believe there are steps that Amazon needs to take to keep the credibility of Amazon Giveaways high and to prevent Hosts from scamming users out of prizes.
Update: While I never heard back from Amazon regarding my concerns, I believe they have taken steps to address the problems. I have not seen questionable giveaways for quite some time now. Though, it never hurts to be vigilant and to always read the rules.