Monday, February 28, 2011

Penny20: Interview with Andrew Hyder on Penny20

Penny20 is a new auction site that is quite different from any other site in the field. Penny20 is based on a "Hidden-Limit" Auction model.

Technically, Penny20 falls in the category of Entertainment Shopping but it is based on a very different model as compared to other entertainment shopping sites, including penny auctions like Quibids.

Penny20 has features of both bidding-fee auctions and traditional auctions. It allows bidders to win items at a discount compared to retail while also putting a limit on the maximum price an item can reach (contrary to penny auctions). Penny20 seems to be the next big thing in the auction world, so it is definitely worth a look.

I had an opportunity to interview Andrew Hyder, Chief Engineer of Penny20 and CEO of Subjex on Penny20 and his thoughts on this auction model. The interview is posted below:

Interview between Sid and Andrew Hyder

Sid: Can you briefly explain what a hidden-limit auction is?
Andrew: is a "Hidden-Limit" auction. Hidden-Limit means that all bids are aggregated during the auction to create a growing "Hidden" total that is systematically revealed to bidders. Auctions have a finite "Limit" because all bid revenue collected never exceeds the pre-defined auction price. Whether one or many bids are purchased, the winner of the auction is the bidder whose bid(s) push the Hidden total to reach the auction price.

Sid: So hidden-limit auctions will greatly reduce the risk/loss of bidders, is that correct?
Andrew: That is correct. It produces very few auction losers because it intentionally contains the duration of the bidding per auction to a predefined limit/total, instead of intentionally prolonging auctions, as penny auctions do. A $100 product only can generate $110. $100 goes to the seller and $10 goes to us.

Sid: Are there any other sites using the same concept?
Andrew: None that we know of. We do expect to be copied, but that will be an uphill battle for our competition. We are quickly redefining/reframing an entire auction category with a model designed for the benefit of all the members. Conceptually we live between eBay and the penny auction space. However, “Entertainment Shopping” needed to start looking at the process from its member’s standpoint and start giving back as much as possible. The penny auction operators have totally missed the advantages of this philosophy.

Sid: How long has Penny20 been running?
Andrew: Penny20 Inc was formed in mid 2010. The website launched February 1st of this year. However Penny20 is operated by our 11 year old publicly traded software company Subjex Corporation (Ticker: SBJX.ob) who owns 40% of the private company stock.

Sid: What are your thoughts on the penny auction model?
Andrew: No offense to the penny auction operators, but their model is fundamentally flawed. They are often compared to a casino but this is not a good analogy. The odds of winning in a casino are actually much better than the odds of winning in a typical penny auction. In fact, most casinos in Las Vegas must post their odds publicly. Penny auctions’ tantalizingly low starting prices cause new bidders to get trapped in what psychologists call the “escalation of commitment.” Once people have invested time, money, and emotional energy, walking away becomes painful. Dangling a carrot of a 5 cent product (the starting point) is classic “sleight of hand” misdirection. Bidders should be concerned with the ending price, which is exactly what a hidden limit auction gives them first.

Sid: Do you think bidders will prefer your model over the penny auction model?
Andrew: Yes. We think bidders are smarter than what penny auctions give them credit for. There is a reason that the vast majority of penny auction members leave after they understand the dynamics of the penny auction game. A hidden-limit model like assumes the bidder to be smart. Our members understand that we only generate enough revenue to pay the seller and our expense of 10%. After this revenue goal the auction ends with another winner. More winners mean more products moved. This dedication to and belief in our members is where our trademark “Bid Smarter”™ came from.

Sid: How long do you think a typical auction will run at Penny20?
Andrew: This is a difficult question to answer because there aren’t just typical products on All of our auctions are put on by our members, therefore popular electronic device auctions, for example, may last just a few minutes, whereas an obscure oil painting may last a few months. Since the winner is the person who buys up all the remaining bids, winning is a matter of choice, not a matter of luck or an arbitrary clock.

Sid: How do you ensure the seller ships the item to the auction winner? Are you planning for an eBay-like feedback system?
Andrew: All Penny20 members (buyers and sellers) have a score. But the Member Score doesn’t prevent fraud. What prevents fraud is removing the monetary incentive to be fraudulent. Penny20 holds the auction revenue until the Seller ships the product (with insurance and signature required). After everyone is happy we pay the seller directly into their account.

Sid: Can we expect to find high variety in the product selection from the sellers in the future?
Andrew: Penny20 has an opt-in online business directory of over 3 million different businesses (one of Subjex’s assets) that we are in the process of marketing to. We expect a growing large variety of products from these businesses.

Sid: Sellers pay no fee to list their items. Can this lead to low quality products or spam?
Andrew: As an open market free to anyone type auction, we have had to build into it the system some product restrictions and limitations. We have also noticed that ill conceived auction items and seemingly bogus services are not very popular and therefore self-eliminating (to a large extent). We also manually delete bad auctions before they get bid on, or refund those who have bid on them. For those who are serious about auction commerce, we offer Featured auctions which get priority listings and cost 1% of the sellers’ price, per day.

