Interview with Unique Penny Auction


Have you bid on BubbleBid is unique in that they have what are called “blast auctions” in blast auctions bids are placed on a bid board format and there are no timers. The winner is determined by the first bidder to hit the hidden “boom price.” BoomBid tells us, “Our main goal is to be very different from other sites out there, while providing a high level of entertainment and fairness. So, we strongly suggest that all users read our How It Works page completely. Once you understand our unique auction types you will see that it’s not that hard at all! Watch a few auctions first if you need to get a handle on how we operate.”

Also, to learn more about BubbleBid, we recently interviewed the team to find out more for you!

Penny Auction Watch: What got you interested in the penny auction industry? Our founders started out as everyday penny auction bidders, excited about the possibility of winning a great deal while having a great time doing it. As the months went by we started thinking about how penny auction sites could make the auctions more fun and entertaining, while keeping them fair and honest, and with quality customer service. That process evolved into our decision to try our best to make these things happen for everyone else with our own site.
PAW was very important in our move to create a penny auction site. The informative articles, and member input and feedback are invaluable.

Penny Auction Watch: How long has your penny auction site been in operation? officially opened in mid December. Prior to that, we ran 2 weeks of beta test auctions that offered real items to the winners. Although we’re relatively new, we’ve received tremendous support and positive member reviews about our site so far.

Penny Auction Watch: What kind of items do you offer/ have lined up?  Do your auctions run on a schedule? We started our first 2 months by mainly offering gift cards and a few popular electronics. Now that our user base is growing rapidly we are beginning to offer many more items. Over the next few weeks we will have lots more electronics and portable devices, fashion products and other items of interest for the ladies, and some fun items that you might not have been expecting like collectibles and toys. And underwear. Wait, no underwear.

New auctions are listed every day and we are steadily increasing the number of listings that close on a daily basis. Most of our regular penny auctions end during prime-time and the later evening hours. However, we always have over $1,000 worth of items running 24/7 within our other unique auction formats.

Penny Auctions: First of all, we run daily penny auctions that everyone loves. We offer popular gift cards to electronics and some household and fashion items. We also mix things up by listing auctions that have Surprise values, and we’re the first penny auction to offer ‘50 x End Price’ auctions featuring a guaranteed minimum payout.

BLAST Auctions: Get ready for some fast paced Bubble Popping Action!
o    No Countdown Timer – Be the first bidder to pop the Boom Bubble Price and you win. Bidding action can be as speedy as a click of the mouse.
o    We have a list of prices shown as ‘bubbles’, which we call the Bubble Board.
o    The Boom Bubble is a randomly assigned price within the Bubble Board. One bid may be all it takes to win. Bidding may be placed on price bubbles in any order.
o    Blast Auctions run 24/7 since there is no timer and no bidder competition is necessary. These run from small to large in value, so we have something for everyone at any point of the day.

BOOM and BURST Auctions (Muti-Item reserve auctions): Here’s another way we are truly unique!
BOOM Auctions – They sound confusing at first but check them out and you’ll get it:
·    Two Items are being auctioned, usually Item #1 is a Gift Card, Item #2 is Bubble Bucks*.
·    Again, a list of Price Bubbles are displayed on our Bubble Board. Each price bubble acts as bid button. One price is randomly assigned as the Boom Bubble.
·    In Boom Auctions, the Boom Bubble eventually wins Item #2 in the listing (Bubble Bucks).
·    Bidding continues until all Price Bubbles have been bid upon.
·    When all Price Bubbles are gone, the reserve is met and the auction goes ‘live’. The countdown timer immediately starts with little time on the clock.  At this time all new bidders are are locked out (closed group) so as to protect the bids placed by our early entrants. The last Board bidder is listed as the current winner, and the action continues as a standard penny auction.
·    Once the auction closes, the winner who bid on the Boom Bubble is disclosed. Anyone can win Both items!
·    *Bubble Bucks are the currency on BubbleBid that can be used to buy Bids, pay for auction wins, or can be requested to be cashed out.
·    Boom Auctions are good for early bidders since anyone can win the Bubble Bucks!

BURST Auctions:
·    Everything is that same as BOOM Auctions except for one important and fun difference:
We have assigned a range that the auction will meet the reserve much sooner than the number of Bubble Board Prices!
·    Burst Auctions list a range of 1 – 90 or 1 – 150 bids. At any point within this range of bids placed, the system-generated random setting may take the auction ‘live’ and the last bidder will be the winner going into countdown status. If less than the 90 or 150 Bubble Prices are generated on the Board, then the range is actually 1 – x. We’ve had a $40 winner who placed 1 bid, and there were 8 bids overall.
·    Yes, the system still lists the Boom Bubble on the board as well, so an early bidder can hit this hidden price and find the Bubble Bucks credited to their account once the auction closes, even if they couldn’t be present when it ended!

