We recently interviewed the COO of SkoreIt.com, a new penny auction that opened on February 16th and wanted to share this with you so that you can learn more about Skoreit!.
We were enthralled with the model when we observed the first U.S. based penny auction businesses launching in late 2008. We saw great promise for the industry, and soon decided to commence work on a “second generation” version of the concept. Our strategy is to focus on the basics – fair bidding, site usability, customer service, fast shipping and rock solid network/software infrastructure.
How long have you been open?
We have been open for business since February 16th, 2010.
Currently we are in what we refer to internally as our “soft launch” phase. We are fully operational and the software is stable, but we are keeping our advertising spend at a reasonable baseline and in general are proceeding at a measured pace. During this phase, we will ensure our business operations are as streamlined as possible and will take special care to respond and react to customer feedback as it comes in.
We are currently also running an introductory “bid match” promotion on our BidPaks – if you buy 50 bids we will give you 50 for free.
All this makes for a great opportunity for bidders to come onboard while the level of competition is low!
What kind of items do you offer/ have lined up? Do your auctions run on a schedule?
Our auctions run on a pre-determined schedule.
We primarily focus on consumer electronics, such as gaming consoles, MP3 players, digital cameras, laptops, HDTVs, etc. In the near future we also plan to phase in American Express and retail store gift cards.
What are the timer increments between bids/does this vary by auction?
Timer increments are defined on a case-by-case basis and decrease as the price increases. Each auction listing details exactly what will happen ahead of time. Generally we start in the range of 10-20 seconds and never go lower than 6 seconds.
How much are your bids?
Our bids start at $0.40 in our entry level BidPak, and range down to $0.36 a piece in our largest pack. Our smallest BidPak is only $10 and includes 25 bids. We are currently running an introductory “bid match”, which provides twice the standard bids, effectively reducing the bid cost to $0.18-0.20 per bid.
What are your shipping costs? How long does it usually take for users to receive their items?
Shipping costs are calculated upon check out. Any shipping discounts or savings we can access are aggressively passed onto our customers.
We pride ourselves in shipping items as quickly as possible. In nearly every case we ship by the next business day, but oftentimes we are able to ship items out the same day.
Our to-date shipping statistics:
- Items shipped the same day: 76.9%
- Items shipped by the next business day: 97.4%
- Average cost to ship an item: $6.44
What states/countries are you open to?
We accept orders from all 50 U.S. states.
For certain items, primarily large or unwieldy products such as HDTVs, we only offer shipping to the 48 contiguous U.S. states. Such items are marked on their product pages.
What is your policy for bid refunds?
Customers can close their account after logging onto our website, causing their unused bids to be refunded.
In certain rare and exceptional cases, used bids may be refunded. If an item is not delivered as listed, was damaged in shipping or was defective from the manufacturer, we provide the choice of either an exchange or a full refund, including used bids. If a listing is ever cancelled because of an unplanned site outage, we will refund all the bids used in the auction.
What is your policy on shilling?
We at SkoreIt! feel strongly that shilling of any kind is neither good for the bidder or the business. It is a patently dishonest practice, and a clear track record of failure has been established for businesses that engage in such questionable activities.
Keeping true to this, we wrote our Fair Bidding Policy to be as rock solid and easy to understand as possible. The policy is listed in our help section.
Are there any win limits, limits /household?
Yes, we have a 5 auction win limit over a rolling 7 day period. For example, if you win two auctions on Monday, and three auctions on Tuesday, you won’t be able to win any more auctions until the following Monday (and then only two).
To prevent the limit from unfairly “sneaking up” on our customers, we allow bidders to finish the auctions they are already involved in when they hit their maximum.
Is there a story behind the name/theme?
We considered many names before finally settling on the “SkoreIt!” name and sports theme. Although we do not exclusively cater to sports minded bidders, we felt that a sports theme was an accurate analogy for the competitive spirit and level playing field that is a part of all our auctions.
While we can’t guarantee you will win auctions, we can guarantee that all our customers abide by the same set of rules, thus providing a fair bidding experience.
Thank you, is there anything else that you would like to tell Penny Auction Watch readers?
We’d love to mention a few other things…
- On most of our non-BidPak auctions we provide our customers that missed out on the winning bid the ability to purchase the same item outright, at our listed price. On such purchases, we provide an immediate discount equal to the value of the bids used in the auction.
- We designed our BidAgent automated bidding feature to waste as few bids as possible. In addition to the standard starting price, ending price and maximum bids, we also let our customers set a timer threshold before which no bidding will occur. Furthermore, it is impossible for two BidAgents to get into a “race” with each other unless they are both set to bid at any time.
- We are in full compliance with TRUSTe’s strict privacy policies.
- Providing an interruption free bidding experience to all our customers is one of our top priorities. Our site is powered by servers and network hardware designed for mission critical applications, housed in a best-in-class, N+2 redundant data center. We built our software from the ground up to be as reliable and secure as possible.
- We conduct routine and proactive security audits above and beyond those required of us by our credit card processors.
Thank you very much for providing the opportunity for this interview!
Join our forum to share your experiences with Skoreit!. Thanks!
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