Thursday, March 31, 2011

Doofard Grand Opening

Doofard is a new penny auction site. Doofard has a grand opening on March 31st.

I like the newer ones because they can have items for real cheap instead of having to deal with so much competition on sites like Quibids. Of course the variety of items is less, but still, on new penny auctions items usually sell for a few cents so they usually provide the best deals.

So what are the products that Doofard offers? You can visit the site to check out. Here are some deals that are currently live:
  • Sony PS3 160GB
  • $50 Home Depot Gift Card
  • New Nintendo 3DS
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • 14k White Gold Diamond Solitaire Pendant
Not bad for a penny auction that is just starting out! If any of the above or similar items interest you, check out Doofard

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Price Consistency in DealDash

Read my Quibids Review and DealDash Review to know about these sites.

DealDash is a penny auction that is less crowded and competitive than more established sites like Quibids and at the same time, it is not new. You can read my DealDash analysis against Quibids to know how it compares against Quibids.

Today, I was looking through DealDash for HD Camcorders. These are common auction items at most big penny auctions. I was surprised by the price consistency: the last 3 items ended in the price range of less than $2. This is usually very rare for any penny auction. Of course this trend doesn't hold for very far back, but still, price consistency is very rare. Usually you have auctions that end at 10 times another auction end price.

Here are the three auctions I was looking at: : $3.78 : $3.56 : $5.28

DealDash shares every closed auction for the bidders, unlike Quibids. It has a wealth of data that you can use to devise your auction strategy. This is priceless information for bidders.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Penny Auction Lawsuits Against Biggest Players

There has been a new lawsuit against penny auctions. I have previously reported on a class action lawsuit against Quibids. This lawsuit is different - it isn't class action.

The lawsuit was filed on February 11, 2011 by Theresa Bryant, Jill Manning, Susan Snyder and Diane Elliott, individually and for the benefit of others.

The defendants are the companies running these penny auctions: Swoopoo, oohilove, BidCactus, Quibids, Beezid and BigDeal.

The charges are that penny auctions are gambling. This is going into a legal gray area because it is not easy to determine whether penny auctions are gambling. Consider this, the lawsuit says: "Defendants’ auctions are illegal gambling because, among other things, they charge consideration for a chance to win a prize."

The problem with this accusation is that gambling is inherently a chance process. At penny auctions, it is more than a chance: You could greatly improve your winning chances if you followed my Penny Auction Strategies. This is unlike say a lottery where there is no strategy but pure chance.

Quibids can always argue that it gives a chance to win but you don't really need to pay: there is always the buy it now feature if you want. This is a great feature that can insulate at least Quibids against many of the charges. Gambling casino will never use your money lost to buy something else!

However, the plaintiffs also seem to have a point when they argue that you are paying $0.60 or whatever else the amount is to bet on the possibility that no one else bids in the next 10-15 seconds. Seen this way, it does seem something similar to gambling. One argument against this argument might be that your bidding strategy and an understanding of penny auction dynamics can help you predict, to some extent, whether you will be outbid or not.

What are your thoughts on this issue? The results of these lawsuits should shed some light. Hopefully, the jury finds fault with illegal practices in the model (bot bidding, not shipping winning items etc.) instead of finding fault with the auction model itself.

You can find the whole text of the lawsuit here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

OrangeBidz discounts and offers

Read my OrangeBidz review to know more about this new penny auction site.

I just wanted to give a heads up to my readers: today OrangeBidz has an offer for 20% off on 100 bid pack. There is also a Nintendo 3D S auction coming up that you might like, so check it out!

Quibids down: Not Working

Quibids is down and not working now. This is rare for Quibids - there is usually no downtime and it is the first time I see Quibids down. I hope they can send out an email to clarify what happened. Since penny auctions are so fast going, it is not pleasant to have such down-times.

Added to this agony, many auctions have been canceled so there are about 10 live auctions, which is very low. Take a look at the picture below:

You can see that these auctions have been reset now that the site is up and running. They were obviously given an offset but I wouldn't be surprised if bidders ask for a refund at least on the auctions that there have bid. Quibids should address this concern immediately.

If you were unable to connect to Quibids, you can do it now. Try again! Were you affected by this during bidding? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Quibids Disney World Vacation Package

This week, the Quibids Featured auction of the week was Quibids Disney World Vacation Package for 4! Quibids is increasingly auctioning these trips. Earlier, it had an auction for NCAA matches.

This time, Quibids has a trip for 4. The auction has ended and you can find it here. The auction ended for $199.43 and congratulations to the winner, weezie4411.
The whole package is priced at $4,000. The package includes: (from the Quibids site)

* Roundtrip airfare to Orlando, FL; depart anytime between April 1 through December 31, 2011
* Includes a 5 day, 4 night stay with one (1) standard room at Disney's All-Star Music Resort
* Ground transportation from airport to resort and resort to airport on Disney's Magical Express
* Tickets to one theme park per day including Typhoon Lagoon and Blizard Beach Water Parks
* Vacation Insurance

One interesting thing about the auction is that the winner was bidding singly and not using a BidoMatic. Usually for such high-end items, you will find many people using BidoMatic to win the auctions as they can go on forever. This auction went on for over 12 hours - I am not sure of the exact time though. You can find my Tips to Beat BidoMatic to know more.

