Does This Indicate Questionable Bidding Practices on Ziinga? Ziinga.com / Ziinga.co.uk

ziinga.com Perhaps you read our initial posting on penny auction site Ziinga.com/Ziinga.co.uk from back in 2010. In it I posted my opinions.  Since then a few Ziinga customers have posted their complaints and concerns in the comments section which can be read after the article: Ziinga Seems Odd.

Many Ziinga users stated that they later found unauthorized charges by the penny auction site, others said that Ziinga required photo ID scans to verify identities.

Nio Security, Inc, now known as Nio, Inc. holds a portfolio of investments: Ziinga is one of them.

Why might this information be relevant? Well, read the following copied from a press release dated January 24th, 2012. Take note of the management company, Larventech.

“Nio Security, Inc (OSE: NIO) today announces that following the Company’s acquisition of Flamingo

Intervest (see announcement of 12 December 2011) the integration of the two companies is completed. The Company now operates two business areas and expects sales growth and profitability in 2012.

Through the acquisition of Flamingo Intervest in December 2011, Nio became the owner of the Ziinga.com Internet auction site. Ziinga.com currently has a steady revenue growth and cash flow, and forecasts a positive pre-tax profit in the first quarter of 2012.

Now, look at this paragraph in particular:

As a part of the agreement, Nio has through Flamingo Intervest acquired all of the outstanding shares in the management company Larventech Inc for a purchase price of one USD. Larventech is registered on the Philippines, employs in excess of 80 people in its Manila office and is carrying out basic operations for Flamingo such as customer support, software development and graphic design.” – See also http://www.niosec.com/page/news/10/news/65

So, as the above release states, Nio acquired the penny auction site Ziinga by acquiring its previous owner, Flamingo Intervest. Along with Ziinga, Nio also acquired the outstanding shares in the management company Larventech Inc. Philippines based Larventech Inc employs 80 people, working out of its Manila office. What do they do? Customer support, software development and graphic design for Ziinga.

Why might all of this relevant about Larventech working for Ziinga?  Keep reading.

A tip was sent in to us with this information, which at the time (May 23rd, 2012) when I pulled up this information and confirmed it the information was the same as you will see in the below attached screenshots.

The following URL just a few weeks ago opened up an account at Ziinga.com, it still does, but at the time the username belonging to the account was a LouieMiranda. 

The URL was found, according to the tip, in an promotional e-mail, the user just changed the PID to find the account for LouieMiranda. The username is now “sasdasdsd,” but I have screenshots and did verify this information at the time I saved screenshots.  Ziinga obviously seems to have issues with security as the backend/account information for their users is exposed by following the link and is not password protected.
Who is LouieMiranda? According to LinkedIn he’s a “Senior Software Engineer at Larventech, Inc – Philippines  Information Technology and Services.” See http://ph.linkedin.com/in/louiemiranda.
 LouieMiranda LinkedIn
Why does it matter who LouieMiranda is? Well, after I followed the above posted link I found some very, in my opinion,  interesting information. Information that seems to suggest that someone with the username LouieMiranda had/has thousands of bids in their account, has bid on many auctions, yes he’s won too.
Coincidences Happen?
  
OK – So perhaps it’s a coincidence that this bidder’s name was LouieMiranda, had thousands of bids, won auctions, had NOT claimed auctions, did not have a real mailing address in his account, his E-MAIL Address POINTED to @LARVENTECH.COM, he even has a PHILIPPINES based IP address!? 
!?

It’s been said that a picture is worth a 1,000 words, well in this case could these screenshots from Ziinga be worth more? 
Take a look:
I wonder how the postal service can find LouieMiranda’s house to deliver his won items from his shipping information – name: userpax, address: userpax, town: userpax, country the Marshall Islands, with the postcode 7657656?
[Click to Enlarge Screenshots]
While the account showed that a few products had been “paid” for by LouieMiranda, the confirmation pages show the following IP addresses: 119.92.171.171.
Now, could the fact that the IP address found on this confirmation page belongs to LARVENTECH, INC according to the Whois information also be a coincidence?
119.92.171.171
IP Larventech
Notice that LouieMiranda defaulted on a Nokia6303i win:

SO – the question is: Why would this user whose username was “LouieMiranda,” use an e-mail address @Larventech.com,  share a name with Louie Miranda, Sr. Software Engineer with Larventech, have over seventeen thousand bids, not have a real shipping address, hasn’t even claimed all won items, use an IP address belonging to LARVENTECH INC. in the Philippines, when, according to the press release that you read above, Larventech works for Ziinga and Ziinga is now owned by NIO Security, NIO Inc., who also acquired the outstanding shares in Larventech? Changed his username to sasdadsdSo do you think they were just testing Ziinga with this and possibly other accounts – while there have been active bids by other bidders on the auctions where Louie/sasdadsd placed bids?
 

IS Ziinga.com – Ziinga.co.uk a LEGIT penny auction site? What does the above information mean to you?
They have a low: 3,892 Alexa ranking and many high ticket items.
Current items up for bid right now:

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6 comments… add one
  • sandra rouleau June 16, 2012, 8:27 am

    this is the biggest ripoff auction i have ever seen. whizzer

    Reply
  • Nacho September 6, 2012, 6:01 am

    Hi

    Just viewed an add about Zinga, and a comparison between it an Ebay. Then I googled “ziinga review” and got your site and review (not in the firsts results though).

    What a wonderful, detailed and clear review it is. Kudos for it and thanks again for warning people.

    Regards from Spain.

    Reply
    • Amanda Lee September 8, 2012, 10:01 am

      Thanks Nacho very kind of you.

      Reply

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