BigDeal.com, the competitive shopping penny auction startup from San Francisco has ceased operations today. BigDeal launched in November of 2009, and was heavily backed. Their first round of funding alone, received from venture capital firms Mayfield Fund, First Round Capital and Foundation Capital, was reported by the New York Times to be $4.5 million (SEC filing).
I personally really liked BigDeal.com and it came to be my favorite penny auction site. I bid there quite a bit, and won many items, when they first launched and in 2010.
BigDeal’s corporate name was Project Fair Bid, Inc., and in my opinion, they really did aim to provide a fair bidding experience for penny auction bidders. What
I especially liked about them, other than the fact that I got my awesome iMac 27″ for under $300, is that they offered the 100% buy-it-now option, and were really one of the first to offer anything like it. Plus, they had the best bid history information that I had ever seen.
Penny auction enthusiasts saw it coming.
A few months ago BigDeal stopped offering their designer handbag and accessory items, then they got rid of the majority of their high-ticket product offerings. They used to offer many laptops, MacBooks, dSLR cameras, iPads, iPods, iPhones and other popular items until in recent months they offered hourly auctions for albeit useful, lower-priced items such as SD cards, small keychain tools, and a lower priced digital camera.
Though BigDeal didn’t comment on why they are shutting down, they had desirable items, but they seemed to only have the same mix all the time, it also seems that a few “powerbidders” won items at significant discounts time and time again (i.e. 15+ MacBooks for bidders who only “buy MacBooks,” etc.
When I was living in San Francisco last summer I had the opportunity to visit BigDeal’s office and met with Nicolas Darveau-Garneau and a few in the BigDeal team, I’d like to thank them once again here and wish them the best in future business endeavors.
I’d also like to personally thank their venture capital backers, it was awesome that they took the risk on a new industry, which over the past year has shown itself to be, even more so, filled with pitfalls. Their shipping was quick and I wasn’t disappointed.
Wondering what you will do if you had bids left on BigDeal?
BigDeal.com has contracted with BidCactus to allow users the choice to transfer their bids and account to BidCactus. Any questions can be directed to rachel[at]bigdeal[dot]com. For more information on BidCactus.com read our previous posts and discuss this in our forum. BidCactus is an audited (2 years in a row by Ernst & Young), founding member of the Entertainment Auction Association.
Are you disappointed to see BigDeal go? Discuss this http://www.pennyauctionwatch.com/forum/general-penny-auction-discussion/16037-just-bigdeal-com-shut-down-today.html with us.
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