What is BidsTick.com?
BidsTick.com is a penny auction site that seems to have hidden reserves, held by autobidding bots.
“BidsTick.com was created by the people, for the people!
Bid on the best brands and latest electronics, computer hardware and luxury goods one penny at a time.
Why pay more when you can win for pennies on the dollar?
4727 Wilshire Blvd #601
Los Angeles Ca, 90010”
4727 Wilshire Blvd. suite 601 is not actually a physical address for BidsTick.com, but the address for Spiegel & Utrera, PA, the law firm that they probably got their LLC/Inc. with. The CEO of BidStick.com is Miko Filppula.
Did BidsTick.com Really Secure $5Million in Funding?
Just a few months ago we posted about California based BidsTick.com’s (Creative Headquarters, LLC) claim to have received $5 million in funding from the “Diamond Institute of America” (DIA). The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is well known, however the DIA is not. A Google search does not seem to produce much information. A forum post from 2007 on the GemologyOnlineForum.com tells us that the Diamond Institute of America could be found at diamondinstituteofamerica.org, now gone, and gem enthusiasts had reason to believe that the organization was a scam. The registrant for the DIA was International Strategic Investment Group, Inc.
If anyone can provide us with any information as to the legitimacy of the DIA and whether or not penny auction site BidsTick.com actually acquired funding from them it would be much appreciated.
Users Reporting Poor Experiences with BidsTick.com
A few of our readers have recently told us about their experiences with BidStick.com, and they have not been pleased.
“When I first started bidding on bidstick I had no problems. Than my winning items were taking longer to get to me. Now I have items I won in May that I have not gotten and some won in July I am afraid I may not get. The e-mails I send them are returned to me as user not found. I have filed with the FTC but not sure what they do. Be careful if you bid on Bidstick They also use Bots and shills on the higher priced items.”
And another: “I think bidstick.com is scam site. On may 2009, I purchased $50.00 and won mini laptop really easy. I see delivery time is 6 to 8 weeks. I was so happy and I purchased $500.00 bidpacks and start bid other items too. Badly no winning. Anyway, I won laptop and I was waiting for my laptop until 2 months. Nothing was delivered. I called number that from paypal. The number wasn’t for bidstick.com. It was merchant account number. They said I have to communicate with bidstick. I did about 1 months and all they saying is will be ship out. But never did. I was dispute the payment from paypal that I paid to bidstick.com. About 2 days later the dispute was automaticlly closed reason was bidstick.com replied back to paypal that was degital delivered. I was spoke with paypal that company is scam. Never ship out my winning item. Paypal understand and they opened my claim again. Now It’s been about 2 weeks nothing happen. I went back to bidstick.com account and check my winning item again and they changed my winning date to 7/21/2009. I won that items on may now they changed it and never ship out. I was filed this FBI. I guess they are making alot of money with small bidder. This company is really scam… They took the money and not shipping winning item…”
BidsTick.com Admitted Having Reserve Bots
BidsTick had a chat box where users could communicate with one another and the administration, there was also a private messaging function.
“Flykel,” a user on our forum, and a past bidder on BidsTick, told us that the users believed there were bot bidders that would bid periodically and continuously when the timers reached certain increments. He tells us that for awhile the automated bots would bid each time with 4 seconds left on the clock and then switch to 5 seconds, then down to 3 seconds, with 3 seconds left on the timer the bots would shut off, indicating that BidsTick received an acceptable amount of bids. This then either allowed real users to win, but he tells us that sometimes real people did not even win.
Flykel sent us a copy of an excerpt of BidsTick.com’s chat log, from a few months back, the chat log indicates that BidsTick.com was employing bot bidders to hold a reserve and drive up the prices of their auctions. Flykel also told us that even when there were the autobidding bots that held reserves, BidsTick’s owner did not deliver on his promise to issue bid refunds if the items ended with the bot bidders winning.
According to Flykel, Djbidstick is Miko, the owner of BidsTick.com:
<Djbidstick> the bots were invented
<Djbidstick> to protect us from mafia
<Djbidstick> chat mafia
<Djbidstick> theres never 2 bots
<Djbidstick> on anything
<bidder1> u need to come clean with everything
<bidder1> and some of your staff has to go
<Djbidstick> were our reserve
<bidder1> reserves honey must be posted
<bidder2> post reserve
<bidder3> 4,0but, they are illegal and fraudulent
bidder– has entered the room
<bidder2> hi gary
<Djbidstick> we mention the reserves
<bidder4> reserve is one thing when it is posted but to put 2 bots on it at same time and letting us just throw bids on it
<flykel> thank u twins
<bidder1> u don’t post it u r in deep doo doo
<bidder4> only in fine print on faqs page
<bidder5> 13,0you should have started the auctions at a reserve price so we knew what to expect
<bidder1> dj never once have i heard a host say this has a reserve sorry
<Djbidstick> theres never 2 bots
<Djbidstick> on anything
<bidder1> u need to come clean with everything
<bidder6> Thanks for admitting the bots though. it was what we needed.
