From the Reuters stock quote release,
“Nio Inc announced that the Company is expanding its business in Internet auctions by acquiring Bidou.ca in Canada. Bidou.ca is an internet auction platform similar to Nio’s existing Ziinga.com and Wippy.com. The acquisition will give Nio access to Bidou’s user base of around 170,000 users, mainly in the Canadian market. Nio will transfer Bidou.ca to its own internet auction platform, and move Bidou’s operations to Manila, expecting reductions in overall costs going forward. No employees, lease commitments or other liabilities will be part of the transaction. Bidou.ca is owned by Les Encheres Bidou Inc., a company incorporated in Quebec, Canada. Upon closing of the transaction, Nio will issue 1 million new Nio shares as consideration for all shares in Les Encheres Bidou Inc. The number of outstanding shares in Nio after the transaction will be 150,924,309. The agreement is subject to due diligence. The acquisition is expected to be completed in March 2013.”
Here’s what Bidou looked like prior to Nio’s acquisition:
Notice the end prices ranging from as little as only $0.05 (5 bids received) to $1.35 from this screenshot taken from the Library of Congress’ WayBackMachine from January of 2012, March of 2013 there really wasn’t much of a change in auction activity and bidding (the archived page doesn’t render as good as this one) Just 3 weeks ago a DVR system valued at $459 went for just under $1.40, less than 140 bids from all bidders. To today where 6 items are ending at the same time and include high value items such as a new iPad, iPad mini, iPod Touch, $240 gift card
As you can see in the stock quote release Ziinga also owns another penny auction, Wippy.com. All three sites, Wippy, Ziinga and Bidou all appear to be separate penny auctions, but as you can see if you go to all three, they’re all just different interfaces for Nio’s first site, Ziinga. All of the auctions are the same, all of the bidder s bidding are the same, the only thing different are the company names listed on the bottom and the site’s branding:
After a tip from a reader which spurred us to dig a bit deeper we found that software developer who provides support won and bid on a number of auctions: See Does This Indicate Questionable Bidding Practices on Ziinga?
One Penny Auction Watch member recently posted the following in the Penny Auction Watch Forum:
“Ziinga: Suspicious behavior
Bidou.ca, one of my favorite Canadian penny auctions sites recently closed down and were bought by another company. It turns out it was Ziinga.
I had no bids left in my Bidou account. So I tried my login information on the Ziinga site and surprisingly it worked.
Now here is where the suspicious behavior kicks in. I’m poking around the site and decide to check my account information.
Apparently I won an auction. Never having bought any bids and participating in any auctions I managed to win a crappy Samsung phone.
HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?
I know this auction site is shady and I will never buy any bids or participate in any of their crooked auctions.
How do we shut these guys down?