The Latest Auction Scams
I’ve noticed, mostly through banner ads, annoying spam mail and referrals from placed like MyPoints a new trend in auction sites. Places like Wavee, BidCactus, BidSauce and Beezid to name a few. These sites supposedly offer high end merchandise, digital cameras, ebook readers, numerous gift cards even cars for pennies on the dollar. The scam is two fold. First you have to BUY BIDS. That’s right, each and every time you bid it costs YOU, the buyer, money. How much money you ask?
Bids cost $0.75 each and come in packs of 25, 50, 100, 250, and 500.
The base cost for a bid is $1.
Bidboxes are sold in 25, 50, 100, 250 and 500 and cost as little as $0.70 per bid.
Each credit costs $0.60 USD.
Varies, starts at $1. Annoying video only FAQ.
The second part of the scam is even more insidious. Auctions don’t end until everyone stops bidding. While this might be fine for real life auctions, those in which each raise of your hand doesn’t cost you a buck, it’s a crappy scam online. When the auction timer is about to ‘expire’ and a bid is placed the auction is extended for another 20 – 30 seconds. First and foremost you have NO idea if it’s a real person bidding or if the site itself is jacking the price. There’s no regulation, no proof, nothing. They’re counting on your greed and gullibility… “Oh gee! That $400 digital camera is ONLY $13.45! I just have to bid one more… one more… one more.” And then you’ve SPENT $50 to lose an auction to someone willing to throw away more money or you’ve run out of bids and can’t get to your credit card fast enough. eBay has/had the right idea. Auctions start, they run a SPECIFIC amount of time and then they end. The seller pays the fees to place the auction and a small percentage of the end result of the auction. Period. That’s it.
For example (borrowed from Yahoo Answers) up for auction a 52″ HDTV, MSRP is $1699.99. Current bid is $196.07. Which equates to 19,607 bids. If you take the average bid price of $0.80 that’s already a net gain of $13,985.61, ($15,685.60 worth of bids -$1699.99 for the TV!)
Years ago when eBay started up there were several competing auction sites that came along when people saw there was money to be made. Some even tried this pay-per-bid crap. None of them are around now and I predict none of these new sites will last more than a couple years. Enough time to bilk millions from gullible people and make the site owners rich.
Hawk (won’t buy that (bid) for a $1!)