QuiBids Redefines English

A “bid” is an offer to buy something. The operative word here is offer. If you don’t win an auction with that offer, you don’t pay.

Look up the words “bid” and also “offer” if you’re not sure.

At QuiBids, you have to give them your money before you can “bid” and, when you “bid” on an item, your money is spent. You either win or you don’t win, but either way the money you “bid” is gone. If you win, you get the product. If you don’t win, you don’t get the product and you don’t get your “bid” (your money) back either.

Your money is gone, regardless.

I couldn’t believe anyone would dare to so blatantly make up a new definition to foster such a deception, so I searched their website to verify it.

See question #10 here.

So, what’s going on here?

Why does QuiBids seem attractive?

(Note: My math in the next three paragraphs isn’t quite correct for either buyer or seller. From my reading, it’s not quite as good for the seller, about the same for the winning buyer, and worse for any losing buyers. Oh, and QuiBids tacks on a couple of bucks as a service fee on top of the winning bidders price.)

Imagine you’re the seller. Let’s say QuiBids becomes wildly successful and there are a thousand “bidders” (QuiBids’ definition, mind you) for your item. And let’s say you are selling an item that usually goes for $500. When the auction opens, if 999 bidders throw in a buck each but person number 1000 throws in two bucks, he wins. You, the seller, get all the bids. That’s $1001. And the “winner” only spent two.

What a great deal, right?

Unless you’re one of the 999, of course. But each of them only gambled a single buck. No big deal, right?

While their website does, if you read it carefully, make all this clear, I dare say most consumers will be too greedy about getting stuff cheap and they will be taken in and not realize QuiBids has redefined the word “bid”.

No, QuiBids, that’s not what the word means and no, you won’t be getting any “bids” - or bucks - from me.

But It’s More Complicated Still

****Here’s some more details.

  1. When you buy your “bids”, they cost you 60 cents each.
  2. When you “bid” with them, the bidding price of an item goes up by 1, 2 or 5 cents depending on the increment QuiBids has set for that item.
  3. If you win, you get full credit (60 cents each) for each “bid” you made but you then have to kick in enough to get your investment up to the final price.
  4. But as previously mentioned and described in QuiBids link (see above re #10), if you lose, your “bids” have been spent.

Essentially you are paying 60 cents a nudge to push the price up by 1, 2 or 5 cents, whether you win or lose.

And if you win, you do have to pay the final bid amount. While you get full credit (60 cents each) for the “bids” you invested but, assuming you weren’t the only bidder, you’ll then have to kick in more so your investment is the full final amount.

But again, if you aren’t the winner, you lose how ever many bids you invested (at 60 cents each).

This means if it’s something you really want and you’ve bid many times, you then have a lot invested toward winning that item. But since all will be lost if you don’t keep adding more “bids” when someone else chucks in an additional 1, 2 or 5 cents into the price, you are motivated to protect your investment by up’ing the price yet again - by another 1, 2 or 5 cents (that cost you 60 cents each). If you “bid” on an item you really, really want 100 times, you’ve got $60.00 at risk if you have to take a bathroom break or otherwise let someone beat you with a single (60 cent) bid.

And that $60.00 you’ve invested has pushed the price up by as little as 1 cent for each of your 100 bids. If there are only two bidders, the item “price” could be as low as two bucks ($2.00).

Even QuiBids admits their “bidding” process is complicated.

I’ll stay well clear of this circus.


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