Quibids Coupon Code 3 Free Bids

I just came across a Quibids coupon code I want to share with you. Using this Quibids coupon code, you can get 3 free Quibids bids on registering. Just follow these steps:

1. Go to Quibids
2. During registration, enter the code "WINNOW"
That's it! This will give you 3 free bids on registration, so you can start off with something. Good luck!

Note: You might also try this alternative to get 10 free bids on registration.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

OrangeBidz Review

This is my OrangeBidz review

OrangeBidz is a penny auction that is much newer than the more established players like Quibids. This means you can get some great deals on the site as it is still growing. OrangeBidz gives some great deals on new products.

I was surprised to see the number of auctions already up on the site. OrangeBidz is relatively new and it has been online a little more than a week. Even now, there are more than 10 auctions per day, which is high for a new penny auction site.

OrangeBidz reveals all the previously ended auctions and their final price. This is unlike Quibids that hides this data. You can see the list of all closed OrangeBidz auctions to get an idea of the price and your bidding strategy.

OrangeBidz has all the usual good aspects of a good penny auction: no shill bidding, no bots bidding to increase the price, etc. It is a fair penny auction without any hidden fees. The bidding cost is $0.75/bid irrespective of how many bids you buy.

In my OrangeBidz review, I came across a great feature: OrangeBidz has no shipping fees! This means there are no extra costs associated with the auction, which is indeed good for the bidders.

OrangeBidz is also very active on social networks, especially Facebook. This is something Quibids does too, but Quibids is very competitive if you want to win some free bids. However, OrangeBidz is relatively new and you are not just another person out of the tens of thousands. There are regular competitions and contests that help you get some cool deals and some free bids. Penny auctions that are active on Facebook are more popular for obvious reasons in the long term. In addition, free bids are certainly a great way to start off bidding on a penny auction.

The customer service is prompt and helpful. This is an important aspect for a penny auction because it keeps the bidders happy and addresses all their concerns.

Another very positive aspect of OrangeBidz review is that it has very fast shipping. In fact, they ship the products the same day that they are won! They can afford to do this as they are new and there are not thousands of products every day.

I think OrangeBidz is a nice penny auction if you are looking for low competition penny auctions where you have a higher chance of winning than Quibids and other established penny auctions.

Check out OrangeBidz and let me know your thoughts on my OrangeBidz review.

Friday, March 25, 2011

iPad2 on OrangeBidz

Just a quick blurp: for those who missed the $0.90 iPad 2 on ScoreLuxe, there is another iPad2 auction on OrangeBidz today starting 5pm EST. I'll give a detailed review of this penny auction to my readers later. For now, suffice to say that it is a new, legit penny auction. Being new, you can get some great deals. All bids are $0.75/bid.

Check out OrangeBidz.

GetInToo Review: Review of Unique Bid Auction

This is my GetInToo review.

I did an interview with Greg Walding, the president and co-founder of GetInToo that might also be helpful. However, in this GetInToo review, I discuss everything you need to know about this site. It still falls in the 'Entertainment Shopping' category, but GetInToo is not a penny auction. Here I describe the auction model and the website.

GetInToo is a Unique Bid Auction

GetInToo is NOT a penny auction. It is actually a Unique Bid Auction where everyone places a bid. The winner is not the one who places the highest bid, as is the case in eBay. Here, the winner is the one who places the lowest unique bid.

For you to be the winner, you need to get two things:
  • The amount you bid must be unique. You might be tempted to bid 1 cent but there could be many like you who bid 1 cent. If this is the case, you will not win the auction.
  • The amount you bid must be the lowest among all unique bids. This means you might be tempted to bid $58.47 for an auction hoping that it is unique, but there would, in all likelihood, someone who bids a lower amount which is unique.
GetInToo Differs from Traditional Auctions
At GetInToo, everyone places a bid for the products that they like. However, it is quite different from sites like eBay that seemingly work on the same principle. At GetInToo, there are two main differences compared to a site like eBay:
  • It is a Bidding Fee auction model. This means that you need to pay for every bid. However, GetInToo has a unique feature that refunds you bids that did not win a product! I will discuss this in length later.
  • The lowest unique bid and not the highest bid is the winning bid. At eBay, the person who bids the maximum is the winner and he pays the winning bid amount. At GetInToo, the winner is the one with the lowest unique bid and he pays this amount. The bidding amount is usually very low compared to the retail price.
The downside is that you have to pay for the bids. The upside is, you can get items really cheap with low risk.

GetInToo Differs from Penny Auctions
Even though GetInToo falls under the 'Entertainment Shopping' category, it is quite different from a traditional penny auction like Quibids.

The first immediate difference you will notice is that items close by the number of bids rather than the clock. This forms a much more sustainable model than penny auctions. The reason is simple - GetInToo doesn't make a profit of $5000 on one auction and a loss of $1000 in another. It has a steady profit margin for every auction. This is also good because you don't need to sit in front of your computer for hours together on auctions.

