Saturday, December 29, 2012

Penny Auctions in France

The EU as a whole had a love/hate relationship with Penny Auctions. The whole concept and thus the industry originated in Europe and became popular in America later on. After all, it was Swoopoo which started the whole concept of penny auctions and took it mainstream. However, Swoopoo is bankrupt now and of course a lot of very unhappy customers.

There were a few other penny auctions in the EU area like BidYes is right now - based in France. However, that doesn't even come close to the scale of Swoopoo. Then there was BidRivals that was really big in the EU area but they too are closed now. BidRivals was kind of big in France too.

So what's next for France and EU? Looks like Quibids! Yes, Quibids, the site that perfected the penny auction model in the US (and always moving away from branding itself as one) is now expanding into the EU. They started off with France and Germany.

This is big for the French penny auction industry because Quibids has withered the whole storm very well and is going as strong as ever even when most well known penny auctions all over the world close down. If Quibids can convince the French bidders that they are different from BidRivals and Swoopoo, they can strike it big there. It's quite exciting for both Quibids and French penny auction bidders. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Matt Beckham, CEO of Quibids, Interviewed

This is kind of old news, but I just saw the video now and I am sure many of my readers would have missed it too. This is a short 25 minute interview of Matt Beckham, the founder and CEO of Quibids talking about his business. This is conducted by the State Chamber of Oklahoma. It is an interesting interview and a nice take on the whole business and auction model.
Here is the video.

What do you think?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Quibids Store Review: Pricing and Utility

I am going to discuss Quibids store review, mainly with respect to its pricing and how it compares to other ecommerce websites. I'll do a small case study as well for this purpose.

Background

So it's official - the Quibids store is in full swing and has been operating smoothly. For those who have followed this blog or the penny auction industry in general, this would have come as no surprise at all. The penny auction industry took the world by storm after the great recession and recessed away equally fast. People seemed to have a limited appetite for this "revolutionary" way to "shop" online.

As penny auctions' fortunes waned, only one site remained strong - Quibids (some smaller ones survived and are going strong, which is impressive in their own right) and it is the leader and almost a monopolist in this area of penny auctions, at least in North America. The competition isn't even close. It is huge and it survived. It did many things right. However, it cannot rest on its laurels. It appears that users and visitors aren't that hooked on to auctions taking forever and waiting for several hours in front of their computers.

As users move away from the penny auction model, it is very natural that the leader diversify its fortunes. It was already in the ecommerce space, so it was only natural to have a fully functional ecommerce store. That has been official - called the Quibids store. You can see the official blog post on Quibids store.

Why Use Quibids Store? 

I don't care about their official policy, but the only reasons that interest me are price and rewards. Something has to be very attractive. Either Quibids has to give me the product really cheap or give me really good rewards. This is the only reason I would buy from Quibids instead of, say, Amazon.

Quibids actually makes it good on both these fronts. I was honestly surprised by this. I've always assumed, by default, that Amazon would be the cheapest option anyway. I think Quibids store, at least at this stage, is here to compete to provide for a great shopping experience, holiday season and beyond. I don't know if the prices are low now because it is new and then will increase in the future or not, but I think it is a legitimate option to consider.

Case Study - Cannon Lens

So I did a small study and found a few items on Quibids store and Amazon and found that Quibids store actually had the product at a lower price than Amazon. I am a photography enthusiast, so I picked up a camera lens (sorry Quibids, I am a Nikon person, not Cannon, so I won't buy the lens you're offering!) and compared the prices at three places - Amazon, Target and Quibids store. Here are the details -



As you can see above, it is the same lens, and it sells for $299 on Target, $255 on Amazon and only $239 on Quibids store. That's a significant saving. Even if you add the shipping costs, it is cheaper than Amazon. For this product, Quibids store offers the lens cheaper and provides voucher bids. That's both price and rewards packed into one.

Of course I would suggest you do your own research for the products that you want to buy, but Quibids store seems like a legitimate option his holiday season and with the inclusion of voucher bids, all the better for shoppers. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Quibids - Is it Possible to Use Voucher Bids First?

At Quibids, is it possible to use voucher bids first, before using your paid bids? Or the other way - use real bids first and not use voucher bids at all? Quite a few bidders have asked me this, and I wanted to write a post about that.

Some of the reasons you would like to change the default ordering of the bids that get used up are -

  • If you are just bidding for fun to test out your luck because you have quite a few voucher bids in your account, then you need to be careful not to use up your real bids. It is best to use real bids when you want to buy the item at full retail if you don't win. Voucher bids don't count towards your buy-now price. 
  • If you are bidding on a gift card and you are prepared to buy it at full retail and the auction is fairly competitive, then you may not want to use voucher bids at all because those could be wasted. Instead, you want to use only the real bids and if you lose, just buy the item at full retail. This is also the case with other high-end electronics. 
This can actually be a neat addition to your regular Quibids strategy.

