Here’s a juicy topic today –> The ethics of entering giveaways!
Which we’re constantly featuring here on this blog, as well as hundreds of others!
Do you ever stop and think before you enter any of them though, or do you just scream “YES PLEASE!!!” the second you see “FREE” like I do? 😉
We often talk about accumulating “stuff” in terms of minimalism and clutter, but I’ll admit I haven’t really soul searched the ethical side of giveaways up until now…
Check out the following email I just received and see if any of it resonates with you… There are some excellent points in it, and it’s never bad to stop and reflect on things whether you end up agreeing with them or not.
Just don’t let it scare you off from entering *our* giveaways here or else I’ll be sad and lonely!!! You can always pay your winnings forward!! 😉
Hello, J Money:
I enjoy your blog as the ideas of others challenge me regularly.
My husband and I enjoy the benefits of hard work, saving and wise investing. We are debt-free and my husband has retired. I continue to work at my profession for health insurance and contributions to my 401K. We buy what we want, go where we want and give generously.
My comment is an ethical one. I want to provide background. Years ago when I was freshly out of college, single and just getting on my feet in a small town in the Midwest where I felt called to be, I appreciated every helping hand that came my way – no matter the form. I lived frugally and kept an eye open for opportunities. A local grocery store was celebrating National Beef Month and offered registration for a free beef bundle – burger, roasts, and steaks. I entered according to the rules and said a prayer that my name would be drawn. It was not. The winner was the wife of a prominent business man who, from appearances, didn’t have a money care in the world.
Now that I have progressed well beyond the financial status of my youth I do not enter my name into drawings of this kind. I can buy all the burger, roasts and steaks I want. I much prefer that someone who needs a helping hand receive the goodies.
If I come across a limited number of something offered, I don’t buy. I don’t shop on Black Friday as there is nothing offered that I can’t buy at full price. I leave those deals to those who don’t have the resources I do. I don’t take the free t-shirt at the ballgame offered to the first 1000 fans. I don’t need another t-shirt and someone else might.
This email was prompted by an event in my hometown recently. A local fast food restaurant had an event where the first 50 people in the drive-thru early one morning would get a free meal each week for a year. A university professor, his wife and two adult sons were among the first 50 people. They waited over an hour before the opening time. Perhaps it was the thrill of the hunt, but I wondered how many single mothers could have used that meal each week – maybe splitting it with her child. Or dividing it for her two children while she ate ramen noodles.
My bottom-line comment is this: I believe that those who are financially secure must make a mental shift from “accumulate all I can through all the options available as quickly as possible” and move to “enjoy the fruits of my labors and allow others the opportunities I do not need.”
Please know that I only mean to bring forth another perspective and challenge you with my thoughts.
And what a fresh perspective indeed, boy… Anytime you can put yourself in front of others is a beautiful thing, whether having to do with giveaways or anything else!
That being said, do I think it’s unethical to enter them if you already have more than enough in life??? Not necessarily, but perhaps it’s more of a “nice thing to do” type thing here vs an “ethical” one? Like when people hold the door open for you or pay you a compliment? They’re not exactly a-holes for not doing those, but it sure is refreshing when they do!
I also wonder if the *item itself* being given away matters in situations like this too? If you’re entering for a small thing like a finance book or video game, would that be less unethical than, say, going after the free year of food or anything else that falls under the “needs” vs “wants” category? And what about extreme wants like world-wide cruises or HGTV mansion giveaways that even those of us with solid finances can’t come close to affording? Would those be “okay” for anyone to enter?
I don’t know what the answers are, but there sure are more variables to it than first expected, haha…
And now I’ll be thinking about this EVERY TIME I COME ACROSS A NEW GIVEAWAY!!!
So… Thanks?! 😉
But what about you? Do you think it’s okay to enter giveaways regardless of circumstances, or should they only be reserved for those less fortunate than you? Are there cut offs of things that are okay to enter vs those which aren’t?
No right or wrong answers here, of course, just good things to think about on the constant pursuit of trying to live our best lives.
And having run giveaways here on this site for over 10 years now, as well as giveaway-specific projects like GivewaysAreSexy.com (remember that one?!), I already know some of you are living this “people first” mentality and I love it every time I see it. There’s always a handful of you who will comment that you love the item but don’t want to enter for it, and will then go on to buy it yourself so others can have a shot at winning it instead!
SO NICE OF YOU!!!! And always inspires me to try and be more cognizant of this too, despite always failing/forgetting 🙂
So yeah, good food for thought today, and regardless of where you land I’d love to hear why so it helps us come to better conclusions ourselves.
And if this question bores you too much, maybe try this one out instead –> Should Only Poor People Shop at Thrift Stores?
I gotta get you riled up somehow! 😉