I came across a blog post I wrote on Dumpster Diving. I don’t actually dumpster dive, but I thought it would make a great post title. What I do (or used to do) is PIN code hunt.

PIN code, bottle caps

Firstly, what is a PIN code? A PIN code is a series of letters and/or numbers printed inside a bottle cap, a candy wrapper, a cardboard cereal box, etc. You then take that code and enter it into the corresponding online sweepstakes, contest or giveaway for a chance to win a prize, instant, daily, weekly or grand.

Secondly, why did I use the term used to? In April of 2014 iCoke in Canada closed. Pepsi stopped their similar program sometime after 2008. Now codes (in Canada) are only found when a company is hosting a specific sweepstakes. Currently, they are so far and few between, it’s not worth my time to go hunting. (Apparently, I am not as dedicated to my hobby as one would think … LOL!)

There are only three ways to get PIN codes:

  1. buy the product,
  2. utilize the no purchase entry option (NPE),
  3. or using codes others have thrown away.

As my time is now spent differently than it was several years ago, more often than not I now opt for option 1, and if I come across it easily, option 3.

As PIN code giveaways are expensive to run and manage, only the largest of companies can afford to sponsor them. I don’t see them making a big resurgence in the future as different technological winning opportunities arise. Just like we never pictured entering Facebook contests 10 years ago, we can’t imagine what the next big thing may be.

Do you PIN code hunt?

2016-06-24T16:22:01-04:00May 19th, 2015|Contesting, Sweepstaking|3 Comments

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About the Author:

Carolyn Wilman (aka @ContestQueen) is an expert on Social Media Contests. Carolyn is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Sweepstakes Specialist. Carolyn works with companies to create, and viral market, winning promotions maximizing ROI and loyal customers along with teaching others how to Find, Organize, Enter and Win giveaways.


  1. Wendy May 20, 2015 at 11:11 am - Reply

    Hi Carolyn. I don’t generally “hunt” myself – (no time, other interests, etc) BUT I do “put the word out to friends and non-sweepers that I am looking/using those little things (as in Coke caps/box tabs) . So technically I am getting someone else’s trash without all that mess and time consuming effort. LOL

  2. Nicole May 22, 2015 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    When out for walks, I always have a couple plastic bags in my purse in case we come across pop bottles & cans (we can recycle them for cash here) or pin code items. We don’t search, but if we come across it, we will turn it into our treasure! It was much easier when the kids were in a stroller to have a plastic bag with ‘treasures’ in it!

  3. Teresa Young May 24, 2015 at 9:12 am - Reply

    When I am walking the dog on recycling day I keep an eye out for Coke cartons – and when I go to the race track I watch for empty coke bottles & collect the caps.

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