Contests are fun to enter, but they are even more fun to hold yourself. Whether you are having a group contest among friends, for your business or to promote your website, a lot of thought has to go into having a contest. The biggest decision you have to make is what to give as a contest prize; you need something that is a quality product and relatively inexpensive since most of the time you don't make money from a contest. You can get inexpensive but quality items to give away as contest prizes in several ways.
Ask sponsors for prizes. Sponsors can be anyone from the neighborhood knitter to a large corporation. A sponsor is someone who gives something away in exchange for a mention of his name or company. Visit local stores, email large companies or ask someone you know who has a small business they want to promote.
Ask for donations. Some of the best contest prizes come from people you know. If you don't have a lot of money to buy a contest prize, then ask your family, friends and neighbors if they can donate something. Perhaps they have an antique pendant or a crystal vase that they want to give away for a good cause. Maybe they want to make something or offer their services. When you are creative with your contest prizes, more people will want to enter your contest.
Buy in bulk. One of the best ways to save money is to buy in bulk, and that works for contest prizes as well. If you are planning to hold a large contest, buy your prizes in bulk and giving out several of the same item rather than different items. You could go through a distributor that is willing to cut you a deal on a large order of items, or you could go to a warehouse store where you can buy several items for less when you buy them together.
Buy prizes online. Some of the best deals can be found on the Internet. By comparison shopping online, you can find quality items to give away as contest prizes while still saving money. Check for online coupons, as that can save you additional money.
Advertise your contest well.