Tuesday, August 17, 2010

www.sold.sg, www.gleebid.com, www.simplybids.com.sg, www.crazybid.sg

www.sold.sg, www.gleebid.com, www.simplybids.com.sg, www.crazybid.sg, www.sharkybids.com, etc are some "auction" sites that sprouted recently. At first glance, these auction sites appear to be offering tremendous deals to interested buyers through huge discounts. However, the caveat that when a deal sounds too good to be true be careful holds. To understand how www.sold.sg, www.gleebid.com, www.simplybids.com.sg, www.crazybid.sg, www.sharkybids.com and such works, it is important to understand the mechanics of their operations.

I will use sold.sg as an example. Let us take one item that was recently sold on www.sold.sg to illustrate the financial calculations for a good deal purchased.


The Canon IXUS 300 was sold at $52.35, a staggering 83% to the retail price of $599. Does this mean sold.sg made a big loss? From where was sold.sg able to source for such cheap products?

It is important to note that bidding on items is not free. Each bid requires 1 token which is sold to the bidder at $0.75. Each bid increases the bidded price by $0.15. Therefore, the calculations are as follows:

Total number of bids = $52.35/$0.15 = 349 bids
Total bid cost = 349 * $0.75 = $261.75
Item sold price = $52.53
Total revenue by sold.sg = $261.75 + $52.53 = $314.28

Therefore, if sold.sg was able to source for the product at $314.28, it would had broken even.

Now, let us take one example where sold.sg made a good profit.


The Sony PSP-3000 was sold at $118.35, more than 50% off the retail price of $279.

Total number of bids = $118.35/$0.15 = 789 bids
Total bid cost = 789 * $0.75 = $591.75
Item sold price = $118.35
Total revenue by sold.sg = $591.75 + $118.35 = $710.10

For this product, sold.sg earned an extremely healthy profit on top of the cost of the PSP-3000.

Be very careful when bidding for items on these "auction" sites as their profits clearly comes from the sale of tokens for bidders to place their bids instead of actual sale of the products. Interested bidders must avoid the situation of overbidding for products by factoring in the hidden cost of tokens purchase. The smaller the incremental bids, the more likelihood people are going to overbid for items as the hidden cost of purchasing tokens is overlooked.

Finally, remember this very important piece of information, only enter your bids if you have the intention to go all the way to win or you will only be paying for the excitement of joining in an auction. If possible, I will recommend you avoid these "auction" sites for even if you had done all your calculations prior to entering the bidding process, all it takes is for ONE overzealous bidder to ensure all the bids you had paid for are in vain. The risks of such overzealous bidders get increasingly high when more and more people start coming to know about the existence of these "auction" sites. BEWARE! CAUTION!

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, you calculated '$118.35/$0.15 = 789 bids', but it states there are only 190 bids for this product. I don't think all bids start from $0.00. Therefore, total revenue by sold.sg is $261.85. Enlighten me.

Ice said...

So far, all bids had been observed to start from $0.

789 bids is the total number of bids that were entered calculated from the final selling price. 190 refers only to the number of bids that were made by the successful bidder, i.e. 599 bids were made by unsuccessful bidders.

A savvy shopper/bidder must appreciate the mechanics of this shopping mode in order to reap tangible benefits.

Anonymous said...

My bad. How interesting... Have you tried bidding on such sites before? Correct me if I'm wrong but the winning bid is more often than not lower than the retail price right? So as long as you keep bidding, you'll probably win and save a couple of dollars at least right?

Ice said...

I had won a bid before but participated in a few. On the whole, I will have been better off buyng the items upfront. With the large number of bidders these days, it is becoming more like a casino, the odds are in the house's favour and in the long run, the only real winner is the banker.

Anonymous said...

YI noticed that for popular electronic items, the winners seem to be from a small group of bidders. What's to stop someone from unethically planting such "winners" to dive up bids? Reminds me of some gaming tricks where "stooges" are planted to incite genuine bidders to increase their buds. The old saying holds true "If it is too good to be true, it probably is".

Ice said...

There is an implicit trust that you have to accord to the bidding site. The possibility of "stooges" being planted is always there but just like gambling, we know the risks but go in with our eyes wide open. For those who went in with their eyes closed, good luck to them.

Lady Newton said...

I am very skeptical about www.sold.sg, having had a bad first-hand experience.

I went all out to bid for some of the items i liked, but not once, not twice, but on THREE occasions my final bid was NOT recognised and it went to the bidder before me!

i was very angry and frustrated because it happened consecutively and wrote to sold.sg but they just shrugged it off and did not offer any assistance.

i wonder how this could come about and if this is indeed a case of "shilling"or planting stooges as Anonymous and ICE mentioned?

Does anyone know what can be done in such cases? i feel RIPPED OFF and do not wish to pay my credit card company for the tokens i purchases through paypal as i am questioning their integrity and authenticity!

Ice said...

What exactly does it mean by your final bid was not recognised?

