Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quibids millionth auction winner

So Quibids has announced the millionth auction winner today in their newsletter. This was sent to all the Quibids members. Here is the winner - Mr. Josh Neifert. Congratulations!

Quibids announced this competition quite some time ago. For obvious reasons, the exact auction that was the millionth was not announced. Like with so many other things at Quibids, this dependent heavily on your luck :)

So what does the winner get: $10,000 in hard cash! Also, Quibids wants to donate $1,000 to a charity of the winner's choosing. I am hoping the winner reads this NY times article by Mr. Kristof discussing the truth about charities and steers clear of the scum.

I think this is a significant achievement for Quibids as a site and proving this to be a successful and sustainable business model. I also think that Quibids has a long way to go and many improvements to be made to the website with time. There are still issues that I will be discussing as I review different auctions at Quibids. However, Quibids seems to be the most promising penny auction site out there, and personally I think is way above the more famous competitor Swoopoo. It is only a matter of time that Quibids catches up.

Quibids also seems to be launching an aggressive Facebook campaign by enticing users with free bids. Perhaps a post is due discussing this.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Quibids Review: Problem with Bidding

Quibids review is needed periodically to check the site for bugs and errors. Quibids is one of the more famous penny auction websites on the internet. Quibids recently announced their millionth auction, which is quite an accomplishment.

A lot of people invest a considerable amount of time and money into the site, so it is important that Quibids be free of bugs and errors. Unfortunately, that is not the case as my Quibids review in this section reveals.

Today, I will discuss the problem with Quibids with respect to repeated bids. This is not very common, but that isn't the point - it is still a Quibids bug/Quibids error that needs to be rectified.

Usually, if you bid twice in quick succession on Quibids, the bid is still registered. Of course you would not ideally want to do that because you are losing a bid quite unnecessarily. But see what happens if you do.

The image below shows a screenshot of an auction that I was following for the purpose of this Quibids review: (you can click on the image to enlarge the picture)

Quibids review
As you can see, the Quibids user tomtomintx seems to have bid twice, but the price remains the same. This is not the rule - normally if you bid twice successively, the bid amount still goes up. Quibids has a problem with this, which is what I want to review in this post.

Quibids review is important because users need to be aware of any strange happenings on the website. This is because in any penny auction, the difference between winning and losing is a matter of seconds, which Quibids does realize. However, if such bugs are not corrected, it can be a problem for Quibids users.

This doesn't seem like a serious Quibids bug but it is important because Quibids has a problem with bids placed in quick succession. In my next Quibids review, I will discuss a more serious Quibids bug that I am well aware of and a lot of other Quibids users are aware of as well. That has to do with different winners at the same time!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Quibids Review: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Here is my first part of Quibids review for my readers:

Quibids is a penny auction site, which is unlike other traditional auctions. If you do not know what penny auctions are, you can read about it at Wikipedia. Remember, Quibids is not a traditional auction site.

For those of you who are looking to answer the question of whether Quibids is a scam or not, here is a simple one word answer: No. However, my Quibids review is not about whether it is a scam, which it is not. You can read my post here to see why Quibids is not a scam.

However, if you happen to try the site out without knowing that it is a penny auction site, you might think it is a scam. This is why, don't join Quibids until you are sure you know what you are getting yourself into.

All penny auctions including Quibids contain elements of luck and risk, and can resemble a lottery.

Quibids review legit scamMy Quibids review here is about what is good and bad in Quibids, assuming you already understand the risk in Quibids.

The Good:
  • Not Scam!: This is the biggest good for Quibids review, simply because most penny auction sites are outright scams. Quibids has a sustainable business model. Quibids uses game theory and elements of psychology and economics and can make for a good business model, which it is. Quibids recently completed the millionth auction on the site. It is quite unlike sites like Swipebids/Swipeauctions that are outright scams.
  • Real Auctions: Quibids has real auctions, which means the auctions are not all about bids and virtual products. By real auctions in my Quibids review, I mean that what you can win is real and tangible. You can win a Quibids macbook or Quibids iPad or something smaller, like headphones or mouse, but there are physical products that you use. Many penny auction sites only have points and coupons to win, which are seldom tangible. Thus they work akin to a ponzi.
  • Fast Product Delivery: The product delivery from Quibids is fast. You will get what you win within a week or two. They are prompt with ensuring that the winners get their products well in time.
  • The 'Buy it Now' Feature: This feature of Quibids is unique and can be highly useful for bidders. If you fail to win a product, you can use the amount towards the bids to purchase it at the market value. This is a good feature that greatly minimizes your losses, especially if you are interested to buy the product you are bidding anyway.
The Bad:
My Quibids review needs to be balanced and neutral, so here are some of the bad things about Quibids that might change with time.