If you read all of this and don’t understand it, that’s OK. Just watch a few auctions run so you can learn before buying your first bid pack. Contact us with any questions. Bob works here and he still has questions.

Penny Auction Watch: What are the timer increments between bids/does this vary by auction?

BubbleBid.comWe tend to prefer the 15 second interval. If a new bid is placed with less than 15 seconds left it resets back up to 15, giving other bidders a chance to decide to place a bid. We have the ability to also select 10, 20, or 30 second increments as well, and may do so depending on the value of the listing.
Penny Auction Watch: What do your bids cost? Bid Packs average 70 cents per Bid and are available in packs of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. The smallest bid packs start at $0.80 and $0.75 per bid, but the average price goes down to $0.70 as the Bid Pack size increases. Plus we give free Bubble Bucks on the top two packages which effectively lowers the per-bid price to $0.65.
We offer 5 free bids for a confirmed account registration per household. Plus we offer a referral system where you can earn 5 free bids when you send someone and they buy their first bid pack.

Penny Auction Watch: What are your shipping costs? How long does it usually take for users to receive their items? We strive to keep our shipping and processing costs at a minimum. If we can offer an item with free shipping, we will. Also, we prefer working with vendors that supply us with inexpensive or free shipping so that we can pass as little as possible on to our users. For example, our gift cards ship for free or $1.95, depending on the retailer.
Orders are processed in small batches as quickly as possible. Users should receive their items within 2-7 business days depending on the item and our suppliers. Larger items may take a few days more but we stand by the belief that it should never take more than 10 business days to receive your wins. Of course, we state up to 20 business days on our T&C so that we can easily beat expectations, yay!
Penny Auction Watch: What states/countries are you open to?
We are open to all 50 USA states, and the following countries for certain auction items. Canada, UK, and Australian residents may participate in Cash based listings. Canadian residents may also participate in listings for general products that may be easily ordered and shipped to their address (contact us first).  We have long term goals to allow participation from residents in other countries as well. At no time will we ever let anyone join from Greenland, EVER!

Penny Auction Watch: What is your policy for bid refunds? Bids are generally non-refundable since our members are purchasing a service. In the event of system malfunction or malicious acts / fraud we will certainly consider all facts and refund a fair amount of bids to all affected.
Penny Auction Watch: Are there any win limits, limits /household? We only impose win limits on our standard penny auctions as follows:
2 per 24 hrs (day)      |   7 per 168 hrs (week)   |   24 per 720 hrs (month)
Our system tracks wins down to the minute, that’s why we need to show the limits in hours. We do not reset limits at midnight like some sites. Limits are subject to change.
We do Not impose win limits on our other auction formats: BLAST, BOOM, and BURST Auctions!
Of course we will listen to our members and implement limits on these auction types as well if there eventually becomes a need for it.

Penny Auction Watch: Is there a story behind the name/theme? Well, BubbleBid was one of our first choices when we began planning our overall penny auction site strategy. Our team secured a few other good domain names just in case. But once we got excited about implementing the use of a “price board” which would allow for bids to be placed on price points in any order – and they could look a bit like bubbles – we knew that name would stick. Bob here still thinks it sounds a bit ‘girly’, but he’s kind of a truck driver / lumberjack dude anyway. is different enough for a lot of you to find a way to enjoy us every day. Some of you will think we’re crazy, some of you will know it. The more members we gain will only make things better for everyone, so stop by and tell your friends.
We stand by our honesty and integrity, and we communicate openly with our members. Quality service and entertainment are our highest goals. Don’t worry, we don’t let Bob interact with any members.
Please visit BubbleBid today as we would love for you to have a good time winning a great deal.
We would like to thank Penny Auction Watch for making this interview possible.
Thanks and good fortune to you!

Thanks BubbleBid!

Please feel free to join our forum and post your reviews and don’t forget to enter our MASSIVE spring giveaway it ends May 1st and there are thousands of bids to be won, iPods, an iPhone 4, Katy Perry tickets and more!

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1 comment… add one
  • April 16, 2011, 10:58 am

    Thanks for the interview PAW!
    Update, since the time of the interview we have changed our win limits as follows:
    1 per 24 hrs (day) | 5 per 168 hrs (week) | 20 per 720 hrs (month).
    Thanks for checking us out and don’t be afraid to post any question on the boards here.
    Good Fortune to you!


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