How penny auction websites can leave you with a hole in your pocket | Money | The Guardian

Are penny auctions gambling, swoopo and all...

The internet is awash with penny auction forums where fans debate strategy and share tips, but there are also threads such as " Penny Burn Out? Unlike eBay, where bids are free and you only pay the price at which you win an item, participants in a penny auction must pay to place each bid as well as the final price are penny auctions gambling an item should they win it.

As Joshua's data shows, there is no way to win a Swoopo auction other than through sheer random chance -- that is, your client-side bid happens to wind its way through the umpteen internet routers between the server and your computer in time, ending up at the top of a queue with dozens or hundreds of other bids placed within a fraction of a second of each other.

I haven't heard from him since. But it often loses money too. I'd be happy to run this experiment and write about it on my blog. Doesn't have to be you, personally. And, there is the real possibility of using all your bids without getting the product.

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You can trust QuiBids to always provide a fun and engaging online experience that is also strictly legal. Which would be OK, I guess, if it was properly regulated as gambling. If you believe in Swoopo, then data speaks much louder than words. Now I'm curious if anyone is willing to take on this experiment, under the same terms.

But a closer look reveals that consumers can end up with nothing to show for it.

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So now, Smokoo is illegal in South Africa. Each bid raises the price of the item by a penny to 15 cents, depending on the site. Doing the math and not getting carried away is important: Some bidding fee auction sites have been shut down by state governments after investigations. Because Swoopo is, at its heart, thinly veiled gambling. For an activity to be considered gambling as a matter of law, three elements must be present: Of course, there can be only one winner so everyone else is left out of pocket.

Madbid's Facebook page attracts many positive comments from its fans, though there are also regular criticisms of the group's customer service and complaints about the cost and difficulty of winning auctions. If the winning bidder used bids in the process, they would have paid for the bids plus 60 for the final price, a total of and a saving of Perhaps they can find a ruling in their favor owing to their size, I don't know.

For example, if an item worth 1, currency units dollars, euros, etc. Each bid raises the auction price of an item by 1p and at the same time extends the closing time of the auction by up to 60 seconds.

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Each of the bids increases the price of the item by a small amount, such as one penny 0. As of today, the sites are still running but I suspect it won't be long.

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Even though online betting is legal in South Africa, interactive gambling is not. Madbid can make a lot more than the sale price on each item. On Swoopo, there are nothing but millions of losers -- and by that I mean they are gambling and losing millions of real dollars to the house.

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Posted by Sid Kal at 8: Bids cost money unless you enter a free auction — to win credit that can only be used on BidBudgie. We took a detailed look at the bidding history for Madbid's recent LG TV auction, which required four credits per bid.

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He believed Marcandi continues trading only because it received casino cafeteria saint etienne geoffroy guichard large cash injection from shareholders and said he viewed the future prospects of this company with deep suspicion.

We combine the thrill of competition with the fun of entertainment and shopping, which is why our users keep coming back for more. Some have automatic bidding functions similar to eBay. Is the penny auction industry considered gambling without the Buy Now feature implemented on every auction?

Share via Email Pitch it right and you too could hit the jackpot on an internet site such as Madbid.

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Here are the two most pertinent: The feature eliminates the potential for loss, and thus, the risk of gambling. Now, South Africa seems to have classified penny auctions as gambling.

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At sites such as this, beginners need to tread even more carefully. An excellent resource on the penny auction industry is Pennyburnerswhich is unaffiliated with QuiBids.

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A spokesman says Madbid is an "interactive social auction website … that features a 'buy it now' option, refund policies and interactive elements, creating a fun shopping experience that requires skill and strategy to land bargains".

A TechCrunch article July 26, on MadBidone such site, called this model "a license to print money. However, this question was raised when a class action lawsuit was filed against Quibids. Just let me know what terms you think make sense.

Things are even more confusing at FastBidding. They're Gambling Late last year, I encountered what may be nearly perfect evil in business plan form: It concluded that MadBid. Let's see what we can do to hasten this process along.

But the OFT says it has nothing to add to the work it has already done. Items not sent and the worst customer service in the world. Washington state shut down PennyBiddr after a lawsuit in which the state accused PennyBiddr of using shill bidding to drive up prices and extend auctions.

Smokoo seems like the most famous penny auction in South Africa, along with sites like Bidchaser, Kooldeals, Viaziz etc. Madbid's parent company, Marcandi Ltd, appears to be in poor financial health.

If you win, how much you eventually pay depends on how many credits it took to place each bid, how many times you bid, and the eventual sale price. Its taking too much time away from my relationship.

QuiBids How It's Not Gambling -