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5 Reasons Why MadBid is not a Penny Auction

posted by Evelina

In order to understand the type of online auctions website is, we need to look at what makes MadBid different to regular auctions and the growing market of penny auctions. When someone asks you, what is Amazon, you can instantly define that it’s an online shopping website, same for, what is EBay, you know it’s an auction website. MadBid is both of those things mixed with a whole lot more of fun.


What do penny auctions have to do with it? initially launched as a penny auction website, the idea that you can capture the last 30 seconds of an  auction and repeat it so the fun doesn’t stop, is well, exciting. Penny auctions themselves date back to the 16th century when merchants gathered in markets in Germany and would all throw coins in a bucket until the last man standing. The products up for grabs were not merely as fancy as now, cattle and timber being the most common. is the first auction of its kind based in the UK which made bringing the penny auction model up-to date quite challenging. All penny auctions have similar characteristics, the main ones being:

  • Timer
  • Converted currency which is usually called credits or bids or coins and;
  • Brand new products.


So this is what happens in a typical penny auction, the timer is set to approx. 1 minute.  It starts counting down when someone is interested in the product and has clicked the Bid button. Once the Bid button has been clicked this costs the person credits or bids or whatever the currency on the website is. So once the first Bid is placed the timer counts down 59,58, 57, 56……You get it. If a second person is also interested in that product and places a Bid, the timer re-sets and counts down again 59, 58, 57,56… This goes on until no-one else places a Bid for that product and the timer runs out to 00:00. When the timer runs out to 00:00 the last person to click Bid has won the auction.


Now, you might think, why would this be any more attractive than simply purchasing the product? The attractive part is, the auction starting price is always £0, 00 and only goes up by increments of 1p every-time Bid is clicked. So you can see now the attraction to penny auctions, because if the timer ran out on something like a car, the winner will simply have to pay the auction closing price and drive away happy. Maybe you remember this from back in 2008 when a shopper on MadBid won a brand new Mini One for £6.38?


There have been numerous speculations and debates about the different ways you can win penny auctions without investing too much into the credits, since every time you click Bid it can cost you up to £1. Not to mention that in penny auctions you only have 1 winner per auction, so if there are 2 people bidding for one product and the timer runs out, it’s only the last person who bids that gets the product. So this is the background of Penny Auctions where MadBid was born. Now let’s have a look at how MadBid has grown-up to be one of the leading auctions of its kind around Europe, catering for over 4 million registered users.


5  Key Differences between MadBid and Penny Auctions

  1. On MadBid you never lose money. Every time you click Bid that money automatically gets saved into your Earned Discount section so you can use it to purchase products on the website
  2. On MadBid, you can buy products for very competitive prices without even joining the auctions
  3. MadBid operates with the mind-set of Amazon, customer service, parcel tracking, high quality products are a must so customers know they get quality whether they bid or buy.
  4. MadBid auctions are constantly monitored to ensure fair-honest bidding, this is also checked by third parties to ensure the auction model adheres to standards.
  5. MadBid is developing its e-commerce model to include more game-like features, penny auctions are just a part of this but MadBid wants to make sure that customers have fun every time they visit the website, so keep an eye out for new developments.


MadBid recognises the fun elements that penny auctions bring, however as a lot of shoppers would agree, the penny auction market can be quite unpredictable, and sometimes puts fun and low prices above the care and safety guarantee for customers. MadBid thinks differently, here, customers always come first, and if they have fun and bag a bargain product then that is mission completed.


This is why there are numerous channels for customers to get in touch, through Google plus or Facebook and even Twitter. MadBid is a growing company and it will only grow to ensure its customers have the best possible experience while shopping.

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