Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Bidding websites - big business in small world

Speaking of innovative business, gimmicks aside, the Online Bidding business looks like a lucrative business which worked almost like the casino concept. It plays on basic human elements like competition, luck & gamble and the evil of all evils - GREED. If cleverly designed with a user-friendly interface less bug issues, it would work perfectly as a money machine.

The blog-shops that I have been so intrigued with seemed to have paled much in comparison. For one, many shoppers still prefer to buy clothes at boutiques where they can try the clothes all they want, feel the textiles and check for imperfections before drawing out the wallets. (I tried purchaing a dress online once during a blog-shop sales. Although the workmanship is not up to mark and some alterations has got to be made, I can't complain much for a $15.00 buy can I? Purchase-smart is the key.)

Just to clarify, online bidding businesses I am talking about here is not ebay or yaHoo auction because those serve mainly as a platform for sellers to sell their goods and they do not earn commission from these sales. I am talking about the websites that 'sell' their goods through letting people bid for them. In actual fact, what they sell or earn by are their bid packages because users cannot bid without these bid credits. The goods they carry are usually high-end products or gadgets. Of course that's logical because they are the main attraction!

The bidding game is like a war once it goes live and all eager eyes are set on the attractive prize, the battle commence. More often than not the winner goes to the 'darer' among the 'unawarer' or to the most persistent one who hasn't gone bust. Although it is said that the smart gadget Bid Monkey will bid for you at the last moment before the auction close thus increasing the chance of winning, it doesn't discern the intervals you want between each bid so it will eat up your money in no time amidst hardcore bidders. It is hard to fathom how high the price can go by studying the pattern of bids and human psychology. Who will put the next click when?

I played a few bids so far with the few free bids that I am give through signing up just for the fun of it. I don't think I will ever purchase those bid packages because the minimum buy is 50 bids, which sells for S$42.50. It is kind of like the arcade games whereby you pay a certain amount of money to get game credits. Doing the maths, it amount to about 80 cents per bid placed.

Assuming its a fair game, for every 10 bids placed the website owner would earn $8 and every hundred bids would be $80. May not be such a bad deal if you trust 80% to your luck and 20% to your judgemental skill.

After following a few bids of expensive items from Apple, I kinda give up cos every bid increase the price of the product by $0.02 and usually given the fierce bids, it can go up to more than $10 which is too time-consuming to watch. Oh the Apple iPod Touch 64GB Auction #11343 has just closed at $4.50 by a persistent last min bidder, those earlier ones who didn't persist were no where in sight on the final bidders list. That was quite a number of bids down the drain.

I wonder is there any proof of evidence that staff and immediate family members of these bidding sites are not allowed to participate in those bids. And who would monitor against any gimmick or cheat?

I shall continue to try my luck on one of those bidding packages... and if I did win then I shall have a few more rounds of this game. Strangely, the pinch of losing a bid that you hesitated on clicking on seemed more painful than one of throwing in 80 cents...

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