-do not get hung up on the numbers. half the time you're in a different time zone from wherever the designer/store owner is, and you will never get done the hunt if you wait for people to put them out and for you to find them in order, precisely and exactly. also, sometimes you won't be able to find the gift immediately, even if it IS out, in larger stores or more complex/secretive/easily hidden builds.
-stop every once in a while when you get to a rezzable area or store to open your packages and sort inventory. if theres a picture on the box or in the folder, use it to help you figure out what poorly labeled items/outfits are or look like. this will prevent the hunt inventory from getting out of hand and becoming too overwhelming to even consider sorting later
-also, keep a distinct folder for the hunt itself, a grid wide hunt might warrant it's own folder at least for the weeks or days you are in the process of hunting. for example, i have a Vain Kissed Lips folder atm, and will have a GLH folder tomorrow or whenever for the Greatest Love Hunt. when you're done opening packages and boxes and such, please please please remember to pick up your mess after yourself and before you leave by teleport. i personally think of rezzability in stores as a privilege not a right, and if you leave boxes all over the floor and random objects in dark corners the owners are less likely to keep the privilege available, and you'll have to wait to tp into a sandbox to sort or open anything ever again. keep the original folder with the landmarks to the next prize/hunt location in the hunt's folder. this will help you remember where you've been, which prizes you have, and pick up easily where you may have left off or where gaps in your collection are. also keeping the landmarks as long as the hunt is going on can help you to help your friends and any other fellow hunters if they want or need a landmark to a specific number location or store.
-sort immediately. if you pick up textures or shitty hats or furniture that you know you'll never use, toss it. if it's well made and you just have no use for it, consider putting it into an extras/or trans copies folder, to share with friends who might have a use for the items.
-set limits. i remember when i was doing both the ghost hunt and the POE globe hunt i tried to go on massive hunting binges and stay on for hours doing nothing but hunting. this will not only exhaust you rl and sl speaking, but it will also jade you on the hunt rapidly. make reasonable averages and quotas for amounts of prizes to gather. let's say the lips hunt goes on for 14 days, two weeks, there's at least 250 lip prizes, 250/14= about 20 lips a day and you're golden.
...more to come. i'm excited again because i've been finding more lucky chairs and freebies in the stores on these hunts. yay, maybe this will dampen my pricey couture shopping impulses in the meantime while i'm busy preying on kissable lips? bah.
EDIT: where to look, how to find TRULY hidden gifts
1-try looking under, behind, and inside of objects in the store, parcel, or sim.
2-ask a friend, ask the crowd, or ask the owner, they are often hanging around enjoying the festitivites of the hunt themselves and are more than willing to assist you.
3-look all over the store! if it's not obvious in front next to the hunt poster or ad, it's probably hidden so that you will be enticed to explore the store. for a lot of these designers it is their first participation in an event this big and they are hoping to get their products and style of design across to the large audiences that come through. popping the gift right outside the door means you probably won't even look around, be honest!!!!
-if all else fails, you can give wireframe mode a shot. this will highlight literally the erm, wired frames of each object so it's transparent you kinda might trip out doing this the first time but if you start to hallucinate too badly and can't see the objects you're hunting for any better this way, just undo it. ctrl+shift+R to set it on and off the same way.