And The Award For The Most Overly Complicated Auction Site Goes To Biddees

Written by Evan Schuman
February 1st, 2010

As eBay has discovered, there’s a lot of money to be made in them thar online auctions. So it’s no surprise that lots of startups are trying to creatively find their own slice of the auction pie. But a site called Biddees, from the people who brought you, is taking an unusual approach that just may prove to be the most needlessly complicated auction site in quite some time.

This wonderful story from Internet Retailer does a nice job of detailing this cocoon of complexity: “In order to see the current price of a prepaid card, which is guaranteed to be at least $1.50 less than the card’s face value, shoppers first have to use a token called a Little Biddee Thing, which costs 99 cents. Each time a customer views the current price of a card, the price automatically drops 50 cents. If the shopper is the only person viewing the card, he has 30 seconds to buy the card at the current price,” the story said. “If another person is already viewing the card, the shopper enters a queue before he can see the card’s price. If the card is purchased while the shopper is still in the queue, the shopper will be transferred to the next auction for the same product. An auction ends when someone purchases a card or when its price reaches zero. The last shopper gets the card for free.” Of course. What could be more natural?


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Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
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The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
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