Tuesday 10 December 2013

Fancy a new iPad at 95% discount? - the QuiBids penny-auction model

QuiBids is the world’s largest retail website that operates as a bidding fee auction, also known as a penny auction. The price of auctioned products increase by one QuiBids penny with each bid, which are equal to $0.60, and bidding doesn't start until there is only 5 minutes left in the auction. The final price are typically much lower than other auctions, but all bidders pay $0.60 each time they bid. Losers of the auction have the option of paying the retail price, minus the cost of their bids.

Their product selection runs from the latest Apple products - iPads, iPods, and MacBooks - to high definition televisions, gift cards to top retailers, and much more. To name a few recent sale prices of items like this, a New Apple iPad recently sold for £33.77, a Kindle Fire sold for £15.83, and a HP Laptop sold for £20.83.

For an auction winner, the true cost of an item won at auction is a bit higher than the final auction price because of the amount the auction winner spent bidding to win. But it’s typically modest, and even after bids, most winners save at least 75% off retail.

The OFT have some issues with some versions of the model and offer some pitfalls and offer advice here

There are obviously issues ref. the model’s similarity to a lottery, but with care, the penny auction - via sales to losers - can represent another route to consumer, and further dilution of trade concentration…..

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