Why are Tom's Contests US Only?

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jpishgar

VP, Global Community
I'd like to take a moment to answer a fairly common question that comes up whenever we host giveaways, sweepstakes, and other contests here on Tom's.

Q. Why on earth, with all the international fans you guys have from around the globe, do you restrict your contests to US residents only? What the heck, Tom's?

To answer this, please note that it is not for want or neglect that our international audiences suffer exclusion on this front. The devil, unfortunately, is in the details. We consulted with legal counsel to research and rule on the subject, or see if there's any way we can extend our events beyond the USA. We have in our company a very smart, savvy, and what some might call high-powered legal team who has declared after extensive research and consultations with specialists and outside firms on the matter that we should not have sweepstakes or contests open to anywhere except the United States.

The reason is, we do not have the capacity to ensure that the sweepstakes and contests we offer are in compliance with all laws that may be applicable outside the United States. Because it is important for us to have events and grow our community, and because we value our users, we felt it best to explain the predicament and hope you understand the why's and wherefore's of the issue so it doesn't feel as unfair. It's unfair, and we hate it, but we have to adhere to the law or we get in the big kind of trouble that jeopardizes not only our ability to run giveaways, but also keep covering hardware and tech news the way you like.

But! All those other sites and companies host contests that are open to anyone!

A. True enough. Though, they may have a legal team on staff in other countries who can write up contest rules for every instance of event and ensure compliance with the laws in their country. The cost of acquiring a lawyer on staff in each of the countries represented by our Tom's audience would be prohibitive. Lawyers ain't cheap, particularly ones that can parse the nuances between promotional sweepstakes regulations in India as opposed to the provinces Australia.

It may sound like a cop-out, but essentially our hands are tied. We absolutely would if we could in a heartbeat, but we very much can't. We still love you guys and all our community, and beg you for your understanding on this.

Yours,
Joe Pishgar
Senior Community Manager, Tom's Hardware
 
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