Bidson Penny Auctions
Bidson is a Dutch company and therefore the website is in a variety of languages (eight in total). However, according to the website they only currently do business in Germany, Great Britain, Holland and Sweden. Also, that information was at the bottom of the frequently asked questions page so customers in other countries may not realize that. The company was started in 2006 and claims to offer entertainment and amusement through creative and fun auctions. Bidson also claims that what makes them a good choice is the fact that there are new winners everyday, deliveries are quick, products are the latest, and their customer service is good.
Something particular about this website is that a bidder can only win 3 items per week. This doesn’t seem like much, but it also keeps the playing field fair. Another interesting aspect of this auction website is that that rookie bidders (anyone that hasn’t won 3 bids yet) have the option to compete against other rookie bidders only. This is a clever and fair way for anyone just starting out.
The homepage is attractive, and the logo (a peacock) is nice. The homepage has a very complete list of items available for auction (over 100) and there is a wide variety of products you can purchase, including electronics, musical instruments, jewelry, items for the home, accessories, appliances, gift cards, toys, games, tools, and more. Unfortunately there is no way to see the items in a more organized way (according to category, for example), so the list can actually be a bit overwhelming. Most of the auctions listed on the homepage are “upcoming auctions” but it is unclear if you can bid on these items or not. There are usually only a few active items in the “penny auctions” section at the top of the page.
Unfortunately there is nothing on the winner’s feedback page, which isn’t a great vote of confidence, so it would probably be smarter to not even have that page if it’s going to be empty.
Actually, the process for bidding on items isn’t immediately clear. The stopwatches on the items available for 24 hours continually refresh themselves very 15 seconds, for example, but there is no information on when the 24 hour period started, or when it ends (you could guess that it is sometime within the past, or next, 24 hours but that isn’t necessarily that useful).
The finished penny auctions tab is very useful to see what types of items have been bid on, sold, and at what price. Looking at the finished penny auction page (the best feature of this website), it seems like items go for low amounts, so this website could be a great place to get great deals on everything. For mere cents or dollars a lot of items, including technology, have sold.
How does it work?
Bidson offers two different kinds of auctions, lowest bid auctions and penny auctions. If you go to the How it Works tab, the webpage actually explains the basics of what a penny auction is and how it works, which is nice. A penny auction works as a traditional auction; the only difference is that you can only raise 1 penny at a time.
Basically how the auctions work on this website is that every auction has a countdown timer, and when the bid is raised the timer is reset to a predetermined bid time. If no one raises the bid before the timer runs out, the auction closes (and the last bidder wine). Bids cost $0.50 each, the minimum bid time is 30 seconds, and the auction is finished when no more bids are placed. Delivery period is about 8-10 days, which seems reasonable.
Unfortunately the opening hours information is very confusing. It says that the auctions are open 24 hours, but then it says that during “remaining” hours the countdown clocks are paused and auctions can’t be finished during these hours, and the countdown continues the following morning. Again, there are some issues regarding information about the time-frame of bids.
A very interesting feature of bidding on this site is the option to use autopilot, which basically automatically places bids for you when you aren’t at your computer. The only way the autopilot is deactivated is if you win the auction or you run out of bid credits, or you can turn it off manually. Logging off doesn’t turn off the autopilot, which could be a good thing or a bad things depending on how you look at it.
Frequently asked questions
Bidson also has a very useful and helpful Frequently Asked Questions page, making sure that customers have immediately access to as much information as possible. Through this page customers can get useful information on situations they may encounter while using the website such as a transaction being blocked, when a transaction has been approved but no bids were deposited din your bid account, or when you haven’t received your response SMS. This page also has information about the products you are buying: there are completely new, and they are delivered with a guarantee (although Bidson is not responsible for this guarantee, the retailer is).
This page also explains what happens after you’ve won an auction (you are contacted via email within 24 hours and sent an invoice for the bid and the shipping costs). They claim the article will be delivered in 5 to 8 working days, which is different then the delivery time posted on the How it woks page. Unfortunately shipping costs can be high, anywhere form $6 to $15, and up to $75. So keep that in mind when shopping on this website- although you may pay very little for an item, you will have to pay for the shipping cost.
All in all, this penny auction website is nice to look at and has a wide variety of items that you can get for very low prices according to the past auction sales you can browse through. However, the way it works isn’t completely clear, and there are some discrepancies on the website.