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-   -   How Dumb Do You Need to Be? (http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/clubhouse-190/11303671-how-dumb-do-you-need.html)

smithcreek 11-20-2012 05:51 AM

How Dumb Do You Need to Be?
 
Just clicked on the RCU Holiday Gift Guide and made my way over to BID-RC, which is a penny auction sites for RC. First thing I saw was a policy listed on the front page stating "Get 110% Of Your Bids Back On Unsold items That You Bid On!". Honestly I think these penny auctions are stupid enough to begin with. If I'm going to bid on something I want to know that the highest bid I make either wins and I pay, or doesn't win and I keep my money. Flushing money down the toilet and NOT getting the item really does not sound like a "deal" to me, but I know people that like them will say "yeah, but you can win items with only a couple bids and only pay a few dollars some times", and I get that part, it's like gambling + auction. But the problem here is this site puts "Reserves" on items, so unless an item gets to a certain bid level, it does not sell. Here is an actual example of an item they have with a reserve:
-auction is for item with RETAIL price of $89
-reserve is $1.49
-bids cost about $.90
-So to even reach the reserve price their will need to be $134 in bids placed

So this site won't "sell" an item that cost them probably less than $50 wholesale until they make $134. Not a bad scam if it works, but it seems to negate the whole attraction of the penny auction, which is the risk you take of losing all your money and getting nothing, versus a shot at buying an item for next to nothing. With a reserve that will never happen. RCU really should distance themselves from this kind of crap. They had a sponsor run one a year or two ago, Bid Pirate, and from what I remember it was a disaster with all sorts of unhappy people accusing each other of lying and cheating.

So, my question is, how dumb do you need to be to bid on an item like the example above?



Real Quick explanation for those not familiar with penny auctions:

-you pay a set amount, in this case about $.90 to buy a "bid"
-you bid on an item, every time a person bids the items "price" goes up by $.01 (even though it cost you $.90 to bid), that's how they make the ridiculous claims that a brand new Futaba radio sold for $6.95
-the last person to "bid" wins the item and pays the final price which like the example above might be $6.95
-if you don't win the item you don't get your bids back, you lose them, so if you bid 25 times you lose $22.50

jester_s1 11-20-2012 07:20 AM

RE: How Dumb Do You Need to Be?
 
I've always wondered how that worked. It sounds like a guy could do ok if he bids late in the process on items that aren't hot sellers. It sounds to me like it's more about the thrill of rolling the dice though than about actually saving money.

countilaw 11-20-2012 08:28 AM

RE: How Dumb Do You Need to Be?
 
It sounds like to me, " a fool and his money are soon parted!"

Frank

collector1231 11-20-2012 01:37 PM

RE: How Dumb Do You Need to Be?
 
This is exactly why i like eBay. You don't pay to bid. Yes, there is many people, but using an automatic bidder works well.

mr_matt 11-20-2012 01:54 PM

RE: How Dumb Do You Need to Be?
 

Quote:

ORIGINAL: jester_s1

I've always wondered how that worked. It sounds like a guy could do ok if he bids late in the process on items that aren't hot sellers. It sounds to me like it's more about the thrill of rolling the dice though than about actually saving money.

I don't think there is a "late" in the process. I thought they reset a timer every time someone bid, so someone always has a chance to outbid you. I wonder how long before these sites are going to be classified as gambling?

smithcreek 11-21-2012 08:51 AM

RE: How Dumb Do You Need to Be?
 
Quote:

ORIGINAL: mr_matt
I don't think there is a ''late'' in the process. I thought they reset a timer every time someone bid, so someone always has a chance to outbid you. I wonder how long before these sites are going to be classified as gambling?
Yes, each time a person bids the auction is extended 12 seconds. That's to get people to keep ponying up $.90 multiple times until all but one person drops out. That's the scam, uh, I mean the way it works. To repeat myself, I've never seen one of these site with a reserve on items that explicitly means they will only sell an item for about 50% ABOVE FULL RETAIL, or 300% of wholesale price. Looks like UBID-RC wants all the upside of the penny auction business buy none of the downside.

As far as RCU goes, I'd like to know exactly how a link to a penny auction is a "Holiday Gift" idea? Are people supposed to bid on items for gifts? "Hey dude, I bid on an awesome Futaba radio for you for Christmas. Would have been really cool if I had won it, but I didn't, so Merry Christmas, better luck next year. What did you get me?"

countilaw 11-21-2012 03:50 PM

RE: How Dumb Do You Need to Be?
 
I am sure the bid site paid for the advertisement. I hate to see it, but RCU is accepting advertising money from other unscruplous companies.

Frank

Bill G 11-25-2012 01:29 PM

RE: How Dumb Do You Need to Be?
 
The title here says it all: How Dumb Do You Need to Be?

If I get this correct, someone can outbid you by 1 cent. These schemes are always a complete rip off, but for this scheme to ever have any semblance of fair, it would have to work as follows:
As a bid goes up, a person has to bid higher, set by a certain percentage of the previous bid. The whole thing is still ridiculous though. One of these came out a while ago that I read about, and it became apparent that there was a very good chance of some insider activity going on, making it a cheat as well as a rip-off.

flyinwalenda 11-25-2012 02:07 PM

RE: How Dumb Do You Need to Be?
 
I thought this place shut down not long ago  or was that another RC penny auction site?

Hemikiller 11-25-2012 09:24 PM

RE: How Dumb Do You Need to Be?
 

Quote:

ORIGINAL: flyinwalenda

I thought this place shut down not long ago or was that another RC penny auction site?

You're thinking of bidpirate.net

I remember that catastrophe last winter, there was the owner and his buddy the shill.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1515101

flyinwalenda 11-26-2012 07:21 AM

RE: How Dumb Do You Need to Be?
 
OK that was the one!
Concept still is the same though . They have to get enough bids to make a profit on each item. Who knows if this place will have shill bidders and/or extend the clock as auctions near the end?
It is in fact like walking into a casino and all of the auctions are lined up like slot machines.

FLYBOY 11-27-2012 07:50 PM

RE: How Dumb Do You Need to Be?
 
I tried one of those sites once, from what I could tell, they have a system to over bid you no matter how long you bid, and they never have to send an item out, and you keep spending money to bid. I think it is a total scam. Even if they do sell something and someone actually wins something, they make about 10 times the money from the cost of the bid points. Huge scams


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