I had bidded successfully for an item before, paid for and received it in good order on sold.sg...

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for creating this post :)

I went to join the auction for 1st time and that would be my last. Yes, I did a calculation like what you have mentioned and some items are not worth bidding. Furthermore sold.Sg has a clause that even thou that item was overbid,no $ was refunded but gives the bidder 3 chances to join the bid to win for 3 times instead of 1. In other words, you need to buy more tokens to bid for the items. All these money for auctions can accumulate and ended up buying the product in retail shop.

These companies have the concept that works like casino jackpot ;)

Unless you bid at the very last stage or an estimate amount you estimate will win then start to bid.

Nothing in this world comes free ;) and alot of ways to cheat your money..

Anonymous said...

sold.sg current (19/06/11) bid price for ipad 2,
$113.51, 1cts per bid, total 11351 bids x 0.75 cts token = $8513, can buy 8 ipad2 at retail price. There is a stooge or stupid bidder jchong who bid at least 5000 times that can buy 3 ipad2.

Anonymous said...

sold.sg is earning big money, ipad2 now bidding $200 = 20,000 bid @0.75 = $15000 - $1000 cost = profit $14000. Whether the govt or income tax is checking them.

Anonymous said...

Someone should write to the StraitsTimes forum about this so that the government will look into it.

ADTC said...

To Anonymous: As long as the website runners are paying income taxes and making the govt happy, they will continue to run. Reporting such businesses for possible tax evasion does nothing to help members who are being ripped off by the scheme. In fact, why else would governments allow+encourage casinos in their lands? Even Amway, an MLM company is fully legitimate in govt's eyes.

Idle said...

I believe you should have read the terms and conditions before playing the game, cant blame the casino for making you lose money if you walked in and paid willingly. I find it amusing that when we win we happy, when we lose we say its a scam.

But I do agree that it is hardly provable genuine competition. A bid monkey or auto bidder may be your culprit for losing. A reasonable assumption is as long as they want to they can indefinitely increase the number of bids used. But this will result in a problem with accountable income and therefore auditable. If they were truly messing with their users, you can expect them to close before 3 years/they earn 1 mil. as before they hit either, they are tax exempted so they need not go through audit ;)

Theres no free lunch, but someone can pay for yours in one way or another.

Emmanuel! said...

The site is real but never try to challenge nick below because they are crazy, kind of unlimited bid:

kuroro
acura888,
wwinwinwin
dufty18,
erick,
sakura888
jchong

If you want to win something at real good price just avoid bidding items that they are bidding.

Damn I try to bid for dyson fan and acura888 this stupid fellow never gave in, even he never win it, damn hate him.

Wholala said...

Yeah not worth bidding again them,2 more to the list is 67wsing88 and volvo88.

Mia Deana said...

I feel that sold.sg is. Rigged, as I looked back at past winners of the items, 95% of them are auto bidders. On a personal account , I tried to put in my bid at 1 second on the clock. Yet the item was awarded to the 'auto bidder' great disappointment coming from so called graduates that created this website.

Perfection said...

Actually sold.sg is not too bad. Yes most of the bidder there are crazy and sometime over crowded but ending auction is limited.

Try countdown.sg they are far worse. To list them done this are a few of them:

1. Customer service suck! Always failed to respond to their customer email until they posted in their Facebook. Then I always delivery team is slow.
2. No contact number and company business address. This convince me that the company is probably a one man show.
3. Winning item take longer than any other bidding website. Sold.sg sometime deliver their winning item surprisingly in in 1 or 2 days. Experience with countdown.sg more than 14 days!!! After numerous email and posting on facebook!

Well this good enough to turn off many people. What surprisingly is that countdown.sg never called their customer to explain situation. I received called from sold.sg whenever they cannot make the delivery in time and sometimes they make exception for you to choose other item.

Personally customer service to me is very important and is a most important area in all nature of business. Countdown.sg mentioned on their website “Great Customer Service” hmmmm you judge for yourself.

MK said...

PPL you can add E3E3E3 to the names of the die hard bidders to sta away from. This bidder made 1248 bids ($936) for a Sony 32GB tablet which sells for a retail price of S$798 and won it at a final price of S$142.15. The cost of the bids alone far exceeds the retail price of the item. Makes you wonder who in the world would want to do that??

JayJay-AR said...

I was attracted because of the ad in hardwarezone. Firstly, I need to purchase token to bid. I started to bid and did not sleep to avoid losing the item but always overplayed by autobit user eventhough it is not yet end. Contacted the helpsupport and was informed that they have no control over the machine. Requested for refund but not given. Explanation given "no refund" as mentioned in the site. I suspected one who bid more that the market price are probably accomplices. The winning prize is recycled. "Need to get my money back"

Venky said...

Noticed new one in Singapore www.dealspot.sg... another one in the race?

Alan Tan said...

player for sold.sg FightingBidder
after won three bidding on 21/2/12
still can won 2 more item at the
Beginner Auctions ???