Then, there is a very unique feature at GetInToo that you get your lost bids refunded. More on that in the next section below.

GetInToo Refunds Lost Bids!
This is perhaps the most unique feature of GetInToo that no penny auction can ever hope to achieve. At GetInToo, you purchase the bids and place the bids on the auctions the usual way. Then, if you are not the winner, the site refunds you all the bids that you used on the losing auction as voucher bids. You keep getting voucher bids until you win. This means you can invest once in the site and keep trying again and again, bidding on different auctions, till you are the winner.

Risk Analysis of GetInToo
Compared to big penny auctions like Quibids, GetInToo seems to carry a lower risk. One main reason for the lower risk is the bid refund as discussed above. Also, the cost of bidding is limited, as opposed to penny auctions. For example, a penny auction can make a killing on a big-ticket item at the expense of the bidders. This scenario is impossible at GetInToo because the auctioneer, the site in this case, can only make a fixed % on every auction.

At GetInToo, the Final Price is very Limited
Just like penny auctions, GetInToo makes money through the bids and not through the selling price of the items sold. However, at penny auctions, items can still sell for a huge amount of money and it is not uncommon to see auctions ending at over $200. This is a possible but unlikely scenario at GetInToo. For an auction to end at $200, there should be a minimum of 20,000 bids placed, of which 225 need to be real bids and 19,775 virtual bids! This is very unlikely. You can expect the lowest unique bid to be within $10 for almost every auction at least for now.

Too many Voucher Bids might be a Future Problem
Though it isn't much now, the number of voucher bids can go out of control because for every auction there is a single winner and multiple losers. Even now, if you visit the site, you can see many more virtual bids than real bids. There are several ways to counter this in the future. However, as a bidder looking for the best deals, I would suggest joining the site as soon as possible so you don't have to deal with an increasing number of virtual bids.

GetInToo Founders have Experience
You can read from my interview with Greg Walding that both he and his partner Richard Hull have entrepreneurial experience. This goes a long way in lending credibility to the site and business model. This means they are in for the long stay and not pack their bags overnight. This is an important aspect when you want to look for future sustainability of the site and want to invest your time and money in it. Too many penny auctions disappear overnight, so it is good to know GetInToo is not one of them.

Check out GetInToo

Thursday, March 24, 2011

GetInToo Interview with Greg Walding

GetInToo is a new auction site that is an entertainment shopping but NOT a penny auction.

GetInToo follows the concept of a Unique Bid Auction, which is a great auction model that is fun and exciting. I think the site will grow really well in the future and the concept is very interesting.

I had the chance to interview Greg Walding, Co-founder and President of GetInToo and I am posting it here. I hope it makes for an interesting read. The auction model is unique and I am sure at least some of you will really like it and hopefully join the site.

Sid: GetInToo is a lowest unique bid auction. Can you briefly explain what this means?
Greg Walding: This is a no reserve, sealed bid, lowest single unique bid wins auction. So when a certain number of bids are reached the auction closes. Whoever has the lowest unique bid wins.

Sid: From the point of view of the auction bidders, what advantages do you see for this auction model as compared to penny auction?
Greg Walding: It’s more competitive and less wasteful. Every bidder has a strategic opportunity to win, not just the person with the deepest pockets. Also our model of “no bid is wasted” allows users to use their bids again if they don’t win.

Sid: And what about disadvantages?
Greg Walding: Our auctions don’t have the casino like action that penny auctions have. They have the countdown timers so their action is more interactive. Also, our profit margins are lower than theirs but we are okay with making small profits on each auction instead of gross profits like they do. In the end we’ll win.

Sid: Would you say that in a general case, GetInToo will give better discounts than penny auctions?
Greg Walding: Absolutely, and the reason is not only because of our lowest unique wins system, but also how our purchase credit system works. When users buy bids from us they also get a corresponding amount of purchase credits. When they win, we simply deduct the winning bid amount and ship the product. The only costs to users is the bids, no separate billing for their winning amount and shipping & handling.

Sid: GetInToo is unique in the sense that the losing bids can be reused, is that correct?
Greg Walding: Essentially, yes. Let’s say a user bids 5 times on a laptop and those 5 bids do not win. When that auction closes, they will get an email that notifies them that they did not win the auction but their account has been credited with 5 voucher bids to use again.

Sid: How are you able to offer such a unique feature that no penny auction can ever offer?
Greg Walding: We close our auctions based in predetermined number of purchased bids. Penny auctions close when the timer reaches 0. They don’t know how many bids they’ll receive on each item but we do so we can control our ability to give customers more than they can.

Sid: Currently, the auctions are the same whether you use originally bought bids or reused bids. Do you plan to differentiate them in the future, i.e. have auctions exclusively for the reused bids and exclusively for the first time use bids?
Greg Walding: Not at this time. We want to keep true to our model that every user will have an opportunity to use their bids until they win (for up to a year) and use them on any auction. We might change this based on consumer demand though. We listen closely to our customers and want to respond to what they want if it’s possible.