Sid: How did you come up with the idea for Penny20?
Andrew: Penny20 was invented primarily by myself, and a small group of our advisory team. The names you might have heard of include, Brandon Ward, Elroy E. Erie, and Steve Burk. Further, we have the Financial and technology support of Subjex Corporation and over 300 private investors behind us.

Sid: Can you explain the name Penny20?
Andrew: Sure. One of the primary goals of Subjex Corporation in building our Penny20 model was to find a public home for its flagship customer service product called AiNDEE. This is the dialogue engine that powers the female character named “Penny”, and for which the site was named. Penny is a Virtual Auctioneer and best practices adviser for the members. The “20” in the Penny20 name, represents the minimum single bid available on any auction.

Sid: Are you planning to roll out additional features in the short and long term?
Andrew: Yes, we have a lot planned. One of our soon to be launched features is our mobile notifications of auctions bid on. This will allow bidders bidding on an auction leave the auction and wait for more participants before they enter again to pick up the remaining bids.

Sid: Where do you see the future of Penny20 in the long term, say 5 years down the line?
Andrew: Our goal is a million active and happy members, if we have done everything correctly, this should take months not years.

Sid: How big is your team? Tell us something about them.
Andrew: Our team is less than 25 people today. Although we believe that support is one of the most important aspects of our business, since our Penny character automates many aspects of support, we are heavy on the engineering side as opposed to being heavy on the people infrastructure of customer service.

Sid: Have you started companies before Penny20?
Andrew: I am also the founder and CEO of Subjex Corporation which is a Minnesota based publicly traded software company (ticker: SBJX.ob). We specialize in Artificial Intelligence software systems for business and commerce. Penny20 is one of our projects.

Sid: How optimistic are you about the success of Penny20?
Andrew: I have no doubt we will be successful, because our approach is member-centric not profit motivated. Ironically, we think this is the best path to profit because of the scale possible due to mass adoption. How large we will become and how fast will be seen.

Sid: What is your guiding motto at Penny20?
Andrew: In every step of our development, when considering a new Penny20 feature, we asked ourselves, “Does this help or hurt the community.” By putting the community interests in front our own profit interests, we make ourselves indispensible to the community and as a result, we profit. By the way, it makes us very difficult to compete with.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quibids Badges: Entire List

Quibids badges are a novel concept where the site allows you to flaunt your achievements and also get some free bids. They are given away for specific activities, tasks, etc. Badges are a good way to get free Quibids bids. If you want to know more about how to get free Quibids bids, you should read my blog posts -
If you are a beginner and yet to join Quibids, read my post on Free Quibids bids for joining
If you are already a member, read my post on How to get 50 free Quibids bids.

Now back to Quibids badges. So what are the different badges that you can win? As of today, there are 19 Quibids badges that you can win. They are as follows. The badges are arranged in the decreasing order of number of free Quibids bids that you get on winning these badges.

  1. Big Prize Badge: 15 free bids
  2. Gameday Badge: 15 free bids
  3. Bid Voucher Cycle Badge: 15 free bids
  4. Paparazzi Badge: 10 free bids
  5. Big Spender Badge: 10 free bids
  6. Top Recruiter Badge: 10 free bids
  7. Win in 1 Badge: 7 free bids
  8. Birthday Badge: 7 free bids
  9. Iron Man Challenge Badge: 7 free bids
  10. Trifecta Voucher Challenge Badge: 5 free bids
  11. Super Bidder Badge: 4 free bids
  12. Rock the Bid Badge: 3 free bids
  13. Scrooge Badge: 2 free bids
  14. Plastic Surgery Badge: 2 free bids
  15. 100th Bid Badge: 1 free bid
  16. Mr. Roboto Badge: 1 free bid
  17. Training Day Badge: 1 free bid
  18. Beginner Badge: 1 free bid
  19. More "Bid" Kombat Badge: 1 free bid
These are the 19 badges that are currently available at Quibids. In all, if you win all the 19 badges, you can get 117 free Quibids bids through badges! You can get all the details at Quibids. Good luck!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Penny Auctions are Gambling, says South Africa

There was a recent stir about the legalities of penny auctions in the United States. They are perfectly legal in Europe that has much leaner laws on gambling. However, this question was raised when a class action lawsuit was filed against Quibids.

Now, South Africa seems to have classified penny auctions as gambling. The news report can be found here. Smokoo seems like the most famous penny auction in South Africa, along with sites like Bidchaser, Kooldeals, Viaziz etc. So now, Smokoo is illegal in South Africa.

The officials say that "(penny auctions are)similar to gambling and can be regulated under gambling regulations". Even though online betting is legal in South Africa, interactive gambling is not. So this would mean that these sites will have to shut shop. As of today, the sites are still running but I suspect it won't be long.

