Service: Quibids (Pronounced “Kwi-Bids”)
Price: $60 for Package of 100 Bids
Rating: 15 Out of 100
Summary: Quibids is a penny auction website claiming customers can obtain high ticket items for pennies on the dollar.
Bottom Line: NOT RECOMMENDED
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No Love Lost with Quibids
During the holiday season 2014, you probably have seen several commercials on television showing “elated members” who won high ticket items while paying small amounts for those items. The website where they won this was Quibids.com.
So what is Quibids? The commercials made it seem like you could get brand name electronics for up to 95% off the retail price. This leaves many people asking, what is the heck is Quibids and can I make money using them? Are they even a legitimate company?
If it’s sounds too good to be true, it usually is. The trouble is right from the start, in order to start bidding, you are required to shell out $60 for 100 bids. Each time you bid it will cost 60 cents that you surrender to the company whether you win the auction or not.
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See the Pros VS Cons
Pros vs. Cons
If you buy into the whole concept of penny auctions, then I suppose there can be some pros that you may realize with Quibids.
- Each purchase qualifies you for voucher bids (different than the ones you pay for which are called real bids) that can be used for future auctions
- You can refer others to gain more voucher bids
- Playing games on their website can get you voucher bids as well
- If you lose an auction and still want to pay full price for the item, the amount you spent in bids will be subtracted from that price.
- 60 cent bids are very expensive
- There is no other increment available – only 60 cents
- When there is only 20 seconds left in the auction, time is added to the auction after every bid. Bidding wars can cost you big bucks
- The Quibids concept is not unlike gambling
- Ending bids do not include shipping and other fees – Quibids claims free shipping on all items but that is not what is stated in their Terms of Service.
- Voucher bids expire along with other exclusions on these types of bids – the terms are very confusing
- Regular (called real) bids also expire after 3 years
How Quibids Works
Each auction starts out at a penny and is incremented by a penny on a bid. The cost for the bid is 60 cents for each penny increment. If you win the bid, you still pay whatever the final price is as well as all the bids you made. So if you have made 10 bids you are already on the hook for $6.00 + cost of item. Bidding does not guarantee that you’ll win.
When there is only 20 seconds left in the auction, more time gets added to the clock after each bid. It wouldn’t take much for employees of Quibids to run up the clock while at the same time draining your wallet by inflating bids. Or worse, this run-up process could easily be automated using the main system. This alone makes penny auctions a lousy business model. There’s simply too much room for abuse.
How quibids Can Claim It’s Not a Gambling Website
Since the company gives its members the option to buy at full price for all items (less the cost of bids) it can effectively keep away from being labeled a gambling site. However, just because the company manages to skate by a legal technicality does not mean it is a good service. The whole business model is flawed.
Complaints by the Boat load for who… Quibids!
It won’t be difficult to find complaints made about Quibids. It’s funny that on their website, they claim to have Better Business Bureau accreditation but I was not able to find it. Perhaps it’s been revoked? The biggest complaint that you will find is that people feel the bids are rigged in the manner I discussed, i.e., employees or automated computers artificially bulking up the bids. Other complaints have to do with lack of available high ticket items.
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Quibids recently announced that they are introducing a locking auction feature. This is in response (according to the company) to customers that have been complaining the difficulty to win auctions.
The locking feature will make it so only those that were bidding prior to the lock out period (determined by Quibids) are allowed continue with the bidding. This prevents people from haphazardly coming in trying to force the biggest bidders out of the race.
While this will help in some instances it does nothing to address the automated bidding that many suspect is going on. If anything, it gives a false sense of comfort to customers letting them think that the all that make the it within the locked period are legitimate bidders. It’s probably not easy to prove but the opportunity for abuse is simply too great.
There are also complaints that Quibids is not an authorized dealer of several of the higher end products sold on the website. If true, this can mean those items are sold with no warranty. I was not able to find any information on their website that either confirmed or refuted this claim.
As such, it is advisable to contact the manufacturer of the item you wish to bid on and ask about Quibids’ authority on such a matter. But why even take risks?
Read the Terms Carefully
If after this entire discussion you are still not convinced to stay away from Quibids, then I urge you read over all the terms very carefully to make sure that you understand what you are getting involved with. To be fair, most penny auction sites operate in a manner similar to Quibids.
They just happen to be the biggest of this genre. Each penny auction service has nuances but at the end of the day, paying for bids is a terrible way for an auction to operate.
Quibids and the majority of penny auction sites, should be avoided in order to reduce the risk of losing money. Be careful what you search for out there. Research and learn what is working first!
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