<bidder7> please everyone calm down
<Djbidstick> bots are a reserve system
<Djbidstick> i guess we need to show it you when a reserve bot is bidding
<Djbidstick> so whats up with the chargebacks?
<bidder1> i will gladly share why i did what i did
<bidder1> honest answer?
<Djbidstick> plimus will shut us down..
<bidder1> this is why dj… we know about your bots, we are tire dof being cheated, we are tired of the excuses
<bidder5> 13,0we falt as though the site was not being ran fairly and our money was just being taken
<bidder6> because people win a few times doesn’t mean they deserve to be cheated and lied to..
<bidder4> but now we can’t get in nobody can we just figured it out and newbies have not
<bidder8> guys one at a time…
<bidder1> tired of being flat at lied to
<bidder7s> gang he is here to try to work this out please don’t attack
<bidder6> When bots win you don’t even return lost bids
<bidder1> doubles where always rare
<Djbidstick> we relist the item
<bidder1> i can’t type sorry
<Djbidstick> without bots
<bidder6> But you do not return lost bids
<bidder6> Did the item sell?
<bidder6> Thats illegal
<flykel> whish is stealing money from real bidders
We are not too sure whether or not BidsTick.com is still employing auto bot bidders or not, but we have received comments from a number of users with the same IP address. More on this below.
When BidsTick’s users found out they were being bidding against shills, many of them performed charge backs and Plimus (a payment processor) froze their account. Their FAQ page indicates that they order items within 6-8 weeks of purchase, however many users have told us they have not received items until as much as 5 months after purchase.
BidsTick.com Posting Fake User Testimonials on Our Site?
Over the past few weeks there have been multiple users posting on our BidsTick posts and thread in the forum all with separate names and different testimonials, but with the same IP address.
Though not sure, we think that these posters could quite possibly be affiliated with BidsTick. Another user also posted from multiple IP addresses from two separate states, posting from different IPs minutes apart.
Two readers “maria” and “Jared” posted the following comments on our blog both on 12/13/2009, both on the same IP address:
Here’s what Jared said:
“I think a lot of people who are crying scam probably lost money on these auctions. I personally, have lost money. But I also won, too. I can’t vouch for swoopo, but I won an apple Ipod on Bidstick for less than $6. I think it’s great that someone has found a way to sell items for pennies on the dollar. I mean who wouldn’t want to buy 42″ flatscreen hdtv for $50. You don’t see that happening on ebay. You may not have to buy bids on ebay but you’re not going to get anywhere near the same deals that penny auctions offer. And furthermore, if the penny auctions didn’t charge per bid they couldn’t offer you those deals. So, if you think penny auctions are a scam, maybe you should assume department stores are a scam, too. They dupe people into buying products for 300% markup. So, too bad, so sad. Don’t get mad. This is just the world we live in.”
“I won an apple ipod for about $20 in bids. I can’t vouch for all the auction sites but bidstick seems legit. I was a little disappointed that it took so long to get the item, though. It took about 2 months, but I got it.”
& The screenshot from our admin panel showing that these two posters were both posting from the same IP address:
Users “aphrodite,” “mikeg,” and “tammy,” (all three posted to our forum yesterday) and “dalebennet” (commented on the blog) all four have the same IP address.
aphrodite said: “hi guys. I don’t wanna steal anyones thunder but maybe bidstick has gone legit. I mean you guys did catch them using bots. The only reason i say that is because i won several items before coming across this thread. I won a ipod touch that took about 1 wk to get shipped. I am still waiting on the 42″ tv. Its been about 2 wks. I will reply and let u all know how it goes.”
mikeg said: “I dunno what everyone is talking about. Me and my friends have been winning alot. For instance, I wun a Macbook Pro for $27. I had to spend about $350 in bids, but that still beats paying the retail value of about $2000. Theres only one winner, err…make that 2 winners: the guy who won the auction and bidstick. So, I guess that means there’s a lot of sore losers. Sorry guys.”
tammy said: “I respectfully disagree. I don’t think bidstick.com is a scam. Ive won 2 auctions already. So, I know there are real winners.With penny auctions, just like any other auction, there is only one winner. yes, you have to pay to bid but thats how the owners of these auctions can sell items so cheap and still make a profit :D.”
dalebennet said: “sorry to heer u had problems w bidstick. man. i wun a polaroid digtal camra. Id did take awhile to get it. like 4 wks or somthin. i wuz startin to wunder if i wuz gonna get it, but it came brand new in the box. maybe u should try cust svc, again.”
And the screenshot from our admin console:
The two IP addresses, for the “six” users, originate from RoadRunner HoldCo., LLC., VA.
Like we said, we do not know whether or not BidsTick.com still has reserve bots, but the fact that there have been multiple users from the same IP address posting positive “testimonials” when established PAW forum members are not is concerning.