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Saturday, 25 January 2014

Comping on MSE

MSE (money saving expert) is a forum based comping site. Its full of very dedicated compers who will post answers, end dates and any other useful bits of information at the touch of a button. I am a massive fan of MSE having used it for many things in the past but it is confusing to begin with. As its a forum, you will find answers if a wrong answer is posted or the wrong link, someone will post to help out. 

I try to keep an updated link in group at all times so that members can go direct to the days ending competitions in date order. I’m sure everyone would like to use it themselves though as I can be quite lazy with the times I come online and update the link. Hopefully this guide helps.

Step 1: Go to the competition forum. You can click here to take you to the home page.

MSE's competition forum is called competition time. From the home screen, click the little green forum sign at the top of the screen (next to the search bar in the right hand corner) to bring up a drop down menu. Under Bargains, shopping and freebies (1st one on the bottom row in the left hand corner) you will see the word competitions. Click on this to take you to the main competition time board.

Step 2: Register/sign in

After completing step 1 you should see the below screen. You do not have to register with MSE to use their forum. However, by registering you can track your competitions. You can ignore the ones you do not want to do and tick the ones you have done so you do not duplicate you entry (dupe yourself) Registration is quick and your up and running right away. If you choose to register, I’ve grabbed some screen shots for you to look at, otherwise just shimmy over to step 3 :)

Once you have clicked connect to facebook, you have 2 options. Select the one you need and follow the steps. I would personally say no to the option of posting your threat posts on MSE to facebook. If you do become very active on MSE they could annoy folk. Once you have connected or signed in, you will see your profile. On the sidebar on the left you can change any settings if you wish. If you connected your facebook account, whenever you are logged into facebook and open MSE you should automatically log in. You can go back to your profile page at anytime by clicking your username linky which replaces the sign inboxes above.  

Step 3: Navigating around the competition board

You will see from the first page of competition time there is lots of posts containing links. Personally unless you are actively talking in MSE or want to go to a different part of the site, I would suggest only using 2 actually boards, especially when you are starting out.

The boards I recommend are -

The main board - lists all the comps together. If you like text/postal comps these are found here.

 Regular competitions - Regular competitions lists dailies etc There is a thread for rafflecopter and blog competitions in here too

Step 4 – Changing the options to list comps in date order.

One of the most confusing things about MSE is that the competitions are not in date order. For those who work on an ending today or ending soonest basis, this is off putting. Its easily changed though just by clicking a few buttons.

At the bottom of the page is a green bar that says display options.

This is what it should show if you want to organise them in date order.
  1.  Sorted by bar = thread title
  2. Sort order bar = ascending
  3. Keep from the bar = stays on beginning
  4. Click show threads when done to organise dates

I've put a picture below to demonstrate.  

Now that you have changed your display to date you will find entering your ending date competitions easier. One thing you will notice is it will jump from, for example, E: 28/01 to
E: 28/02 after a couple of pages (maybe a few comps if not much is listed for that date) it will jump to E: 28/03 and so on. If no more comps are listed for may, June etc it will automatically move to
E: 29/01, E: 29/02, E: 29/03 and so on. You may find you need to scroll through to find the day that you want, but in all honesty you will rarely have to scroll through loads unless its a busy comping day.

You can see in this example the change of date.  

To put it more simply if today was the 28th January and you wanted to do tomorrows (29th) competitions too, you would skip past the Feb, march etc comps and scroll through the pages until you come to E: 29/01

Step 5: Tracking the competitions you enter or want to ignore

Once registered to the site you have the option to tick or cross your entries. This is your tracker and works very similar to other sites you may have used.  When you click on a competition link in the main board this is what you will see, or something similar. 

  • 1 – The username of the person posting the competition. Not of any great deal unless you wish to talk to them, or mention them in posts.
  • 2 -The date and time the competition was posted.
  • 3 - The end date and item you could win.
  • 4- Social links to that competition post, click on them to share to twitter or facebook. The post number for that thread will be in this corner. This is not of any paticular use unless referring to a particular post in that thread. A thread with 20 replies for example may say refer to post 10 etc. 
  • 5 - The link to the competition. Some people post as an actual link where as others like to embed the link into the name of the competition.
  • 6 – Description of the competition, answer is applicable and sometimes the terms and conditions
  • 7 – Thanks button, its more for being polite. Someone took the time to post that competition for thousands to see. Clicking the thanks button will not hurt.
  • 8 – This is your competition tracker. The tick means you have entered it and the cross means ignore.
  • 9 – Use this if you want to reply – please read rules on the main board page 1 for MSE rules.
  • 10 – The expire button. Only to be used if the competition has ended
Step 6: Go start comping!

Its so easy you will kick yourself when you realise. When I first looked at MSE I was just as baffled but it becomes second nature very quickly and within a couple of days maybe even a week you will wizz through them.

Everyone comps differently. I will open new tabs and enter comps that way. I can reliably open 10 tabs before my computer freezes, you may be able to open more or maybe less.
I've attached a video to show how I comp, you may well find someone who can tell you a different way or you may find your own way to do it. Here is some tips though.

  • 1- Keep the main comp board open at all times. I use this to just scan through, ignore the comps I dont want (press the red cross) and open the ones I do want to enter them.
  • 2 - Move onto the next page once ive done them.
  • 3 – When you press the cross or ticks they wont show up on the main page right away if you leave it open
  • Read the forum rules. I do not dabble with moving things to other places or PM'ing members. I post a few links every now and again but generally I remain quite quiet. 2 things to note though. You are NOT allowed to promote your own competitions, that includes blog/group competitions. As a new member you can not post links right away. I think its 10 or 15 posts before you can. If your keen to get stuck in and post some comps, leave a few replies in the compers chat corner (under regular competitions on the main competition time board)- ask questions, or just say hello.  
  • Referral links are not allowed on the competition board, neither is voting requests. There is a voting thread though which can be found here 

I do apologise for the camera quality, my camera is old and stupid! I apologise for how rough i sound too! Ha

Step 7: Search for comps

If your only really interested in certain prizes you can always use the search bar on any of the pages in competition time. When you look at the whole page you will see 3 search bars. I always use the third one. 

Clicking on this will bring up a type box. In my example im searching for a laptop. 

I usually just search show threads. If you search using show posts, it will bring up everything thats mentioned a laptop and will generally mean scrolling through alot. You can also use advanced search by clicking the little advanced search linky. 

As the picture shows, you can search by member name and also change the dates to only show open competitions. It will bring up questions people have answered to and may not be in date order. Its easy enough to soft through and enter the open ones though
I didnt change any dates on mine so i have expired posts showing. But this is what i got when i pressed go. 

I think thats about it. Im not the best at explaining things but i think i have covered the basics. Will get some more guides sorted over the next week. 

Hopefully this helps some with their MSE comping. Let me know if you win anything :D 



  1. I've been spending hours trying to work out how to use MSE, it's been bonkers going through all the threads! This guide is AMAZEBALLS! Thank you so much xx




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