Must a contest be open to all or can it be restricted to just those who have purchased a product?

UPDATED: Sep 1, 2011

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Must a contest be open to all or can it be restricted to just those who have purchased a product?

I want to create a contest limited to those who have ordered my product, photos on my site. This particular page is limited to those who took part in a horse event. The question is whether limiting the contest to those who have ordered only is legal.

Asked on September 1, 2011 Michigan


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you are intending to promote an actual contest for those who actually have ordered your product and limit the contestants to those who actually were customers of you and exclude non-customers, you can do so. It is your contest and you can set its terms and conditions.

I suggest that in the contest's application form you have some general language that the contest is being held as a means to thank prior customers and their patronage over the years. By having such language you are limiting the group of constestants to those as being your past customers.

I see nothing illegal about limiting your contest solely to past and existing customers. Many contests have age and residency restrictions.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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