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UPDATE: Quibids recently contacted us about this post. In response, we've removed the first paragraph's inference that Quibids could be seen as a "scam." The rest of the post remains unedited. Below is a response directly from Jill Farrand, director of public relations at QuiBids.

 

The penny auction site QuiBids.com nearly had me fooled.

This site is, at its core, another Internet auction site like eBay. The catch, however, is users pay for bids in the hope of snagging an item for a killer deal. And let me tell you, some of these deals are outrageous! 32" HDTV for $2.60. 32GB iPod Touch for $15. (The $26 Xbox/Kinect bundle got me.) These deals seem too good to be true, and that's where reading the directions is extremely important.

Each bid on QuiBids costs the user 60 cents per bid, and these must be purchased in packages of multiple bids before bidding. This means you could essentially spend $15 dollars for 25 bids before even getting started. But still, $15 for a new TV is pretty awesome right? Not so much. Every time you cast a bid, 20 seconds is added to the timer giving other bidders time to chime in. Still not so bad? Maybe not, if each bid raised the price more than the 1 or 2 cent limits. Pretty soon those 25 bids are used up and you're cashing in for 25 more on an auction that may take hours. While this process can certainly work out for the winner, the losers lose all that money--unless they "Buy Now." This feature allows losing bidders to purchase the item they were bidding on at full retail price, but they'll subtract the amount you've already spent on bids. When bidding with this site, you have to be willing to pay full price. If you lose and don't opt to "Buy Now," all that money is lost in the ether.

Long story short: read the fine print. I was this close to submitting my free registration without realizing that getting a cheap TV is about as far from cheap as humanly possible.

Always check the Better Business Bureau before buying into sites like this. You may find that a site like QuiBids has had well over 200 complaints of "dishonest sales practices" in the last year.

Know of any sites we need to be aware of? Let us know in the comments section.

*Update: The following is from an email by Jill Farrand, director of public relations at Quibids, explaining the company's objection to Chris' post:

"I absolutely agree with Mr. Thomas’ line about reading the directions! We try to be as transparent as possible with how our site operates and even have a QuiBids101 section devoted to just that – additional information on how our site operates, including ways to better one’s strategy.

In the paragraph mentioning 'every time a user bids, it costs $0.60…' Yes, users first have to purchase their bids before they can participate in any auction. However, keep in mind we have voucher bids (aka free bids) that many customers also use... Voucher bids can be obtained from receiving badges, via promotions and/or gameplays.

Regarding the clock, after a certain amount of time, the clock will reset to 10-15 seconds. It just depends on how long the auction has been on for."

Photo taken from this photostream and used with permission of a Creative Commons license.

 

 

 

Anonymous

Bidcactus.com is the same thing as quibids, but apparently the bids are cheaper I did fall for this "scam" but ended up getting almost all my money back because I stopped wasting bids. Even at 5am on the east coast these sites are buzzing so everyone please be aware of this. If you do bid take caution as it is almost like gambling your money

by Anonymous on April 15, 2011
christhomas

You're exactly right--these sites are like gambling with your money. Like my grandpa used to say, "If you can't throw the dice, don't throw your money on the table." Sites like QuiBids and Bidcactus aren't necessarily "scams," but they can sure make you lose a lot of money without the proper precautions. Better to just stay away.

by christhomas on April 19, 2011
Anonymous

are you kidding all theses bid sites are scams this is why i never buy anything online didnt when the internet first came out and still wont if im gonna gamble with my money id rather do it with the lottery the odds of wining are pathetic but if you do when is legitimate i wouldnt trust any online thing that claims to be a bidding site for merchandise

by Anonymous on November 25, 2012
Quibids Fan

A scam is a dishonest scheme or fraud. Tell me how a fraudulent, dishonest company like Quibids has an A- rating on the BBB?

Many well respected companies have hundreds, if not thousands, of complaints on the BBB. What you fail to share is the number of resolved complaints. That's what matters. This is why the BBB has a grading system to let consumers know what kind of track record a business has. According to the BBB, Quibids has a pretty good record.

