Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Giveaway Disappointment

Almost everyone connected to the blogosphere use giveaways at some time or another for their readers as a marketing tool. Nearly all readers enter our giveaways. Everyone knows that fantastic rush when s/he opens up that email that reads, "Congratulations, you won ______!" There is just something about winning that triggers the happy juices in our brains. (Some more than others, but still.) That's why there are lotteries, casinos, bingo, anything. So - yes! A winner!

Skip forward a few weeks - there are nose prints on the front window, from a  melancholy face pressed expectantly against it. However, there is still no goodie.

I have not had to deal with it very often, but I am seeing quite a bit of it in situations other than my own.* (For the record - everyone but one blogger who told a bold-faced lie and a terrible publicist have been fantastic about stuff that has been overlooked, lost in the mail, etc.) I kept telling myself that I would not address this issue, but I would really like to know you guys' thoughts. I want your opinions, stories, and/or experiences.

What do you do when you never see your prize? How long do you wait to contact the blogger, publisher, author, publicity group, tour coordinator, etc.? Have you every had anyone say, "it'll be in the mail next week" on multiple occasions, to never follow through? Also, what is the longest you generally wait before sending out or ordering prizes for your winners?

*For the record - this is not an attack on anyone in particular. I'm guilty of being late in sending prizes. I just want to know how long is too long and when you write it off.


  1. This has happened to me before and at first I would get an email saying I won and forget about now I write them down but it is really annoying! Especially when it is from a blogtour and shipped from the author because the person you correspond with has virtually no control of when it ships!

  2. I know what you mean. It's so frustrating when things like that happen. Last year I won a giveaway and I still haven't heard about the prize or even an email telling me they're sorry for not sending it -even when I pay for the shipping of the prize because i'm international- I have sent emails asking about the package but they have never been answer. Time past and I give up. I don't trust the blog anymore or the person who manage it. I usually wait a month to contact the person (blog, author or publisher) when the prize has not arrived cuz i'm intl.

  3. Oh man, this has happened to me at least 4 times over the last year. Some I've contacted publicly through twitter, in which they respond "Oh, right! Yes, I'm so busy but I'll get it to you ASAP" Blah blah blah. I'm still Looking for Alaska-less. There's been another girl who told me I won a gift card that she'd send the code for over email. Never got a reply after that, even when I emailed twice.

    When this happens, sometimes it makes me think that some people only hold giveaways to gain followers. If so, why bother contacting the "winner"?

    But then I think "Well maybe they really are busy. Maybe they're dealing with family issues or they're grieving" in which I would look like an ass if I sent them a piece of my mind...or I think maybe they did send it and it got lost in the mail. All last November 3 authors claimed to have sent me books, none of which I received. Maybe a postal worker is maliciously stealing them, who really knows.

    I'm sorry for the longest comment ever. I'd say it's safe to contact them again anytime after a month, but as you see, that doesn't always guarantee you'll get an email...and even if they seem nice, it always doesn't guarantee your prize. Because of this, I try to treat all of my readers with respect by actually sending out my prizes at the first moment I'm able to. I don't want to be that douchebag blogger who no one can trust. :P Thanks for posting this, I often think about these things and it's nice to discuss them.

  4. I don't blog, but I do enter giveaways. I've had quite a few that I have supposedly won that I've never seen the prize. I usually wait 6 weeks to contact them, mostly because I figure if it's coming from an author or promotional company 6-8 weeks is usual shipping time.
    I've emailed a few a couple times, and hear back from them the first time, but never again. I usually just figure that I'm never getting that prize and, really, it's not that much of a big deal to me. It's not like I had to pay for it, it was just a few minutes of my time reading the blog and entering the contest. I just know that from then on, I don't enter contests on that blog/site again.

