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Madbid Review

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Overall Rating

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Official Website – Madbid
Socially Connected With Facebook & Twitter
Buy It Now – Yes
Founded – 2008

Madbid is a European based Penny auction site and has been operating now for about 5 years. Founded back in 2008, they have now become the biggest penny auction site in Europe.

Now currently operating in countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany and Italy. In this madbid review we will look into the good and the bad to help you determine if madbid is the right site for you.

Before we get started, lets look at how Madbid has gone over their 5 year running time.

Madbid-homepageIn 2010, the company was chosen by the Guardian Newspaper as part of their Tech Media Invest 100 List. In 2011 they were nominated for an eCommerce Site Innovation Award, along with PrismaStar. In 2012 they were finalists for the Red Herring 100 Europe Award, in the Entertainment & Media Section.

Later that year, the company was nominated for the Small Online Business of the Year Award at the Orange National Business Awards (UK). They were also listed 41st in the Tech Track 100 league table in 2012, which is published by The Sunday Times.

The company received £4million in funding from the Skype founder’s Venture Capitalist firm Atomico in July 2010.Since the site was launched many bidders have paid for bids whilst winning nothing, whilst other users have made savings on items when compared to RRP. This was backed up by a report commissioned by Madbid from accountants BDO into the average cost to the winner of auctions compared against RRP. They found the winner of each auction on average saved 81% using a sample of 60 auctions across the 6-month period up to November 2011.

Source – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MadBid

So the site has been going well, 5 years for a penny auction site is very good considering most new penny auctions go bust within a year. The fact that madbid has been nominated for numerous awards speaks volumes for the legitimacy of the site. Which includes being finalists in the Red Herring 100 Top European sites.

Media-Coverage

So without question, madbid is a legit site. They are too big of a company to risk their reputation by scamming their customers, we have won various items on Madbid and all of them arrived in good time. The truth is… there is a certain degree of luck when it comes to penny auctions, you won’t always win but just because you don’t doesn’t mean the site is a scam, it’s just the way of the game.

For the purposes of this review we are going to assume that you know how penny auctions work. If you don’t, then you can find tutorials on madbid itself which explains how everything works. If that’s not enough then you can also find some useful information on our what is a penny auction page

Features

So lets look at some of the features that Madbid offer

Taken from Madbid Faq

Sneak-a-Peek

This little feature is designed to help you develop your bidding strategy and really make those Bids count. Once activated this feature lets you see other users’ details like: When they Bid, What they Bid on How they Bid, and What they win

Sneaking on someone could not be easier! Simply click on a username and confirm ‘Sneak Now’. Every sneak costs 6 credits. You can check out who sneaked on your profile by clicking the ‘Sneaks’ icon on the toolbar at the bottom of the page. Fear not – none of your personal information is ever given out.

Auction Peeks

If you really want to win a certain product then this little feature can really come in handy. For only 4 credits it will let you view the last 24 hours bidding history and past auction closing prices! Simply click More Info on the bidding history tab in any auction.

Stealth Mode

This feature is designed to help you protect your profile from other users sneaking on you and finding out your bidding strategy. Once activated, this feature will block anyone from using Sneak-a-Peek against you for 7 days. It costs 30 credits to protect all of the information that someone could find out about you through sneaking.

AutoBid

This feature is a must-have if you are often on the go. AutoBid places bids for you to make sure you do not miss out on the huge auction discounts.

You can customise the Autobid with your desired Bid amount and bidding strategy or you can set a quick AutoBid by clicking the “A” button on any auction. You can deactivate the feature by simply clicking on the “A” button again.

Buy Now

This is an awesome money saving feature. It counts all of the Paid Credits you spend in the auction so you can still purchase the product using the paid credits you placed in the auction. For example: A phone’s Buy Now price is £100 – you spend £40 worth of credits in the auction = Total to pay using the Buy Now feature =£60!

Ipad-ExampleThese are the main features on Madbid. Some of them are great, others… not so good. The buy now feature is by far the best as this allows you save you a lot of money. Having said that, many penny auctions (Madbid included) list items at an inflated RRP price.

