Allow us to introduce you to the competitive shopping auction penny auction, BigDeal.com. BigDeal is backed with an experienced team and millions of dollars in venture capital funding from investment groups such as the Mayfield Fund, First Round Capital, and Foundation Capital.
The Penny Auction Watch team has received won items from BigDeal.com and is so far satisfied with their service and offerings, we particularly like the following features:
- Users don’t Lose
There’s a feature on BigDeal.com that we’ve only seen on a small number of other pay-per-bid auction sites, which allows losing bidders to apply the full value of their bids placed to actually purchase the item at retail. So in essence, a bidder never really has to lose anything on BigDeal.com, as opposed to the majority of similar auction sites where a bidder can spend hundreds of dollars on an item and lose. BigDeal.com has competitive pricing too, they check prices on a weekly basis against Amazon.com and other popular retailers.
- Users are Rewarded
BigDeal.com also has generous “Loyalty Bucks” program where every bid that a user purchases, users receive $1 in Loyalty Bucks per $1 spent, users receive this as soon as bids are purchased and they’re good to be redeemed for a year from the date of purchase. These Loyalty Bucks can be redeemed for a 25% discount on gift cards and products.
- Bid Cost on BigDeal.com: $0.75
- All Auctions Start at: $0
- Each bid raises the price of the item by $0.15, $0.01.
- Bid Refund Policy: BigDeal will refund any unused bid for up to 12 months after its purchase.
- Timer Increments: Most of BigDeal’s auctions have 30 second increments, although a few have 20 second increments. Once the clock reaches 30 seconds, it does not get above the 30 second mark again. They think this makes the auctions more fun, fast, and fair.
- BigDeal’s Auctions are available in: The USA, for now.
- Shipping Time: “Our customers typically receive their items within 5 business days!”
- Win Limits: 10 per user, per month.
- Customer Service:
- Alexa ranking: 19,359 (impressive!)
- Product Offerings Include: Small appliances like Espresso machines, toasters, coffee makers, and vacuum cleaners, to popular consumer electronics, video games, gaming consoles, iPods, 27″ iMac Computers, MacBooks, HDTV, digital cameras, various Windows laptops/netbooks, Amazon’s Kindle, and the new Apple iPad.
Nicolas Darveau-Garneau, CEO of BigDeal.com, was gracious enough to allow us to interview him to learn a bit more about BigDeal.
After graduating from Harvard Business School, you co-founded Imix.com, the first Internet music company to get the legal download rights from all major record labels. You were also part of the launch team of MSN.com in 1995. What got you interested in the entertainment shopping industry?
Nicolas – BigDeal.com:
I wanted, along with my Co-Founders Brandon Ramsey from Yahoo and George Leimer from Apple, to create a website with an unbelievable value proposition for customers. Saving 80%-90% off on a brand new ipod, flat screen TV, or SLR camera is a really attractive value proposition for customers and our users love the site!
BigDeal.com started out stealthily as Project Fair Bid and raised over $4.5 million in venture funding from the Mayfield Fund, First Round Capital, Foundation Capital, with Raj Kapoor, Charles Moldow and Josh Kopelman on your board of directors. Can you tell us what convinced these prominent investors to join forces in supporting BigDeal.com?
Nicolas – BigDeal.com: I don’t want to speak for our investors but I can share my perspective: BigDeal.com has created an incredibly powerful value proposition for customers and it’s not often that an ecommerce site can create such a unique and strong value proposition. This is a once in a decade opportunity, in my view.
You’ve been open since November 19th, 2009, with featured articles on TechCrunch [BigDeal.com Reinvents And Legitimizes Swoopo’s Controversial Auction Bidding Model] and The New York Times [BigDeal Puts a New Spin on ‘Entertainment Shopping’], how has the response been?
Nicolas – BigDeal.com: The customer response has been unbelievable. We are way ahead of plan in terms of growth. Most importantly, we are getting a lot of repeat usage on the site. We are focusing on creating long term and loyal customers and the response has been truly remarkable so far.
What makes BigDeal.com unique from all other pay-per-bid/penny auctions?
Nicolas – BigDeal.com: We are focusing on creating long term, loyal users. To achieve this, we have created a number of powerful features including the ability to buy any item during an auction for a total of its retail price using our “Buy It Now” feature and our “Loyalty Bucks” that allow users to use ALL the money they spend on bids to get a discount on items in our reward store. As the New York Times put it, we have “taken all the risk out of the bidded-auction game”. Basically, on BigDeal.com, auction winners get a really big deal while non-winners can get all their money back. There is literally no risk to bidding. The downside of all this is that we are giving a lot of money back to the users and it will more difficult for us to be profitable.
We noticed that you don’t allow your users to use automatic bidding, what made you decide to do this?
Nicolas – BigDeal.com: We are actually working on an auto-bid feature right now but, like everything else we do, we are going to launch an Auto Bidder that is a lot more fair and user-friendly than what is currently out there. Our auto-bidder will be truly unique and useful.
Thank you Nicolas!
(Disclaimer: Links to BigDeal are affiliate links, if you decide to sign up and try BigDeal.com out please as a courtesy to us & to help further support this site, use our link! Thank you!)
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