Best Auction Sites
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You would have to have been living without a TV to not have heard of MadBid.com recently. They’ve been running a whole host of TV ads and after receiving a £4m investment from the co-founders of Skype – who can blame them? Regardless of the TV exposure, I’ll outline how their site operates and whether I recommend them to my readers.
Founded in 2008, MadBid have a massive market share in the penny auction category and are projected to reach a turnover in excess of £20 million by 2012! So in terms of size, these are the boys. But be warned, increased size means increased members, which means more competition for you!
MadBid’s site is easy to use, but then there aren’t that many functions available so it should be. Also, on their site it reads:
We created the MadBid website which means it’s unique and means that we can ensure a great user experience at all timesI’m pretty sure that many of the other companies can make similar claims too, but MadBid seem to make a big deal about it.
As with many of the auction sites I’ve reviewed, MadBid have jumped on the same ‘get out clause’ within their terms and conditions. Namely, if MadBid are unable to provide the item that you’ve won through a fault of theirs (or their delivery partners), they’ll offer you a refund and cancel the contract. BUT the refund offered is only for the purchase price, this is the amount that you’ve won the item for. So by their own figures, this amount is usually less than 10% of the item’s RRP. Here’s an extract from their T&C’s:
In the event that MadBid’s delivery partners are not able to deliver the item within a reasonable time, MadBid shall be entitled to offer the winning User a substitute item with comparable or better features, or to set aside the contract through recission and offer a refund of any payments received for the auction item.For this reason, I can’t give MadBid particularly high score in the fairness category.
In terms of value for money, MadBid offer many promotions that allow you to get that little bit more for your cash. There is a sliding scale of bid packs you can buy and the more you spend the more you save. If you hang on for the promotional offers you can get other bonuses too. So generally, they aren’t bad in this area. However, it is worth noting that having won an item from them they’ll kindly add a shipping charge onto your final bill, which personally makes me feel disappointed after supposedly winning I think they should pay for the shipping. Perhaps this is just me being selfish but after all, they have just made a healthy profit from all of the bid charges paid during the item!
Overall MadBid are a pretty good option for penny auctions as they do offer the ‘security’ of a bigger company that will be around for a long time. But the fairness of their terms and conditions has let down the review and the added shipping charge is just the final downside that drops my rating.
MadBid.com are the obvious choice for penny auctions, thanks to their huge marketing budget and by all means use them, but I’d consider having a look around for an alternative. You might find something you prefer!
Check out this auction site at MadBid.com