I am not sure whether this ruling will have any influence on the Quibids lawsuit at all. In any case, since it is a first against a major penny auction, it is likely to influence how the industry progresses in the United States. By all counts, Quibids is much larger than Smokoo. Perhaps they can find a ruling in their favor owing to their size, I don't know.

What are your thoughts on this?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Quibids CSR: Fight Hunger, Feed Hope

Quibids corporate social responsibility is growing as the site grows. Quibids has, from the very beginning, tried to be different from all other penny auctions. This is another way in which Quibids wants to do this: through CSR initiatives. So what has Quibids done lately?

Quibids helps to Fight Hunger and Feed Hope in the regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, where the company is located. The full post can be read here. This is a good initiative by Quibids to give something back to the society.

However, the post says 30 employees volunteered for the event. That may seem more, but according to BBB, Quibids has 100 employees. So that is not a very encouraging number. Nevertheless, something is better than nothing, I guess!

What are your thoughts on this? Oh and don't forget to vote on the poll to the right side of the page!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Quibids Australian Vacation for Two Winner

The Quibids featured auction of the week for Australian Vacation for Two has ended. Congratulations to the winner IAmThirsty! The winner is from Gainsville Florida and has never won before at Quibids. I am sure he'll remember this win for a long time to come. It makes sense to invest heavily in Quibids when you really want to win the product.

The final price for the auction was $218.70. A total of 21870 bids were placed, bringing in a revenue of $13,122 for Quibids. This of course is much more than the cost of the package, priced at $6,000.

If you want to win these high-priced items, you may want to read my Quibids Strategy to win Big-Ticket items. Also keep yourself updated about the latest Quibids and penny auctions news by following this blog.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

BidRivals: A Global Phenomenon

BidRivals is a penny auction site that is currently run in 30 countries. This is truly a great achievement for several reasons. Even big penny auction sites like Quibids operate only in the US. BidRivals has been able to capture a global audience.

One great advantage with this is that there are bidders and products 24 hours a day. This is in sharp contrast with say Quibids where the number of products drastically drop off at late nights and early mornings. This uniformity ensures that you don't have to plan your auctions in advance - all times are fine.

There are some great deals at BidRivals. I have seen iPads go for as little as a dollar but I have also seen costly items. They also have a good item selection. Since it is based in Europe, I think they have a slightly different product taste but I like it nonetheless.

For those interested, follow this link to BidRivals and you will automatically get 20 free bids when you buy your first bid pack.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Penny Auctions covered by MSNBC

Today, penny auctions were featured in the main stream media - MSNBC ran an article on this topic. The main idea behind the article was to discuss whether penny auctions are akin to gambling and lottery. There doesn't seem to be a definitive legal answer to this question.

More importantly, the article touched upon the important fact of the class action lawsuit against Quibids. This seems to be the first case against such a big penny auction and it should give a good legal status to penny auctions. However, the most important question is whether they can weed out the scams. Sites like Quibids are not scams i.e. they will certainly send you the product if you win. This cannot be said of all penny auctions. This is why it is all the more important to read up reviews, like on this blog.

On my blog, you can read several reviews, including Quibids Review, ScoreLuxe Review, BidRivals Review and BidFire Review. Hope these help you choose legitimate penny auctions.

Australian Vacation at Quibids

An Australian Vacation for 2 is the Featured Auction of the Week at Quibids this time around. The value is shown to be $6,000! This exceeds the $4,000 Macbook products that were auctioned a couple of weeks ago.

Quibids loves big ticket items as it brings in much higher profits though sometimes they do carry a risk. However, Quibids has grown so much over the months that the risk is usually very small - these items bring in much much more revenue for Quibids than they are worth, so Quibids does make a good profit.

If you are bidding on this auction, don't forget to learn about my Quibids strategies before jumping in. Good luck!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

ScoreLuxe: An Interview with Sam Carnahan, founder and co-CEO

ScoreLuxe is a new Penny Auction site that I have reviewed previously on this blog. It is a penny auction dedicated exclusively to luxury items and high-end electronics. It makes for a great site because there is very low competition currently.

I had the opportunity to interview the Founder and co-CEO of ScoreLuxe, Sam Carnahan. Here is the complete interview.

Me: What are your thoughts about the penny auction model in general?
Sam: We love penny auctions and think as a business model and as a form of entertainment its great. I think the biggest issue with the business is when people view penny auctions as a form of shopping, as it really isn't shopping. We see it as a great way to score some deals and have fun in the process.

We are also very concerned with fraud as the recent run up in new sites has also created many more sites that aren't fulfilling auctions or engaging in fraud. We hope that as the watchdog sites expose the frauds, the penny auction community can be left with a diverse selection of high quality sites to choose from.

