QuiBids – Why eBay is not the worst that can happen to us.

So many people out there have complaints about eBay. People complain about the fees, the tight security, the bad customer service, and whatever else. Some people even went further and opened dedicated blogs and sites for their rants.

That’s fine, people have right for their opinion, and they have the right to speak it up. There are alternatives, like Amazon or Craigslist, which provide slightly different ways  to achieve the same goal – sell and buy stuff through the internet. There are more, but one particular alternative caught my eye.

And not in a good way, not at all.

QuiBids. Their moto is “Shopping Redefined”, and truly they redefined the way people shop. On their site, you pay for the right to shop. Not a commission after you made a purchase, not a fee for listing. You pay for the right to shop. Not even buy, shop. You pay even if you didn’t buy anything.

So, why is it so bad?

The trick is simple. As opposed to all the other sites i mentioned, where the site is intermediate between the seller and the buyer, QuiBids is the seller. On eBay you buy from another eBayer. On Amazon Marketplace you buy from a third-party seller as well, and Craigslist? Just a neighborhood billboard on the network.

On QuiBids – the site is the seller. Why is it important? Because, like any decent seller, they want to maximize the profits. So if eBay or Amazon get minimum fees (listing, insertion, sales commission, and whatever else they take), and Craigslist allows posting for free because Craig is such a great guy, on QuiBids – the site is the seller, the site controls the transaction, and the site sets the price and rules.

So what are the rules?

QuiBids is a bidding site. Each bid costs money. You pay certain amount ahead of time to buy a pack of bids, and you bid, similarly to eBay auctions. But, as opposed to eBay, each bid costs you. The site is also the seller, so you cannot know if the other bidders in the auction are real, or they’re bots that are designed to make you bid until certain price is met. For bots the bidding is for free, obviously, for you – it’s not. So one happy (if he’s real) bidder might get an item cheaper than in store (not always), but the difference is compensated by all the not-so-happy loosing bidders.

What else?

If you read the rules carefully, you’ll discover this list (at least as of today, July 19, 2010):

  1. Only one account is allowed per person
  2. Only one account is allowed per household (exceptions may apply – contact support with questions)
  3. Only 8 wins are allowed per account over a 28 day time span
  4. Only 1 win of the same product with a value price of over $285 is allowed over a 28 day time span (e.g. you can only win a certain Playstation once every 28 days)
  5. Only 3 wins are allowed per day
  6. Only 1 win is allowed per 28 days on items with a value price $1,000 or greater

When was the last time you went into your neighborhood Macy’s and the cashier said “Go away, you bought too much already!”? But wait, it sounds familiar… Where did I heard about similar rules? Oh right… Casino. Remember, those shiny places in Las Vegas that kick you out if you win too much?

So, bottom line – Casino always wins. So does QuiBids. You can come and gamble, but stay away if you want to shop.

If you want some more opinions, read here.

Your Little Advisor

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