What is a Low Bid Auction?
There are few thrills in life that compare with picking up an outrageously good bargain. But that's the idea behind the Low Bid auctions.
It may seem strange that we can offer new cars like a Range Rover for less than £500, but once you understand the system, it does make perfect sense.
Essentially it's not unlike a sweepstake for the Grand National for example.
We invite people to join a group around each auctioned Lot.
Once we've got enough people, we've covered our costs and the auction can complete.
What is a 'Lowest Unique Bid'?
The 'lowest unique bid' is the lowest of the bids for which no one else has bid exactly the same amount.
So there are the lowest bids, then there are the unique bids and then there is the lowest unique bid - and that is the one that wins. It takes skill to work out what you think that might be.
You can only bid in whole numbers of pounds (£1.00, £2.00, £3.00 etc.), but usually there's not much point bidding £1.00, because too many others are likely to do so as well (although not always!) And there's no point bidding, say, £500 either, because history shows that all our Lots go for much less than that. (Average discount on all items is 98%).
So the smart money settles on a figure like £65 pounds which won a certain Mrs. Guely from central London a brand new Range Rover Evoque recently.
What people choose to pay for an item, in a way is irrelevant to us, though we do make a profit on it.
The crazier the price then, the more we enjoy it, and so it seems do our customers.
So that's the Low Bid and it's a lot of fun.
- Lowest unique bid wins
The great thing about these auctions is that we only accept a fixed number of competing bids for each item, so you know exactly what you are up against.
When the required number of bids have been placed, the auction will close and the lowest unique bid will win. Simples!
- Sealed bids
No one else can see your bid.
- Study the previous winners
You can see the winners and all bids placed in every Low Bid auction so far here.
OK, what happens next?
- If you win
We will contact you by phone and by email. You will then have 24 hours to confirm you wish to go ahead and five days to complete payment.
- If you don't win
You will have other chances to bid again, with discounted entry fees.
Tell me the bad news
- Entry fees
There are entry fees to bid. We generally take enough in entry fees to cover the cost of the item and make a margin of around 35% on top.
After VAT has been deducted, that margin will go towards the cost of promoting the auction to attract bidders, operating the auction, hosting and software costs, a contribution to our office overheads - and then hopefully some profit.
Any more good news?
- Free Lots
As a bit of fun we sometimes run promotional Low Bid Lots with no entry fee, which means you can have a go without any risk - but when that happens you may need to be quick!
- Charity Lots
We also sometimes use the system to raise money for charity by donating all the entry fees. Please look out for these and bid as many times as you can.
- Terms and Conditions
To see full terms and conditions for the High Bid Auction click here