  5. I usually wait 6-8 weeks, unless they specify that it's going to be mailed right away. I've had a few that were miscommunications that were immediately taken care of and the book was received within a week or two. I've had a few non responses at all, they get unfollowed :) All I ask for is a response trying to figure out if it's lost or not. I'm not looking for a replacement, just knowledge. I've had a few say I'm sorry, but I don't really care. I've had one say, I'm not in contact with the person anymore. I've had one say, it's in my policy to 'not care'. Really, I've gotten the entire run of the mill. Usually it's not a problem. But in the 1 1/2 years that I've entered giveaways, probably around 12 or 15 just haven't ever shown up.

    I think the longest I've had to wait is 3-5 months. Depending on who it's coming from. If they specify it's coming from the publisher or author, then I usually don't bother getting in touch and assume it's lost.

    I mainly get irritated when I wait 6-8 weeks, and get no response to my inquiry. Or just a brush off. I no longer follow those blogs.

  6. I haven't experienced that; up until now, all books I have won in a giveaway have been delivered (still waiting for some). I'd recommend waiting, especially if your book is from Book Depository. I live in Brazil and it takes over 1 month for me to receive a book.

  7. Some books I won before never came. I contacted the blogger who held the contest but never replied to me. I just let it go though, it's a bit frustrating but what else can I do.

    I usually wait 4-10 weeks the most. Sometimes I know they don't usually mail it out asap. Especially if they will course it through publishers/authors. Then contact the blogger who held the contest.

  8. i often ask them to email me when they sent the book so i can check the delivery .... when i'm not email i wait around a month before inquiried some information.
    the longuer i waited was 3months

    So far i've always got response except from one and that got me really disappointed
    at least with bookdepository they resent one that never arrived after a month

    but they are severls books i'm waiting for, and a rak for my birthday that disappared ç_ç so i suspect the post but only when it has been sent

  9. This has happened to me and it actually happening right now. I have won several giveaways over the past few months and I never received prizes from 5 of them. I ended up sending an email asking for an update. I got responses from 2 of the 5. One package did finally show up after I talked with her and the other one (an author) promised to send me out another copy. I haven't heard a peep from the others, which is pretty upsetting.

    For my giveaways, I always confirm the winners and get their mailing info and send the prize out NO LATER than the following week. I like to do it within a couple days if possible. I know what it feels like not to have your prizes arrive (Bummer!) and I'd never do that to anyone. I don't know what else to do about the other prizes that never showed. I was really excited about winning them - one was an awesome swag pack and the others books I was really looking forward to. I'm just at a loss and super bummed. Does anyone have other suggestions on what to do in these situations?

  10. I totally understand, I've had this happen a lot, some people have been great and tried to fix it, and other's just shrug it off and say oh well. I follow a blog on facebook and I won a book from them that they never sent out. Contacted them and they said sorry, they would get on it. That was over a year ago. Needless to say, I unfollowed them and don't enter giveaways from them. I've even had a package shipped to me from an author show up ripped open and empty. Someone in the postal system ripped me off. I was mad, but the author was great and sent me a new book. Now if I win, I try to forget about it until I actually get it in the mail. Then I jump with excitement :)

  11. Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences. As a giveaway host myself, I usually try to not wait more than a week before shipping out or ordering prizes. I try to be grateful for the people who have done it to me because it has helped me. I know how sucky it is first hand to not get my loot in a timely manner, and I would never want that to happen from my end.

    I ask my prize winners to let me know when they receive it. Only about half of them do, but I guess that's just how it is. :-/

  12. I won a lot of things in the recent past, and I've probably had a couple of things go missing, but all the ones I really care about made it. I don't know.

    I always worry the books that I ship will get lost on their way. If they do, there's not really anything I can do about it, unfortunately.

    One specifically that I was supposed to get I had totally given up on, but I wasn't going to say anything. It showed up months later. Actually, I've had several take that long, one even from a publisher.

    I only contact someone if I REALLY care. Unless the book is coming from a pub or the blogger just forgot to send it, I just don't think there's much they can or will do.

