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Biddi.com - buyer beware

pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Biddi.com - buyer beware

just got an e-mail from biddi.com, never heard of it so googled it
Interesting review here http://www.gadgetheaven.co.uk/biddi/
Quote
A few weeks ago, I wrote this article on Dibbing.com. Yesterday, I came across another auction site, this one is a penny auction site called Biddi.com.
Biddi works in a completely different way to Dibbing. I like Dibbing, I do not like Biddi.
Let’s start by explaining how Biddi works. First, as always, you find a product you like. Once you’ve registered and bought your bids, you can place a bid on that chosen product. If you are the highest bidder when the auction timer reaches zero, you are the winner.
However, like most auctions, including eBay, the activity increases as the auction nears its closing time. Unlike eBay, however, Biddi extends the auction by 45 secs everytime someone places a bid. Each bid costs 50p and will increase the price of the item by 1p – hence the penny auction.

Quote
Yesterday I watched an auction for an Apple iPad 16GB. The auction was due to close at around 4.45pm but as people were still bidding on it at that time, the auction was extended by 45 secs everytime someone bid. The auction actually ended at 11.34pm.
What this means, if we are to believe that there is no system driving this auction artificially or that staff are not manually driving the bids up, is that people were bidding on this item for 7 hrs solid.
Seven hours? I’m sorry but I simply do not believe that there were that many people bidding on that item for that long.
The final sale price was £27.74 which if true, and the item is actually delivered (more on that shortly), then 2,774 bids were made – the vast majority in those last 7 hrs.
The maths of this are quite interesting. At £27.74 there were 2,774 bids (each one at a penny), which at 50p per bid means Biddi made £1,387 gross profit. Take the cost of the item off that and they are left with at least £950 net profit.
6 REPLIES
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,293
Thanks: 29
Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Biddi.com - buyer beware

It's from an old website with a new name, it's a legal con which nets the owners thousands and it's all based on human greed.
Lets say you have 5 people who want a PC, it's worth £1,000.  Person 1 buys £25 worth of bids but doesn't use the "bid butler" service, persons 2 and 3 both buy £50 worth of bids, again, not with the bid butler, person 4 buys £10 worth of bids and uses bid butler.
Person 1 bids > 2 bids > 1 bids > 3 bids... clock gets down to 5 seconds, person 4 bids automatically, persons 1/2/3 continue to bid and outbid each other, but bid butler will *always* win.  Then along comes player 5, he wants to buy it so buys £500 worth of bids and uses bid butler, because he has bid butler it automatically takes away the £10 from 4, they bid against each other automatically (clever that).  A couple of hours later, others have joined in and player 5 has only £10 left in the bank, people are still bidding like crazy, time ticks down and before you know it, player 5 has run out of bids, he has no money left.  He has two choices, take a £500 loss and get nothing, or put in more money to try to win the PC.
You see the problem there, people will put in a lot of money and end up with nothing, but will have the need(?) to continue bidding because they are spending so much.  I saw a Mac go once, a bid butler meant the person bidding spent more on bids than if he had purchased the Mac from a store, there comes a point when you just can't lose as you've invested too much money, you could run up a bill though of £2,000 and still lose to someone who only purchased 1 bid for 50p.  Then there was currency exchanges (bids are 50p/$0.50/€0.50) so yeah, it's a massive rip off for people who can't understand the system is stacked against them.
magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: Biddi.com - buyer beware

one pays the auctioneer 50 pence for a one penny bet
or 5000 percent
auctioneer receives ((5000 * sale price)  - sale price ) /100)
feel  free to correct my maths if they are wrong?

@time 9.34 pm and watching  tonight's auction   3/9/10@ https://www.biddi.com/auction/414

reminded of a passage from
Shakespeare  - the tempest  

while you hearing do snoring lie
open-eyed  conspiracy
his time doth take
if of life you keep a care
shake off slumber and beware
awake! awake!

Community Veteran
Posts: 5,467
Thanks: 280
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Biddi.com - buyer beware

From what had been written previously I had assumed that the last person to bid their penny (plus 50p commission) could walk away with the item they had won -
so the seller gets the accumulated pennies and the winning bidder potentially could walk away with an expensive item for 51p (assuming they had bid once).
BUT NO ! - having read the site help -  Shocked
[quote=from Biddi help pages]The auction end price is the price at which the auction ended. Only the winner of the auction can buy the item at that price.
So the total number of bids determines the end price - in pence.
The winner has to pay the end price, in addition to the cost of 51 pence for each bid they made.
And if you don't win you also pay 51 pence for every bid you make.
This looks like such a rip-off I can't understand how anyone could get drawn into participating  Crazy
magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: Biddi.com - buyer beware

purleigh has  summarized up the other details i was trying to work  on
except i was watching the auction  
in the same help pages
it says everyone is a winner
it offers any person losing with their bids  the chance to buy what they were they bidding on
at its retail price minus their bid amounts
but is this the full price minus  a bidders amount in penny bids
or is this the full price minus  a losing bidders  total in 50pence pieces payed into the auction
ie full unit price - number of 50p's paid to the  auction ?
at the moment an Nokia N97 - white  is  under the auctioneers gavel
the bid  now is £4.04
but the amount the auction has bought in from the accumulation of its 50p charge to its penny bidders  is £202
magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: Biddi.com - buyer beware

others are paying for another's purchase - I'd ask for my money back   Undecided
magnetism2772
Grafter
Posts: 983
Registered: 06-06-2010

Re: Biddi.com - buyer beware

https://www.biddi.com/auction/414
checking on the nokia n97 I was watching being auctioned last night on biddi com
the auction ended early this morning at 01:27  4 sept 2010
fetching a  final price of £13.40p
using my calculation above
from all the bids the auction raised a total sum of £669.86p  
and the cost of the item to buy new was estimated to be £303
the bid required to reach an items retail purchase price   ~= 1/50  * items  retail price
in the case above
a bid of £6.06 would be the break even price on the retail nokia n97 item of £303.00
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Earth's increase, foison plenty
barns and garners never empty
vines and clustering  bunches growing
plants with goodly burthen bowing
spring come to you at the farthest
in the very end of harvest
scarcity and want shall shun you
Ceres' blessing so is on you
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