Sid: Do you plan to disclose how many bids were placed by the winner? This might help know the percentage savings on each auction by the winner.
Greg Walding: We might do that but our system is so different with how our purchase credits and voucher bid systems work that it’s not really necessary. Our customers know the incredible value we provide and we just don’t want to disclose too much information so that copy cat sites don’t pop up or our competitors try to change their models to work like ours. We want to be the only auction site like ours in the world.

Sid: In this auction model, are past auctions a good indication of what the unique bid for the current auction will be?
Greg Walding: Sure but there are so many more strategies than meets the eye. Developing a strategy to bid based on historical data is good but users might want to combine that with other strategies. Our users are tighter lipped on the strategy they use to win than your typical penny auction for some reason.

Sid: What are your thoughts on the general penny auction model?
Greg Walding: I like it believe it or not. The only problem with the penny auction is that for every winner there are potentially hundreds and maybe even thousands of losers who wasted bids. That’s our target customer. If they lose, they don’t have to buy more bids (they can and most of our customers do) on our auction platform.

Sid: Are you aware of any other websites that use the same lowest unique bid auction?
Greg Walding: We are sure there is plenty of competition, but we focus on building our business and do not worry about that right now.

Sid: What do you think is the most important aspect that differentiates GetInToo from all other ‘entertainment shopping’ auctions?
Greg Walding: Our replacement voucher bid and purchase credit systems.

Sid: I see that at GetInToo the products get a fixed price from the bids irrespective of the bidding patterns, unlike a penny auction. Would you say that as a business, this is much more stable the riskier penny auctions where the initial days can potentially yield huge losses?
Greg Walding: Absolutely. We can make a small profit or breakeven on every auction whereas the penny auctions can go broke on their first day or if they lose volume at anytime. I believe that is the biggest reason why you see so many complaints about bidding bots, shill bidding and all that. The penny auction as a business doesn’t work unless you have massive amounts of people buying bids. We can grow slowly but always remain profitable to give our customers the great features we have available plus an entertaining way of shopping!

Sid: Your auction model seems well suited to allow sellers to sell their own items, since they get a full retail. Are you considering this option for the future? This might distinguish you from penny auctions as well.
Greg Walding: We talked about that and it is something we may do in the future but for now we are sticking to the new items sold by us.

Sid: How long has GetInToo been running?
Greg Walding: Since Jan 28, 2011.

Sid: At GetInToo, the auctions seem to end when a final price is reached instead of ending by a clock. How long do auctions typically run for?
Greg Walding: It just depends on how many people are bidding and what item it is. Gift cards go quickly (sometimes within hours) and larger ticket items usually go within a day right now. As our registrations grow the auctions will close faster and faster. You have to crawl before you walk.

Sid: You seem to have many great electronic items but fewer gift cards, quite unlike penny auctions. Is there any reason for this?
Greg Walding: We have gift cards but we don’t want to be known as the gift card auction so we limit those based on demand. We really want to be known for some of the most popular items and we love to get emails from our customers asking us to list a certain item. I had no idea that this Keurig coffee maker thing was so popular but a customer of ours suggested it and we responded “thankfully”!

Sid: Are there any additional features lined up for the short and long terms?
Greg Walding: Short term we have a contest planned. You see we are not backed by venture capital or big investors. We are a bootstrapped start up so we don’t have huge marketing budgets. We are started a Viral Video Marketing Contest that will accomplish 2 things for us. First, we’ll find the right Director of Social Media & Marketing to interview and bring on board. Second, we’ll have folks making videos that relate to and drive more traffic. We are optimistic about this but we can’t say exactly how successful we’ll be. Someone will win $1000 and 3 people will get an interview because we do need more leadership on the marketing side. We also are implementing a full disclosure bidding system where everyone knows exactly how many bids remaining to close there are.

Sid: So currently you operate in US and Canada. Do you plan to expand in other regions?
Greg Walding: Not right now, we’re just starting out so visions of world-wide domination are not in our short term goals. Clearly we want to grow our business but we have to start at home first.

Sid: How big is the GetInToo team? Tell us something about the people behind the business.
Greg Walding: Currently we have 5 employees. The two founders run the day to day operations and our support team handles the logistics. Most employees are family members so we be can harder on them and pay them less (just kidding).

Sid: Where do you see GetInToo after say 5 years? Do you have any targets in terms of number of active members or number of completed auctions that you would like to share?
Greg Walding: We like to keep our goals and growth plans close to the vest. We certainly have them and in 5 years we’d like to see over 1M registered users. Our completed auctions goals would be to the point of closing several thousand a day but that’s far off right now. We’re working hard to get there and provide the best customer service possible.

Sid: Have you started other companies before GetInToo?
Greg Walding: Yes, both founders have. Richard’s been a part of growing an insurance company that we took public back in 2003 and he also started an online training company in 2006, and a successful investment management practice in 2008. I started a tech company and own several other websites.

Join GetInToo here

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Quibids Increases Win Limits

Quibids increases win limits, starting a couple of days ago. Quibids had strict auction limits to ensure that the same people don't keep bidding and winning all the auctions. Win limits also help prevent collusion and fraud by some group who want to milk the system instead of playing by the rules.

