MadBid.com launched back in 2008, seizing the opportunity within the niche best known as “Penny Auction websites”, in which users can place their bids and buy brand new products with great discounts. Through the years, MadBid has been increasing both in popularity and credibility, becoming Europe’s leading Penny Auction website.
How MadBid.com – The Penny Auction website works
MadBid is really quite straightforward. Firstly, participants register and purchase a bids package for a fee, starting from £12.99. This is equivalent to 100 MadBid credits, the website’s own currency used for bidding on products. Depending on the value of the product, the cost of bids will vary from 1 to 8 MadBid credits. This means that even the minimum investment should be enough to get you started and keep you going for a while.
When an auction for a product starts, a timer will count down. Each bid increases the price of the product by £0.01 and resets the timer. The participants’ goal is to be the last bidder when the timer runs down. That means the winner will pay the price shown with the winning bid, plus delivery costs.
The greatest appeal of websites such as MadBid is the genuine possibility of bagging incredible bargains on desirable products – the discounts sometimes seem too good to be true.
This is what makes MadBid so attractive, yet at the same time, so difficult to believe in.
Fancy paying only £10 for an iPhone 4S? Many will jump at the opportunity, others will take this with a large pinch of salt, and some will simply steer clear of it fearing falling for some sort of scam.
With a bit of research anyone can find that MadBid most certainly is not a scam – a company run in the UK for over 4 years would never get away with it, plus they have been fully audited by one of the top accountancy firms in the world. Even so, the sceptical ones will ask “where is the catch”?
The only catch (if you had not realised it yet) with each bid, you spend one of your credits that is worth around £0.10.
So obviously, if you bid a lot of times you end up paying more than the £10 or whatever the final price of the item is.
But if you still have not gotten your head around just how MadBid makes a profit (or in case you are wondering if MadBid is a charity organisation) remember that other users who did not win the auction had been ferociously bidding on that iPhone too. Therefore, they helped to pay the price of said product. In every game there must be a loser, right?
Comparisons with gambling have been made. However, MadBid and other Penny Auctions websites cannot be considered on par with gambling because, contrary to gambling, it is not a game of chance or luck. It is a game of skill which is user-controlled, whereby the users can devise their own strategies and approach to winning bids.
Different factors influence the outcome of a MadBid auction. Some advanced users (or more intelligent and intuitive individuals) have developed their own strategies to win bids.
Some of the most common strategies include:
• Avoiding peak times (e.g. weekday mornings and afternoons)
• Not entering bidding wars with more than 1 bidder
• Not bidding in the middle of the countdown – you have a better chance if you bid in the last seconds of an auction, or at the start of a countdown (hoping the last bidder will take their eye off the ball)
• Keep an eye out for Buy One Get One Free offers, where you can get double credits
• Look for auctions with shorter countdowns (e.g. 20 seconds, instead of 1 minute timers)
• Analyse closed auctions in the past to get a feel for the average price a particular product was sold for
• Take advantage of the Buy Now feature
MadBid also offers a way out for customers who do not want to continue bidding. In some auctions, there is a “Buy Now” feature, in which customers use the bids they have already placed against the price of a “Buy Now” item.
MadBid.com – The Penny Auction website – Conclusion
In the end, MadBid offers an enjoyable e-commerce experience – the concept certainly is very different from the standard online shopping experience – whereby customers indeed have the chance of purchasing in-demand items for extremely discounted prices.
The product selection in the website deserves a big “thumbs up”, it has to be said. Some of the most coveted gadgets are there on offer, such as iPhones, iPads, laptops, videogames consoles and HD TV sets. There are a few other casual products on offer too, such as wallets, cookware, grooming products or more MadBid credits (I’m talking lots of credits here!). But if you are feeling ambitious, you can find even BMW, Audi or Range Rover automobiles there!
A word of advice would be not to take anything for granted, not to count on it and be aware that there is a considerable amount of time to be invested – not only money. A committed bidder who is determined to bag a bargain will be aware by now that the task at hand can be time consuming as well.
All in all, despite of the discipline and time required to successfully get truly great discounts, MadBid can be very enjoyable and an extremely rewarding experience, and one which everyone should try for themselves.