Me: Why do you think penny auctions are becoming increasingly popular in the last couple of years?
Sam: It's because they are fun and you can get great deals. At, you can get Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus, Gucci, Apple and more, and our winners routinely save a big % on the win. So, if you budget well and look forward to the experience, then it is a great way to spend a few hours, and that is why I think they are becoming so popular.

Me: How is ScoreLuxe different from other penny auction sites?
Sam: is different from other penny auction sites in our luxury focus and quality of items. We only feature auctions for items from high end retailers and boutiques, and our smallest product is $100, with the typical auction being $500+. We have up to 4 auctions a day, and continue to grow our auctions, and have a nice mix of gift cards and merchandise. We also have a limited amount of bid packs, so everyone has fair chance to win and a 4 per month win limit.

We also feature fast and free shipping on all auction wins.

Me: If there is one thing you would like to change about ScoreLuxe, what would it be?
Sam: Well, we are always working on new things and updates, including a rewards program which is coming soon. And as we grow, we continue to feature new and more auction items, so our change would be to be able to offer more daily auctions.

Me: If there is one competition you would like to eliminate, what would it be?
Sam: We love competition, because it drives us to be better, we learn new things and makes everyone more accountable in the industry. So, I can't name a competitor, but anyone who engages in fraud, late/no shipping or shill bidding should be eliminated as the industry doesn't need such participants.

Me: Are there any additional features you would like to see added to ScoreLuxe in the short and long term?
Sam: As noted before we are always innovating. We are looking at improvements to our auto-bidder as well as a rewards program to give bidders a chance to earn gift cards and bid packs as they bid on items.

Me: In the long term, how would you like to make ScoreLuxe different from the other penny auctions?
Sam: We feel we are already different, but our goal is to the #1 luxury penny auction retailer, featuring an array of sought after brands and high value items. We are getting there and look forward to continuing to demonstrate our commitment to being the best in this space.

We also want to set new standards for penny auction excellence, transparency, and shipping speed.

Me: What is the secret to your elegant site design?
Sam: We focus on the products, not the marketing shtick. We are auctioning off daily items from the world's top brands, so our design is structured to focus on our products, and we think that is how our site design is truly different and superior to the competition.

Me: How big is the ScoreLuxe team? Tell us something about your team.
Sam: Our team is made up of an array of experienced programmers, financial service professionals and lawyers. We have been working successfully together in the financial services industry for over 7 years and recently launched (September 2010) as a way to leverage our experience and enjoy working in a new vertical. We understand transaction oriented commerce very well, and as such, has created a site and experience that appeals to our consumers, giving them both the products and the auction action they desire.

Me: What is your guiding motto for ScoreLuxe?
Sam: Customer services is #1. And never auction what you don't have IN STOCK.

Me: What motivated you to start ScoreLuxe?
Sam: We enjoy the penny auction business and felt we could employ our substantial backgrounds within a tight niche market and create the best focused penny auction experience in the world.

Me: Did you start any companies prior to ScoreLuxe?
Sam: Yes.

Me: Can you share some inside secrets regarding the working of ScoreLuxe? Did you
have a party after the 100th auction?
Sam: We are doing something special for our upcoming 250th auction, so stay tuned!

This is the end of the interview. I hope you liked it. Do send me your thoughts and comments.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What is Quibids?

A commonly asked question is What is Quibids? One major reason people want to know what is Quibids is because there are many Quibids advertisements all over the internet. I have seen these advertisements from smaller blogs about auctions to newspapers like The Guardian! No wonder then that people are wondering what Quibids is and how does Quibids work.

In one line, Quibids is a penny auction. For those who do not know what is penny auction, it is a special type of auction (also called as bidding fee auction) that differs from the traditional auction sites like eBay. Here are the main differences:

  • Bidding Cost: In traditional auctions, bidding is absolutely free. This is so for sites like eBay. However, in penny auctions like Quibids, each bid costs money. At Quibids, every bid you place costs you $0.60.
  • Bid Value: In traditional auctions like eBay, you can place any bid value that you want. In penny auctions like Quibids, you are only allowed to bid to increase the price by 1 cent. This means you spend $0.60 for a bid and increase the price of the item by $0.01.
  • Timer Increment: In traditional auctions, there is a timer that counts down to zero, never resetting and when the timer hits 0, the last and highest bid placed is the winning bid. In Quibids, the timer increments each time a bid is placed by 15-20 seconds. This happens every time you bid.
  • Buying Obligation: Traditional auctions make money through the selling price of the item and therefore if you win an auction, you must purchase it. At Quibids, the main source of money is through the bids, so you are not obligated to buy a winning item but it is almost always in your best interest to do so.
  • Loss and Risk: Traditional auctions can never get you in the red - if you lose an auction, you lose no money. However, at Quibids, if you are not careful, you can lose a lot of money.
I hope now you know what is Quibids. If you plan to join the site, you should definitely read my Quibids Strategies and Quibids Review. This will help you get over 90% off retail and also cut your risk. If you have any questions on what is Quibids or how Quibids works, just comment here and I'll get back. Good luck bidding!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Quibids Poll Results

I have been running a poll on my blog, asking my readers whether they made a profit or loss on Quibids or ended up about even or never bid on Quibids. I am reporting the results after 100 votes:

Make a profit: 24%
Make a loss: 31%
Ended up about even: 20%
Never Bid on Quibids: 25%

I think not too many people report a loss, for whatever reason. However, one thing I have noticed is that more and more people are reporting this option - when there were 50 votes, the number who reported a loss were about the same as the ones who reported a profit.