However, many people found the limits to be too stringent. So Quibids has increased their monthly win limits from 8 to 12. This should give bidders more freedom bidding on the site.

In any case, you can always bid on limit busters which are not too hard to win. These limit busters help you win more than this monthly limit.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

BidSauce Review: BidSauce Platinum Membership Review

This BidSauce review is through my own experience in penny auctions in general. BidSauce is another penny auction which I would say is not totally an amateur penny auction but not totally professional like Quibids, Beezid, BidRivals etc. I have no problem with mid-size penny auctions.

At first, it seems like any other penny auction but on closer inspection, you get something called Platinum Membership at BidSauce. Here is where I begin to get skeptical. BidSauce review isn't the first site that I am reviewing on my blog and elsewhere and I know hos these things have panned out in the past.

So here is the deal: at BidSauce you have the option of joining free or joining Platinum. The platinum membership levels are paid memberships. Here is a screenshot of the actual program as it appears on their website.

Note how the pricing is cleverly designed. Nowhere does it say that the costs are recurring each month, which is what it is. This seems misleading to me at once.

There are several reasons why my BidSauce review isn't very encouraging to the site. This monthly recurring fees isn't very good because you stay invested in the site. Does anyone remember the Swipebids Scam? If not, it was a huge scam in penny auctions where you had to pay about $150 to join and bids were extremely cheap if you bought them in bulk. Then the site closed shop, taking the hundreds of thousands of dollars and scamming thousands of users. I am afraid BidSauce will end up as scam too if the model is unsustainable. If it happened with Swipebids, it can happen with BidSauce too.

Now BidSauce seems to have changed their working model with time. If you read BidSauce reviews at SiteJabber, you will see people complaining that they were charged $150 during registration, exactly like Swipebids! This doesn't look nice. Oh and Swipebids scam had the exact same "MO" of working: you get free bids every single day. Here at BidSauce platinum membership, you get free bids every month, but you get the point.

The reason I am skeptical is the issue of sustainability. Sure, BidSauce may not have closed shop ... yet. Swipebids scam was a giant ponzi scheme and I am afraid BidSauce might turn out to be one too.

Also, there are auctions that are available only for platinum members, which is a way to tempt people to pay. However, it turns out that they are no less competitive but high-end products. It is certainly not worth the price.

Unless you want to resell, I don't see a strong reason why you would want very high win limits either. I know some people like it, and they need to determine if this is the price they are willing to pay.

The final level of membership, the Platinum Pro has free shipping as well, so if you plan to win a ton of items, then increased win limits with free shipping *might* be a good deal for you. However, do weigh in the prospects of BidSauce scam in the process because if the model is unsustainable, it will not end well for you. If you really want to stay invested in this site, you might as well choose this option but remember that the more you invest, the higher your risk of losing everything, which is how a ponzi-scheme works - ask Maddoff!

If you read other BidSauce reviews on SiteJabber, they don't seem very good. Quibids reviews are bad for a different reason altogether - people don't understand the penny auction model. However, even seasoned penny auctioners remain skeptical about BidSauce.

I hope my BidSauce review helps you make an informed decision.

Beezid Commercial and Beezid Advertising

This post is about my thoughts on Beezid commercial. So last time I wrote about Quibids Commercial and how it isn't as professional as I would like it to be. Don't get me wrong: Quibids has come a long way since using the Fake news Advertorials to trying to get mainstream, but there is still a lot of work to be done, in my opinion. The quality doesn't match the other commercials you might see on similar times on air.

So I was reviewing the other penny auction commercials and I came across Beezid commercial. It is just comical, and the voice sounds like someone trying to sell me porno from the '80s. It needs serious improvement and looking at the Beezid commercial, I might have to revise my criticism of Quibids commercial. However, since Quibids doesn't want to compete with other penny auctions, it should have its own standards.

For penny auctions in general, seriously, if you want to have an impact, the quality should be much better. This quality seems like a job done by a 14 year old freelancer working for $50 per advertisement. I am yet to see one decent advertisement or commercial from a penny auction. I do hope this aspect is modified if this phenomena of penny auctions is to move into the mainstream. Without proper advertising, the majority are still going to have their first reaction as "Scam!".

Monday, March 21, 2011

DealDash vs Quibids: The Better Deal

DealDash is a penny auction site with multiple desirable features. Here I discuss DealDash vs Quibids in terms of which auction is likely to give a better deal. I had previously written about DealDash as a Quibids alternative. There are several reasons why I think DealDash is a great Quibids alternative.

When you are looking for penny auctions, the first and most important thing to look for is whether it is 100% legit. Both Quibids and DealDash are legit. However, another important aspect of DealDash is the same Buy-It-Now feature as Quibids. This is in sharp contrast to other famous penny auctions like Beezid or BidRivals. I personally think the buy it now feature is great as it reduces risk. Both Quibids and DealDash have the Buy It Now feature.

However, I claim that DealDash is less competitive than Quibids and thus you are more likely to get a better deal. I showed one example in my previous post and someone remarked that it could be biased as they were taken at different times. Well, so I have decided to do a more thorough analysis of DealDash vs Quibids in terms of competition and auction end prices.

