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MadBid vs eBid: New Era of Online Auctions

posted by Evelina

Online auction sites have been around since 1998, but there is still a lot of uncertainty about how they work.  If you are unsure, or simply want to find out which online auction is for you, here is our run-down of the most popular types of online auctions and how they work.


First and foremost, MadBid is an online auction so you might think that this article is going to promote MadBid, but fear not friends. We are bargain hunters/ auction lovers/ hagglers/ thrill seekers that love debating the value of the latest gadgets. So let us share what we truly think about online auctions and where the biggest bargains can be found.


 “an online auction site might be a good alternative to a full-price replacement for your clapped out washing machine or fridge.” – The Guardian


There are 5 main types of online auctions.


Penny auctions are fast, thrilling and carry a certain amount of risk. People participate in penny auctions if they want to get the latest brand new products for insanely low prices. Sounds exciting? But wait. Even though penny auctions sell products at extremely low prices, it does cost money to participate. The typical penny auction will charge customers between 10p to 15p every time you click Bid in an auction. The problem with this is, there is only 1 winner and the other people that have paid to participate in the auction will lose out. MadBid was never a fan of this, but offering customers high quality products for a fraction of their cost was an opportunity not to be missed. It has taken over a year of research and development to ensure that customers who participate in auctions never lose out. If you participate in a MadBid auction and don’t win, use the money spent in the auction to buy whatever you want from the website, big or small. And you might think that there is a catch, but the products are all brand new and the major challenge the company faces now is to offer even bigger discounts on brand new products that customers simply want to buy. So while the average online auction discounts are 80%, have a look if you like anything from the Earned Discount shop so if you do not win an auction, you can still use the money spent bidding in the auction to buy anything from the Earned Discount shop. We call this gamified e-commerce.


Outlet auctions are great if you love your brands or want to make quite an expensive purchase. You can find outlet auctions on Ebay, by looking at the outlet section. Here you can find major stores like Argos offering electrical goods to buy out right. If you were looking to buy a washing machine or something of the sort, this is quite handy because you can get from 13% to 43% off the RRP. So although these deals are on an online auction website, most of the products have a fixed discount price that you can simply purchase, no need to Bid or check for timers. One word of caution, watch out for postage and shipping costs, most retailers offer free shipping if you buy a higher priced item, this is different in outlet auctions so just check before you buy.


Consumer to Consumer auctions are awesome! If you want something really quirky or original or really old, these are the auctions to look at first.  Although both Ebay and Ebid are consumer to consumer, our final choice was Ebid. Why? Well, if you type any keyword into Ebay, you will find anything and everything to do with the keyword. And the product results are so pumped with China made products which can leave frustrated bargain hunters who just want to find the perfect gems. Ebid on the other hand has a lot more of a personal feel, every product sold on the website feels like has a respected owner and has a story. The auction process is quite slow as many items are listed ‘run until sold’ which means they are simply products waiting to be bought. Auctions that do have time stamps are also quite lengthy, you could be waiting up to 4 days for a small item to close in auction. One thing to mention about Ebid is if you are looking to sell, this is probably a great platform to get started. Because Ebay is a go to place for online auctions, they can charge much higher seller fees, whereas Ebid has kept their seller fees quite consistent and reasonable. You can check Ebid’s seller fees before you start. Word of warning if you are a seller, make sure to monitor your auctions closely as there does not seem to be a lot of people visiting the Ebid site so you might make a loss on your product. A little tip for finding a bargain, watch the number of views an item has, if it’s not a lot chances are that not many people will bid on the product.  Although the website is quite outdated, a jumble auction feel is always welcome.


Making Money from Online Auctions.

Even-though MadBid does not allow for consumers to re-sell the products auctioned on the website, Consumer to Consumer auctions like Ebid and Ebay provide great opportunities to make money. We loved this American bargain hunter, watch his online auction haul video:





Speaking about Jumble auctions, we have noticed quite a few of these popping up online. This is great if you love going to auction houses and taking time to find antiques or little bargain treasures. Now this has been made a lot easier by websites like The layout is really simple and you can view all the items up for auction, accompanied by a list of live auctions or upcoming auctions. This is great for lazy Sunday browsing.


Police Auctions might sound a bit weird, but apparently they are full of traders and youngsters trying to catch a bargain. It’s not your safe and tradition Ebid, but they do offer great prices.


