I’ve been getting a few e-mails from MyPoints advertising a bid auction site called BidCactus. As I’m writing this post, several auctions have ended: A $100 Walmart gift card sold for $4.97 and a $50 Home Depot gift card went for $0.16.
On the surface, these sound like great deals. But what’s the catch?
You have to pay for each of your bids.
Before bidding on anything, you have to buy a “bid pack.” According to this particular site, bids cost $0.75 each and you must buy at least 25 bids at a time ($18.75).
You place a bid, and the item increases in price by a penny or a dime, depending on the type of auction. So $0.75 is deducted from your account with each bid.
If you or someone else bids in the last 20 or so seconds of the auction, more time is added to the clock to give other bidders a chance to jump in.
Even though you’re paying to bid, there’s no guarantee that you’ll win anything. And, if you luck out and win a $50 gift card for “just a few bucks,” you’ve also got to factor in how much you spent on bids.
Bottom line — these types of bid auction sites are not the way to get a good deal. They’re more gambling than deal-hunting, in my opinion.
You want to know who comes out ahead? The auction sites! Take a look at the $100 Walmart gift card that sold for $4.97. If it was a penny auction, then that means 497 bids at $0.75 each were placed. That’s $372.75 for a $100 item!
Have you tried one of these bid auction sites? Did you get a good deal?