“Are you ready to save 95% on what you want most? Try quibids.com. Get an apple ipad for $67.”
Maybe I have been watching too much TV over the holidays but I am getting pretty sick of this ad.
So I decided to look it up. And (big surprise) there is a catch to Quibids.
How Quibids works
A bid costs 60 cents. You have to buy 100 bids (costing $60) to start bidding.
When you bid the price goes up and the time goes up if the timer is below 20 seconds to expiry. Usually the bid makes the price go up by 1 cent and the timer reset to 20 seconds.
You win when the time runs out (so when nobody else bids).
Have you worked out the catch yet?
How Quibids really works (and why the ad is misleading)
Because the time keeps reseting to 20 seconds – the auction can go on forever.
So the ad might be counting down in the last 10 seconds for hours as each time someone bids the time refreshes to 10 seconds.
This type of auction is called a penny auction and there are a number of sites like bidking.com.au that have a similar model.
Quibids is like the pokies
So, in my mind, quibids is a bit like playing the pokies. You could put in $60, play for 5 minutes and get two features in a row and win $200. Or you could play for 2 hours, put in all your money and get nothing.
With pokies, it is all random, but with quibids you are competing against other people to win an item.
Although with Quibids, at least there is a buy now feature (see below).
An example of how Quibids might work
You might find an Ipad auction going on where the opening bid is $50.00. Say that you and 3 others are bidding for the ipad (although it could be you and 120 others bidding).
You bid once, 60c spent, the price goes to $50.01, an opponent bids, price to $50.02, you bid (price to $50.03).
Bidding Maths – raising the price by $10
If each bid only raises the price $0.01, it would take 1,000 bids to reach $60.00. 1,000 bids at 60c per bid would cost $600.
So say 3 of you bidding had equal bids – suddenly you have spent $200 each and the auction has taken 10,000 seconds (167 minutes – almost 3 hours).
Buy Now – Quibids is NO Ebay but you can still buy the item
One feature of Quibids is if you have bid on an item, you can buy it later. (Although this is at full retail price and once you have paid retail and shipping it might not be worth buying through Quibids).
The bids that you have placed on the item are taken off the buy now price. E.g. if you buy something for $500 and you bid $200, you pay the extra $300 difference.
According to Quibids, if you know you are willing to pay full retail for a product, then you are more likely to win because you are willing to go the distance (as opposed to someone expecting a computer for $20).
How you win at Quibids
While there is a lot of talk about Quibids being a scam, there are people who seem to win off it.
The people that win say that it is all about knowing how the system works.
For example they might be online at 3am or bidding for less popular items – so they get less competition and are more likely to win what they are bidding for.
The Quibids website provides a lot of information about how you might be able to win.
But considering how the website actually works – I think it is pretty unlikely you will end up owning an ipad for only $67 cash – and much more likely you will end up blowing all your money trying to get a good bargain.