Navigating Giveaway Requirements: Understanding Purchases, Eligibility, and Age Restrictions for Successful Giveaways

December 8, 2023

Giveaways are a popular marketing strategy used by businesses to engage customers, promote their products or services, and increase brand awareness. However, running a successful giveaway requires more than just selecting a prize and announcing it to the public. Businesses must understand and navigate the various giveaway requirements, including purchases, eligibility, age restrictions, and other legality rules. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore these crucial aspects of these types of giveaways and provide examples of the legality rules that businesses must follow to ensure compliance and conduct successful giveaways.

Why is it important to have awareness of giveaway requirements?

It is important to have awareness of giveaway requirements because it is essential for businesses to conduct successful and compliant giveaways. Compliance serves several purposes:

  1. Legal Compliance: By following giveaway regulations, businesses adhere to the relevant laws and regulations governing giveaways. This ensures they avoid legal repercussions, such as fines or legal disputes, and maintain a positive reputation.
  2. Fairness and Transparency: Giveaways must be conducted in a fair and transparent manner to build trust with participants. By adhering to the rules, businesses demonstrate their commitment to integrity and ensure that everyone has an equal chance of winning.
  3. Targeted Audience: Understanding eligibility and age restrictions helps businesses focus their giveaways on the appropriate target first party audience. By ensuring that participants meet the specified criteria, businesses can tailor their marketing efforts and reach the desired customer base.

What are the main giveaway requirements?

The main giveaway requirements are to take note of are no purchase necessary, eligibility, and age restrictions. Let’s dive into each one of these requirements and take a look at an example for each.

No Purchase Necessary:

One common question that arises is whether a business can require a purchase to be eligible for a giveaway. The general principle is that giveaways should provide an equal opportunity to all participants, regardless of whether they make a purchase or not. Many jurisdictions, including the United States, require businesses to offer a no-purchase-necessary (NPN) option. 2

The no-purchase-necessary rule ensures inclusivity and prevents the giveaway from being categorized as an illegal lottery, which solely relies on purchase transactions. Consequently, businesses must provide alternative entry methods that do not require a purchase.

Suppose a clothing retailer plans to run a giveaway for a designer handbag. They cannot require participants to make a purchase to be eligible for the giveaway. Instead, they must offer an alternative entry method. For instance, participants can enter by filling out their contact information on a giveaway form. This allows individuals to enter without the need for a purchase, complying with the no-purchase-necessary rule.


Clearly defining eligibility criteria is crucial to ensure that the right individuals participate in the giveaway. Eligibility requirements can vary depending on the nature of the giveaway, the target audience, and applicable laws and regulations.

Businesses must determine the specific factors that make an individual eligible to enter the giveaway. This could include factors such as age, residency, or any other requirements aligned with the giveaway's purpose.

A tech company launches a giveaway for its new smartphone. To focus on their target market, they specify that only residents of the United States who are 18 years or older can participate in the giveaway. By establishing these eligibility criteria, the company ensures participants meet the necessary requirements and aligns the giveaway with its marketing objectives.

Age Restrictions:

Giveaways often have age requirements to comply with legal regulations and protect minors. Different countries and regions have specific regulations regarding the minimum age for participation in giveaways.

To ensure compliance, businesses must establish age restrictions for their giveaways based on the legal requirements of the jurisdictions in which the giveaways are accessible.

In the United States, some giveaways may have age restrictions due to regulations such as COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act). This act imposes restrictions on collecting personal information from children under 13 years old without parental consent. Consequently, businesses running giveaways must ensure compliance with COPPA and clearly state the minimum age requirement, such as "Participants must be 13 years or older to enter the giveaway."1

Navigating giveaway requirements is a crucial aspect of running successful and compliant giveaways. Businesses must understand and adhere to rules regarding purchases, eligibility, age restrictions, and other legality guidelines. By complying with these requirements, businesses ensure fairness, transparency, and legal compliance in their giveaways. This not only protects them from legal consequences but also enhances their reputation and builds trust with their customers. 

With a solid understanding of giveaway requirements, businesses can create engaging and rewarding experiences for participants while achieving their marketing objectives, using our contest tool.


1: Online Privacy Protection Rule Coppa

2: Giveaway Contest Rules

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December 8, 2023