Last August we told you a bit about BidTrotter and of the positive feedback that all of our readers gave them on the forum. We recently spoke with Doug again, BidTrotter’s owner, unfortunately we had not interviewed him previously. We’re glad that Doug gave us the opportunity to tell you a bit more about how he started BidTrotter. BidTrotter.com is now 10-months-old! (Thanks Doug, and a big thank you to all of our faithful readers -1,011 members now!) If you have bid on BidTrotter.com please feel free to tell us about your experience!
PAW: What got you interested in the entertainment shopping industry?
BidTrotter.com: I was a fan of Penny Auctions right away. I loved the excitement, and the entertainment that it provided me. I must admit, that it took me awhile to get my first win, but when it happened it was a great rush. I remember that it was a Nintendo DS about 2 years ago. I literally had 6 bids into it. When the auction said “Sold” I was very happy and hooked!
After awhile of being a ‘bidder’, I (like a lot of others) had my job as a manager of a commercial tire store abolished in an effort to make cut backs. So, I was at a crossroads. I had a very good friend that I have known for years. I told him with all of the experience that I have with penny auctions. Learning what seems to work and what doesn’t. I thought “Hey. Let’s give it a shot.”
We did so, and I knew that to do it the right way it would require a lot of work, and dedication with an emphasis on customer service.
So, we sought out the best possible web programmer we could find. We honestly did not want to make money an issue. We wanted the best. Invariably, when we would ask around they always give us the same name. We were not disappointed! He is the absolute best!
We didn’t want to buy a ‘canned’ program. So, we started from scratch. He built it from the ground up. It cost a LOT more. It took quite a bit longer but we were very happy with the results.
The rest is history. We could not be happier with the program, and the growth that we have had in a relatively short amount of time.
BidTrotter.com: We really didn’t want to be like every other penny auction out there. When we started this venture we knew that we needed to placate to the typical penny auction bidders, but we also want to make ours a little unique.
One thing we wanted to create was a way for people to stay in contact with each other without facilitating any sort of collusion. So, our programmer create the “Shout Outs”. When you click on the “Details Page” you will have the option of clicking on the pull down menu and choosing one of the pre-loaded “Shout Outs”. When you click “Bid Now”, your Shout Out will appear in the box below. We have some people that use this feature quite frequently.
We also try to have some items that you may not find on other sites. We realize that everyone wants IPods, Laptops, and TV’s ect. But we will have some items that are not always your prototypical penny auction items. Items like an Electronic Drum Set, a Bowflex, and even an Electric Guitar.
PAW: Yes, we have seen that chat boxes on penny auction sites can sometimes end up being a bad idea! What kind of items do you have lined up?
We will be having an LED TV coming up again soon. We don’t go to “The Well” too often with the real expensive items. I would like to take a moment here to explain our philosophy. Most importantly WE DO NOT USE BOTS OR SHILL BIDDERS! We don’t need to. We have the customer base to support what we are doing. However, because we don’t use these tactics, we have to be very careful of posting $1000+ items every single day. The way I see it is, I would be very leery of a site that has 2 or 3 Laptops and TV’s when their rankings/ratings don’t support what they are doing.
With that said, we will not stifle our site either. As we grow, so will the amount of items that we post everyday.
PAW: We applaud you and thank you for not utilizing shill bidders!
You have a unique interval rate system based on an item’s MSRP, can you tell us more about this system?
INTERVAL RATES – BASED ON MSRP OF AUCTION ITEM
30 SECOND INTERVAL UNTIL IT REACHES .25% OF MSRP (msrp * .0025)
25 SECOND INTERVAL UNTIL IT REACHES .50% OF MSRP (msrp * .005)
20 SECOND INTERVAL UNTIL IT REACHES 1.0% OF MSRP (msrp * .01)
15 SECOND INTERVAL UNTIL IT REACHES 1.5% OF MSRP (msrp * .015)
10 SECOND INTERVAL UNTIL AUCTION HAS ENDED (WHEN AUCTIONEER INDICATES IT IS “SOLD!”
PAW: How much are your bids?
BidTrotter.com: On average they are approximately $0.75 per bid.
PAW: What are your shipping costs?
Our shipping costs are not necessarily calculate by MSRP but are influenced by it.
I encourage anyone to go to our website and go to the Details page and compare to other sites. Our shipping rates are very reasonable.
PAW: Are there any win limits, and also, limits per household?
BidTrotter.com: We have a strict limit of 2 items per week per customer. This is something that happens automatically. You will not be able to bid until one week has been exhausted since your first win of that 7 day period.
PAW: Is there a story behind the BidTrotter name/overall theme?
BidTrotter.com: Well… lol
There is a bit of a story. We first went through the process of finding a unique logo. My son is a really good artist. I told him to draw up some ideas. When we saw the Bidtrotter guy (which is a caricature of myself) .
So, that morphed from a “GlobeTrotter” into? (All Together now) BIDTROTTER!!! 🙂
Penny Auction Watch: Thanks Doug, is there anything else you would like to tell our readers about BidTrotter?
We run a clean operation at Bidtrotter. We take a lot of pride in that fact. We have been in business a short 10 months and have come a very long way, and we believe that this is due to the way we operate here. People are not dumb. They know when and who to trust. It doesn’t take long to figure out who is doing things the right way. We will continue to do things the right way, or we won’t do it at all.
Please join our penny auction forum and tell us about your experiences with BidTrotter.com and all other entertainment shopping auctions!
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