Saturday, April 21, 2012

Quibids Global Auctions: Blessing or Curse?

Quibids is finally going global! Today, Quibids announced in their blog post that from now on, you will have the option to compete with people from all over the world instead of just from within your country. And, the tone of the article suggests that you, as a bidder, should be excited and elated! Should you really?

Global penny auctions are not new and Quibids is certainly not the only one to enter that territory. The most notable global penny auction I can think of is BidRivals which is on a steady decline since its heyday. So now, Quibids is going global and asking us to be enthusiastic about it, but is it good?

The Pros

Yes, there are certain pros as Quibids points out and as I know from my own experience with penny auctions for over 2 years now.

  • Better auction selection: Yes, one culture influences the other and usually when penny auctions go global, they have a better selection of items that bidders can bid on. Variety of course is a good thing to have on penny auctions but you shouldn't let it overwhelm you. For example, it is usually a terrible idea to bid on jewelry on penny auctions because you end up overpaying in most cases. 
  • Good for bidders in non-US Countries: Quibids is primarily based in the US and it is not going to change for a while at least. This means bidders in Canada, UK and other countries see fewer auctions. For these bidders, global auctions are good because they now have a wider selection of products to choose from. 
  • More products throughout the day: This is another very important aspect of global penny auctions that there are a good selection of auctions to choose from. Right now, from a US time perspective, there are good and bad times to bid on Quibids. Now the equation is going to be more complicated because you have people from different time zones and when it is optimal time for them to bid, it is not the US consumers. This will mean more auctions throughout the day. Right now, at night in the US, Quibids drastically decreases the number of auctions and the night owls among us aren't too happy. hopefully this will change soon. 

The Cons

Well it is not all smooth sailing in global penny auctions. Here are some of the cons of this new development that Quibids bidders should be aware of - 
  • Increased Competition: Yes, this is one of the most fundamental problems with global penny auctions. At the peak hours, you will have to compete with people from across the globe. Also, even though Quibids has huge amounts of data about when bidders place, they are notorious for not scaling up the number of auctions when demand is high, like during weekends. Is this worse for US bidders? We'll have to wait and see. 
  • Harder to form a Strategy: When penny auctions go global, you can no longer rely on single time zone information to determine what the best time for bidding is. True, strategies like the Volunteer's Dilemma hold no matter what but timing can be everything too. 
These of course are major drawbacks for Quibids bidders. By the way, not all auctions are global for now. You will find a small globe symbol which tells you that the auction is for global audience. I am not too sure how wise it would be to bid on these auctions specifically unless you really like the product. 

What do you think about this latest Quibids development?
Update: Matt, the head Quibids blogger wrote to me saying that my article initially suggested that it would be mandatory for bidders to bid globally but that is not true. I was aware of this but probably didn't write it in the best way. Just to clarify, there will be a few auctions which are global and you can either bid on those or not. The rest are just regular auctions where you bid against people from your own country. If bidding globally excites you, you should bid on these. Otherwise, just stick with regular ones. Of course, you should identify these - look for a symbol of a globe beside the auction. I already mentioned this in the last paragraph. Thanks Matt! 

1 comment:

  1. No, thank you Sid! Keep on rocking here at QuiBidsblog!