Monday, September 23, 2013

Beezid Back to School Offer: Promo Code Expires October 1

Beezid has a new promotion that is going to expire soon though - on October 1st at 12am. Beezid occasionally has these promotions that are great for you because you can end up saving more money and lowering your effective cost per bid. This gives you more ammunition to bid on a penny auction site and you can afford to spend more bids to come out ahead in the game. Anyway, here's the promotion straight from Beezid:

Get An Extra 250% In Bonus Bids With Purchases of $70 Or More. Promo Code: B2SBIDS


Do you bid on Beezid? Please take the poll to the right hand side of the page and tell us where all you bid and on which penny auctions you're active. Or just drop a comment.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Why so Many 'Free to Bid' Auctions at QuiBids?

You may have noticed the 'Free to Bid' auctions at QuiBids. Those are about 40% of the live auctions at this moment and show no sign of abating! Look at the number of bids just the three auctions above together have gotten so far: 3,478, 1,922 and 958 and of course, still counting.

The rules are simple: You got 10 free bids to use during a gameplay. Depending on the auction, you'll win some multiplier. For instance, you might win 100 free bids, which is not atypical. Remember, these are free bids, which means you don't lose anything bidding on these auctions, and one lucky winner takes it all home.

So why is QuiBids doing this? What's in it for them? It's simple - if you read the fine print,
"To be eligible, you must be a QuiBids user, and have purchased a bid pack."
This means, these gameplay auctions help hook the bidders on to the other QuiBids auctions where they directly make money. If you don't know the basic QuiBids strategies, for example, then you might end up losing money on bids which means QuiBids ends up making good money on them.

These are fun and you should definitely give these gameplay auctions a try. However, don't be a sucker and know the whole game before getting on with it. Read the ENTIRE QuiBids strategy guide before you get started.

Of course, like any other site, QuiBids wants the site to be sticky with the users, i.e., they should return and then return again to the site to bid and buy. That's how they make a profit. QuiBids has been incredibly good not only with attracting new bidders but also with keeping existing bidders loyal to the brand. The gameplay auctions only add to their 'stickiness factor' and make you want to visit them even more and buy from them.

What do you think of these gameplay auctions at QuiBids?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Beezid Coupon Codes

Here are some Beezid Coupon Codes.

Beezid is one of the few surviving penny auctions that has been around for a while now. It is known for creating buzz with advertising and is one of the few penny auctions that takes its marketing beyond the traditional circles to the mainstream audience. I remember watching a Beezid commercial during the University of Michigan vs. Notre Dame football game this weekend. Owing to this, Beezid coupon codes are pretty common and change regularly.

If you are looking to win on penny auctions like Beezid, check out my Penny Auction Strategy Guide. My general QuiBids Strategy works for Beezid too, with some modifications. 

Working Beezid Coupon Codes:
1. GET25BIDS. This coupon will give you 25 free bids when you purchase a standard bid pack. This helps you get more bids and decrease your average cost per bid.
2. B2SBIDS to get an extra 250% in Bonus Bids with purchases of $70 or more

Know of any more Beezid coupon codes? Let me know in the comments and I'll add them here.

Monday, September 9, 2013

How to Get Your QuiBids Account Banned

Hopefully you're not looking to get your QuiBids account banned, but you might invariably do so. There are plenty of things that are against the QuiBids Terms and Conditions that can potentially get you banned. Here's a short list.

  • Collude with others: If QuiBids finds out that you're colluding in any form with another bidder, you can be banned. 
  • Use a third party bidding software: Auto-bidding bots are prohibited. If QuiBids finds out you're using these, you might get banned from the site. This is understandable as it can provide you with an unfair edge over the other bidders. 
  • Use a third party bid-tracking software: I don't think there is a clear definition of 'bid tracking software' but I assume this is similar to the one above. 
  • Create multiple accounts: You are not allowed to create multiple accounts. If you're caught doing this, prepare yourself for a ban from QuiBids. 
  • Be a family member of a QuiBids employee: Well, nothing much to do here, except family members of the employees are strictly forbidden from bidding. 
For a full copy, read the QuiBids Terms and Conditions.
Am I missing anything? 

New QuiBids Coupon Code for 5 Free Bids

Use the code SIZZLE to get 5 free QuiBids bids. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

List of Surviving Penny Auctions

The Penny Auction industry is on the decline - there is no question about that. Here's a Google Trends report for search volume of the phrase "Penny Auction:

 The volume peaked in 2011 and never really came back. That was the time where every Tom, Dick and Harry thought starting a new penny auction site was the way to riches. However, like any business, this is hard work and you cannot slap together a site with a pre-canned script and expect to make money. A number of scams and popular sites closing down didn't help either. It was probably a fatigue, but the industry never saw it's previous highs.

The one good thing with the drop in popularity of Penny Auctions is that now you there is less competition with other bidders and indeed you can end up winning some cool items. I remember times when popular items like iPads would go on for more than 24 hours, which is insane. That madness has reduced and therefore dedicated bidders can now hope to win some good items using Penny Auction Strategies.

