Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Quibids Strategy - 1: The Volunteer's Dilemma

Quibids strategy is nothing straightforward or simple because the strategy is also dependent on the actions of other people. In other words, there cannot be the 'best' Quibids strategy because the best will depend on the other people. Therefore there is no golden bullet that will ensure you get your Quibids Macbook for $50!

However, there are certain instances and patterns that you can catch, and these will give you a good head start. The main point to note is, the Quibids strategies that I discuss here are probabilistic, which means you are NOT guaranteed to win. However, I will try to demonstrate my strategies with examples.

I plan to make a series of different Quibids strategies to help my readers, depending on the response. I hope something will be useful to you as well.

Understanding the Volunteers dilemma as relevant to Quibids strategy

So the first strategy I discuss is to do with the famous Volunteer's Dilemma of Game Theory. Let me first present the explanation of this as relevant to Quibids. If you want to know more about these concepts, please follow the above links to Wikipedia.

In Quibids strategy, a volunteer's dilemma occurs when two or more competing players are bidding for an auction and then there is another person who steps in. Seems simple enough? Well not really. Read on!

Let us consider a simple case first - say players A and B are competing for the prized Quibids macbook. Both their strategies are simple - bid at the last moment before the timer runs out. Each one follows this strategy, so that when the timer is about to go 0:0:0, they hit the bid button so they are the current winners. This is a fairly obvious Quibids strategy but not of great interest here but may be I'll discuss this in more detail some other time.

Now suppose a third person C comes in and bids. What should you do? Who among you, A and B, is supposed to bid? Let us see the thought process. A says, "If I bid now, B will anyway bid again after me, so I don't want to waste my bid. Let B bid and then I'll bid after him." Seems logical right? Well the problem is, B is thinking the exact same thing! This creates huge problems for both because each one wants to save their bid and in the result, neither of them bids and C becomes the winner!!

Does it sound too far fetched? No, it is not! Volunteer's Dilemma is a common occurrence on Quibids and if you want to know about Quibids strategy, this is a very strong one. One immediate advantage to you, as C, is that with only a few bids you can win a great deal. Therefore if you are lucky, you can get your Quibids macbook too, as is demonstrated in my real example below.


Ok, so let me convince you this great Quibids strategy that I discussed actually works. Here is a real example from Quibids on an auction that I was following but not participating in. Here is a screen-shot of the example. Remember it is taken from a real Quibids auction.

Quibids Strategy

See the screenshot? A Quibids Macbook for $30! Seems too good to be true, right? Well, even the winner would not have known that his Quibids strategy for this win was actually the volunteer's dilemma that I discussed here. Let us understand in more detail.

The main players in this auction here - rhazdra, Ithackery, and billcristina. The others were secondary players. Now they were battling out the auction among themselves when all of a sudden some new player Lalig comes along. What do they do? Each one thinks about saving a bid and assuming some other person from the remaining 2 will bid, and neither does. The new player walks away with a brand new Quibids macbook for $30!

I hope my example has shown you how powerful my volunteers dilemma Quibids strategy is.

The Quibids strategy: Step by Step

Here is a step by step guide to help you maximize your earnings on Quibids. I am sure it will be of great help if you are looking to win Quibids auctions or a steal.

  • Choosing the auction: This current Quibids strategy that I discussed works best for smaller auctions, so reserve the other strategies for your Quibids macbook. Instead, try these out for smaller items like cameras or earphones or anything within $150 ideally.
  • Following the auction: The volunteer's dilemma Quibids strategy should not be applied immediately as the auction begins. Instead, it works best when an auction is in progress and you should wait for the right moment. Sometimes it never comes, but don't worry - you have to move on to another auction. This is better than losing a lot of money, right.
  • Understand the auction: As you follow the auction, look for a situation wherein two or more players are battling it out by staying till the last minute. This is important to note because otherwise the players will know that they are locked in the volunteers dilemma and therefore bid accordingly. The trick is they should both be confused - should I or should I not bid.
  • Repeat if needed: The volunteer's dilemma Quibids strategy that I discussed is no foolproof method and you might have to wait and repeat. However, if you are looking for the really cheap goods you can get through Quibids, then you wouldn't mind waiting would you?

Let me know your success with this Quibids strategy and leave your comments.


  1. lmao i seen that happen so many times!!! i have never even bid just been watching and learning for days now but that is so funny.

  2. Well, the volunteer's dilemma is very real and very relevant to many situations in life. It is really the rule rather than the exception, so it should be expected. This is one of the reasons why the Bid-o-matic is a powerful tool to use. You might also consider reading the Wikipedia article on volunteer's dilemma, which gives some very good examples.

  3. can you explain why the Bid-o-matic is a powerful tool to use?

  4. That's because a bidder using bidomatic will not suffer from the volunteer's dilemma while he will create it for others. Think about it - 3 people bidding against a bidomatic, and at the last minute, everyone thinks the other should place the bid (volunteer's dilemma) and no one does. This is common especially among newbies but even among very experienced bidders. It is only human, after all.

  5. well i have to say that i learn in days how to cheat time and confuse bidders i got a gold neckles i bid twice he thought i Wasent i let time drop and got bid in got my item i look at the bidders if theirs to many im out il wait my turn Maibe the next day will be mine u just never know when it will happend check monday mornings and late afternoon no night little chances for you:)Good luck

  6. You write like a hyperactive 12-year-old, and have about as much credibility.
    Hard to believe? Not really!!

    Get some grammar and an editor. Most of your words are empty drivel.
    We could do without most of them, and so could you.

    1. Hey Cat - there is a good chance that not everyone you meet online or elsewhere speaks English as their first language. I think that is possibly the case here with boricua, and it doesn't matter anyway. You may have been trying to be funny, but it comes across as bullying behavior. Just think it through next time and be kind....our world needs it.

  7. Pod Cat, I think you missed the point. A lot of people take short cuts in texting. Your personal attack was inappropriate, unnecessary, contributes nothing to the forum. It was just downright mean. Boricua, what you describe yourself doing is referred to in auction world as "jumping" in bidding terminology. People who do this earn a bad reputation and end up being retaliated against by power bidders. I'm glad you won a necktie, but I assure you, if you keep that kind of practice up and end up going head to head with an expert, you will find that the skills that you "learned in days" will not serve you well if you have any intention of continuing on as a legitimate bidder. Thank you for the information about the best time of day/week to bid - I was staying up at night for nothing. Everyone should feel free to continue to share without being personally attacked. Think about what you say before you say it. If you have something relevant to offer do so, it not - skip over the post and move in - just like you'd do in an auction.

  8. New to this please help. How is jumping different from waiting?

  9. What prevents one of the bidders from jumping in with a bid from a different account, thus confusing the other bidder? If the bidder with two accounts is willing to spend a few bids against himself to convince the other that there is a true 3rd bidder, he will eventually win. Perhaps there is a way to track this, but bidders should be aware of the tactic.

  10. Yeah One thing in my few days of looking around is to always wait out for bid o matics to stop/drop off or your more then likely wasting your time most bid o matics will end at some point and you will see same user do single bid this is the time they are waiting to see if they need to redo their bid o matic. For those matter some auctions don't even use bid o matic though this seems to be mostly if not only small ticket items these are keen spots for this type of logic.

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