One thing that makes my comparison easy is that both Quibids and DealDash have the same price of bids. At both these sites, bids cost $0.60 each.

DealDash lists all the auctions and all the winners in one place, which makes it one of the most open penny auctions (there are others that do this too, like BidRivals) and easy to get the data. Quibids on the other hand is surprisingly opaque in this regard. The only way to get data off Quibids is to use the search feature and you get an idea of the recently closed auctions.

I am taking laptops and netbooks as my sample space for the analysis. These are valuable items and are sold at both these sites. The time is between 14th March 2011 and 15th March 2011: Monday and Tuesday.

For both the auctions, I am rounding off the cost prices of items. To analyze, let us define an Auction Ratio as Auction End Price/Cost Price. This is a useful index here because the bids are the same value of $0.60 and all are 1 cent auctions. For convenience, I express this as a %. Note that this Auction Ratio doesn't take the money spent towards the bids but only the final price. The lower the Auction Ratio, the less competitive and thus more profitable it is to bid on it.

For DealDash, the details are as follows:

ProductCost PriceAuction End PriceAuction Ratio
HP Mini Netbook$500$2.840.57%
Acer Aspire Netbook$500$22.904.58%
Lenovo Ideapad Netbook$500$1.460.29%
TimelineX Laptop$900$2.370.26%
HP Mini Netbook$500$6.151.23%

To calculate the overall Auction Ratio, the total cost price of all items is $2900 and the total (sum) auction end price is $35.72. The Overall Auction Ratio is 1.23%
NB: To verify, here are the URLs:

Now to Quibids. The only way to get data for Quibids is through the search. Here is the same table for Quibids

ProductCost PriceAuction End PriceAuction Ratio
MSI Netbook$314$0.690.22%
Asus Netbook$410$0.820.20%
Asus Netbook$368$10.142.76%
MSI Netbook$314$49.2515.68%
MSI Netbook$314$27.728.83%
Sony VAIO Laptop$1112$161.3214.51%

To calculate the overall Auction Ratio, the total cost price of all items is $2832 and the total (sum) auction end price is $249.94. The Overall Auction Ratio is 8.83%
NB: To verify, here are the URLs:

To summarize, the Overall Auction Ratio of DealDash is 1.23% and that of Quibids is 8.83% in the sample space taken above - all laptops and netbooks at both the sites for 2 days. The data will obviously vary depending on the day. The only reason to choose these particular dates is because this is the only data available for Quibids (later data isn't available as of now).

It can now be said that in the above auctions, DealDash was about 7 times less competitive than Quibids.

Therefore if you are looking for general products available on both these sites, then DealDash appears to be less competitive. Be sure to Check out DealDash

Quibids Commercial and Quibids Advertising

I want to comment on the recent Quibids commercial and also Quibids advertising in general. Quibids is the largest penny auction site in the US, but it still has a long way to go with advertising. And I mean a really long way.

Quibids wants to enter mainstream shopping and not just be another penny auction. It is interesting that Quibids doesn't identify itself with penny auctions but rather wants to be known as a mainstream shopping option. For this, it needs to be a step above all other sites and also make a place for itself in the general mainstream.

However, Quibids commercials have always been dubious. There have been many issues with using the Fake News Advertising. Also, people have been unhappy about Quibids advertising. As the site grows, it has taken down many of these "stupid" advertising ways. However, it is far from mainstream advertising.

Take a look at the recent Quibids commercial that is being aired on Television especially the local CBS and NBC channels.

The quality is poor and it sounds suspicious all the way. There is a man saying "I got a Macbook Pro Laptop for 67 dollars!" and it says below HIRED ACTOR. This is really poor thinking.

The commercial should be viewed in light of the recent lawsuit against Quibids. These Quibids commercials don't help the cause of the company.

Quibids advertising should be more professional and it shouldn't just keep emphasizing on the discounts that you can make. True, putting in the numbers here are there is alright, but that shouldn't become the central theme of the commercial. If Quibids really wants to go mainstream, it should make wittier and more professional advertisements.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Quibids Can Make a Loss Too!

Quibids usually makes huge profits on big auctions. This is because they are coveted and attract many bidders who are willing to spend a lot of bids. In addition, very few would actually opt for the Buy-It-Now feature in these auctions. So here is an exception to this rule:

The Quibids Featured Auction of the Week was a trip to NCAA semifinals and champions game for 2. The package was priced at $3500.

For simplicity sake, let us assume that no one actually used the Buy It Now feature on this auction. I wouldn't suspect this to be far from the truth, but if someone did, then the profit for Quibids would be lower (loss would be higher).

For Quibids to break even on this auction, the number of bids required to be placed is 3500/0.60 = 5834. Thus the final price required for Quibids to break even on this auction was $58.34. However, the item was sold out for $30.67. This resulted in a loss for Quibids of $1660.

Quibids does make a lot of money in the long run, but it always runs the risk of one auction ending at a lower price than the break-even value.

