Giveaways FAQ

deby edited this page Nov 15, 2018 · 13 revisions

Entering giveaways

Are giveaways international?

Yes, we ship to all countries.

Do I have to pay for shipping?

No, but you can bay for premium shipping if you would like. See below.

I can't give you my address, can I join?

Yes. If you win a physical prize, we will give you a digital prize instead.

I'm not popular, can I win?

Yes! Most of our giveaways include a staff pick winner. A panel of judges will pick a winner based on effort, creativity, originality and passion. Do your best, you can do it~

Can I enter multiple times or combine multiple giveaway entries into one?

Yes, but you will only get one prize if you win.

Can I re-use something I didn't make specifically for this giveaway?

Yes, but only if you didn't use it in a Circles contest before.

How can I include images, audio and videos in my entry?

For images, follow this guide. For anything else, include an external link.

Do I have to post in English?

No, any language is accepted.

How can I thank you for your amazing work organizing these giveaways?

We always appreciate sweet comments under the giveaway details, and if you want to push it a little further, we have a Patreon open for donations ❤️

Behind the scenes of giveaways

Who organizes giveaways?

Our community entertainers organize giveaways and other contests to keep the community active and happy. Check the about page to read our staff team's introductions!

Can I organize a giveaway myself?

Yes, you are allowed to organize your own giveaway on our website, as long as you follow our general rules.

If you want to organize an "official" giveaway, get help from our staff, get reimbursed shipping or be generally more involved, please consider joining the staff team as a community entertainer.

Who picks the winners?

Depends on the giveaway, but we generally have 2 types of winners:

  • Popularity These winners are picked by the community via likes (or equivalent if organized outside of activities, such as retweets).
  • Staff picks We have a judge panel fully dedicated to vote for winners. We recruit our judges based on their ability to be fair, unbiased, as well as their knowledge of the license and communication skills. Other Circles staff members and contributors are also allowed to vote.

If you think you have what it takes, apply to become a judge now!

Are staff members allowed to enter?

Yes, any staff member from any Circles team is allowed to enter.

However, the organizers of the giveaway (generally the community entertainers) are not allowed to win prizes. If they win, they will only appear in honorable mentions and the next winners will get prizes instead.

Members of the judges panel are allowed to enter and win prizes, but they are not allowed to vote for themselves or ask others to vote for them. We pick our judges carefully to be able to trust them.

Who provides the physical prizes?

We try as much as possible to get the prizes from volunteers, because we want our giveaways to be by the community and for the community.

However, our finances manager (db0 at the moment) receives donations from Patreon and some of the donations go towards buying prizes and buying supplies to make hand-made prizes.

Donated prizes are always listed as "by XXX" under the prize. If not specified, it means it is our finances manager who bought the prize.


Who provides the digital prizes?

We have an amazing team of artists and editors.

Whenever someone wins a custom drawing or custom edit, the giveaway organizers ask the winner to describe what they would like. They can ask for specific art styles, characters, poses, outfits, texts, etc.

The giveaway organizers then ask the team of artists and editors. Artists and editors who feel inspired by the winner's request are commissioned to make the prize.

Sometimes, artists and editors end up not being able to make the prize anymore. If they tell the organizers or if the winner contacts the organizers, another artist or editor will be commissioned right away.

Digital prizes

Why are there X available prizes but only X winners?

The organizers decide on a list of categories or "ways to win", then decide how many people will be winners.

The total number of winners is based on how popular we expect the giveaway to be. For smaller giveaways that will not have a lot of participants, we may pick one or two, but for biggest giveaways with hundreds of participants, we will try to have more winners. We had up to 20 winners at a time in the past!

Because we don't know how many participants we will have in advance, we try to guess and we adapt throughout the giveaway. For example, a giveaway can be announced with 2 winners, but edited later to get 4 winners!

The prizes, on the other hand, come from a pool of prizes that is shared among all giveaways, including birthday giveaways and special giveaways.

We want the winners to have as many options as possible so they can get something they like, so if, for example, we have 10 different Ruby items, we will allow the winners to get any one of the 10 items they want. The remaining items will be available for future winners in future giveaways!

In other words, the number of winners and the number of prizes are unrelated and both have their own reasons to be what they are.

Birthday giveaways: Why is there X prizes for Ruby but only X for Eli?

See Who provides the physical prizes?.

