what do you think of this idea?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnwizards, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,439

    was sitting around preparing my mailing list this year when i got an idea. what if i was to buy a $100 dollar gift card from walmart and have a raffle. say first 50 new lawn sign ups get entered into the raffle. has anyone tried this? seems like it might get more sign ups because you know how people love free stuff. thoughts?

  2. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    You could set it up as a "donation" with a chance to win a free month of lawn maintenance. Charge X amount per donation and have a drawing of numbers based off the lottery numbers. You could also do this with your existing customers. They pay lets say $25 for a chance to win say $500 in services. The only problem I see is getting enough people to make it work. I have a friend that owns a hobby shop that sets it up about once a month. He sells numbers between 01-100 or 00. Then uses the pick 3 VA lottery on a given day to decipher the winner using the last 2 digits. If you do the math, you'll get a cool 2K in pocket and only owe 1 person $500 in services! The problem being getting the numbers filled up. This guy does it all the time. Some guys jump on it and will drop $100 ($10 donations) to win $1000 in prizes. Cash prizes reward less as some wanted cash rather then product. That just means he'll get more in his pocket. :D It's a great idea if you can refine it some.
  3. JustaGlimpseLandscapeMntc

    JustaGlimpseLandscapeMntc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    This would work great, except for the fact that it is illegal. You are basically talking about lottery, which requires one to have a gambling license. There was a guy that tried to sell his house this way by selling raffle tickets for his house a few months ago. He ended up not being able to do so because it can only be done for non-profit organizations. The state required him to partner with a non-profit organization and I believe he ended up giving them 40% of all the proceeds. Point is, there are ways to do it, but make sure you do it right, simply holding a raffle is not legal, you'd have to talk to the state to find out what % you'd need to give a non-profit for you to be able to sponsor the raffle. Might want to let that guy know before he gets caught. Don't you think if it was legal that everyone would do it? I know I would...a lot easier to sell 1,000 people on paying $1 for something worth $100 than one person on something for $1,000.

    However, offering a free service to the winner of a sweepstakes (that requires no money to enter) is completely legal and probably your best bet.
  4. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Messages: 1,956

    Some states have laws concerning raffles--be careful.
  5. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    As long as it's listed and presented as a "donation" it's perfectly legal! Never include the word "raffle" that's when it becomes illegal. The lottery is only used as a fair means of picking the winning number for all the donations given.
  6. Precedence

    Precedence LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    You could call it "monkey nutz" and that wouldn't make it any less illegal. It's what is being done with the money; he gets people to "donate" then gives them a chance to win and what they can win is worth less than what he gets in "donations" and he keeps the difference.

    So he's making a profit on it and that is what a lottery is, it doesn't matter what he's calling it.

    Now depending on what the laws are in your area (Canada is different) you might be able to keep the cost of providing whatever the prize is and give the rest to a charity, that MIGHT be OK depending on laws, or if you donated the prize and all the money to a charity you can use it as a tax right off and i think that's allowed pretty much everywhere.

    But actually making money off of something like that is a no-no pretty much everywhere. :nono:
  7. JustaGlimpseLandscapeMntc

    JustaGlimpseLandscapeMntc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    So you're saying that you should just be deceptive in the wording and that makes it ok? I'm pretty sure if you were ever to go to court over it, that the court would look at what actually took place, not what you called it, and the decision would be based on this (which would be a raffle, as you have obviously acknowledged by stating not to use the word). When was the last time you saw Home Depot, Wal-Mart, or Subway accepting "donations" for any intention other than delivering it to a non-profit organization? Good luck giving your "donors" a tax deduction.

    What you're saying is still illegal. Do you honestly think that you could come up with a creative word for using pesticides and not be required to get a license? You can't really think that the state would be like, oh, ok, you didn't call them pesticides, so you don't need to be fined, do you? No, the state will say, you can call it what you want, but what you were doing is applying pesticides, and you need a license for this, now pay the fines.

    Further, why would you ever want to perform such shady business practices? There are many other, perfectly legal and equally creative marketing schemes you could use. :dizzy:

    What's to say that consumers would not be turned off by this over the concern that you are taking their money and may not actually award a winner?

    How about you do the same thing and don't charge them to enter? Perfectly legal, and can be built into your pricing as a marketing expense (again, perfectly legal). :weightlifter:
  8. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 564

    I don't think the original poster is wanting to recieve donations or money. He is talking about entering new clients into a raffle to win the gift card because they have recently become his customers.
  9. LouisianaLawnboy

    LouisianaLawnboy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,199

    Yes, people do love free stuff, BUT everyone knows that they will almost surely won't be the winner. I don't think it will work. JMHO
  10. JustaGlimpseLandscapeMntc

    JustaGlimpseLandscapeMntc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Guess we got a little off topic, but such a thing is completely legal. As far as a gift card is concerned, I would offer to provide services instead, as $50 in services, for example, consists of $20 in expense and $30 in lost wages, while a $50 gift card consists of $50 in expense. As we all know, lost wages as a promotion is better than an actual expense that needs to be paid.

    I would encourage you to consider offering services as a promotion, and consider offering two or three chances to win, as it gives the potential buyer the perception that they are now two or three times more likely to win. Of course, this all depends on your competition. If your competition is offering no incentives, offering only one chance to win will do the trick, as if you and a competitor offer the same services, of the same perceived quality, at the same price, the buyer is likely to go with the one with the better value, which is the one with the promotion. Therefore, if you have a lot of competitors that are offering promotions, you need to consider the magnitude of their promotions and offer a better perceived value (remember, a perceived value does not mean you need to offer a better promotion, only one that seems better in the eyes of your consumer).

    You need to consider the cost of the promotion, a free month of lawn care will incur all of the expenses of mowing the lawn, a cost you have to absorb. You then need to relate this cost in relation to how much interest will be generated by the promotion.

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