Anyway, I think it is a good poll and if you haven't already, please do. Your vote counts!

You may also want to read my Review of Quibids strategies that will help you make a profit and cut your losses at Quibids. Also read a very important post on the Best Time to Bid on Quibids which will be immensely beneficial if you are serious about making a profit here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Penny Auction Intelligence: Shop for Information!

There is a site Penny Auction Intelligence that is worth checking out. It has many different articles on penny auctions in general and on specific penny auctions as well. You can keep yourself updated about all the latest news in this field. In addition, they also provide invaluable data related to penny auctions that can greatly help you determine when to bid, on what products to bid and which penny auctions to check out. I would therefore recommend my readers to check out the site.

There are many interesting articles to check out. For example, you can know about the Top Penny Auctions and information about them or you can get Tips to Save Money on penny auctions.

The most interesting parts are those that involve the use of a lot of data. Penny auction data can be notoriously hard to come by, but here you can get some in-depth analysis. For example, you can know which sites are the best to win an iPad from. Such analysis is hard to come by and the site surely does great in helping people make better informed choices.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

BidRivals: A Global Penny Auction

BidRivals is a truly global penny auction site, one of the only few out there (frankly I cannot name another one!) It has bidders from US and Europe, which makes it much more interesting.

One immediately good thing that you can notice about BidRivals is that it is much less time-biased than say Quibids. This is because the bidders at BidRivals are from all corners of the world. Currently, it is active in 28 different countries! I personally think that's an amazing accomplishment, considering how most penny auctions are limited to one country (e.g. Quibids to US, MadBid to UK etc)

So what's the BidRivals review? You get some good products here like at other penny auctions. One thing I have noticed is there are many different denominations of gift cards than at Quibids or other penny auctions. I guess it has to do with the global nature of this site. I guess this provides more flexibility to the bidders.

There really is no best time to bid on BidRivals or at least it is not apparent. So you don't have to get up early or stay up late to fancy your winning chances.

There is a very good product selection that you can choose from, though the number of auctions are still less than Quibids. The site is quite transparent in terms of displaying data and winners, so I encourage you to check it out yourself on the site. It also has a BidAgent very similar to Bidomatic of Quibids but without the limits of bidomatic (at bidomatic of Quibids you can place a maximum of 25 bids only).

So BidRivals is a good penny auction to check out and can be a good alternative to Quibids. Visit the site to check out more details.

Quibids Apple Macbook Pro Winner

So the grueling $4000 auction finally comes to an end after more than 24 hours! Congratulations to the winner, beliknere! His previous win includes an Apple iPad 16GB! Wonder what the winner is going to do with so many Apple products!

The bundle sold for a price of $330.10. Here is a screenshot of the auction after completion -

Once again, Bidomatic proves a difficult nemesis to overcome. You might want to read about How to Beat Bidomatic. Also don't forget to read my 7 part series on Quibids strategies to stay one step ahead of the game.

Monday, February 7, 2011

ScoreLuxe Review: Penny Auction for the Serious Bidder

This is my ScoreLuxe Review
ScoreLuxe is a penny auction with a difference. This site puts up auctions only for the more coveted items in the field of penny auctions. This means you will not see $10 Walmart cards or $15 ear plugs being auctioned here. You will find only high end products and gift cards - there are no cheap stuff. Here is a ScoreLuxe review for those who are interested in such items.

What makes this site attractive is a very neat design, a 100% satisfaction guarantee with the product and the no BS approach to penny auctions. Frankly, you cannot go for the "safe" here and you will only be bidding on high-end luxury items. Gift cards too are auctioned only for these luxury places like SpaFinder, Victoria's Secret, Bloomingdale's, etc. This is the aspect I like about ScoreLuxe review: It is a niche penny auction that doesn't auction everything under the sun but specializes in its niche.

If you like to pamper yourself but find spending $500 in a spa hard on your conscious, ScoreLuxe is a perfect place for you, as you can get the gift card much cheaper. You can also find designer goods, especially from Louis Vuitton.

However, ScoreLuxe is not limited to just the luxury items. You can find high-end electronics, most notably Apple iPad. You will also find Amazon gift cards to help you buy electronics online.

