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This is a follow up post to my earlier account of how I met the online penny auction website during one of my few forays within Facebook’s ads. I will attempt to rate their value based on points which I will give along the way.

Of course these points don’t matter, just like using cents as bidding power. Ahhh…

Okay, so the big question, is a scam & can one really win cheap auctions? I’ll disect this question into 2 parts:

1) So is it a scam?
Let’s put it this way, a short dictionary definition of a scam is ‘A fraudulent business scheme’, and at first glance, does have all that legitimate business cosmetics via its webfront and its FAQ pages, which it even teaches you how you can protect yourselves. 2 points to for these slick moves.

And then comes the not so slick moves, like having a ‘First In Singapore’ tagline in its header only for you to realise that it’s a website with a Hong Kong contact address. Why the conflicting data? Oops, gotta take away 1 point in this instance.

So who is the company/person behind No mention at all, and in this day and age, any reputable business operating online would want to build trust by being transparent and contactable. 3 points taken away as this is a vital information that is missing.

By now has already gone -2 points in total. Let’s go further.

Next we’d like to know how gets its products from, as in is it a partner of an electronics vendor? Or is it an electronics vendor itself, who simply doesn’t want people to know about (actually it’s not so bad if people knew eh~)? Why do we need to know? Because how else can we get a guarantee that once an auction is won, that we’d get it? Oh, and in case we don’t get it, there’s really no person/company that we can go after to get back our money spent in the bidding process! Ahhh, see where I’m going here as why transparency in company details is important? Another point taken off.

If you’ve been to their mainpage, you’ll see all the ongoing auctions and how intensely fought these are by the users of bidpax, but are these really users at all? Are they real? Where are the user profiles? Why can’t we access them and see who these users are? We want a vibrant, breathing community but the current state leaves us feeling like robots. Almost all the internet business have a method where users communicate with each other, via PMs, forums and so on, where they leave comments and feedbacks. If have the genius to program the auction software, then why not host a simple forum as well (there are many free options anyway, so the hesitation is questionable..)? 10 points deducted. Wooo~.

So many more questionable points to talk of, like why is a driver’s license required to receive the winning item? Why is using Plimus as their e-commerce merchant platform when Plimus’ website explicitly mentions that they are a platform if you are a merchant for DIGITAL GOODS AND SERVICES? 20 points deducted.

Okay, enough questions and point deductions.

I think I’ve injected quite a few food for thoughts here, and to answer the question if is a scam, you, yes you, must decide and consider for yourself if it is so.

I’m not saying it’s a scam, and I’m not saying that it isn’t either. You decide, but I know where I stand, which is as far away as possible.

Oh, here’s the 2nd part before I forget.

2) Can one win really cheap auctions?
Say, if you want to spend as little as you can, you purchase the 25 bids package for SGD$42, which translates to 25cents of bidding power. ‘Powerful’ stuffs huh~ That’s like a value of $1.68 ($42/25) for every 1 cent of bidding power. Woo~

Let’s assume the going rate of a PSP at (as of this article) is $5.62, which really translates to 562 cents X SGD$1.68 = SGD$944.16 !!! Cheap or expensive?

Think it’s worth a gamble? Then go ahead. Oh, and do let me know when your items have arrived, so good luck.