Friday, September 30, 2011

Bidding and Betting

I don’t really shop online, probably mostly because I don’t really shop, period. In the past, I’ve bought books on eBay - titles that are hard to find in bookstores or even secondhand shops. I’ve bought software, of course, but that doesn’t count. Anyway, I don’t really know much about bidding. Theoretically, I know how auction sites work, but I wouldn’t know the first thing about practical bidding. I suppose it’s like a game with strategies involved. At least, in eBay and other similar auction sites, you place a bid, you don’t win, that’s that. I hear in other sites, it’s really more like gambling, like those rip-off carnival games. You place a bid (they call it “bid”, but “bet” is more accurate) for a few cents each and wait to see if you end up winning an item. It sounds harmless, but there’s more to penny auction sites than meets the eye. For instance, some people call scam because the profits the site earns from futile bids are ridiculous. It costs about 60 cents to bid. With about a hundred bids, the site earns $60 and then gets the payment from the winner for the item being auctioned off. The thing is that, there are usually so much more than a hundred bids. I suppose it’s fun for gamblers, but I’m not one, so no, thank you.