Coming to the iPad, it is a very common item that is put up on penny auctions, but ScoreLuxe seems to have it at one of the cheapest industry rates. As a comparison, consider the prices at ScoreLuxe and Quibids:

ScoreLuxe iPad
Quibids iPad
ScoreLuxe is over 10 times cheaper! And of course it is also much less competitive for these products.

It is hard to compare the other items because ScoreLuxe usually has unique items that are not common in other penny auctions. However, if you have always craved for indulging in some world renowned brands, here is a great place you can do it without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Visit ScoreLuxe to see the items yourself.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Superbowl Time Good for Quibids Bidding?

Here is an interesting thought, thanks to Jonathan. He says it is possible that during the Superbowl game today (starts around 6pm EST) there will be less competition on Quibids because many will be glued to their television rather than their computers!

I think it is worth checking this out. A few of my readers had told me that on the Christmas day, it was easier to win at Quibids. If this is true, it is quite likely that Quibids will get easier to win during the game.

I would of course love to hear your thoughts and ideas. If someone actually tries this out, do let me and my readers know whether it was true. I think it is a nice idea to check it out in any case.

Thanks Jonathan!

Intense Battle for Quibids Apple MacBook Bundle

If you don't already know, Quibids has the featured auction for the week as the $4000 Apple Macbook Bundle. The auction is live at Quibids.

At the time of writing this post, the auction/battle has already been raging for over 24 hours! I am sure none of the original bidders is still active. It would be interesting to see how many bids the product gets finally. Right now, the price is about $325, which makes a cumulative of 32,500 bids placed. I am wondering if the auction will touch the magic number of $1000 or 100,000 bids placed. That would mean a bonus for everyone at Quibids, including of course their CEO Matt Beckham!

As I wrote in my previous post, it is highly unlikely that many bidders will like to shell out $4000 to buy the whole package at its full retail, so all the profits are for Quibids' keeping.

The battle is raging on with hundreds of bidomatic and single bids. I'll update on this auction more as it is really quite interesting to watch. For the record, I am not participating in this auction, just observing.

If you are participating in this auction, do me a favor and drop in a line about your experience! Even if you are not participating, I would love to hear your thoughts on this mega battle. Is it more interesting than the Superbowl? Perhaps the auction will end around that time!

Everybody Loves You!

I reported on Quibids Sweepstakes for the Valentine's day. That was the message Quibids sent out in their 'spreading love' campaign for the big day. This is a special day (though less than Christmas) for exchanging and giving gifts, so many penny auctions have pulled up their socks and are now having some kind of competition or campaign to mark this day.

I wrote earlier on a relatively new auction BidFire which gives you the first win free when you register through this link. You can read my BidFire review before joining. So BidFire is also geared up for the Valentine's day, but is to a special class of people - the creative and designers.

BidFire is having a competition to get a Valentine's day themed logo, and what better way to do this than through the over 5000 facebook fans they have! The contest was announced on their Facebook Page and has already started. You can see a couple of people already created their designs and submitted them on the page. The prize is 50 free bids at BidFire. (in hindsight, perhaps it should be increased!) So if you are good at the creative side of designing, do make sure to participate. With 50 bids on BidFire you can win a few good items without any investment at all! (it is much less competitive than Quibids).

Don't forget to follow this blog for more updates in Quibids and other penny auctions.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Why Quibids Loves Big-Ticket Items

Quibids loves selling Macbooks, HDTVs, iPads, etc. Ever wonder why that is the case? Quibids is the largest penny auction site online and makes tens of thousands of dollars each day. It does have a number of small ticket items like gift cards. However, you can see of late that there are increasingly more and more big-ticket items. Did you ever wonder why?

Well, the simple reason is they bring in more profit even when they sell for a huge discount. The main reason for this anomaly is the Buy It Now feature of Quibids. Quibids provides this option so theoretically no one loses money bidding on the auction as they can use the money spent towards bids in a lost auction in purchasing the item at its full retail price.

This is easy for a $10 gift card - if you spent $6 in bids and didn't win, it makes sense to invest $4 more and get the card. However, if you are bidding on a $1400 macbook and lose bids worth $120, I am sure you won't jump and buy it at its full retail. This is the case with most bidders.

Consider the recent Apple Bundle worth $4000 being auctioned on Quibids. The auction will attract hundreds of bidders. Not even a handful (I doubt if anyone will) will ever buy the whole bundle by paying $4000. This way, all the profits made by Quibids go into its pocket and it doesn't have to worry about cuts in profit through the Buy it Now route.

This is an excellent strategy being employed by Quibids. It can afford to do this because they are really big and they will always get customers bidding on these big-ticket items. Unfortunately not all penny auctions can replicate this model because they are not so big. Simply put, Quibids will only grow bigger and bigger each day.

If you are interested in bidding on the big-ticket items, check out my post on Quibids strategies for winning big ticket items. This will be immensely beneficial to maximize your winning chances. Also, don't forget to subscribe to the blog so you can get regular updates.