  • Weekend competition: The best time to participate in penny auctions is the weekends when people are relatively free. However, it seems that there are just not enough products for the weekend, and so everyone bids on the same few auctions. This causes immense amount of competition, and thus the customers end up losing a lot. Quibids is naturally aware that far more people participate in auctions during the weekends, but I guess they just want to book profits above the user convenience in this case.
  • Hidden charges: Let me be honest - I hate hidden charges and hidden fees everywhere, not just Quibids. They have a delivery cost that be totally unjustified. For example, they charge $2 for adding bid after you win a bid voucher from Quibids. This is ridiculous as there is nothing physical being transferred. The bids are added immediately to your account, so why the extra fees?
  • Misleading Information: There are several things in this category. For example, a lot of advertisements seem to be showing very high discounts without telling the users about the risk. This is why so many think Quibids is scam. I don't think withholding information is the right way to go especially at this stage. I'll probably write a whole post on this topic soon.
So that was my Quibids review and I hope to hear from you - what you like and what you don't, so I can take those into account for my next review.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Quibids scam or not

Quibids scam

Question: Is Quibids a scam?

Verdict: Not scam.

Quibids is a penny auction site, which is quite different from the regular auctions that you are aware of, like traditional auctions or even websites like eBay. Penny auction is a kind of Bidding fee auction, so each bid you place, you need to pay for it.

In spite of what the founder says, there are few parallels between traditional auctions and Quibids. Thus, you should know well the risks of Quibids before venturing to bid on the site. The simple fact is, it is a high-risk-high-return strategy. You might win big time or you might lose a lot of money without anything to show for. There are of course a few Quibids strategies that you can use (read my series on Quibids strategies on this blog) to maximize your returns, but the risk is still there.

That being said, once you understand the risk of Quibids, you will soon find out that Quibids is not a scam. They are here to stay and they have a successful business model. Quibids is not a scam because they will not withhold your winnings or not send you auctions that you have won. They also have plenty of cool features that are not aimed to scam you.

Bottom line: you can trust Quibids, but don't be so sure of your luck!

A number of penny auction sites have recently closed shop. One of the more famous group includes Swipebids/Swipeauctions. This was bad, but it wasn't surprising, considering the way the site was run. It was a totally unsustainable model and there was no way to make sure it was run profitably. I would say it was more like a Ponzi scheme, where all you do all day is to win more bids, which are essentially worthless.

On the other hand, Quibids has real auctions with real products, not just bids. People do win real here. In addition, I am amazed by Quibids in that it was able to come a long way since the first days. They do need to work on many aspects, including some better ways to advertise, but overall, I think Quibids is great and Quibids is not a scam. Quibids is legit company.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

How to Win on Quibids: Part - 1

Learn how to win on Quibids before you spend money on the site. This is an extension post to my existing post on Quibids strategy-1: Volunteer's Dilemma. The purpose of this post is to make things simple and explain once more, in detail, how this works.

When deciding strategies or how to win on Quibids or any other penny auction site, it is important to consider 2 factors:
1. Economics
2. Psychology

People tend to ignore the last one, but it turns out that the psychology of the bidders plays a more important role than the economics of the situation. This is why, there is no universal Quibids strategy that will always win. However, you can maximize your chances depending on the auction at hand. Any person with some experience on Quibids or a similar penny auction site will tell you the same.

The Quibids strategy based on the Volunteer's Dilemma works because you are being aggressive. Highly aggressive. This tends to scare bidders, especially the careful ones. This is important to remember because most of the bidders at Quibids are simply looking to get lucky - place a bid and pray no one outbids them. This is ridiculous - Quibids is famous and has many people at any given time. You can easily beat most of the Quibids bidders this way by being aggressive.

When 2 people are being aggressive simultaneously, only one can win. The person who can remain tenacious longer will be the winner, as simple as that. This is how to win on Quibids - you have to hold your own against aggressive bidders. If you are looking not to waste bids, then you will end up winning almost nothing while spending a few bids on all auctions, thus losing a lot in total.

