Wondering ‘Is it illegal to require a purchase to enter a contest?’

We’ve got your answers

28/08/2020

is it illegal to require a purchase to enter a contest?

If you’re finding yourself asking ‘is it illegal to require a purchase to enter a contest?’ you have come to the right place. We’re experts at all things sweepstakes, contest and giveaway related so keep reading to get all of the information you need in one place. 

The short answer to ‘is it illegal to require a purchase to enter a contest’ is yes and no, depending on the local law. 

Each country has a different law on the matter of contests and sweepstakes so in some countries it is perfectly legal to require a purchase to enter and in others it is not. In the US and Switzerland, for instance, it is illegal.

Is there a loophole to this?

In the United States (many other countries have similar guidelines) you can allow a purchase of an entry IF there is an alternative method of entry. For example, if a snack food brand holds sweepstakes in which you check inside the package to see if you have won, this company also has to have another option for entering that does not require any purchase of the product. A phone, email or physical mail request could take the place of purchasing the snack food yourself. 

So the short answer to “is it illegal to require a purchase to enter a contest?” is not a single one but in the event where it is illegal there ARE still loopholes. However you decide to structure your contest, do you research and, above all, be as clear and detailed as possible in your contest description and rules! Good luck!

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