Friday, February 4, 2011

BidFire: Penny Auction with a Difference

BidFire has closed now and there doesn't seem to be a sign that it is coming back, even though they said they would come back for "Stage-2". If you want updated information on BidFire, visit the BidFire Facebook Page.

This is a sponsored blog post from BidFire:

What would you Like to Have, Ma'am?
The first interesting thing about BidFire is that they actually take their users and their needs seriously. I mean in terms of the auctions. If people recommend a product and it is feasible, BidFire will auction it for you. So how do you recommend products to them? Just shoot an email to telling them the product that you would like to see.

Everyone's Welcome
A lot of penny auctions get crowded by the professional bidders quite soon. There are ways to curb it, like Quibids uses limits on auctions to prevent aggressive and experienced bidders mopping up all the goodies. This is a good step, but BidFire takes it a step further. They have introduced the special 'Chiller Auctions' which allow the newbies to have a good chance at winning. It is open only to those people who have never won a product priced over $450. So if you have had your fair share of Macbooks and iPads, sorry, no Chiller Auctions for you.

This makes sense because in the end you want everyone to have a good winning chance. Chiller auctions provide a comfort zone for penny auction bidders who are not experienced yet and gives them a realistic chance to win. Quibids has tried to solve the issue with the Quibids trap page which remains controversial but unresolved. A trap page is certainly not an answer though.

Lets Play and Have Fun!
Quibids has an excellent way to attract more people by giving away free bids for contests. Specifically, you can get 50 free bids at Quibids by being the daily winner at their Facebook page. However, this is getting twice as competitive as Quibids auctions!

BidFire is taking a cue and helping relate to customers directly. Quibids finds it difficult because there are just so many people out there, but BidFire uses its small size to its advantage. Their Facebook page is much richer and more interactive. Oh and yes they do run their fair share of contests for free bids.

It's not the Social Network, Silly!
BidFire is not limited to their Facebook campaign. For example, they run contests on the BidFire PAW thread. It is a great place to interact and win free bids. This is possible as they are smaller in size and thus more nimble.

What's for Me?
The first win is free! This is the way BidFire treats its new-comers instead of the traditional free bids that other penny auctions provide. It does seem creative and different as an incentive, so it is worth trying out.

Read about Winning Strategies for BidFire before you start and you can win some cool products at great prices.

Quibids Featured Auction of the Week: All Things Apple!

Quibids is increasing the stakes with its Featured Auction of the Week. This week, it is the Apple Macbook Pro bundle, which will include products worth about $4000! The winner takes it all, so keep your fingers crossed!

Quibids Featured Auction of the Week

You can find the auction on Quibids if you want to participate. Also, don't forget to read about the different Quibids strategies before you dive in to win.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Class Action Lawsuit Against Quibids!

There has been a class action lawsuit against Quibids. It has been a couple of months now, and I must admit I didn't know about this. The person Lawrence A Locke is the plaintiff. The law firm Beckham and Mandel have filed the lawsuit. The news can be found on an article on Businesswire.

I have read the complete lawsuit, and it seems to be aimed more at the penny auction industry and business model in general rather than at Quibids per se. Of course, the person seems unhappy with Quibids but the lawsuit describes the penny auction industry in general. I don't see anything substantive against Quibids as such.

So don't worry about is Quibids legit or is Quibids scam because if it is, at least according to this lawsuit, the entire penny auction industry is.

So what are the points raised here? Here is a very brief summary of the main objections raised -

1. Quibids makes a lot of profit.
He gives the example of the Honda Civic auction. Ironically, I had discussed it in detail in my blog. Was Mr. Locke reading my blog? ;)

2. It is akin to gambling.

3. The Buy It Now prices are inflated.

4. Low and incalculable odds of winning.

5. Quibids doesn't disclose that a majority of people lose money on the site.

6. The initial few bids on high-ticket items are pointless (- a classical mathematical fallacy arising from a lack of understanding of the penny auction model. You need someone to place those bids. If no one places them, the first 1 cent bidder is the winner :) )

You can read the entire class action lawsuit here

It would be great to know your thoughts on this. What do you think about this lawsuit?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Quibids vs Bidhere-2

This is part 2 of my discussion on Quibids vs BidHere. You can read the Part-1 for starters.
If you want to know about the different Quibids strategies, you can read my post on Review of Quibids Strategies that will direct you to the appropriate sections of my blog to win big on Quibids.

So in my first section, I talked about Quibids vs BidHere with respect to win limits and the buy it now feature. Today, I'll cover other sections -

Customer Service

Customer service is very important for any penny auction for a variety of reasons. First, there can always be a problem with the auction, so you need someone to listen to you. You might have problems using or accessing the website. However, the main issue is to deal with shipping and products. Since there are so many auctions present on both these sites, it is natural that there will be some problems.