‘If you are looking for a souped-up Mercedes with tinted windows and only a couple of bullet holes spoiling the paintwork, a police car auction is also a good bet. Your local force will tell you how it disposes of goods it has impounded. The Met, for instance, uses auction houses including British Car AuctionsManheim Auctions and the West Oxfordshire Motor Auction.’  – The Guardian 

If you think we have missed anymore, please feel free to send us a comment and we will include it to the list. Also, have you ever found an amazing bargain using any of the auctions above?


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Donald Hayes says:

I saw this article in the Guardian comment thread, I think Ebid can now fall under traditional auctions because there is nothing interesting or innovative going on, same old crap sam slow auctions.

Victor Newman says:

It would be interesting to actually see how many auctions close on Ebid in a weeks time, it looks totally dead. They can’t be bothered to even add a normal timer. You have an option to put a product live auction that is never ending. Lame

My observation of madbid is that it is very misleading. Basically, without promotions 500 credits will cost you approx £50, therefore each credit costs 10p, but when you spend 10p the price of the item only rises by 1p. So when you see a current price of say £5O the money spent by bidders is dependant on the value of each bid so if the number of credits needed to increase the price by 1p is 8 credits then it costs 80p for each 1p bid. Based on the example then the amount of money collected by madbid on the basis of an end price of £50 is 5000 pennies at a collective return to madbid of £4000. Talk about misleading is an understatement. I would be grateful if anyone could explain if I am wrong, if I am then I apologise, here and now,

Evelina says:

Hi Alan, thanks for writing in. You are right about the calculations and unfortunately at the moment the 1p auction increments is the only way we can ensure auction winners enjoy products at up to 80% discount. As for the other part of £4,000, this money is reimbursed back to the bidders if they do not win the auction. E.g. hypothetically speaking if you bought 10 credits worth £10 and you spent 10 credits and did not win, you will see £10 in your Earned Discount section. This will then allow you to buy anything from the site using the £10 as discount, like a voucher.

Donald Hayes says:

Don’t get me wrong I don’t think Ebay or MadBid are the perfect alternatives but I think at least they are trying to do things with their business, on Ebid it’s like there is noone operating the whole website, it’s all left to the buyers and sellers.

Dayne Tailor says:

I think this is an interesting online auctions breakdown, definetley a few new auctions that I have never heard before. Has anyone tried MadBid?

Lindsey Morgan says:

I think this is an interesting online auctions breakdown, definetley a few new auctions that I have never heard before. Has anyone tried MadBid?

Daniel Jones says:

MadBid is for sure climing up the ladder of modern online auction platforms, but that’s because all the other online auctions like Ebid and Ebay are doing nothing to innovate. Innovation is not cramping more categories or outlets, it has a lot to do with the experience people have on the website. Yeah MadBid can be frustrating at times, but the bidding is fun and easy to navigate once you get the hang of it

Donald Hayes says:

I like Ebays outlet section, a lot of the items there have free shipping and the warranties are in place, but not sure how reliable are the discounts. Ebid is still quite behind in terms of introducing new services that excite customers to come back and shop

Lauren Gabriel says:

I think online auctions are going to be all the rage soon. If you look at the MadBid instagram, it looks quite trendy and hippster. Also because they sell all products brand new like Apple and Samsung products, there is more chance they will be attracting trendy people.

terry gillam says:

absulate con do not do it spend £150 and got nothing

Mitch Spacone says:

Lol MadBid should have SnapChat, that would be hilarious, images of angry customers coming through

Jason Hendrik says:

I love Ebid, it has been around for ages, but it does feel like a safe bet and also, a lot of the products on the site is just old crap no one wants which I think why a lot of people get bored just browsing through anitques or stuff from China that no one knows if it’s real or not

Sally says:

What a complete waste of time and money. The only and best online auction site is At least they have a full range of goods you can bid on and also stated is how long the bidding has being going on.
Don’t get dragged into spending your money on credits when there is very little value in any of their items

Anonymous says:

What a con and a complete waste of time.One item had a RRP of $149 and bids had reached $167 and still rising?? Another item which started bidding at $24 and seven and a half hours later had reached $59. What at total waste of time. Have better things to do with my time.. Don’t bother!!!!

sibel says:

Its extremely unlikely for auction price to surpass RRP. It’s actually more probable RRP aws set up incorrectly. Although users are free to bid as long as they want which may result in such outcome. It is their decision though.

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