About the auction itself, congratulations to the winner, mlouhux. The auction end seemed like a typical case of Volunteer's Dilemma (those who read my article on Quibids Strategy Volunteer's Dilemma will immediately recognize this scenario). The bidder Samsworld72 was caught in the volunteer's dilemma with wazzuuppp, who was using the Bid-O-Matic. Trying to save a bid in the process cost him the auction, as the Bid-O-Matic ran out of bids!

This also tells you that unlike other penny auction sites like BidRivals, at Quibids everyone has a fair winning chance, whether you use the automatic bidding tool (Bidomatic at Quibids) or not. The winner in this case was bidding singly instead of using a Bidomatic.

If you want to win auctions on Quibids, don't forget to read my Quibids strategies on this blog!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Quibids takes you to NCAA

The Quibids featured auction of the week for this week is a trip to NCAA semifinals and champions game for 2! You can find the auction on Quibids.

The package also includes:
Round trip airfare departing from any major city to Houston
3 night stay in a hotel close the Reliant Stadium in Houston

The package is valued at $3500, which I assume is just an approximation of the total price. Quibids makes good money through featured auctions of the week and this should be no exception. I am sure there will be some fierce competition for this auction as well.

If you wish to participate in this auction, don't forget to check out my Quibids Strategies that will help you win this auction. Specifically, you should know about how to win through Quibids Strategy Waiting Game as it can be very useful to help save you money in this big auction while also giving you a good chance at winning.

You are also likely to encounter aggressive or power bidders at Quibids especially at these big auctions. You should know how to win against power bidders at Quibids. In addition, you will see the bidomatic being used more often than not, so remember to read about how to win against BidoMatic.

Finally, I have a guide especially for winning big-ticket items like this one, so read my big auction winning guide as well. Good luck bidding!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Review of Quibids Alternatives

This is my review of Quibids alternatives if you should be interested. I have selected these sites after careful consideration and have especially made sure that they are not scams, so it is safe to invest in them. However, these different Quibids alternatives have different features that might appeal to you, so here is a brief summary. All of them are penny auctions that are different from Quibids.

If you want to know more about Quibids, you should read my Quibids Strategies and a comprehensive Quibids Review. These should also help you make up your mind about whether you really want alternatives to Quibids or want to stick with Quibids, which is the largest penny auction site in the US.

1. DealDash: This is another American penny auction that is about 10 times smaller than Quibids, which still makes it very big. However, the nice thing about DealDash is that it is less competitive and has sufficient products. You have good winning chances. The bidding community is well-knit and the site is usually much more open. Read my complete DealDash Review for detailed information.

2. BidRivals: BidRivals is a truly global penny auction. This certainly makes for more interesting auctions and better ways to get deals. There are more European bidders than Americans, so most of the times you can spot some great deals. This time zone difference makes the bidding process more uniform. Also, the automatic bidder is more advanced here and you can always use some good strategies on this to win. If you can form the right bidding strategy, BidRivals might just be for you. Read my complete BidRivals Review for more information.

3. ScoreLuxe: ScoreLuxe is another penny auction that only provides high-end luxury goods. If you have wanted to indulge yourself without spending thousands of dollars, this site might be just right. You also get high-end electronics like iPads/iPhones. These are many times cheaper than iPad/iPhone auctions at Quibids or even other penny auctions. The only drawback is there are not as many auctions live. If you can wait for the right time, ScoreLuxe can give you the most amazing deals. Read my complete ScoreLuxe Review and also an Interview with ScoreLuxe founder.

4. Beezid: Beezid is a popular penny auction with many different auction types and some free bids. They are good entertainment, but I think they don't give better deals than Quibids. Also, they don't seem to have the Buy it Now feature, which greatly reduces loss at Quibids. You can read about Quibids vs Beezid.

I hope you like these sites. Do drop in a comment and let me know how you felt about these penny auctions.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Quibids Review by BBB: Why it cannot be trusted

BBB has a good Quibids Review. In fact, many penny auctions boast of a good BBB Review. In fact, it is one of the highlights on their site. A common symbol is "BBB Accredited" business. This certainly lends credibility. However, it may not be as safe as you would like to believe.

As it turns out, BBB is as sold as other ratings agencies. It was an interesting read, an article on LA times about BBB ratings. It appears that BBB had given an A+ rating to Goldline that was not deserved! This is blasphemous to say the least. You would be aware that GoldLine is under federal investigation of fraud and misleading customers into buying overpriced antique gold coins.

A lot of ratings agencies have lost credibility especially after the financial meltdown. I am certainly not suggesting that BBB accredition is pointless. However, I am saying that just because a penny auction has a good BBB rating, you should not trust that blindly. BBB has given Quibids review an A-, which is probably well deserved. However, the same cannot be said of all penny auctions.