In this regard, I have to say that Quibids is better hands down. Even within the industry, BidHere is not the best site if you are looking for good customer service. And compared to the penny auction industry in general, Quibids' customer service is really good. You will get prompt replies and if there are problems, they are usually resolved. Quibids also has a good reputation in this regard at the BBB.

Interesting Auctions

I must admit that Quibids is really not the most adventurous penny auction out there, which is a pity. They can get away with special auctions that ultimately don't succeed as expected because they are so big. In this regard, I have to say that BidHere is better and provides more interesting and entertaining auctions. Perhaps one reason is that Quibids has a strict buy it now policy for all auctions while BidHere doesn't.

In any case, Quibids doesn't offer a lot of different entertainment models within the penny auctions. The best you can see are the so called hybrid auctions that have a product coupled with some bids. This doesn't even sound that exciting.

There are many types of auctions at BidHere that you can find here. Some interesting ones are cash back auctions, speed auctions, fixed price auctions, seat auctions, etc.

I think Quibids should try out more things which will attract more customers. Oh and they badly need to increase the number of auctions, keeping in line with the increase in number of users.

Don't forget to follow this blog to get all the latest updates on Quibids, Quibids strategies and exciting offers and keep yourself abreast of all the latest happenings in the world of penny auctions!

Quibids Alternative: DealDash

To all my readers, I would like to recommend a new penny auction called DealDash as a good Quibids alternative. They are not really a new penny auction - they are in business for 2 years now. However, they take great pains to keep the site neat and profitable for the bidders. I don't think they have as aggressive a marketing campaign like Quibids or Beezid, so they are not as well known but they are very good.

The thing I like about DealDash is they try their best to give it a very personal touch, even though there are thousands of bidders there. The customer service is very good (as good as Quibids and certainly many times better than Beezid). Their personal care shows across the site, for example, you can see their blog which has videos from their employees explaining offers and features. I have not seen many sites do that, and even less in the penny auction industry.

DealDash is a legit penny auction and is BBB Accredited as well. It is much less competitive than Quibids, which means you will have a superior winning chance here than at Quibids.

But now the most important question: How profitable is DealDash compared to Quibids?

To know this, you will have to take a case study - a sample of products sold at both these sites. I prefer to choose a reasonably priced item, so I picked a 12 MP camera from both these stores, of comparable prices, around $110 retail. So how does DealDash compare to Quibids?

The screenshots of auctions from the last week are shown below. As you can see, DealDash is over 10 times cheaper than Quibids in this auction. This seems to be the general trend and not limited to just this one auction.

So DealDash appears to have a very good choice of items. Of course, Quibids still remains the largest penny auction out there, but if you can find the product you are looking for also on DealDash, you can save much more money than on Quibids. In addition, I encourage you to check out the prices of previously won auctions on DealDash and Quibids and you will see how Quibids is no longer as profitable as it once was.

DealDash is not exactly new in that it is not a few months old. It has established itself well in a niche field of penny auctioners who are looking for some good cheap deals with an honest and accredited penny auction.

I would really like to hear from you how you found DealDash as compared to Quibids.

Disclaimer: DealDash have agreed to sponsor this blog but they have in no way influenced what is written and have not provided me any content, have in no way told me what to write about them and are in no way responsible for the content that I post about them or other sites on this blog. Everything written in this blog is 100% my original thoughts.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Penny Auction Coupons and Promo Codes

I want to introduce my readers to a blog that contains a number of penny auction coupons and promo codes. If you are planning to join any of these sites, it will prove to be highly beneficial. You can find penny auction coupons here.

The blog BidPenny is a wonderful resource and a database for a lot of information on penny auctions. The blog has also taken a lot of pains to create huge database of penny auctions and also their contact information, so you don't need to do a lot of research really. If you are looking to join a penny auction, it is best if you visit this site for information, reviews and coupon codes.

Another good thing is that you get many regular promotions on penny auctions. For example, today's promotion at Bidpenny is about getting free penny auction bids. You can check out the previous promotions as well.

I would suggest visiting this blog if you want to learn not just about Quibids but about penny auctions in general.

Quibids Sweepstakes

Quibids sweepstakes are going to take place from today, Feb 1st to Feb 14th. This is their advertising campaign of "Sharing Love"! Pretty neat I guess.

So what do you have to do? Nothing much really. You just need to enter Quibids Sweepstakes at Facebook and like the page. You will then be entered in the lottery. Every day a winner will get 2 T-shirts and also many electronics including cameras, iPads, iPhones, etc. The grand prize will of course be on the 14th of February.

If you are not yet a member, register with coupon code. If you are already a member, learn how to get Free Quibids Bids.

Finally, don't forget to subscribe to the blog so you know of all the new ways to get great Quibids products, offers, free bids, etc. You will also get information about other penny auctions and their offers, including free bids.