MacRumors Giveaways... Why are they only open to U.S. residents?

Lost Rider

macrumors member
Why only US Residents? If you do that, then you can't argue over georestrictions. The internet has no borders and shipping is not that much nowadays...


Posted in the contest:


"Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter."
 
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macpeach55

macrumors 6502
That's the first thing I scroll down to look for before I bother reading about the contest.
Absolutely. a whole world out there and it is all "we Can't blah blah blah"
How about doing some competitions ONLY for other specific territories? Fix it just for them, no problem! (I think a lot of these companies sell their products outside of the USA, so it should not be SUCH a stretch - just saying!)
You get revenue from our visits, just the same as from people in the USA - how about sending some Love our way in return?
 
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Glassed Silver

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2007
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2,558
Kassel, Germany
Posted in the contest:


"Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older are eligible to enter."
How are others able to run international giveaways?

Heck, I'd gladly pay for import charges myself even, don't you worry.
Extra charge for international shipping? Yes, pass it on if I just won something for free if you really have to.

And usually companies seem to be just fine when they write things like "void where prohibited, check your regional laws" etc...

After all, they are profiting from people all around the world visiting the site and viewing ads, clicking ref links, etc...

Glassed Silver:mac
 
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arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,791
2,223
Absolutely. a whole world out there and it is all "we Can't blah blah blah"
How about doing some competitions ONLY for other specific territories? Fix it just for them, no problem! (I think a lot of these companies sell their products outside of the USA, so it should not be SUCH a stretch - just saying!)
You get revenue from our visits, just the same as from people in the USA - how about sending some Love our way in return?
How are others able to run international giveaways?
Does any other comparable site run international giveaways? It's just too complicated legally for us to run them in multiple countries.

Even Engadget, who is owned by AOL and had their terms written up as "AOL Tech Giveaways", limits their giveaways to U.S./Canada. http://www.engadget.com/official-giveaways-rules/ -



arn
 
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Glassed Silver

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2007
2,096
2,558
Kassel, Germany
Does any other comparable site run international giveaways? It's just too complicated legally for us to run them in multiple countries.

Even Engadget, who is owned by AOL and had their terms written up as "AOL Tech Giveaways", limits their giveaways to U.S./Canada. http://www.engadget.com/official-giveaways-rules/ -



arn
What are the specific limitations a site like yours faces so I know what pages are comparable?

Glassed Silver:mac
 
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Glassed Silver

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2007
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Kassel, Germany
I just meant of our scale. If you point at Pepsi or Google and say they manage to run an international competition, it's just not comparable. Can you point to any international giveaways?

arn
As long as you can't tell me what exactly it is that limits you, I really don't know what comparability there is.
Scale is pretty vague and whilst you claim not to be able to scale your raffles to an international audience certainly you get an international audience and are able to cover international events about all things Apple very well, so that scalability always seemed to be there to your readers. At least to me and as it seems at least to some others as well.

There are many youtubers who run international giveaways, some in cooperations with companies, sure, but at least with the iPhones that are given away you know Apple isn't backing those.
Some partner up with other youtubers to spread the impact of the promotion a giveaway has to a channel, some do it all by themselves.
So in those cases they might not compare to MacRumors, but MacRumors is the bigger one in these comparisons.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's wonderful you have these giveaways and I see you don't try to just be mean to the rest of us and I see that you're being very humble in having these giveaways in the first place, it's just that I wish I knew what the limitations are that you face.
Let's be honest, I'm not trying to run away with the prize with the next giveaway just because I'm Mr. Lucky and the rules are the only hurdle.

As for pointing to international giveaways, maybe here's one that even might compare, one not run by youtubers:
http://www.idownloadblog.com/2015/08/13/giveaway-enter-to-win-an-ipad-air-2/

While they do have a list of excluded countries, they certainly try to have as many countries be able to enter as possible and whilst I don't know about these countries specific laws on the issue, it seems like they might be good old "void where prohibited" territory, but I don't know, because I never held a giveaway beyond running a raffle for steam keys occasionally on steamgifts.com and that process is fully managed by the site, so I don't have to check all the legal work.

Glassed Silver:mac
 
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arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,791
2,223
As long as you can't tell me what exactly it is that limits you, I really don't know what comparability there is.
The issue we run against is researching all the local laws: http://www.mardenkane.com/articles/international-sweepstakes-contest-laws-may-cause-problems.html

Germany example:
http://aegisps.com/running-a-contest-or-sweepstakes/

https://brittanysbest.com/2011/09/your-giveaway-is-illegal/
If the giveaway allows international participants, things get really crazy. Giveaway laws abroad are often contradictory to laws in the United States. Sweepstakes as defined above are illegal in Canada, since giving away prizes without a skill requirement is considered a lottery. Delivering a prize internationally can get you in trouble in countries with restrictions on U.S. exports.
As for pointing to international giveaways, maybe here's one that even might compare, one not run by youtubers:
http://www.idownloadblog.com/2015/08/13/giveaway-enter-to-win-an-ipad-air-2/
I am surprised they seem eligible in as many countries as they do.