When you start out on an auction, you should make sure that you never quit. If you do, you will end up losing much more than what you bargained for. However, if your total bids exceed the price of the item, you can as well stop and use the "But it Now" option of Quibids. This is great so that your losses are limited but your profits are not.

I have a whole series on how to win on Quibids and Quibids strategies, so make sure you understand the rules of the game before going out there and winning. Good luck to all my readers!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quibids Free Bids: Get yours now

For a long time since the start, Quibids free bids were never given out. There were only 2 ways in which you could get Quibids bids:

1. Buy bids directly from the site at the rate of $0.60/bid. This is the primary method even now. These Quibids bids are the ones that you directly pay for. If you request, you can always get a refund. These bids also add towards the "Buy it now" feature of Quibids if you do not win an auction.

2. Win Quibids bids as bid vouchers. Quibids bids vouchers come in different sizes. Initially, the sizes were of 25, 50, 100 and 250. They later introduced the 15 bid voucher as well. These are good for starters and beginners to practice their Quibids strategies and skills and understanding Quibids.
However, it is important to remember that voucher bids do not count towards the "Buy it now" feature.

For a long time, these were the only two options through which you could get Quibids bids. There were no Quibids free bids then, but now, things are changing. They are introducing other ways in which you could win or get Quibids free bids.

3. Quibids recently introduced Quibids badges. Read my post here about Quibids badges. Basically if you are active on the site, you can get Quibids free bids as rewards from Quibids. They seem to be generous with these bids at least when they introduced it.

4. Certain auctions were recently started that give free bids in addition to the product. Thus the auction goes like this: Product X + 5 free Quibids bids. By winning such auctions, you not only win the product but also some free Quibids bids.

So here are the ways in which you get your Quibids bids.

It is nice to know that bids still retain their value. If it is too easy to get bids, the site cannot function. This is what happened with SwipeAuctions, which turned out to be an outright scam. A lot of people could see why this had to happen sooner or later - the site was giving away too many free bids. Thankfully Quibids knows its limits.

Quibids Auction - Millionth Auction Winner tease

So Quibids is back to teasing all the users. They send out a newsletter, not with the name of the winner, but with an announcement of an announcement 2 weeks from now! Apparently Quibids will announce the winner in a couple of weeks.

For those who do not know, Quibids is celebrating the million auctions since the site started. Quibids is giving away $10,000 in cash to the millionth auction winner, the auction remaining anonymous and for the moment, the winner too.

This is a great achievement in my opinion, at a time when other Penny Auction sites like Swipebids and Swipeauctions turn into outright scams and few others like Swoopoo are just unable to compete with very limited products. Quibids has emerged a clear winner in the battle of the best Penny Auctions on the internet, and its prospects only seem to be getting brighter.

If you are looking to win at Quibids, you can read through my posts on Quibids strategies. I have a 3 part series so far, but will include other strategies as well.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Quibids Strategy 3: The Waiting Game (exposing some Quibids Myths)

This is Part 3 of the series on Quibids strategies that I want to publish. These strategies are not conjured up from thin air. They are written from personal experience, but more importantly, personal research. Most penny auction strategies, like Quibids strategies, are to do with Game theory and probability.

You can also find Part - 1 and Part - 2, which deal with different strategies.

Theoretical Efficiency Vs. Practical efficiency:

To understand Quibids and indeed any other Penny Auctions, you should first understand that the theoretical best Quibids strategy need not be the best practical strategy.

To illustrate, consider a typical Quibids macbook auction, as shown below:

Quibids strategyThe cost of the Macbook, finally, was $426.65. This was a 1 cent Quibids auction (see the top left hand side of the image). This means each bid incremented the cost of the macbook by 1 cent. Thus, in all, there were 42,665 bids placed. That's quite a lot of bids!

Now, consider the time it takes for placing these many bids. This is a really hard question to answer, as anyone who has followed the Quibids auctions knows. There could be 2 people bidding in tandem, in which case things can move quickly but usually people only place their bids when there are less than 5 seconds left.

As an average case, I am assuming it takes 2.5 seconds between bids (I think it is a good number for an average in this case. Other smaller auctions usually have larger average time between bids).

