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turtle
2010-11-16, 23:22
So has anyone here been to their site and bid on stuff. For those who've never heard of it before now it's an auction site that allows the bidding to continue (by 15 seconds from the last bid) until the last 15 seconds expire. Seems like the real catch to their marketing plan is that the act of bidding costs you. From what I could see in running around the site is each bid is for $.01 but the cost to you is $.50. Am I reading that right? Seems like gambling that you'll actually win something and then if you don't you'll go back and buy more bids.
http://turtle2472.com/an/arrowbids.png (https://www.arrowoutlet.com/buy_bids)

How did I find out about this? My mom wants an iPad but doesn't want to pay full price for it. She found this site somehow and asked me to check it out for her. So what's your take of it?

SKMDC
2010-11-17, 01:06
If you listen to Mike + Mike on ESPN radio they advertise for a company that does this, I don't think it's the one you show here, but similar.

It's a scheme, the payment for a bid offsets the cost of the unit they are auctioning.
Don't know about Arrowoutlet, But Greene & Golic vouch for the one they do ads for.

drewprops
2010-11-17, 01:21
What the tom fool IS this??
I mean, give me the "Dummies" version.... the "real dumb Dummies" version.


...

adamb
2010-11-17, 02:52
I had a look at a UK variant - madbid.com ("www.madbid.com).

It's a pretty good idea from the point of running the site as not only do you get money from all the bids (Id say probably always more than the auction item is worth) but you also get the final selling price as well, so effectively you get paid twice.

The whole thing looks like it would need a lot of self control. It would be pretty easy to spend a lot of money and not win anything, so your reference to gambling isnt far off imo.

Mugge
2010-11-17, 10:50
I've seen this scheme in here in Denmark too. The catch is that until the price on the item that's up for auction surpasses the next best known price then it's rational to keep bidding. And because of those 15 seconds any other bidder interested in the item can outbid you by just a small amount, so the usual way these things play out is that there are a whole lot of small incremental bids compared to a typical Ebay auction. This ultimately means that the guys running the scheme gets their items sold at a somewhat tolerable price while also netting the fees for bidding. For you, the buyer, it is rarely a good deal, but because most people either don't realize this to begin with or get caught by the thrill (like with gambling) the scheme can turn a handsome profit.

The guys who ran the scheme in Denmark are now living in Dubai and I can't remember if it was just some news reporters, or also the police the wanted to have a chat with them. But they aren't taking any phone calls.

I had a look at a UK variant - madbid.com.

Maybe that's how Dr. Claw is making money these days? ;)

scratt
2010-11-17, 11:18
If I read the small print on most of these sites correctly the price you bid is not even guaranteed to be the price you pay. i.e. Once you win the auction they can still set a price that has no bearing on your bid price, but is admittedly at a "discount from retail".

I just laughed and clicked off the site. In fact I had only gone there because the ad for them was running on one of my sites and I wanted to see what it was all about.

I still prefer the scam where you sell porno products, take the money, then tell customers that you can't deliver, and refund them in full.... with a corporate cheque with the company name all over it, and pictures of naked women. Apparently about 50% of people never cash the cheque.

turtle
2010-11-17, 13:09
I love the porno idea scratt! A little lot out of my ethical realm, but what an amazing concept. :p

So I just can't seem to think this kind of auction site is a good thing for anything other than the owner of the site. Seeing you guys mention the things you have it just looks like a great way to lose money for the sake of trying to get the item. The featured winners (http://www.arrowoutlet.com/featured_winners) section shows an iPad going for $30.10.

At $.01 per bid that would be 3010 bids * $.50 = $1505 for the site just in bid cost! To the winner of the auction it could be as little as $30.10 + $.01 + s/h (lets say $10) = $40.11. That would be a great deal for the winner of that auction. The featured guy I'm referring to here though bid 45 times. So for him this iPad cost him $30.10 + $22.50 + $10 (s/h) = $62.60. Great deal for him but even better for the site.

How much does an iPad cost on wholesale? Let's just say the site owner walked to an Apple store and payed full price: $499 + 5% (VA Sales tax) = $523.95. They then gain $1505 + $62.60 = $1567.60. So we then take the gross profit and deduct cost to give the net profit of this iPad sale at $1043.65! What an amazing business idea! This is the first time I've bothered to work out the numbers but it certainly highlights how the consumer could really lose money trying to get something. I'm guessing the guy who won this iPad didn't bid from the beginning and that those who did are pretty upset about how much they threw away trying to get the iPad.

Looking at the images on the featured page just stands out as horrible waste of money to me anyway. Really, how many other places use testimonials like that that are really reputable?

Capella
2010-11-17, 13:36
I still prefer the scam where you sell porno products, take the money, then tell customers that you can't deliver, and refund them in full.... with a corporate cheque with the company name all over it, and pictures of naked women. Apparently about 50% of people never cash the cheque.

I am clearly a warped human being, because I would totally cash that check, and more specifically try to do the cashing with the behind-the-counter person who would look most askance at that kind of check (like an old woman or something). It'd be great pranking fun.

Robo
2010-11-17, 13:53
I am clearly a warped human being, because I would totally cash that check, and more specifically try to do the cashing with the behind-the-counter person who would look most askance at that kind of check (like an old woman or something). It'd be great pranking fun.

For ultimate pranking, try to cash it at a religious credit union. :devil: But I'd only cash it if it was a gay porn check. I wouldn't want people to think I was into straight porn or anything, I mean ew.

So for maximum scam payoff, scratt, have multiple designs of the check, and send the people who ordered straight porn a check covered with gay porn, &c. T'would work on everyone except the most unabashed bisexuals. :D