If you’ve been watching TV at anytime in the past year or so, you have to have seen the commercials from QuiBids (or even Beezid – it works in a VERY similar manner). You know the ones: a Macbook Pro for $20, an LCD TV for $130, etc.
Now I’m not going to say the site is a total scam. If you learn about it, have some patience, and understand what you’re actually doing, it is possible to get a few deals. But let’s start out with the biggest problem: blatant lies.
Let’s break down how this works… To say that this person “laulana897″ actually “paid” only $49.36 for this iPad is an absolute, 100% lie (false advertising?). Ignoring the fact that their math is fucked up (a 16G GB wifi iPad is $500 – not almost $700 as the math would show), that’s not how the site works.
The very short version is that as a user, you BUY your bids. Each bid costs $.60. Most items have bid increments of just $.01 (some are $.02). So assuming that iPad is one of the 1 penny items (all of the other iPads listed are), that means that there were 4936 bids on that one item. And if you multiply that number of bids with the price a user pays PER BID, that iPad actually sold for $2961.60. Not too bad for a $500 device.
Sure, the winning bidder did not actually pay that $3000 for it, but they also most certainly did NOT pay $50 for it – and to say so is just deceptive and incredibly shady.
It’s hard to say what someone actually paid for that device – and really, only the site would know for sure. It comes down to how many times did that one user bid on that device – multiply that person’s number of bids by the $.60 and you have your “price paid” for that item. As a for instance, let’s say that this person bid 500 times on that iPad… that would mean he or she “paid” $300 for it (500 bids x .60). On the other hand, if this person got into a bidding war with any other number of users and bid 1200 times, the final price this person would pay is then $720… no longer such a great deal for that $500 iPad.
Let’s look at a positive example that will show the same type of lying… I just watched an “auction” end for a $10 Target gift card with 10 additional bids. So value-wise, that is a $16 package deal ($10 for the card, and $6 for the 10 bids).
The “auction” ended with a “bid” of just $.01 (just one bidder, and that person won). Now that’s actually a fantastic deal regardless of how you look at it… but step back and see both sides.
In the eyes of QuiBids, the final “auction” price was $.01 – so using the format of the image above, the “paid” price that they would advertise is only $.01. Again, this is not true. It actually cost that winning bidder one bid… or $.60. So yes, this person got a great deal (remember at the top? I said that was possible?), but the way QuiBids would tell it, the sale was only for $.01.
One other MAJOR problem with this site. Being a fairly intelligent guy, I figured I could snag a couple things fairly cheap if I took the time to do so and tried to sign up. And remember how I said you have to buy your “bids”? Well, when you sign up, the only way you can buy bids at first is to buy their “Starter Bid Pack” … which includes 100 bids. So they REQUIRE you to spend $60 up front to buy those 100 bids before you can do anything else. I say “require” because I can find no other place that would let me buy any other number of “bids.”
So can the site work? Sure… if you’re going to make a large purchase on one of their items anyway and want a chance to save some money – it might be worth a try. But you have to know exactly what you’re doing and how much your spending before you start. Frankly though, I’d suggest staying FAR, FAR away from them solely based on their business/advertising practices.