Ok, so now coming back to the original question - can you order your bids in Quibids as to which ones should be used ahead of which ones? The simple answer is no. This is unfortunate - I would actually like to see them be more flexible here and give users the option to use whatever kind of bids they want to use. 

Currently, here is how the bids are used - in the order of expiration. The bids that expire soonest are going to be used up first. I would ideally like this to be the default behavior but give the user power to change it easily. From the Quibids Terms of Conditions
"When You place Bids, the first Bids used will be Bids from Bid Packs, starting with the Bids that are going to expire the soonest. After Bids from Bid Packs are exhausted, Free Bids will be used, starting with the Bids that are closest to expiring. After Free Bids are exhausted, Voucher Bids are used, starting with the Bids that are closest to expiring. At QuiBids sole discretion, You may be given an opportunity to select which type of bids to use on an auction."
 So there you have it. Unfortunately for bidders, there is no good way to order which bids you want to use. That being said, read the last line - At Quibids' discretion, this can be changed. If you have been bitten by a situation as this and you didn't realize and ended up wasting a ton of bids, real or voucher, it might help to contact their help team and try to ask them to change this. I am not sure if they will oblige.

Did you ever run into this situation where you wanted to order your bids differently, like using virtual bids first or using real bids first? 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Overview of Penny Auctions

This is a Guest Post by Adeel of LimitlessBids

Summary 
In this article, we will be comparing the difference between regular online auctions, and penny auctions. We will also find out whether or not it is always a good decision to use one service or the other and lastly, we’re going to figure out how we can earn a profit from using both penny auctions and traditional auctions.

I know that the majority of the people that will be reading this already understand how penny auctions work, let me start off with a little review in case we have some new users on the site. When bidding in a penny auction service, you are going to have to pay for the bids beforehand. The price per bid ranges from between.50 to $1.00 a bid.

Unlike traditional auctions, every single time a bid is placed, the timer is once again restarted to allow for another bidder to bid. Now, if you are not the last person to bid on an item, you in essence helped pay for someone else's merchandise, a problem that does not exist in traditional auction houses. However, there are some companies such as that allow all users the option of using the buy it now option for any product AND having their bids cost count towards that amount! Check and make sure that the buy it now price that is listed on the penny auction site you are using is comparable to other online retailers. Sometimes penny auction companies will try to overinflate their prices so they can turn an even larger profit when you “Buy it now.”

Another problem that has plagued the penny auction world is that there are groups of people, who combine their funds, and purchase very large amounts of bids and effectively bid you off of whatever item you are interested in winning, making it very difficult for you to win as a new user. Some websites however do have a winner tiered limit, for example, only 1 win for any user over $500 in a week, or month, etc. This will ensure that there is a fair playing field for everyone, and so that everyone may win products that really are for far less than retail.

Lastly, look for a penny auction website that is not interested in reaping huge profits, but instead look towards companies that will keep their profit margins low. How do you do this you ask? Just see how many free giveaways they have, free bids are good but free items are just amazing. For example, zBiddy.com offers you the chance the spin their wheel and win between 1-10 bids for FREE, this can be done daily. Another website LimitlessBids.com actually just gives away items, like the Samsung Galaxy S3 they have up for this month. There is a catch however, you must be a registered and paid member of both of these websites to reap the dividends. marketing done quickly, and as soon as possible.

Finally, another few tips that I have for users who are interested in learning more about Penny Auction services, or want to know about how to make it easier to win, these are the tips I have for you. Firstly, I think that you make sure that a site is reputable. It has SSL security when you attempt to make a purchase, and all of your questions are responded to immediately when you e-mail them. Next, the newer a site is, the less members there will be available on the site to bid and for this reason, you will be able to get a ton of products for very cheap, before everyone else finds out about the site.

Okay, so when you locate a site that is new and does not have many users, you are going to want to bid, and bid heavy on the items on the site. Make sure the site is Paypal verified, Verisign verified and has SSL on the purchase page. Once you go through that checklist, check which high price items you should be able to win, use the techniques we discussed in earlier articles about bidding later on in an auction and then finally, when you know you want the auction, MAKE SURE YOU WIN THE AUCTION. There’s no way you’ll pay anywhere near retail if you follow this to the T.

Next, all that is left to do is set up your account over at ebay.com, or amazon.com and resell the items that you just won. Since most penny auction websites offer items that are brand new, this will give you the chance to sell brand new items on ebay or amazon, for a fraction of the price that you paid. If you follow this advice, to the T, and make sure to be a shark, not a minnow when bidding, you will be able to make a fast amount of money using both Penny Auctions and Traditional Auctions.

I myself was able to rake in about $10,000 extra profit this year alone doing this. That is all I have for you in this installment hopefully I have been helpful in allowing you to gain more knowledge about penny auctions and how to be successful in winning auctions to get items you want, for 90+% off retail and then reselling them for a profit with ease!