  13. This has happened to be twice so far - 50/50% in the results.

    The first time was from a blog tour and didn't receive the e-book from the author for ~2 months. I contacted the blog and she was able to relay the info to the author. The author felt so bad she also gave me an e-book for the next book in the series!!

    The second time was from a giveaway direct from the blog itself. I won in March this year and she stated that the book would be in the mail the next week. Haven't seen it yet and it's near the end of June. I e-mailed her about a week ago and haven't heard back. We'll see what happens, but I'm writing it off as a loss. But I don't really have any hard feelings toward the blogger - I understand how hectic it can be to maintain a blog and a personal life...

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  15. Touch wood this hasn't happened to me - that I'm aware of. Being a complete ditz helps sometimes ;-)

    But in all seriousness, it's pretty dishonest behavior to host a giveaway and then not follow through with it, or at the very least if something happens contact the person and beg for forgiveness.

  16. Since I'm international, aka outside of US/Canada/UK/Australia, usually the prizes are shipping from Book Depository. Never joined any book tour.

    Once, the blogger said she sent me (I believe her actually, she didn't seem to be lying), but nothing arrived. It's been a year and probably more. It could have been lost in the mail or something though.

    And the most disappointing one is that one giveaway I won to get a book from Book Depository, and she even emailed me to ask for my preferred book. But nothing came. And I sent her an email few weeks ago, no reply. AND HER BLOG IS STILL ACTIVE!!! In two more months, it's going to be a year since I've won that giveaway. wtf -_- It makes me sad because I thought she was one of the more reputable bloggers. I just wish she would at least reply.

  17. I've had this happen a few times, too. It is disappointing. I understand that sometimes things happen. I usually wait about 12 weeks before contacting the blogger and try to NEVER sound like I blame them...because I don't. They put a lot of work into a giveway and expect a sponsor to deliver what they promise too. I few times I've received a belated prize, but usually if it isn't prompt it isn't coming!

  18. I've had this happen way more than I've liked, unfortunately. I usually wait about 4-6 weeks before I email about the prize. Sometimes people are extremely helpful and go out of their way to make sure it gets to you. But for every one person like that, there are two people who decide to just ignore you completely or tell you oh well, sorry it didn't arrive.

    There is one giveaway in particular that I won a set of three books back in December. About a month or two after, I received an email saying she had been having a rough start to the year and she would be sending the prizes out as soon as possible. So I waited another month or two and then emailed to check in. No response. I think I sent one or two more emails to check in but never heard anything back, nor have the books arrived. This particular prize was one I had really been looking forward to and I was pretty bummed that I never received it. And her blog is still active, by the way, with new giveaways being offered. Ugh!

  19. This is way beyond me. Why would people host giveaways if they're not going to send out the prizes? I've hosted a few giveaways and this has never occurred to me. I always make it a point to tell my winner when I will be sending out the prize, when she/he should be receiving it and to tell me when it arrives. But I've also never won a giveaway so this has never happened to me.

    But I've had some friends send me out some books while I was still based in US. The longest I had to wait for my parcel was 2 weeks. But now, as I'm based in the Philippines, it generally takes 4-6 weeks for the packages from US to arrive. Either way, I can only imagine how agonizing it must be for you to wait for something that you will never receive. Especially if it's a most-anticipated book. :(

  20. Of all the giveaways I have won, I've only never received the prize once. A blogger hosted the giveaway and the publisher was supposed to supply the goodies. But, I never received it. It's been about three or four months now. I'm not really devastated that I never got it. I could write to the gal who hosted the giveaway, but I don't really want to be invasive. It's not really her fault.
    I actually try to stay away from giveaways where publishers are mailing the goods. There was one instance where it took two months before I received my book! I'd almost given up one it.

    Bloggers who host giveaways and supply the goodies are much more prompt. The longest I ever had to wait was about a week, and the girl kept me updated the entire way.

    I usually only enter giveaways of bloggers who I am familiar with. That way I know they're reliable, and they're not just fishing for follows.


You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!