The truth about how Quibids really works

“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.

Posted in Freebies and Discounts, Gripes & Rip-offs
  • pennyscam

    I think your right!
    These sites are popping up everywhere.

    madbids
    bangogo
    bidideal
    and oncentflights.com.au

  • Penny Auctions are Gambling

    After reading QUIBIDS 101 on explaining the site is not a gambling site, I posted the below to QUIBIDS comment section…

    Covering off the gambling argument with the ability to buy it now is woefully inadequate explanation of this not being gambling. Casinos have members benefits that the provide to their gamblers in “free spins”, drinks, meals etc.. Does this make their business a non gambling institution? NO.

    Both your business model and that of the gambling institutions prey on addictive personality traits by using a Skinner’s box style site or environment to keep their customers engaged. The prey of their susceptibility to partial reinforcement conditioning by using a variable reward schedule.

    Gambling uses it with small wins but provides the subject with a constant reminder that the next bet could win them the large prize.

    QuiBids is no different. They offer the same reward system by allowing subjects to pick their prize and bid(bet) on it for a chance to win. As with gambling, there is always a chance of winning the items for a cheap amount. However, you reinforce the belief that prizes are cheap by using the misleading sale cost. If an item goes for $10.50 (retails for $80), it has actually been bid on 1050 times. The actual cost of the auction is $630. This means you have made a minimum of $550 profit while claiming it was a bargain.

    The main reason this is misleading is that QUIBIDS sells bids for 60cents each. A bid on your system equates to 1cent. So you are constantly reinforcing the same psychological conditioning as gambling with these methods. Claiming items are cheap when they’re not. Offering chances for further free bids (free spins) just like poker machines.

    You also attempt to claim that your business model is the same as Zynga’s. You or Zynga have coined a new phrase “Gamification” to explain the model. Penny Auctions & Gambling all use the same psychology to lure people in and prey on their finances.The difference in Gamification and Penny Auctions is that gamification is entertainment and centered around a game. An auction site is not a game. It’s allegedly offering products at cheap prices while making 100s of times the products value with their misleading business model.. The only game that’s being played in the case of penny auctions sites such as QUIBIDS, is the game the company’s owners are playing with their customers’(victims) money.

    I doubt that you will approve this to be posted on your site as you will be too scared to have a negative opinion on your “shonky” business model. I hope that you will rethink what you are doing to people’s lives and start looking at new methods of generating revenue besides preying on the people who are your customers.

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