For example you see an 32GB Ipad being listed on madbid for £479, the same Ipad could probably be bought for £450 in a local electronic store. So it’s very important you research the item before you consider using the Buy now option. Just make sure that if you do use buy it now, you will be saving money.

The other features aren’t worth shouting about, the Sneak-a-peek feature is quite good and is an exclusive feature. This can sometimes be helpful if you persistently see a bidder on auctions that you want to bid on, it can be great to see how they bid, because some bidders will bid hundreds and hundreds of bids in a single auction, you want to avoid those people at all costs.

Again, the other features aren’t really worth the credits. We can’t imagine many people would use the autobidder because when money is at stake you want to be in full control. However if you like automated tools then madbids autobid feature is fully customizable and you can set it to bid whenever you want.

Winning

The most important part to choosing a penny auction site is finding out how easy it is to win. Madbid has an excellent amount of items available and penny auctions are not as big in europe as they are in the united states so the user base and competition is much lower.

Car-auction

Buynow Unavailable due to old auction

We also found a very good variety of items, Madbid is one of the few penny auction sites that actually list brand new cars up for auction, these can be very hard to win however so approach with caution when in comes to cars.

The plus side to these high ticket items is the fact that there would be much less bidders on other items that are less in demand, even gift cards, books, and games etc are easily winnable.

New users will receive 2 free bids when they first sign up to Madbid, and the price per bids is about £-.40 – £0.60 depending on the size of the bid pack.

We feel this is quite a competitive price, it certainly could be lower. Other penny auction sites such as dealdash is cheaper but also much harder to win.

Shipping

The shipping on madbid is by far the best in the industry, Items are usually received in no less then 1 week.

Source – MadbidShipping

Where does MadBid ship?

MadBid ships to United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Germany, Spain, Italy and France.

What is the delivery time?

We aim to deliver all purchases within 2-3 working days after payment, but please allow up to 10 days. As we use a number of suppliers, order processing times vary, so 10 days gives us enough time to make sure your purchases get to you. Any exceptions to this timescale will be listed on the Auction Details of the individual product.

What are the shipping rates?

The shipping costs are displayed on the “Auction Information”. Click on the photo or Auction title of the Product to see the details.

Want to check your order status?

You will be able to track the status of your product by going to your MadBid account and checking your Purchases.

How to return an item?

You will need to contact us within 5 days of receiving the item if it is damaged or faulty. Please get in touch with the returns department at returns@madbid.com and mail them the following information:
Please don’t send the item back to us without contacting us first. This could result in a delay between the return of your item and a replacement being despatched. If your product does need replacing, we will contact you and let you know what to do.

On nearly every item we won, we received it within 10 days, this is better then any other penny auction site by quite some distance. The shipping fees can be found in the information section on the auction page and these fees depend on the item, it’s usually no more then £8. However bigger items such as televisions can be more.

Summary

So to sum up this Madbid review, it’s a fantastic penny auction site for anyone that is new to penny auctions. They have all the information you need to learn how the system works, and to eventually win your first auction. We found that because madbid doesn’t ship to the United states, there is significantly less competition then other established sites such as Beezid and Dealdash.

Not only is the ease of winning good for such an established site, but the delivery times are also second to none. For small items, expect to see your items in less then a week after winning them. So all in all, whether your a new bidder or a more experienced bidder, madbid is certainly one of the better penny auction sites.

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External Links:

http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/26/penny-auction-site-madbid-secures-4m-funding-from-atomico-ventures/

How does it work? The sites auction new items, often for a fraction of their retail price, and bidders pay up to £1.50 for each bid. Unlike eBay, where you can bid for free, users have to pay between 40 pence and £1.50 to place a bid. Bids automatically rise by 1p at a time, and some people make repeated bids. The last person to bid gets the item, for however much it is worth after what can be hours of monitoring.

http://www.crunchbase.com/company/madbid-com

As of May 2010, MadBid.com had over 37,000 unique winners in the UK alone and over 80,000 closed auctions. MadBid.com operates across Europe in Germany, Italy, Ireland and Spain as well as the UK where the company is based.

 

 

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