I've personally won stuff on Quibids and it works. People who say Quibids is a scam are people who've never tried it or who didn't bother to understand how it works before blowing $100 on a $10 gift card. You're doing a disservice to your readers when you cry "scam" and you haven't even placed a single bid on Quibids.

by Quibids Fan on August 15, 2011
Anonymously, FL

I have placed bids and won a couple of items, but at a great expense and yes, I agree, it is gambling. I then bought more bids and even though I was very diligent on how often I placed a bid on an item, even keeping track of the people and how often they bid to try NOT TO waste my bids. But, I was bidding on something only 3of us was bidding on and within 5minutes I had gone through my bids and ran out literally before the clock ran out. It is a gambling site as you have this idea you are going to win stuff pretty cheap when you actually end up paying for every item you buy. You cannot say you won something for $1.00 when you paid $60.00 for a hundred bids. BIDDERS BEWARE,,,,,!!!

by Anonymously, FL on November 2, 2012
christhomas

Well, part of that A- rating really has nothing to do with customers' responses. According to BBB closure definitions, "complaint resolved with BBB assistance" lists complaints considered resolved by customers, as well as those resolved by the business without consent from the customer. There are 372 "complaints resolved," of which we are not made aware of how many customers actually responded to them. On top of that, 90 complaints left customers unsatisfied with BBB efforts to resolve their situations.

But I'm not here to argue semantics. The message of this blog post is to inform our readers that reading the fine print is of the utmost importance, especially when it comes to bidding money, making deals, or examining BBB ratings. The purpose of this post was neither to detract users from Quibids nor draw them to it, but rather to reaffirm the fact that advertisements can be very misleading--like this one from Quibids--and to warn them to examine a new site in its entirety before investing in it. Like was said in this CBS Quibids broadcast, "For every winner, there are a lot of suckers." We don't want our readers to venture unknowingly into the latter group. We look out for their interests, first and foremost.

by christhomas on August 16, 2011
Anonymous

"Always check the Better Business Bureau before buying into sites like this"

First off, the BBB is a scam! it's a private business that rates your business as A+ thru F, all you have to do to get an A is pay their membership fee, if you don't pay then you automatically get an F. The "bureau" part of the name is to con people into thinking it is a government watchdog organization. The US chamber of commerce is another scam with a legit sounding name! google is your friend people.

by Anonymous on September 30, 2012
Anonymous

I love QuiBids and I would say it's worth the $$. I got a $200 Walmart Giftcard for .33, an x-box kinnect for $20.00 and the list goes on. Additionally I won several bid packages which I paid pennys for. It's definitely not a scam.

by Anonymous on August 20, 2011
Anonymous

And this is how you spot a plant from quibids, when they talk of nothing but how great it is then know the BS has started. Winning on quibids ONCE needs some luck but no this jerk keeps blathering about winning time after time, that is not gonna happen on quibids EVER! DONT believe one word of it,their lying!

by Anonymous on September 22, 2012
Anonymous

I agree, I have not been on QuiBids a really long time, but in the short time I have, I have won 2 items, a vacuum for $2.00 and a set of candles for like $1.50. I agree it is kind of like gambling, but I don't think it's fair to say it's a scam unless the buyer just goes in blindly...just my opinion...

Happy bidding!!

by Anonymous on November 7, 2012
Anonymous

You forget to state that each bid is 60 cents. So, for an item like yours for $20.00 thats 2,000 bids @ 60 cents/ea. equals $1200.00. That doen't sound like a good deal to me,in fact you got screwed over.

by Anonymous on November 23, 2012
christhomas

That's wonderful that you've had some winning experiences on Quibids, but think about all the others that were a part of the auctions you won. How much did they spend for nothing? When all else is stripped away, this is a gambling site: You're purchasing pulls on a slot machine in hopes of walking away with a prize. It's very easy to spend more than was intended, since each bid costs 60 cents and every new bid restarts the auction time limit, so bidders need to be very aware of what they're getting into. Like slot machines, which can require just 1 cent per pull, chasing the big payout or prize can end up costing a lot of money--after all, it's so cheap to keep playing so why not? It's games or auctions like these that promote addictive behaviors, things our readers should be very aware of before investing in. Anyone wanting to use Quibids would be wise to check out The 3 BIggest Mistakes Beginners Make as well as the rest of the articles from their Quibids 101 section.

by christhomas on August 23, 2011
Connie

I agree with you 100%. Caveat Emptor. Do your homework.

by Connie on April 13, 2012
christhomas

"Without a warranty, the buyer takes a risk." That's precisely correct. It's not to say Quibids will always lose you money every time--there are, of course, people that win auctions. But it takes fully understanding what you're getting into prior to bidding. 

by christhomas on April 19, 2012
North

Any site, that is designed to take your money, for a chance, at winning. is a LOTO.
Nowhere on this site do I see any comment regarding gambling regulations, or it being a loto system.

