Skip to comments.Online Auctions...What A Great Business Plan
Posted on 02/18/2011 7:38:24 AM PST by econjack
I recently saw an online ad that touted a guy who bought a brand new Apple iPad for just under $21. Since they retail for around $500, I thought I'd check it out. The company is QuiBids (quibids.com) and it's legit.
The way it works is that you buy the number of "bids" you want. For example, you can buy 45 bids for $27, which works out to 60 cents per bid. At any given moment, there are dozens of items being auctioned, from iPads, TV's, gift certificates, golf clubs, you name it. You find an item you're interested in and right below its description if a Bid button. If you want to try and win that item, just click the Bid button and you become the high bidder. Less obvious is that you just spent $.60 on that button click. Most items automatically increase in price by one penny with each new bid. If you're the last bidder, you get the item.
I won a dozen name-brand golf balls for one penny (I was the only bidder). I thought this was great until they tacked on $9.99 in "shipping and handling". I also won a $40 electronic baking scale for $.03, which had a $6.97 shipping and handling charge. All this got me wondering.
Suppose the iPad sold for $21.01. If you're the last bidder, you got a great deal. However, since bids go up by one penny per bid, that means that there are 2000 bids "spent" unsuccessfully on the item. At $.60 per bid, those bidders shelled out $1200 for a $500 item. QuiBid makes $700 profit...and that's assuming they pay full retail. Just today, a $25 gift car sold for $4.33. A great deal for the winner...not so much for the 432 unsucessful bidders who shelled out $259.20 for a $25 gift certificate.
If this company goes public, sign me up. It's as good as having one of Obama's printing presses.
Sounds like a form of gambling, or an online raffle.
“It’s as good as having one of Obama’s printing presses.”
When I was a kid, we called people like these “fences.”
I’m no expert but I did a bit of researching online about this type of bidding. If you bid, you lose your money even if you don’t “win” the item. Also, notice that there is no set time limit. As soon as someone “bids”, the time increases. In some cases, it is up there like ten minutes. I read on some sights that the company has a “bidder” set up electronically to increase the items. One person noted that she watched the same bidder, by name, bid for 48 straight hours. She apparently took shifts with her roommate to figure out how often this one bidder was on the sight bidding. A lot of speculation is that the company will let some items “slip” through the bidding offers to show good faith. Too much speculation if the company is legit or not in who bids etc... At least with Ebay, for example, if you don’t win the item, you don’t pay for all your bids. You also have contact with the seller and know the shipping and handling. Just a thought.
I looked at the other one, Beezid I think it’s called. Looks pretty much like gambling to me. How many .60 bids would you have to make before getting one of the great deals? I guess the strategy would be to wait until just before the end of the auction to start bidding?
If you do the math, they make much more than ebay for an item.
Many of these sites only allow the item to go up by a cent at a time, at the price they charge for item you will end up paying 4x retail prices even when they say the item sold for 75% less than retail.
It is a kind of advertising fraud.
It’s a fixed game. They string out the bids, and people pay for every bid they make. The auctioneer is making money off of hundreds of unsuccessful bids.
“wait until just before the end of the auction to start bidding”
Some of the sights make you pay for all of the bids as a total price. So, say that there were 800 bids and you only made one. You would still have to “purchase and pay” the final 800.
“It’s a fixed game”.
I guess I remember the old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true ..” If it was as easy and simple as the sight explained, we would all have camcorders, huge screen televisions, cameras... all for pennies.
True, but as MomToThree pointed out and I failed to mention, each bid resets the amount of time left in the auction. So if you wait until there's one second on the clock, your bid "resets" the auction clock, usually to 20 seconds. Therefore, you really don't know if you're the last bidder or not until everyone else says: "Screw it...I give up."
That's exactly why I said is was an amazing business plan. I, too, think there are some "automated" bids going on by the auctioneer. It would be pretty simple to write a script that would keep the auction going until some "cost-covering" bid price is reached. At that point, the company could drop out of the bidding process and let "real people" take over, thus locking in a profit on the item. They could let a few cheaper items go at less than cost from time-to-time, if for no other reason than to use it in their advertising.
For what it's worth, I won't be buying anymore bids...
Clearly this is not a legitimate auction. Basically it’s a raffle being held under the guise of an auction. There’s no real skill involved, and it’s largely a matter of luck if you win.
I’d love to see the Feds shut this down, but hey, the Obammunists never really enforce any laws that help the regular folks, just laws that favor their protected classes, as well as those laws that help to destroy the country in general.
this is bad, this is gambling, this is a scam
this is bad, this is gambling, this is a scam
You might as well go to Vegas or Atlantic City, sit at the roulette wheel and bet the double zero. About the same odds. When you win, you win big. But most of the time you are pouring your money down a rathole.
But on the bright side, winning an occasional bid at QuiBids or Beezid or one of the other merchandise gambling dens is quite a bit more likely than winning the Powerball jackpot.
Wow, that is a very interesting business model.
After looking over the site, I see that there are even ways to set up automatic bids on an item. You can lose money (spent bids) in your sleep! Brilliant!
I agree it's bad, and I agree it's a scam, but there is one little thing that keeps it from being "gambling."
There is a "Buy It Now" option that lets you apply all of your losing bids towards the retail purchase price of the item. You then pay the balance of the "retail price" and you can buy the item. So in theory you didn't "lose" your earlier bid money.
You just get to pay full manufacturer's suggested retail plus shipping.
So, it sounds like the bottom line here is scam.
It’s still gambling in that the only way I can use the Buy It Now option is if someone else doesn’t do it first.
It is similar to some real-estate deals that offer a house for $1000.
And you always think, Why wouldn’t the broker or the advertiser buy it?
Only later do you discover that it is a *cough* fixer upper and it has $150,000 in liens and the land it sits on is toxic and is filed with the EPA.
The city doesn’t want to ‘sell’ it. They are just looking for someone they can sue.
Any ‘real’ deals like this, if ever, would never make the papers.
As the Freeper said, if it is too good to be true, you are being had.