NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, September 2010
Shopping Sites
By Terry Currier, President,
WINNERS Ė WINdows usERS, California WINNERS Notepad, February - March 2010 Issue
June 2010 Issue, The Monitor, Sarasota Personal Computer User Group, Inc.

Winnersug@aol.com (click to email author)

A combination auction, the arcade claw game, and poker. Like an auction because you bid on items they post. Like the claw game you look to see what you want and the best way to get it. Poker, because it takes strategy, bluffing, and money to win.

When you first go to Quibids youíre amazed at the prices some of the items go for. Before you can get in on the bidding, youíll have to first register an account on Quibids. When that is done you can buy bids. They come in packages of 45 bids for $27, 75 bids for $45, 300 bids for $180, and 600 bids for $360. So you can see each bid you make will cost you 60 cents. Remember, purchasing bids doesnít guarantee youíll win.

Then, like the claw game, you look for the items you want and you have to decide when you are going to put your bid in. Each of the auctions has a timer, a price, a bidder name, a picture of the product, and a colored banner with a cent number in the upper right corner. The timer counts down consecutively until it gets below 0:20 seconds. From that point on the timer will reset to 0:20 seconds giving other bidders the chance to decide to make a final bid. At first, the timer will reset to 0:20 seconds each time a user bids on the auction. If the auction is still going after a certain number of bids, they drop the timer to where it will reset to 0:15 seconds each time a user bids on the auction. Finally, if the auction is going on for too long, they drop the timer to where it will reset to 0:10 seconds each time a user bids on the item. When the timer reaches 0:00 the auction ends and the last person to place a bid wins the right to purchase the item for the final price.

Each auction has a specific amount that the price increases each time a bid is placed. On a one cent auction the final sale price will increase by $.01 each time that a bid is placed. On a two cent auction the final sale price will increase by $.02 each time that a bid is placed. The price represents what the person who wins the auction will pay if the auction were to end at that point.

You put a bid in by clicking on the bid button. Your bid will be recorded and your name will show up as the highest bidder. Each time that you are outbid by another user you will need to manually click the bid button again in order to bid. The poker strategy comes in where you think ďIím tired of always biding, and being over bided. So Iím going to let others push it up and I will come in later to win.Ē As one of the tips from Quibids ďKnow thy Competition. There may be some bidders who are not going to let up, even if they have to pay twice the retail price. For those people...Well, weíre sorry to see them waste those bids and money - Stop it! For the rest of you, though, get to know those people and avoid bidding in that same auction. Better yet, if you notice a high amount of bidders in an auction, it might be wise for you to walk away and wait for another auction with fewer bidders.ď

So what is the best strategy? Hey donít ask me. I got locked into a bidding war and bid up to $17.32 for a 1Tb external hard drive add in the cost of the bids $33.60, shipping cost $4.29 and itís still a good price. I tried to get another thinking Iíll wait till it gets a little higher, and it sold for 35 cents. Iíve seen a 50Ē LG HDTV sold for $5.40. If I knew the best strategy Iíd have the netbook Iíve lost so many bids on.

Even if you are unsuccessful in winning an item, you can still apply any of the bids that you have used towards that item and still buy it for the stated retail price. So far Iíve won two 1Tb Western Digital drives, a wine bottle cooler, and a Kodak movie camera. And, no Iím not ahead. Just remember this is addicting and can be expensive.

I did find other sites like Quibids:

* BidCactus (http://www.bidcactus.com) it does not have as many items up for bid.

* Beezid (http://www.beezid.com) very much like Quibids, although not as an attractive site. However they even have cars in their auction. A Ford Mustang GT 2010 coming up on April 30. I noticed they say no bids taken runs daily from 12:00pm EDT to 3:00am EDT, and will be paused nightly from 3:01am EDT to 11:59am EDT. Their bids cost 60 cent each also.

* SwipeBids (http://www.swipebids.com) very much like them. They have some very nice items up for bids. I noticed they donít mention how much some of the items sold for previously.

* BidBlink (http://www.bidblink.com) only had 15 items up for bid the whole day, and all of them were gift cards.

A word of caution here. I have a friend who is addicted to on-line coupons. She keeps getting spyware that messes up her computer and wonders why. Make sure if you do sign up for coupons it is from a reputable place.

I saw these on ABC 7 news:
* Dealtaker (http://www.dealtaker.com) You can browse through the over 8,000 money saving coupons to all of your favorite online stores. You are on your way to saving money at over 1,900 stores. Youíll also be able to connect with thousands of other shoppers just like you who are also looking for the best deals on everything from electronics to clothing.

* Promotional Codes (http://www.promotionalcodes.com) Free coupons for savings on specific products, free shipping and a discount off your total order can be found here. From womenís apparel, to eHarmony promotional codes, Dell coupons, HP coupons and Newegg coupons. Selected offers include 1-800-Flowers coupons codes, Vistaprint coupons and Tiny Prints promo codes etc. They also have travel offers, coupons for contact lenses, Home Decorators coupons and Target coupon codes for furniture.

Coupon Winners (http://www.couponwinner.com), a project of SurfMyAds.com, Inc., is an online shopping website that works with nearly 7,000 retailers and provides thousands of free coupons and promotional codes from top brand-names like Macyís, Target, Home Depot and more.

* Coupon Album (http://www.couponalbum.com) get the latest and most current coupons and deals for online and in-store shopping from hundreds of top rated stores and 30 categories.

Karl Wester from the Temecula Valley Computer User Group in California told me about:
* Woot (http://www.woot.com) -They have one deal per day, usually good prices. Shipping is always $5 regardless of size. Be aware though Iíve noticed most of the items are refurbished. They also have, on the side boxes, deals for kids on shirts, wine, and sellout items.

I saw them talking about Groupon (http://www.groupon.com) on Good Morning America (GMA). I looked into it and signed up. It is like a group coupon in that you can get something for a good discount if enough people purchase the product or service; usually that is not problem. Iíve seen many items that go way over the amount needed to activate the discount. For example they had a full spa treatment worth (they said) $129 for $50. It needed 50 to activate, and over 300 brought it. I bought it for my wife and she loved it. They did have one for a fitness boot camp, I deleted that one. I had enough of boot camp in the army. I actually like to look and see what they have in other cities which I may go to: Tampa (for my sister), San Jose (for friends), San Diego and Las Vegas (for fun).

Judy Taylour from the Santa Clarita Valley Computer Club in California, told me of this one. Truthfully I have downloaded some free software from them, but never installed them.

Giveaway of the Day (http://www.giveawayoftheday.com) Gives away free different software everyday. You must install it on the day they give it away.

Freecycle Network (http://www.freecycle.org) is a place you can shop for free things that people in your area want to get rid of, or you can post something you want to give away. It is made up of 4,793 groups with 7,208,000 members across the globe. Membership is free.

Terry Currier has been a member of computer clubs since 1984. He is currently President of WINNERS Ė WINdows usERS which meets in Fountain Valley, California http://www.windowsusers.org. He is retired and wears himself out trying to keep up with his grandson.

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