To keep yourself updated, read my Quibids Review, BidHere Review, DealDash Review, ScoreLuxe Review, BidRivals Review and Penny20 Review.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Penny20 Review: Review of Hidden Limit Auction

This is my Penny20 Review
Penny20 is a new auction site that is already taking huge steps towards increased popularity. It isn't a penny auction site, but it is does fall under the "Entertainment Shopping" category. This means you can expect to get some really good discounts at a far lower loss and risk. Here is how the auction model works:

Penny20 is a Hidden Limit Auction
The first thing to remember in the Penny20 review process is that it is a Hidden Limit Auction. This is neither like a traditional eBay auction nor like a penny auction such as Quibids. The way it works is this: Every item has a fixed price and people start bidding on it. You will not know how much has been bid up to now. If you happen to be the last bidder to reach the predefined fixed price, you are the winner.
There are a couple of features you should know to win:
  • If you bid up to 5% of the item's price, you can get a 'Reveal' feature wherein you will know about the bid amounts of all the bidders on the auction. This is priceless information in a Hidden Limit Auction! You can then decide your bidding strategy.
  • You can buy all the remaining bids at any point of time and therefore win the product. No one can outbid you in this case. If you have already used the above 'Reveal' feature, you know exactly how much you will end up saving.
Penny20 is Not a Traditional Auction
Now lets review Penny20 from the point of view of how it differs from traditional auctions like eBay. As mentioned earlier, Penny20 falls in the category of 'Entertainment Auctions'. Thus it is not the plain vanilla type where everyone bids an amount and the highest bidder wins. In a way, a hidden limit auction is a bidding-fee auction model in which every bid needs to be paid for. This is unlike a place like eBay where bidding is free. The upside of course is that since the bids are paid, you can get a significant discount on the item you want to buy.

Penny20 is Not a Penny Auction
Now lets see a Penny20 review compared to penny auctions. Penny20 being a hidden limit auction is quite unlike a penny auction. The most important difference is that penny auctions end by the clock whereas hidden limit auctions end by the total amount collected. Thus there will be no auction where the auctioneer makes a killing, as commonly happens with penny auctions like Quibids (read my post on how much Quibids made on selling a Honda Civic car) At the same time, the auctioneer will also not make a loss.

Penny20 reduces Risk Compared to Penny Auctions
Penny20 falls in the entertainment shopping niche of auctions, but it greatly limits the risk and loss associated with these auctions. The first thing to remember is that the final price is fixed, therefore the auction cannot keep increasing in price (though it can go on for a long time - time doesn't affect the price, unlike in penny auctions). Any loss is therefore limited. In addition, there is a good feature of Reveal that tells you about the money invested by other bidders when you bid 5% of the final price.

A simple winning strategy is therefore this: Bid up to 5% on an ongoing auction. You will know what others have bid. If you are lucky, others have bid a lot in the auction and you can buy up all the remaining bids and emerge the winner. If not, you can wait and hope that no one else buys up all the bids. If at least 15% of the amount is covered through bids and you have invested 5% of this amount, you will emerge at a profit (beware though that the auction end price may be higher than the market price, in which case you will have to go over 15% before you decide to buy up all the remaining bids).

In this scenario, the maximum you can lose is 5% of the auction end price (if someone else buys up all the bids before you and wins) but you can win at any price (if you see that the pot is 70% full, you buy up all the remaining bids and end up paying 30+5=35% of the final price).

Penny20 Might not give you 99% Discounts
This is a tough one to decide: I don't think there is any realistic way in which you might get these huge discounts. This is because in all probability, there will be someone who knows exactly how much has been bid (by investing 5% of the auction end price) and when he sees the bids reaching close to the auction end price, he will buy up all the remaining bids and therefore win. It is highly unlikely that you might "accidentally" bid once and that reaches the auction end price and you win.

That being said, this is certainly possible. I see this scenario as a realistic one if there are some small ticket items and everyone just bids as soon as it is live. The auction may last for a minute or two and perhaps no one really knows the details on how much others bid. It is possible but not likely. This of course is determined by the scale - how many bidders are online and how aggressive they are with their bidding.

This is a scenario that I'll have to revisit after 6 months or 1 year but as of now, I don't see it being very likely.

Penny20 is New and Legit: Doesn't mean Discounts
This is not necessarily good for you as a bidder. If it were a penny auction and you were 100% certain that the site was legit, you can get heavy discounts because there are not enough bidders. On Penny20, it is the other way: since the auction end price is fixed, if there are more bidders, you can hope to get better discounts.

That being said, you can always decide to buy up the remaining bids and get some discount. It makes sense to join the site and get a feel for it in any case.

Penny20 lets you be a Seller
Penny auctions don't allow you to sell products on their website. All products are sold by the site themselves. At Penny20, anyone can sell anything, so in a way it is more like eBay. However, eBay charges a fees from the sellers to list their items. Penny20 doesn't charge anything from the sellers. It is thus a more open marketplace where you can buy and sell.

Penny20 Founders are Trusted
This may not sound like it is important but you would be surprised by the number of scams or number of sites that close shop after a few days/weeks/months. Penny20 founder and CEO is also the founder of Subjex, a publicly traded 11 year old company, so he sure knows his way around business. Personally for me, this is an important aspect.

I hope you found my Penny20 review useful. You can join Penny20 and look forward to a huge and vibrant community of bidders. Andrew Hyder, the founder of Penny20 has a goal of 1 million happy members in a matter of months, so let's see if he can reach that goal! You should read my Interview with Andrew Hyder of Penny20 as well.

Good luck bidding!