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QuiBids is a company somewhat similar to eBay, but QuiBids users can purchase brand-new Apple iPads and Kitchen Aid mixers for under $30.

How Life Works, an online technology/living news outlet, published an article on April 1 about QuiBids and why people are attracted to auctions. It stated the reason people are interested is because the site presents the possibility of winning an item for less than otherwise expected.

“I definitely take advantage of this kind of thing,” senior Will Urban said. “You may have to be extremely lucky to win one of the auctions, but it’s a great deal if you do.”

While the idea of an auction is enticing to some, many people are wary of the legitimacy of buying things for next-to-nothing prices on the Internet.

“Sometimes buying things online can be incredibly sketchy,” junior Sarah Ulrich said. “I don’t personally use QuiBids, but from what I’ve heard of it, it sounds like an amazing deal.”

Unlike some online shopping sites, QuiBids has proved itself legitimate, and its number of users has recently skyrocketed.

Some of the most popular items for sale on QuiBids daily include various Apple products, Canon EOS DSLR cameras for $35, Amazon Kindle Fires for less than $23, four-night Bahamas cruises for two for $187 and 55-inch HDTVs for $37.

QuiBids Operations Manager of Fulfillment Performance Taylor Hoover said QuiBids has partnerships with approximately 150 companies around the world. Hoover said though Apple products in particular have been in high demand from users, QuiBids and Apple have not become official partners.

So how does QuiBids make a profit on these auctions if items can sell at less than five percent of retail value?

Users pay to bid on items. Each bid costs $0.60 and can be purchased in the “QBar” or the “Bid Store” in packages of multiple bids. Every user buys the pre-paid bids and whenever a user places a bid on an auction item, a bid is debited from the user’s remaining bids. This in turn drives the price of the item up by $0.01.

Hoover said this function allows users to purchase items at a steep discount.

 “Whenever people come on to QuiBids, they purchase their bid packages up front from us,” Hoover said. “A lot of the revenue generated by QuiBids is through customer participation. QuiBids can use some of that money coming in to purchase the items we offer.”

QuiBids can afford to sell things so cheap because, unlike other auctions, bidders do not get refunded the money they spent on the bids used in the auction.

Hoover said QuiBids doesn’t want any user to walk away from an auction empty-handed, so they have created a “Buy Now” feature that allows users to purchase items at a discounted value price.

If desired, a user can spend X amount in bids and use the QuiBids “Buy Now” option, which combines all of the money spent on bids made toward an item and allows the user to pay the remaining amount to purchase the product. The “Buy Now” option can be used up to two hours after the auction has closed. While the “Buy Now” option allows users to purchase the item, it is not at the same discount it would sell for in an auction.

QuiBids’ advice for winning auctions is to bid in the last 15 seconds on the lowest-priced products. Bidding in the closing seconds of an auction reduces the chance that another user can cut in front of you. 

Additionally, QuiBids suggests using their “Bi-O-Matic” tool, a strategic bidding tool that allows users to bid automatically when they are away from their computer.

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