Anyway, here are the list of surviving penny auction sites that have been around for a while now and saw the downturn in the industry but are still in business and have no intention of closing down. They are doing something right, obviously.

#1 QuiBids: Yes, this is still on the top of my list. QuiBids is the largest penny auction site in the world and it's crown is certainly well deserved. It has kept it's cool and flourished where others have floundered. It has a very strong commitment to keeping bidders happy and always has a Buy Now option so you don't have to lose any money at all. The QuiBids store is a great new resource that has helped the company survive and sometime the price is less than Amazon!

See how QuiBids does on the Google Trends for the search word 'QuiBids': It's peak is after the crazy 2011 period.



#2 Beezid: Beezid is well known for making penny auctions more popular than the niche of bidders. They run commercials, even today, on TV which is a strategy that didn't seem to have worked out too well of QuiBids but Beezid has perfected marketing. They have special events and extraordinary promos that keep bidders in the loop and wanting to come back.

#3 HappyBidDay: This has always been a surprise entry. On the surface, this site looks like any of the thousands of penny auction sites that had been around during the boom times. However, the business end is extremely dedicated and the site has only grown in popularity over time. It's almost incredible what you can accomplish if you're dedicated to your business and can stick through the tough times. As the business flourishes, bidders are rewarded with great deals, special promos and all the other goodies.It recently broke the Alexa traffic stats to be in the top 15,000 websites visited in the entire US.

#4 PennyGrab: PennyGrab was a late entry to the world of penny auctions and it doesn't run traditional penny auctions, rather running the timerless penny auctions. It has done surprisingly well and was always a well run penny auction company.

#5 DealDash: DealDash is another popular penny auction site that has seen ebbing and rising fortunes even during the boom times. However, the site has kept true to its word of serving the consumers first and therefore was able to survive. It has a loyal customer base and they didn't seem to have defected because they got all the good deals here.

What are your favorite penny auctions?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Should you Bid on Quibids? A Case Study

It is profitable to bid on QuiBids? What are your chances of winning and losing? I will try to answer a few questions in this post through a case study.

As part of year end blog posts at QuiBids, they released this blog post which talks about the "biggest wins" of 2012. I couldn't find anything about the "biggest losers" of 2012, so I thought I'll go find some auctions where this disparity is high. I don't have access to the full database of course, so this is more of a trail and error for me. If you have a better example, let me know in the comments.

First off, the product: Panasonic Massage Chair. There are several models but QuiBids doesn't mention that on the auction page for some reason. To make sure I was looking at the right model, I Googled for the reviews posted at QuiBids and went to the appropriate Amazon page. Here is that product at Amazon:


As you can see, at Amazon the cost of this chair is $2037.98 with free shipping. I am also noting the shipping costs because these definitely add to your final price that you as a consumer pay. If there were no QuiBids i.e. you are not looking to purchase this at a regular ecommerce website, chances are you'll go to Amazon and spend $2037.98 for this chair.

Now, enter Quibids. You either have a chance to win this product at a discount, which can range from ridiculously cheap to barely scraping a profit. How competitive the auction is impossible to predict because every auction is unique. Here are two extreme scenarios -

Here is an auction that ended ridiculously cheap so the winner ended up with a huge discount.


The product sold for $1.85, i.e. 185 bids in all. Valuing voucher bids the same as regular bids, the total revenue through bids for this auction was 185X$0.60 = $111. The winner used just 7 voucher bids! Most certainly, QuiBids lost money on this auction. However, the beauty of this model is, on an average, QuiBids comes up on top.

Here is another auction that ended ridiculously expensive for the same product above.


In the above auction, bidders placed a total of 34,462 bids. Valuing voucher bids the same as regular bids, the total revenue through bids for this auction was 34,462X$0.60 = $20,677.20. QuiBids made a killer profit here. The profit from this auction would have covered them from ten of above auctions that ended up cheaper.

The more astute among the readers would now ask, what about Buy Now? That is a great question because we, from the outside, will not have statistics for how many people end up buying the product at its full retail price after bidding on the auction. This is never revealed by QuiBids. I don't want to make an uneducated guess at this number.

However, let me claim something better - QuiBids makes a profit irrespective of how many people exercised their Buy It Now option! Look again at my first picture, where I show this chair at Amazon. Now look at the QuiBids Buy It Now price - it is invariably higher.

By buying in bulk, I assume QuiBids gets a better discount, but the purpose of this post isn't to try to figure out how much money QuiBids makes but how much you can save. So your best bet is the Amazon price. Here are your options, then assuming you didn't win the auction and want to use the Buy It Now feature at QuiBids:
1. Buy at Amazon and spend $2037.98
2. Buy at QuiBids and spend $2185.99 + $29.99 (shipping) = $2215.98
A difference of $178.

This means if you use the Buy It Now feature, even then you end up losing $178 on this product compared to the market price. I haven't even tried to explore things like flash sales, other discount online stores in addition to Amazon, and other options. I don't know what the best deal online would be.