Any site, or person, able to bring in $6000 for a $100 item, is a genius.

it is like the lottery
you have a chance of winning 1,000,000, but buy quibids numbers, consumers are opt to spend 60,000,000 for one person to win. even if the price ends up only being 10% of cost of the item

100$ item, at 20% cost is $20 is still $1200 spent by consumers on a $100 item

this site has poorer odds, and % than eithe slot machines, OR the loto.

by North on February 2, 2012
christhomas

It's definitely risky putting money into a site like this. Just like the lottery, your chances of winning are very slim. You could be that one in a million winner, but you'll probably spend more money than you originally planned in trying to achieve it. 

by christhomas on February 8, 2012
Anonymous

Quibids is a scam for people who do not know how to bid. Which, apparently, is most people.

by Anonymous on February 17, 2012
Anonymous

I was at my friend's house recently who does really well with quibids. Bidding is like gambling because there is no guarantee from your investment of time and money, but if you know what you are doing and you are lucky, you will do well. It's like people are saying casinos and the lottery are a scam. They all know how to make money. Do you know how to save yours?

by Anonymous on March 9, 2012
christhomas

As with any gambling venture, all is left up to chance. Unless you have some rig to the system, there is no guarantee to win a prize. And in a way, casinos and lotteries are kind of like scams, because the odds of someone winning big are so astronomically against the player that the organization comes out on top nearly every time. That's why they operate, because the risk of a few people winning over the potential reward from all the losers puts the odds in favor of the house. On top of that, these systems operate psychologically too. They know that the pressure and incentive to keep winning nearly forces players to make one more bet, or even one more bid via Quibids. Unless you're scamming a system like this, you will eventually lose. I'd be curious to know how much your friend has lost in the process of "doing well" on Quibids.

by christhomas on March 9, 2012
Anonymous

I think it's brilliant!! The best thing to do it if you know you're already going to buy a product like a computer or a tv, it doesn't hurt to try and get a good deal on it. Yes you have to purchase the bids but in the end if you win the auction you're still getting your item for much much cheaper than getting it at a store. If you don't win the auction (like on Quibids) they give you the option to put the bids you used on that item towards purchasing that item. If you know you're going to buy it somewhere anyway then you tried to get a good deal and it just didn't work out this time.
Just my thoughts.

by Anonymous on March 24, 2012
christhomas

And that's called responsible use of Quibids. If you're going in with the mindset of paying full price, then you're off to a good start. It's automatically thinking you can buy a $1,500 Mac for 34 cents that will get you into trouble. If you're using Quibids, set a cutoff point for how much you're willing to spend on bids, how much time you're willing to commit to bidding wars, and whether or not those two components justify not buying retail outright.

by christhomas on March 28, 2012
bidintel

I hope we've all proven the point whether quibids is scam or not.
But we like to take it one step further by monitoring the number of bids placed by each user. And now we're opening it to our fellow bidders for no charge at all.
Visit http://www.bidintel.com to get it now. Hope you all enjoy.

by bidintel on April 23, 2012
christhomas

This is certainly an interesting idea for a free tool. Could be worth a try for any of you penny auction bidders. Just remember, it's still no guarantee. 

by christhomas on April 25, 2012
Jared

Having lost my job I have embarked on looking at starting my own penny auction site like quibids. I don't really know where to start, but see several negative stories around - but the fact is, they make serious money from my calculations. Anyone know how much Quibids makes per year in profit/turnover? Also anyone know any good clone scripts? Been looking at a few.

by Jared on May 22, 2012
Anonymous

I always find that the people who complain and call things like QuiBids a scam, are the people who don't read what something is about before they do it. If you have patience and half a brain, this can be a great way to get items at really cheap prices. You have to do your homework, all the information is there. Ignorance is not an excuse for losing your money on these sights.

by Anonymous on September 16, 2012
Arad

I fail to see how this is a scam. How would you expect a site like quibids.com to make any profit? Did you think the site was a charity?

by Arad on October 18, 2012
TB'N'Vegas

Well I fell for it. I wanted to check out quibids just to see what it was all about. Of'course they wanted my CC# which I figured was so I could pruchase bids if I wanted to. The problem is you can't see everything that is going on in the site unless you sign up, (which requires you to leave your CC #). As soon as I entered all my information and hit enter I had a 100 bids and a $60.00 charge to my cc. If this company was on the up and up the first thing you would see on there site is; in bold letters (When you singn up you will be charged $60.00 and recieve a 100 bids). Buyers BE WARNED........

by TB'N'Vegas on October 21, 2012
Anonymous

You can sign up without purchasing the bid package, once up to the cc info page simply go back to the home page, now you have an account but of course cannot place any bids. And the requirement to purchase the bid package is very obvious, top of the page, hard to miss.