arn
 
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Glassed Silver

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2007
2,096
2,558
Kassel, Germany
The issue we run against is researching all the local laws: http://www.mardenkane.com/articles/international-sweepstakes-contest-laws-may-cause-problems.html

Germany example:
http://aegisps.com/running-a-contest-or-sweepstakes/

https://brittanysbest.com/2011/09/your-giveaway-is-illegal/




I am surprised they seem eligible in as many countries as they do.

arn
The problem in that case seemed to be that the retailer did not disclose that the international winner would have to pay for import charges and whilst I don't want to question the 300 dollar charge on imports, as a German resident, here's my take on it:
a 20 dollar item will usually fly through customs no problem, unless the shipping fee will total the value of item + shipping fees to a total greater than 26€ and some cents. (I forgot the exact number)
So it seems to me the shipping service exceeded that and some filthy company who store a package until you pay for release billed the winner for each day of storage. This is sometimes the case with EMS packages from China as I have heard. (as an example)
To expedite customs clearance these companies will do the paperwork with customs for you and in turn bill you afterwards for what they paid in your name basically, basically acting as importer.
They will then release the package as soon as you pay, but the storage isn't cheap and they are clearly in it for a nice profit.
The problem is any easy fix in such a case: it's a entrant's duty to check with their local laws and import charges and if the one who runs the giveaway says they will not cover international charges, then they won't and the entrant agreed to that.
In the case of winning they could still deny the winner's spot, maybe they don't have the money for charges, and let someone else win.

Again, I'm not an expert, but even just a slow expansion into some more countries getting added would be nice considering the page gets ad revenue internationally, just as a form of appreciation.
I'm not trying to moan though, I know it's not at all easy to run such a big site, even without running one myself, so I clearly respect the work you do and it's nice to see you're open to debate on this, even though you wouldn't have to.

Glassed Silver:mac
 
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maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,366
32,964
Boston
FWIW engadget limits its contests as mentioned. I just noticed its latest contest had this blurb.

  • Contest is open to all residents of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), 18 or older! Sorry, we don't make this rule (we hate excluding anyone), so direct your anger at our lawyers and contest laws if you have to be mad.
 
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GFR50

macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2015
13
8
How is it that Android Authority can manage international competitions/giveaways while MacRumors is still "US resident only"?

Apple itself is pretty much the best at working internationally, in that new products, software upgrades etc are available in all the Tier 1 countries simultaneously (in fact a few hours earlier here due to time zones) so it would be nice if MR could follow suit.
 
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ProjectManager101

Suspended
Jul 12, 2015
458
719
Why only US Residents? If you do that, then you can't argue over georestrictions. The internet has no borders and shipping is not that much nowadays...
Give away per country is different. Each country has different laws. When you study social media you will see, it is very easy to get suit if you do it wrong.
 
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Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,775
1,241
New Zealand
Speaking as a regular member, not as staff...

I'm not sure why a US-based site (MacRumors) needs to comply with, say, NZ law in the first place. The site is hosted and run from outside NZ so surely NZ law doesn't apply.

Although NZ may be a bit of a special case since NZ Post has services that are explicitly designed to let you get "US only" deliveries in NZ...
 
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ProjectManager101

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Jul 12, 2015
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Speaking as a regular member, not as staff...

I'm not sure why a US-based site (MacRumors) needs to comply with, say, NZ law in the first place. The site is hosted and run from outside NZ so surely NZ law doesn't apply.

Although NZ may be a bit of a special case since NZ Post has services that are explicitly designed to let you get "US only" deliveries in NZ...
Take a social media class. If you are in Panamá and you create a contest on line in Mac Rumors you have to obey Panamá laws, and actually you may or not be able to do it since you are not the manager of Mac Rumors, it depends on the agreement you signed when you open the account. If you do it on Facebook you are responsible of your publication and you have to do it based on the laws of your country of residency (or read Facebook agreement). There are international laws and agreements and concessions but creating some sort of contest today is a responsibility. Is not the shipping only.
 
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SoldOnApple

macrumors regular
Jul 20, 2011
105
3
How about a competition open to the world. How hard can it be to sort out the legalities and postage of a prize to people worldwide? Make us log in with Facebook to enter or something if it'll help.
 
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Markoth

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2015
490
1,394
Behind You
How about a competition open to the world. How hard can it be to sort out the legalities and postage of a prize to people worldwide? Make us log in with Facebook to enter or something if it'll help.
Very hard. Look, we didn't make your countries as over regulated as they are, but in the modern world of socialized democracies, doing business internationally is exceptionally difficult. It's just how things are. Either accept it, or don't.
 
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