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iGotOffer.com Promotional Giveaways: Rules & Laws

iGotOffer.com Promotional Giveaways: Rules & Laws

We at iGotOffer.com take following the law very seriously, especially when hosting our online contests, sweepstakes, and giveaways. Our goal is to make sure our friends and customers have fun--not break the law--so we’re careful about crossing all our T’s and dotting all our I’s to fully comply with federal law.

Here are answers to some customer questions about our social media promotional events:

Can you define the basic terms used?


Giveaway laws in the U.S. cover sweepstakes, contests, and lotteries.

Prize: There’s always a prize--without it, a sweepstakes would be lame, and no one would enter!

Chance: This is simply pure luck.

Consideration: Something of value which an entrant must provide to enter a contest.

Sweepstakes are prize giveaways where the winners are chosen at random, based on chance or luck of the draw. In the U.S, sweepstakes promotions are regulated by numerous laws, and are overseen by various federal agencies. Agencies with such jurisdiction include the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the United States Postal Service (USPS), and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).

Contests choose winners by judging or voting on criteria like effort or merit, such as best photo, most popular photo, and so forth.

Lotteries are prize drawings where people must pay money for a chance to win. While sweepstakes and contests are legal promotional campaigns, private lotteries are illegal under U.S. law. iGotOffer.com does not participate in lotteries!

Who can enter your giveaways? For example, I am a minor, and a friend of mine lives in Canada. Can we both enter?


Our contests and sweepstakes are open only to those 18 years of age or older.

Unfortunately, we currently cannot accept any entries from Canada. Why? The harsh reality is that Canadian law forbids winning by random selection; an element of skill must be involved. Quebec also requires additional rules. We hate to leave our Canadian visitors out in the cold, and we hope to expand our operations in that beautiful country in the future.

What are your rules about administering giveaways?


  1. No purchase, payment, or other consideration is necessary to enter. For example, entrants are never required to visit a third-party site, navigate to find a product or service, and report back to us. At iGotOffer.com, you can win a prize, whether or not you have ever sold us your old electronic device. Conversely, if you traded in your used smartphone with us, this does not increase your chances of winning.
  2. For sweepstakes, we always announce the beginning and ending dates, including times and time zones, as well as the date the winner is selected and notified.
  3. For contests, we clearly describe the objective judging criteria that determines how a winner is chosen.
  4. We clearly explain liability, limitations, disclaimers, odds of winning, and material terms and conditions.
  5. We clearly specify the prizes awarded. For now, we offer no prizes valued over $500, so we need not register our promotions with the state, nor are we required to bond and register prizes of $5000 or more 30 days before a sweepstakes begins. On the rare occasion of a very large prize, we may ask a participant to provide written consent to ensure compliance with state law.
  6. Our promotional campaigns and prizes never include alcohol, tobacco, adult toys, or firearms.
  7. Our official rules can be easily found on our website. They remain in effect throughout the promotion; of course, it would be unethical and illegal to change them midstream.
  8. A list of winners is available upon request.
  9. All of our service sponsors must adhere to our rules.

Do you comply with social network regulations?


Absolutely! We only partake in networks and websites that comply with U.S. laws.

For example, we strictly follow Facebook's rules, which prohibit using personal profiles to collect entries, or paying people for reviews. Like Facebook, we’ll never ask people to share a post on their profile or a friend’s profile to enter a promotion; instead, they can enter by liking or commenting on a post on their page, publishing it to their page, and sending their page a message.

Are there any tax implications for winners?


A winner most report a prize valued at $600 or more to the IRS. If we ever conduct a giveaway of this value, we will always provide the winner with a federal 1099 form the following January.

Conclusion


Like any business, our aim is to engage with customers and attract new ones. Perhaps other companies are willing to take chances and evade the law, but at iGotOffer.com, honesty is our trademark. Our reasoning: If you cannot afford to do it right, can you afford to do it wrong? We think not. We’ve decided to always do it right!

To participate in a contest, drop by our Facebook page: iGotOffer Facebook page.

Last updated: October 22, 2018.

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