by Anonymous on November 5, 2012
Misty

If qui bids is not a scam the why do I have to subscribe to a news letter to get 3 free bids? That's a scam. Second where do I enter the promo code to recieve more free bids?

by Misty on October 22, 2012
Anonymous

Quibids.com is definitely not a scam. I've won several great auctions on the site and on a regular basis, too. Among my best catches were; a $200 Wal-Mart gift card for $2.79, a new 200gb Toshiba laptop for $15, an authentic $500 D&G Handbag for $45, a wholesale lot (300 boxes) of Kellogs corn flakes valued at $1,200 for $39.99 and a $13.3 million dollar Learjet 60 for a ridiculous $19.99! I could go on and on, but seriously I don't have the time. I'm having a private party on my plane (I call her Betsy) later and I have to to pick up some models I met the other night. They REALLY want to see the plane. Anyways, I gotta go. A lot of romancing to do and a lot of cereal to eat, toodle-loo! Quibids.com rocks!!!!

by Anonymous on October 24, 2012
Crackers

I don't think Quibids is a scam as such but like many others I will never be using it. The way I see it is that 1 lucky bidder might get the deal of his life whilst many others walk away empty handed. That person may pick up a 500$ item for just a few dollars but in actual fact quibids has made thousands of $$$ fron all the unlucky ones who decide not to utilize the buy now option, this is what people need to be aware of

by Crackers on October 25, 2012
Anonymous

Quibids.com is not a scam, nor are some of the others like DealDash.com and xcelbidshop.com - It is very much like gambling as some of the others have pointed out. I have won some good items and I have lost. There are in fact strategies you can apply as well as just using some common sense and watching the bidding behaviors others are displaying on particular items.

I'm actually participating in a revenue sharing program with a company called BidXcel and it's going quite well. A real nice way to make some money on the side.

These companies are making money hand over fist and consumers can get some fantastic deals. Bottom line is If you're not willing to take a chance and possibly lose, then it's best to stay out of them.

If you want any info on BidXcel or XcelBids, feel free to email me at gobidxcel@gmail.com and I'll answer any questions you may have.

Shop Wisely :)

by Anonymous on November 18, 2012
Anonymous

I feel for it and spent $60.00 to join at 100 bids and the first time I won but didnot know how then went to check out to find it was not what I bid on they fixed it and I paid the next night the wife and I tried again but everytime we bid we lost bids and we won again but did not know how then when we checked out they told us congrade Deany was not my user name I put in when signed up so I contact them to find out and they send me some info. on why I cannot change my user name but wait a minute I put in my user name and they changed it and if I do not get it back thats fine but we are both disabled and i was going to try to save and give my kids a christmas and now we are worried that the item that we won will not show up for we paid right away and it still says prossing order and we now are trying to find money to go get the item for we are scared it will not show up This is the last time I try anything they should pay or have rules to protect us all they are worried about is making money but its time people stop falling for this an NO MORE for me.

by Anonymous on November 22, 2012
Anonymous

quibids is not a scam how ever reading through all the thoughts here, it is seriously misrepresented. in any where ive seen the word "BID" used on is something your willing to pay for example storage lockers, estate sales, ebay, equipment and other auctions,
ect. at the end if the sale your bids where either were the highest bid thus you pay as the winner the loosers keep their monney and go on to bid another day. thus on quibids there is no "bidding" or "auctioning" ONLY GAMBLING! you go to vegas armed with a little understanding of how the game 21 works. know what to hit on, what to double on
mixed with a lot of luck youll walk away with more than you had to start with...but dont do this and you walk away with nothing.............QUIBIDS IS GAMBLING you start with 100 dollars you better not be afarid to loose it all......in ending quibids needs to represent themselves as gambling not biding or auctioning

by Anonymous on November 23, 2012
Anonymous

quibids got me...
I actually won a $10 walmart gift card by bidding only twice but I didn't win any after that. I did some background check on bidders who are suspicious. Guess what? There are so many people who would spend and lose $10,000 or more on quibids. Who would spend all day and all money just to waste on bidding website when they win nothing? I think this is bs.
All penny auctions sites are full of shills.

by Anonymous on November 27, 2012
Anonymous

I see a ingenious business this company makes huge profits on some items and loses money on auctions of the same item.
How many people go to casinos and spend far more money on slots and keno and never show any thing. The way i look at quibids if I'm bidding on a $1200 tv and i win the auction by investing $350 dollars its a huge savings
Its just like a tv show if you dont like it turn the channel

by Anonymous on January 31, 2014

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