BidZilla.com has a few unique features that sets them apart from other penny auctions. In each BidZilla auction window bidders will find a few features that they may not be familiar with on other similar bid-fee auctions. Once you login the Bidzilla system will check your Internet connection and syncs it with auction servers. Then you will see a user dashboard where you can purchase bids, bid on auctions, redeem rewards points for bids, change your theme and pick an avatar. The user avatars and themes is a very neat feature, bidders can personalize their Bidzilla experience, take a look:
For all auctions on BidZilla there’s a chat box (moderated by administrators), as well as a section that will show you who is watching and bidding on the auction. BidZilla also allows users to see how much money they have spent and what their overall savings would be (at $0.60/bid). Another unique feature of BidZilla is their recently added On-Demand auctions. On-Demand auctions start when a certain number of users join and they are usually announced in the chatbox of a current running auction.
There is also a rewards section where users can redeem their rewards points (earned by bidding) for more credits as well as merchandise:
If you would like to learn more about BidZilla, read our interview:
Penny Auction Watch: What got you interested in the entertainment shopping industry?
BidZilla.com: Over the past year, the surge in penny auction websites caught our eye. The idea of bidding competitively to win popular, new items for next to nothing was very exciting. We were unhappy with what the existing sites had to offer and felt that we could make the experience much more entertaining and rewarding. So we decided to start Bidzilla.
Penny Auction Watch: You’ve been open for a few months now, how has the response been?
BidZilla.com: At first it was fairly slow, as we were working to make the site into a really special place to shop. Now we feel we have reached that goal, and recently many more people have joined to enjoy shopping with us.
Penny Auction Watch: You have a unique user interface unlike any other penny auction site, can you tell us more about it?
BidZilla.com: Thanks! Our main goal is to create an enjoyable auction experience. Some of the features we have added to achieve this goal are: in-auction chat, customizable backgrounds and avatars, and the ability to open multiple auction windows within a single browser page. The site is so unique that it’s hard to really imagine what it’s like without visiting. That’s why, we strongly encourage anyone to come register for our site to see the design first hand, it’s completely free! Plus if you ever have any questions, we always have an Admin in the auction chat rooms to help you.
Penny Auction Watch: How many auctions do you currently run per week?
BidZilla.com: With our recent growth, we will be increasing this number in the coming weeks. For the most recent 7 days, we ran 60 total auctions. Look for this number to increase.
Penny Auction Watch: Do your auctions run on a schedule?
BidZilla.com: That is an interesting question, and it is another thing that sets us apart from other sites. We do have some auctions that are posted in advance and scheduled to end at a certain time. Unlike other sites we’ve seen, we also have auctions that start as soon as a certain number of people join with only a couple of minutes on the clock. This makes auctions start whenever users want them to. Recently we have started letting users vote on what we will auction next to make sure to always have everyone’s favorite items.
Penny Auction Watch: How much are your bids? Can you tell us more about your January promotion?
BidZilla.com: Our normal bid prices start at 60 cents per bid if you buy a 15 bid package, and they go down to 52 cents per bid if you buy a 1000 bid package. For a limited time, we are giving away 50% more bids with every bid package. So for the same price that you would normally get 100 bids, now you get 150. Taking this into account, our current bid prices range from 40 cents to 35 cents. This offer will expire on January 22, 2010 at 1pm EST.
Penny Auction Watch: What are the timer increments between bids/does this vary by auction?
BidZilla.com: The timer increment is the amount of time that is added to the clock for each bid that is placed. It does vary a little bit by auction, but it is almost always 6-8 seconds. We like to use shorter timer increments, so the auctions are more fun and don’t take as long.
Penny Auction Watch: What are the price increments per bid, do they vary and do you plan to change this?
BidZilla.com: The price increment per bid that we use is typically between 1-15 cents. Over the course of the next week we are planning to reduce the price increments in our auctions, so people can get better deals in the end. That means, we will be running fewer auctions with 15 cent increments and many more with 5 cent increments.
Penny Auction Watch: Can you tell us about your rewards program?
BidZilla.com: We offer our users a unique rewards program that gives you generous rewards just for participating in any auction. Every time you place a bid, you get rewards store credits, which can be spent in our rewards store. We have a wide variety of popular items in the rewards store, including the same ones that you see in our auctions, and you can choose to spend your credits on whatever item you want. In addition, if you bid enough each month you can earn higher rewards levels, which allows you to earn rewards store credits much faster. The rewards program effectively makes the actual bids cheaper too, since you can exchange credits for bids (which then give you more credits!). On top of that, we also publish a monthly leaderboard that recognizes and gives prizes to our users who saved the most that month.
Penny Auction Watch: What are your shipping costs? How long does it usually take for users to receive their items?
BidZilla.com: For each of our items, we offer discounted flat rate shipping to anywhere in the US. We almost always ship items next business day, and they normally take about 3 business days to get to you after that. The shipping cost for each item is always written on the Product tab of the auction. Some items such as bid packs and certain gift cards don’t require shipping, so there is no shipping charge on those.
Penny Auction Watch: What states/countries are you open to?
BidZilla.com: We currently do business in all 50 states in the US, and we plan to expand to Canada soon.
Penny Auction Watch: What is your policy for bid refunds?
BidZilla.com: Bid packs are non-refundable, aside from exceptional circumstances. If you just want to try it out, we recommend that you purchase one of the smaller bid packages first.
Penny Auction Watch: Are there win limits, limits /household?
BidZilla.com: We do not have any win limits of any kind. We want our users to have the opportunity to win as much as they want.
Penny Auction Watch: Is there a story behind the name/theme?
BidZilla.com: One of the first things, we discovered when we were just getting started is that choosing a name is hard! After months of pouring over lists of candidates, we were feeling pretty stumped. We wanted a name that was memorable, big, and fun and felt like it could work with some rough ideas we had for a “mascot” in our mind Then one day during a brainstorming session, Max’s mom (Max is our president) walked in, took one look at our mascot and said, “Why don’t you call the thing Bidzilla?” We all fell in love with it right there. Sometimes it really helps to get a fresh perspective…
Our founding members include serial entrepreneurs, MIT economists, and social media and advertising experts and who have channeled their experience and energy into continuing to push the boundaries of this industry. Tell people to keep their eyes on us in the next 12 months as we introduce a variety of new auction types that no one is currently providing.
Penny Auction Watch members have won and received items from BidZilla!
Please feel free to discuss your experiences with BidZilla in the our forum.
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