Beware: Great Deal or Addiction?

March 16, 2011

All over the internet, there are new bidding websites claiming that you can get really great deals for really cheap. They may offer free bids for referrals, or other ways to get "free" bids. They may even offer the ability to bid automatically. You don't even have to sit at your computer, yet you can still get in on the deals. Blogs are even getting into the mix by telling their followers how great the bidding websites are, and conveniently placing links on their pages.

Have you heard the saying "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is"? I have tried one of these websites and I will share with you what I discovered.
You have to purchase a minimum number of bids to play. When a website offers free bids for referrals, all this does is put the burden of purchasing bids on someone else. If you refer a friend or family member, you don't get the "free" bids unless THEY purchase bids. Whether it's you, or someone you refer, SOMEONE is paying to play.

When you place a bid, you aren't guaranteed to win. In fact, you most likely will not win unless you are willing to place many bids. Every time you use a bid, you are really spending the money you used to purchase bids. It averages around $0.50 per bid, depending on the website. So, if you "win" an item, consider how many bids you placed on that item to get the "cheap" price. If you can get that fancy electronic device you've always wanted for $12, how many bids did it take you to get it? 25? 50? 100? 500? At $0.50 per bid, you may end up spending $12 PLUS shipping PLUS bids spent. $12.50 for 25 bids; $25.00 for 50 bids; $50 for 100 bids...you get the idea.

What about addiction? If you are prone to overspending, and have a competitive nature, these websites are definitely not for you. If you want to gamble, plan a trip to Vegas. At least you can maybe pick up a cheap steak dinner while you're there. Bidding websites set you up to get hooked. They depend on people to stay hooked. These websites are successful because people are so focused on winning, they forget how much money they are really spending. People also forget that, for every referral, they are helping their friends and family get hooked too.

In this economy, and with many people still out of work, people cannot afford to let go of their money. Couponing is huge right now because people want to save money. Bidding websites are not like couponing. You will not save money in the long run, but rather, you will lose money if not more. Be safe and beware!

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