Friday, May 27, 2011

MyPadiddle Interview with David Hoffman Jr.

I had the chance to interview David Hoffman Jr. of MyPadiddle. David is the COO of the penny auction MyPadiddle. He has some very interesting thoughts to share not just about his own website but penny auctions in general. I am sure you will enjoy reading his thoughts as an insider to the penny auction industry.

Sid: MyPadiddle seems to be the only penny auctions really interested in sporting goods, events and tickets. What made you attracted to this segment?
David: We are sports guys! When we decided to start MyPadiddle we wanted to come in as a niche site. We have access to almost any ticket at any time and we get the best seats to those events. Just ask our customers who have already gone to the Final Four and MLB games since we started in March.

Sid: In the future, do you want to see MyPadiddle as an exclusive auction for a niche segment or a general penny auction with all kinds of products?
David: I would have to say more of a general penny auction but we will always have the event tickets as well. We will always broaden our product list and will take requests as well. Whatever our customers want is what we will have!

Sid: What attracted you to the penny auction model?
David: Simple, the possibility to run a profitable business. The penny auction model for the larger sites is great. The fact that some of the top sites seem overloaded with users, we believe those users will be looking for new sites. So if we target those users plus consistently bringing in our own new users the Penny Auction model looks attractive!

Sid: With an increasing number of lawsuits and complaints, the press seems to be a tad skeptical about penny auctions. Where do you see the future of the penny auction model?
David: People love to play games, people love to shop, people love to win stuff, and people love competition. I believe the Penny Auction industry will continue to grow and the model will mainly stay the same. There will still be a few new sites that will try something new. The complaints on other websites are hurting the industry. There will always be scam artists out there trying to make a quick buck if they can. They are the ones giving the industry a bad name. As time goes on and Penny Auctions become larger, we hope that there is some kind of regulation so all the legit sites can grow. As for the lawsuits, in my opinion, they won’t last long. I have read through some of them and don’t believe that they will last very long. Skepticism will always be there with a new user. That is understandable. If the new user hangs in there and studies certain sites and the behaviors of its users, those users have a good shot at winning items for cheap. The more knowledgeable a user becomes about a Penny Auction site, the more the skepticism will go away.

Sid: Do you think the industry is saturated with so many new players in the market or do you think there is scope for penny auctions to go more mainstream and thus more potential for growth?
David: I think that the industry is saturated with new players but those new players are all playing on the bigger sites. Those sites pay big money for their advertising and have earned all those new players. I think that a lot of those users will start to trickle down and grow some of the medium to smaller sites. That is, if the medium and smaller sites are also paying a good chunk of money into their advertising to target them. I think that penny auctions will grow into more of mainstream then it currently is and I do believe that the industry as a whole will keep growing because of it.

Sid: Do you see more penny auctions emerging in the future catering to a niche segment?
David: The Penny Auction model is very appealing to someone who wants to start a business. It is also very deceiving. I think that the new Penny Auctions will continue to pop up all the time, especially niche sites. The sites that have the capital to spend on advertising as well as make it through the heavy losses in starting up will survive. Another aspect that separates Penny Auction sites is their Management. If you don’t know how to run a business you will fail and fail quickly in the Penny Auction industry. MyPadiddle has a very smart and savvy management and that reflects in our Customer Service, Shipping and Tech team (which has built us a fantastic site!).

Sid: How is MyPadiddle different from other penny auctions?
David: There is not much different between any of the Penny Auction sites. It’s all the same model just different items, different look, customer service, shipping times, and rules. I believe our current customers that have already tried MyPadiddle will attest to how we run our business! I would put our Customer Service, Shipping times, and website look up against any other site out there!

Sid: What additional features would you like to add to MyPadiddle in the short and long term?
David: We are working on a couple things. We would like to have a daily giveaway where one random person will win a prize each day! We are also working on our MyPadiddle points. The points will be accrued from buying bid packs as well as bidding on items. The points will eventually be able to be spent on free bid packs as well as some items. We are excited to roll out both of these projects soon!

Sid: Have you reached the critical point in terms of number of bidders where you can turn an overall profit?
David: Not yet. That is not good for us but great for the bidders! We understood that there will be losses and possibly heavy losses when starting a new business. We have some great advertising projects coming up in June to keep growing our user base. As a new user, now is a great time to bid at MyPadiddle!

Sid: If you had to give just one reason for penny auction bidders to choose MyPadiddle over others, what reason would you give?
David: Service, Service, Service! We have some great people who run our Customer Service and Shipping departments. If a user wins an auction, they want to know that it will be coming soon. We ship our products out 1-2 days after an auction is paid for. We also work with our users who would like to exchange what they won for some Amazon credit to buy something else. We are always ready and willing to work with our users. The site looks fantastic and runs perfect is another great thing about MyPadiddle!

Sid: Tell us something about the people behind MyPadiddle. How big is the team? We have 4 owners to MyPadiddle.
David: Jamie and Shawn came up with the idea to start MyPadiddle and really got us off the ground, planning took 5 months before our actual launch. Myself (David) and Ed jumped in about 2 months before the launch of MyPadiddle. We have a company based in South Bend that built our site and will make any changes we need. We have others that help from time to time to always assure we keep our shipping deadlines and our customer service emails answered. This advertising push in June will tell us if we need to add a few people to help us stay within our shipping and customer service goals. Hopefully we will have to add to the employees at our downtown South Bend office!

Sid: What’s the guiding motto at MyPadiddle?
David: Meet our goals and have fun! Our goals for Customer Service and shipping are high. We have to work hard to attain those goals. In attaining them we have to have some fun though! I for one believe that if you are not having fun then you won’t do as good a job. Everyone wants to have fun while they work, right?

Sid: Did you start any companies prior to MyPadiddle?
David: None of the 4 owners have previously started their own company. I lived with the owners of Better World Books (www.betterworldbooks.com) and was with them as they grew from 2 employees to close to 300 employees, a 260,000 sq ft warehouse, and were in Times Magazine recently! Fantastic company and I learned so much in my time there.

Thank you for your time Sid! I appreciate all the questions and to any new users who have not tried MyPadiddle yet, please come by and try us out!! You can use the promo SID2011 to receive 10 extra bids on your bid pack purchases. Good luck and remember to always have fun!

I hope you enjoyed the interview with David.

6 comments:

  1. I completely agree with this article. I have done much bidding at MyPadiddle, and have received nothing but absolutely stellar service. David and the others at MyPadiddle truly strive to make it a great experience for all involved. Shipping is rapid pace, and it is a fantastic site all around.

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  2. That's wonderful to know! MyPadiddle does look like a great site and they are here to stay. It is good to know bidders are having a great time and winning products at amazing discounts.

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  3. I am the most well known and most profitable bidder on mypadiddle so far. I can tell you this site is one to check out. They will only get better with growth. A+

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  4. Good to know! There seem to be favorable reviews from bidders, and I hope the high standards can be maintained as the site grows.

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  5. +$3,624 PROFIT last week!

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