Just as everyone predicted, 2015 is the year when Amazon finally enters the radio giveaway arena. OK, not really. But the Seattle-based retail giant still announced today that it’s introducing Amazon Giveaway, a tool designed to let practically anyone to run a product-giveaway sweepstakes of their own. 

The service is available to everyone with an Amazon account; you’ll also need an account to participate in someone else’s giveaway. The tool doesn’t cost anything extra to use, though you’re still on the hook for the cost of the prizes, plus estimated shipping costs. Any extra funds after actual shipping takes place returns to you after the giveaway’s completion. 

Designed for small promotions and contests, Amazon limits the total value of prizes (not including shipping) to $5,000 or less. The company’s FAQ page covers this, as well as other finer points, including some tax and legal stipulations. 

Although commonly associated with radio stations (“Be the 47th caller and get a free toaster!”), Amazon’s press release notes that giving things away is a great way to “attract attention and build engagement,” terms more commonly associated with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. One can see why Amazon might be interested in providing such a free and supposedly easy-to-use tool for such a service.

With more and more people becoming their own product—YouTube personalities, Twitch streamers, etc.—and thus interested in attracting larger audiences, you can see how this might catch on. And for Amazon, it’s a no-lose proposition. Since every contest participant needs an Amazon account, it’s a cheap way for Amazon to acquire new customers—even if their first act is to get a free item. 

Photo by JD Hancock