When I first started contesting in 2001 a single First Class stamp in Canada was 47₵. Today a single stamp is $1 PLUS tax, or you can save a few pennies buy buying a book of ten for $8.50 plus tax.

In my first book I wrote:

I always support the sweepstakes sponsor by buying their products to get the PIN codes. When companies deem their promotions are successful, they will keep running them and possibly, even run more.

However, it is not healthy to eat too much chocolate, soda pop, sugary cereal, etc. In addition to buying the sponsor’s products, I use the No Purchase Entry (NPE) method and send away for additional PIN codes or I go PIN code hunting.

When submitting a No Purchase Entry (NPE) was far less expensive it made sense.

Today I read the rules for the current Canada Dry promotion:

flash-enNO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Alternatively, to obtain one (1) PIN, while supplies last, without making a purchase, print your first name, last name, telephone number, date of birth and complete mailing address (including postal code) on a plain white piece of paper and mail it (in an envelope with sufficient Canadian postage) along with: (i) a handwritten 100 word (or more) unique and original essay explaining what Real Ahhh a Day means to you; and (ii) a self-addressed pre-paid stamped envelope with sufficient return Canadian postage; to the following address: Canada Dry NPN PIN Request, P.O. Box 9410, Toronto, ON M3C 4C6 (collectively, the “Request”). Upon receipt of a Request in accordance with these Rules, you will receive one (1) randomly selected PIN per unique and original Request per envelope with sufficient Canadian postage. To be eligible, a Request must: (i) be received separately in a single envelope bearing sufficient Canadian postage (i.e. multiple Requests in the same envelope will be void); and (ii) be post-marked during the Contest Period and received by no later than August 22, 2016 to allow Sponsor sufficient time to mail back the PIN via regular mail.

My first thought was, “I wonder where ginger ale is on sale?“, because when you can buy a 2L bottle of pop for less than sending away for for a PIN and enjoy the product, why bother.

Raise The Cup

Same with chocolate. I can buy a bar for 77₵ AND eat the chocolate. Again, why send away for a NPE that would cost as much as three bars?!

In Canada, high postage rates are a marketer’s dream because the end goal of all marketing activities are increase sales. If I would rather buy then send away, mission accomplished. The bonus for us is when sponsor’s see their promotions garnering the results they seek, they will host more giveaways.

The other way to obtain codes is to go PIN code hunting, or wombling as it’s known in the UK, although it seems much harder to do that it used to be. I am not sure if I am not doing it wrong or all the people living in my neighbourhood are just super healthy, but I mostly find water bottles filling the recycle bins on my morning walks.

Do you send away for NPEs?