So the time required to complete the auction is 42,665 * 2.5 seconds = 106,662.5 seconds. This comes out to 29.6 hours. That is a huge time interval of over 1 day!

Now, let me ask you - how many people can sit non-stop in front of their computer looking at the auction process for nearly 30 hours to choose their best strategy? Not many.

This is why the theoretical best Quibids strategies will differ so much from the practical best Quibids strategies.

Best Theoretical Quibids Strategy:

Here is the best theoretical Quibids strategy: Wait for the last moment to place your bid. This means, bid on the Quibids auction when the timer is 1 second.

This seems simple enough and most people intuitively do use this for their bidding - let the people fight it out and I'll come in when the time is right.

This is a simple strategy and people are easily deceived by its applications. Let me expose the myth that this is THE strategy to apply to penny auctions. In fact, all the videos on Youtube that claim to show 100% Quibids strategy wins simply use this basic technique, which turns out, isn't the best practical strategy after all for all Quibids auctions.

The problem is, this isn't always the best practical strategy. For example, in the above Macbook auction, can you sit for 30 hours non-stop in front of your computer to see when the timer reaches 1 second? Well, I don't think so.

When to use this Quibids Strategy:
The waiting game strategy should ONLY be used for small Quibids auctions. By small, I mean auctions that usually have less than 200 bids placed on them. In such cases, you can win Quibids auctions by using this Quibids strategy of waiting till the timer goes to 1 second and bidding.

Word of Caution:
When you are using this waiting game Quibids strategy, it is very important that you never quit! This holds even if there is an aggressive bidder, using a strategy I described here (who uses the volunteer's dilemma problem).

The reason for this is simple: If you quit, you will be left with nothing at all. This doesn't hold for all strategies, but in this instance, you must not quit.

Why People Fail?
This particular Quibids strategy seems intuitive - you wait till the last moment to bid, thus saving your bids and ensuring they are not wasted when someone else is placing his bid before yours.

So why do people fail? Simple - they quit!
When someone is bidding aggressively, they will quit. The problem with this strategy is that it appears to reduce risk, while the truth is it can practically be a very high risk Quibids strategy. The reason for this is what people practically do - they get intimidated by aggressive bidders and never win. They lose a few bids in hundreds of auctions and thus they end up with nothing to show for their efforts and bids.

Therefore, this seemingly simple Quibids strategy can backfire and you need to ensure you know exactly why, when and how to use it. Do not try this on big auctions like Holiday trips, cars and macbooks.

What Auctions Can I win this way?
Try out the smaller bids: 15,25 bid auctions are ideal for this. Also, anything with a price of less than $30 can be a good start. Once you know how never to quit and understand how Quibids auctions work, you can proceed to slightly bigger auctions (but never on the heavyweights!)

Good luck Quibids bidding!

Quibids Badges: New incentives for the Website

It has been a while I have written about Quibids, and in the meantime, there have been a number of improvements. You can read about Quibids strategies in my previous blog posts if you are serious about winning at Quibids.

In this post, I want to cover how you can win a little more with Quibids and effectively improve your winning chances.

Quibids has just announced special 'badges' for the members. There seems to be a badge for everything. The good thing is, you get free bids with your badges (I am no fan of virtual badges as such anyway).

In order to get your badges, you will need to claim the badges by logging into your account. The bids are not added by default - you need to claim them.

How to claim your badges?
You will need to log into your Quibids account. There is a new tab titled Achievements. You will see a list of badges that you are 'eligible' for. I don't see any reason why you should not accept a badge - after all, all badges come with free bids. You just click on 'claim' to claim your badge and also your free bids, which are then added to your account.

What kind of Bids are added?
Unfortunately, you will again see virtual bids and not purchased bids added to your account. I am not a big fan of Virtual bids and that is one thing I would like to see disappear from the website. I would consider both virtual and purchased bids should be at par. But well, different people have different opinions about it.

I suspect one reason for still persisting with virtual bids is that Quibids allows you to reverse your purchase and get back cash for the bids that you purchased. It would not be fair to allow monetization of virtual bids. However, I would still like to see virtual bids being counted towards the price of an auction if you don't win.

Here is a screenshot of some of the badges that I have won. You can also see how many free bids are given with each badge in the picture.

Quibids badgesIt would be great if my readers can share their own badges and their stories. Do you like the concept of badges?