In a nutshell, for this product, you are paying $178 for a chance to win it at a price lower than the retail price at Amazon. Whether this is good or bad, I leave such judgments to you. It worked out really well for the winner in the cheaper auction and still worked out quite alright for the winner of the second auction, but not so well for all the other bidders who lost.

Also, lets not forget a time investment. In the second QuiBids auction, a total of 34,462 bids were placed. Now I don't know the average time between bids because it depends a lot on the bidding strategies that people are using. I didn't personally follow the auction either to know how long it lasted. Assuming an average of 3 seconds between bids, the total time investment would be 34,462X3secondsX1hour/3600seconds = 28.72 hours. That's a lot of time spent by a lot of people (of course not everyone will stay from the beginning to the end).

This post also highlights the role of luck no matter how much you know your QuiBids strategies. Of course, the real strategy is first to shop and bid wisely - know what you want and don't want and look up its price on alternative sources. Know the risk you are taking and make a judgment whether it is worth it or not.

What are your thoughts on this?


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Penny Auctions in France

The EU as a whole had a love/hate relationship with Penny Auctions. The whole concept and thus the industry originated in Europe and became popular in America later on. After all, it was Swoopoo which started the whole concept of penny auctions and took it mainstream. However, Swoopoo is bankrupt now and of course a lot of very unhappy customers.

There were a few other penny auctions in the EU area like BidYes is right now - based in France. However, that doesn't even come close to the scale of Swoopoo. Then there was BidRivals that was really big in the EU area but they too are closed now. BidRivals was kind of big in France too.

So what's next for France and EU? Looks like Quibids! Yes, Quibids, the site that perfected the penny auction model in the US (and always moving away from branding itself as one) is now expanding into the EU. They started off with France and Germany.

This is big for the French penny auction industry because Quibids has withered the whole storm very well and is going as strong as ever even when most well known penny auctions all over the world close down. If Quibids can convince the French bidders that they are different from BidRivals and Swoopoo, they can strike it big there. It's quite exciting for both Quibids and French penny auction bidders. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Matt Beckham, CEO of Quibids, Interviewed

This is kind of old news, but I just saw the video now and I am sure many of my readers would have missed it too. This is a short 25 minute interview of Matt Beckham, the founder and CEO of Quibids talking about his business. This is conducted by the State Chamber of Oklahoma. It is an interesting interview and a nice take on the whole business and auction model.
Here is the video.

What do you think?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Quibids Store Review: Pricing and Utility

I am going to discuss Quibids store review, mainly with respect to its pricing and how it compares to other ecommerce websites. I'll do a small case study as well for this purpose.

Background

So it's official - the Quibids store is in full swing and has been operating smoothly. For those who have followed this blog or the penny auction industry in general, this would have come as no surprise at all. The penny auction industry took the world by storm after the great recession and recessed away equally fast. People seemed to have a limited appetite for this "revolutionary" way to "shop" online.

As penny auctions' fortunes waned, only one site remained strong - Quibids (some smaller ones survived and are going strong, which is impressive in their own right) and it is the leader and almost a monopolist in this area of penny auctions, at least in North America. The competition isn't even close. It is huge and it survived. It did many things right. However, it cannot rest on its laurels. It appears that users and visitors aren't that hooked on to auctions taking forever and waiting for several hours in front of their computers.

As users move away from the penny auction model, it is very natural that the leader diversify its fortunes. It was already in the ecommerce space, so it was only natural to have a fully functional ecommerce store. That has been official - called the Quibids store. You can see the official blog post on Quibids store.

Why Use Quibids Store? 

I don't care about their official policy, but the only reasons that interest me are price and rewards. Something has to be very attractive. Either Quibids has to give me the product really cheap or give me really good rewards. This is the only reason I would buy from Quibids instead of, say, Amazon.

Quibids actually makes it good on both these fronts. I was honestly surprised by this. I've always assumed, by default, that Amazon would be the cheapest option anyway. I think Quibids store, at least at this stage, is here to compete to provide for a great shopping experience, holiday season and beyond. I don't know if the prices are low now because it is new and then will increase in the future or not, but I think it is a legitimate option to consider.

Case Study - Cannon Lens

So I did a small study and found a few items on Quibids store and Amazon and found that Quibids store actually had the product at a lower price than Amazon. I am a photography enthusiast, so I picked up a camera lens (sorry Quibids, I am a Nikon person, not Cannon, so I won't buy the lens you're offering!) and compared the prices at three places - Amazon, Target and Quibids store. Here are the details -



As you can see above, it is the same lens, and it sells for $299 on Target, $255 on Amazon and only $239 on Quibids store. That's a significant saving. Even if you add the shipping costs, it is cheaper than Amazon. For this product, Quibids store offers the lens cheaper and provides voucher bids. That's both price and rewards packed into one.

Of course I would suggest you do your own research for the products that you want to buy, but Quibids store seems like a legitimate option his holiday season and with the inclusion of voucher bids, all the better for shoppers.