Online-Sweepstakes.com, also known as OLS, is one of many websites where you can find and enter online sweepstakes.
Online-Sweepstakes.com is a sweepstakes directory offering an easy-to-use listing of giveaways to enter and a busy forum where members can exchange tips, ask for help getting votes for contests, and cheer each others' successes. Visit their website.
OLS was founded by Brent Riley in 1997, and it has grown into one of the largest sweepstakes listings online. It includes a sweepstakes directory, a bustling community with hundreds of members, site forums, and a system to help organize sweepstakes entry.
It has a bare-bones look to it, without splashy graphics. This helps the sweepstakes to load quickly and makes it easy to focus on the goal: to win prizes.
The majority of the sweepstakes listed are open to residents of the United States. But there are subsections for Canadian, British, and International giveaways.
Warning: Ongoing Technical Problems with Memberships
On March 7, 2019, a long-time Online-Sweepstakes moderator, KBSocial, made a post on the site's forums that stated that owner Brent Riley was unreachable and that the only other person who could approve paid subscriptions made through PayPal had left the company.
One result of this shakeup is that people have been making payments through PayPal, but not receiving their premium membership benefits, including access to most listed sweepstakes.
Brent posted an apology the same day promising to make things right, but did not give any clear information about the future of the website. Memberships continued to go uncredited.
For current members, moderators are continuing to list sweepstakes and to moderate the forums.
However, please use caution before making payments, especially through PayPal. Check the Online-Sweepstakes forums for an update before renewing a premium membership or signing up for new ones.
If you have already paid but have not received your premium membership, the OLS moderators are recommending that you make a complaint through PayPal to receive a refund of your money. The Online-Sweepstakes forums should contain any updates about whether the issues have been resolved.
How to Use Online-Sweepstakes.com?
Online-Sweepstakes.com offers a large directory of sweepstakes broken down into convenient groups, to make finding and entering them easier.
The contest listings are updated daily, and there are usually dozens of new listings each day.
As a premium member, you can mark which sweepstakes you've entered and when, and you can use the MySweeps feature to get a convenient list of the sweepstakes you want to enter each day/week/etc.
You can also view expired sweepstakes, to get information on giveaways that have ended already (handy if you happen to win one).
How Do Giveaways Get Listed on Online-Sweepstakes.com?
The giveaways listed in Online-Sweepstakes.com's directory are provided by the site's users. They are added by individuals who want to share and track the contests they enter and by sweepstakes sponsors who want to promote their giveaways.
Adding sweepstakes is done by filling out an online form. The quality of the submissions can vary greatly, with some people providing great summaries and others leaving out information. That's where the moderators come in.
Online-Sweepstakes.com has a number of volunteer moderators who check the sweepstakes for accuracy, summarize the rules, add important information, remove referral links, and decide whether the sweepstakes should be basic or premium-only.
Because the moderators are volunteers, the checking process can be quick, or it can take several days. Basic members will not be able to view the listing until it has been verified by moderators.
Free vs. Premium Membership at Online-Sweepstakes.com:
You can use Online-Sweepstakes.com for free, but its most attractive features are available only with a paid membership.
Premium-only features include:
- Access to premium and basic sweepstakes (moderators decide which sweepstakes are classified as premium-only).
- Access to new sweepstakes as they are added, rather than having to wait for a moderator to classify them.
- The ability to save an unlimited number of sweepstakes that you want to enter in the "MySweeps" section.
- The "Shazaam" feature, which opens many sweepstakes in new windows or browser tabs.
- The ability to see when you last entered a giveaway and how often you've entered it.
- Advanced forum features.
- No advertising displayed on the site.
- And other bonuses (see this page for a full list).
Is a Premium Membership Worthwhile?
As of 2019, memberships only cost $30 a year, and many dedicated sweepstakes fans will easily earn that much in prizes over the course of the year.
Be aware, however, that many sweepstakes aggregators list the same sweepstakes, but are totally free.
Some free alternatives include:
- The Sweepstakes Directory
- Sweepstakes Advantage
- Sweepstakes Lovers
- All Canada Contests (for Canadian Residents)
- and many more.
So to decide whether a premium membership is right for you, you need to ask yourself if the additional benefits, like tracking the sweepstakes you want to enter and accessing all of the forum posts, are worth the cost for you.
Criticism of Online-Sweepstakes.com
Online-Sweepstakes.com has been around for many years, and it has a devoted group of followers, but it's also picked up a few haters (as most sites that have been around since the 90s have). There have been complaints filed against the company and against its owner.
I've been a premium member for many years, and I have not personally had an issue with bullying or problems with payments.
Some members have complained that promised updates were not made on time (or ever), and that the time to check and verify posted sweepstakes has taken too long.
There are many loyal members who take the occasional site outages and promised features with good humor, and I don't really mind them myself, either. While some improvements would be nice, the site does a good job with the format it has.
Summary of the Online-Sweepstakes.com Service:
- Large number of sweepstakes listed.
- Fresh listings added daily.
- Well-organized to make entering easy.
- Ability to save favorite sweepstakes and mark entry times.
- Ability to leave notes on the sweepstakes, which contain tips, ways to work around technical problems, and more.
- Large and active forum with experienced members who are willing and able to give tips, hints, and advice.
- Open the websites of up to 15 favorites with a single click.
- Membership fees required to use some features.
- With so many sweepstakes, many of which offer very low-value prizes, it can be time-consuming to go through all of the giveaways available.
- Personality conflicts can arise on the forums.
- Sponsors (very rarely) prohibit entry directly from Online-Sweepstakes.
Disclosure: I have been a premium member of Online-Sweepstakes.com for many years. No incentive or compensation has been given to me from Online-Sweepstakes for writing this review.