The finances manager goes to buy prizes at the cheapest possible price: in Japan, second hand, from gachapons, etc. Though they try to get prizes for each idol equally, some are just less available or more expensive than others.

For example:

  • μ's prizes are harder to find than Aqours
  • Yukina prizes are more expensive than Maya, because she is more popular
  • We don't have control over what we get from gachapons :D

The organizers try to compensate for the lack of official merch by providing hand made prizes, such as keychains, badges, notebooks, etc.

About cheat

  • We automatically disqualifies any entry posted before the giveaway started, which means if you edit an old post the hashtag of a giveaway, you will not be counted as part of the giveaway.

  • Entries that don't follow the rules will not be counted as part of the giveaway. This is checked manually. ℹ️ We generally tell you if we think you might not be aware that you didn't follow the rules, so don't worry!

  • We automatically detect "cheat likes" which are people who create multiple accounts to give themselves or someone else more likes than they should have. The "cheat likes" are not counted when the popularity winners are computed.

  • We don't allow people to abuse the edit function to "bump" their entry and get more visibility. If we see that a post is edited repeatedly without adding any content, we will disqualify the entry.

If you suspect any form of cheating, please contact us and we will investigate. We have many ways to be contacted, check our about page.

Winners FAQ

I won and I didn't hear from you?

Check your private messages. You may have to wait up to 24 hours after announcement.

Do I have to pay for shipping?

No, but you can bay for premium shipping if you would like. See below.

I didn't win and I am sad ;_;

Sorry :( Regardless, the staff and the community loved your entry so your efforts didn't go to waste at all <3 Please join our next giveaway to try again!

Winners of digital prizes

How long will it take to get my digital prize?

It depends on the artist or editor who makes the prize, but it generally takes between 2 weeks and 3 months.

What should I do if I didn't get my digital prize?

Contact the organizers. They will be able to tell you:

  • the artist or editor assigned to your prize (or that we are still looking for one)
  • the estimated date when the artist or editor think they will be able to finish

If the artist or editor is not answering or is not able to make the prize anymore, we will assign another artist or editor!

We have many ways to be contacted. Check the about page.

Winners of physical prizes

Sneak peek of physical prizes 👀

[For prizes shipped by db0]

If you can't wait to see what you get, you can check my Instagram stories (not posts) where I share the progress of each drawing + prize:

Progress of making a prize, example of shipped prizes

How long does it take for a physical prize to be shipped after a winner is announced?

  • Staff picks have to be announced first (1-2 weeks after the giveaway ends to allow judges to vote)

  • ALL winners must fill the form first

  • The drawing on the letter takes 1-3 weeks to make, depending on how busy IRL + how many other drawings to make

  • Prizes are shipped in batches at the end of each month

In other words, please be patient! I am doing my best to ship your prize as soon as possible, but it will take some time I can't avoid. Thanks for understanding ♥️

ℹ️ (Starting November 2018) I will message you when your prize has been shipped!

How long does it take for a physical prize to arrive after it has been shipped?

It can take between 2 weeks and 4 months.

During peak seasons (July-August and December-January), it can take up to 6 months.

Note: it will not be shipped right after being announced. See How long does it take for a physical prize to be shipped after a winner is announced?.

Regular vs Premium shipping

The finances manager covers the shipping costs of giveaways thanks to Patreon donations (

We can only pay for the cheapest shipping option (regular), which doesn't include tracking, is slow, and can sometimes be unreliable.

If you would like to get your prize sooner and in a more reliable way, your prize can be shipped with premium shipping, but you will have to pay for difference.

Shipping price is different for all packages, but to give you a rough estimate:

  • Keychains, rubber straps, pins, small prizes:
    • Regular shipping: $4.70
    • Premium shipping ~$20
  • Figures, bags, bulky items:
    • Regular shipping: ~$30
    • Premium shipping: ~$75

If you pick premium shipping, you will be messaged privately with the final price and a PayPal email address for payment transfer. The prize will only be shipped after the payment is received.

What should I do if I didn't get my physical prize?

Contact the organizers. They will be able to tell you:

  • if your prize has been shipped yet or not
  • the exact date it was shipped or an approximated date when it will be shipped
  • if it has been shipped, provide a photo of the content of the package
  • if it has been more than 6 months:
    • we will discuss an alternative prize to ship to you instead
    • we may ask for a different, more reliable shipping address with more details

We have many ways to be contacted. Check the about page.

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