Receipt surveys - anyone ever win?

I think it is a 50/50 chance to get a receipt at Best Buy, Target, or Gamespot that has a survey website and code listed on it. I almost always do them thanks to the chance to win $500 (or whatever). Has anyone actually won one of these? Maybe the odds are printed somewhere, but I am sure they are poor.

I usually try to do them as well, never won anything. I'd imagine the odds are similar to lotto.

Here's a lottery simulator. It lets you sim Mega Millions. Probably you're ten or 100 times more likely to win the receipt reward, which really means very little.

I have a friend that works in marketing promotions for a major retail chain and we were talking about information privacy and these surveys came up in the discussion. Basically, it's all about data mining and tailoring advertising to you through the mail or email. In some states, doing these surveys is legally equivalent to establishing a business relationship with the company and therefore allows them to get around the Do Not Call registry rules as well.

A single person a year might win that $50 gift card to Best Buy but is it worth them spamming you for eternity? Or even worse, them selling your personal information to other advertising firms for solicitation? To me, it's not worth losing control of my personal info.

Robear wrote:
Here's a lottery simulator. It lets you sim Mega Millions. Probably you're ten or 100 times more likely to win the receipt reward, which really means very little. :-)

I love the first comment on the link:

People who play lotteries don't think like this. Wins come from magic and karma and dream prophecy and your pathetic "simulation" doesn't take those factors into account.

so true

I used to work in market research and we did a few customer satisfaction surveys. Most of the csat stuff is not so much for data mining; it's really more indicative of satisfaction for that transaction. It's also more heavily weighted for those who have a negative experience and a lot of retail stores or services use it for rating employees, not doing market segmentation or other market research. I know the last time I went to get a cell phone the rep specifically asked me to rate them at a 5 as they would get in trouble if they didn't receive all fives for the satisfaction ratings. So really about all they're good for from a consumer perspective is bringing the corporate wrath down upon the peon that pissed you off (and vice versa, but my cynical viewpoint is that positive reviews never really outweigh the bad).

As for the OP's specific question; it all depends on the rules. They may have quarterly or annual drawings, but you'd have to look at the rules. I'm betting that most of the large retailers have really large sample sizes for the results (in the tens of thousands if not more). There is some debate on whether it's better to attract people with small incentives (X% off your next purchase) or offer a large prize as you've stated. It's usually cheaper to do the large prize when not targeting a specific demographic. In some rare cases, you do both. I worked on one study where we offered respondents in a particularly difficult to find demographic $10 each month they participated in a study for up to a year plus the opportunity to win $5,000. I think the sample as around 1,000 individuals for that study.

LockAndLoad wrote:
I have a friend that works in marketing promotions for a major retail chain and we were talking about information privacy and these surveys came up in the discussion. Basically, it's all about data mining and tailoring advertising to you through the mail or email. In some states, doing these surveys is legally equivalent to establishing a business relationship with the company and therefore allows them to get around the Do Not Call registry rules as well.

A single person a year might win that $50 gift card to Best Buy but is it worth them spamming you for eternity? Or even worse, them selling your personal information to other advertising firms for solicitation? To me, it's not worth losing control of my personal info.

Data mining can be done in much better ways. The big thing for retailers is rewards cards. A lot of supermarkets will have you sign up and then profile segments based on the data entered when they sign up. Best Buy is undoubtedly doing this with their rewards zone program (especially when you combine it with specific promotions. I doubt many companies would tack on the "contact me as you see fit" addendum to csat research... although I would be really careful about other sweepstakes where you aren't giving data. The area where you have to be careful is where you're signing up to win something without giving anything of value. A good example would be the mall kiosks where you enter to win a car - that prize is usually not specific to that area; a prize is given away, but if you read the rules, one car is given away across the whole company (hundreds of malls). That's where you usually see the "our affiliates may contact you" text in 4-pt font as all they're doing is harvesting contact info.

I've never won a receipt survey... but I have won a couple Playstation Underground Gamer Advisory Panel surveys! First time, I won a copy of God of War, then I won three PS2 games, then I won three PSP games. Sadly it seems they've stopped doing their monthly surveys (they're still up, but the most recent survey lists FF13 and God of War 3 as recently released titles). =/

I've never won anything. I fill out the Chapters surveys mostly and so far...nothing. Though they did track my spending habits through my Chapters card and sent me a battery operated clock last year. Kepheus loved it and put it on his desk.