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Stamping

Started by dss@pw , Oct 08 2010 02:51 PM

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#1

dss@pw
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Hello All:

As our site matures, stamping is becoming our Achilles Heal. For those that don’t know what stamping is, it’s like a dog and a fire hydrant. The second an item hits our home page and is put up for auction, the same few bidders take it hostage by placing their name on the item as the top bidder. To make things worse, these few bidders have a side agreement to not bid against one another. This is devastating to sites like ours. It intimidates the average bidder and scares off new bidders. We get a tremendous amount of visits per day but the vast majority are scared off by this practice. We now only post for auction one day at a time and have the balance of the merchandise on the “future auction” page, which can’t be stamped. As items roll to within the 24 hour window, they post to the home page. This may sound ridiculous, but it’s necessary. We’re also considering limiting wins per week. We now have 2 wins per day but that doesn’t seem to be enough. I don’t want to suspend these bidders but we need to corral them in order to keep the playing field level. Our site needs to be fair, fun & entertaining. We will not acquiesce to bullies.

#2

dss@pw
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Well, we just made the decision to implement a new policy to limit "certain" bidders to 1 win every 2 days. These bidders were over-the-top gracious and understood they need to share the wealth. They also agreed to limit their stamping to one item at a time while bidding. For everyone else who was not notified by email as to the new policy (99.9%), it remains 2 per day. Happy hunting.

Dan

#3

greg99799
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Yet another reason to respect and trust this site.

Great work...I'll be buying some bids soon. :)

#4

caveninit
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I think I'm going to like your site!

#5

Nancy
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What site is this?

#6

dss@pw
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pennywarriors.com

#7

nixnutz7897
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Signed up yesterday after seeing this thread. Keep up the great work!

#8

dragon ball
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Hello All:

As our site matures, stamping is becoming our Achilles Heal. For those that don’t know what stamping is, it’s like a dog and a fire hydrant. The second an item hits our home page and is put up for auction, the same few bidders take it hostage by placing their name on the item as the top bidder. To make things worse, these few bidders have a side agreement to not bid against one another. This is devastating to sites like ours. It intimidates the average bidder and scares off new bidders. We get a tremendous amount of visits per day but the vast majority are scared off by this practice. We now only post for auction one day at a time and have the balance of the merchandise on the “future auction” page, which can’t be stamped. As items roll to within the 24 hour window, they post to the home page. This may sound ridiculous, but it’s necessary. We’re also considering limiting wins per week. We now have 2 wins per day but that doesn’t seem to be enough. I don’t want to suspend these bidders but we need to corral them in order to keep the playing field level. Our site needs to be fair, fun & entertaining. We will not acquiesce to bullies.


what site is it? it says: pennywarriors.com I will check it out. I haven't joined the site yet but wondering if any of the paw members are there bidding or not.

#9

ProtoProtoss
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This site is definitely going to succeed. :-)

Yes... you've been blessed by the Proto.
Disclaimer: All of the text stated above is MY own personal opinion... so for those of you who seem to always find something or have something negative to say about anything I seem to type... :lurk5:

You can't control the flock without the fear of the wolf.
---

#10

TheBidder
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Yes, I have bid there...when they first opened...Nice site. I didn't win yet, but from what I have seen it will be a fair and honest site...

#11

realbidtowin
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Hello All:

As our site matures, stamping is becoming our Achilles Heal. For those that don’t know what stamping is, it’s like a dog and a fire hydrant. The second an item hits our home page and is put up for auction, the same few bidders take it hostage by placing their name on the item as the top bidder. To make things worse, these few bidders have a side agreement to not bid against one another. This is devastating to sites like ours. It intimidates the average bidder and scares off new bidders. We get a tremendous amount of visits per day but the vast majority are scared off by this practice. We now only post for auction one day at a time and have the balance of the merchandise on the “future auction” page, which can’t be stamped. As items roll to within the 24 hour window, they post to the home page. This may sound ridiculous, but it’s necessary. We’re also considering limiting wins per week. We now have 2 wins per day but that doesn’t seem to be enough. I don’t want to suspend these bidders but we need to corral them in order to keep the playing field level. Our site needs to be fair, fun & entertaining. We will not acquiesce to bullies.



The tagging issue you have exist on all sites, however successful sites combat this by driving new customers to their site to bid who do not know who is who, in reality the fact that you have so many PAW bidders on your site is your real problem because many PAW bidders will not bid against each other simple as that. You seem to think there is a conspiracy going on amongst these bidders that tag, frankly it is no different then any other bidder choosing not to bid against someone. Regardless whether a auction is tagged or not once certain names appear it will influence the auction regardless of being 2 days in advance or 2 minutes it does not change the outcome.

It is almost laughable when I hear a auctions site say they want their site to be fair, last time I checked an "AUCTON" winner is typically the highest and or last bidder, and because some bidders have more to spend does not mean that it is unfair. I am sick of hearing that and it is rediculas. In fact you discuss possibly imposing seperate rules for a small group of bidders because they are sucessfull, yeh that sounds like you want a fair and balanced auction??? You are right these bidders you are referring to can scare away other bidders, but the reality is becasue they have shown they are willing to pay more to win, last time I checked that was not against the rules but is seems now that it is potentially terms for supension.

Regardless of what you thnk of these bidders they are residual and if they are not profitable to you that is your fault by not creating competition for them. The fact is it is only a small percentage of your new bidders will become return customer and that is consitant with all sites, lets face it there are only a few auctions per day to be won between a much larger number of bidders and only a small % of bidders will be satisfied regardless of who wins.

There are many bidder that are cheering you on of which some of these bidders would never consider paying retail for an auction item infact they complain about the PB's that will. What gets me is the site owners fire back restricting the sucessful bidders and try to cater to the complainers who frankly only bid if they think they can steal the item. Sorry but that is not the sucessful PA business model.

No matter what you do bidders who lose will always complain, and blame you for letting the winning bidders play, don't you see what is happening this has been going on forever and especially from PAW members, they complain about the bidders that win in an effort to get the site owner to restrict them so it is eaier for them almost colusive between the PA owner and the these bidders. The funny part is many of these nomadic bidders that complain often join new sites like this and then when a site gets rolling and somewhat sucessful they soon bail only to jump to the next new site and start the cycle again, frankly it works for them and is a winning strategy but in the long run the site owner gets screwed as they end up losing both segments of bidders.

Ok I let the cat out of the bag, and likely many of the bidders I referred too will now go ballistic, but these are the facts and very proven cycles.

Let the Games Begin.

By the way DSS I am not trying to bust your chops but simply putting this to reality, you may dissagree now but history of countless sites (both gone and still alive) supports my findings.

#12

wicked
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blah blah blah... By the way bid-2-to-too-win I am not trying to bust your chops but simply putting this to reality, you may dissagree now but history of countless sites (both gone and still alive) supports my findings.

sorry...couldn't help myself!! just consider me another one of those "bidders" you referred to! :)

try not to take this too seriously ( let the blasting begin)
I once used my dog to dry my hands... :blink:

#13

rs9090
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I am only going to say that before you posted and I was reading Bids post I actually caught myself nodding my head up and down

#14

dss@pw
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Hey Bid-to...

I'm used to having my chops busted. No worries. Don't forget we're used to runnin & gunnin for a livin (Aphgan, 2 bad tours). This is easy. Stamping is an interesting dynamic. I understand the fire hydrant theory. I also understand the newbie perspective. As an owner with considerable capital invested, we're trying to carefully balance the two. There is no clear cut answer. I have however had very positive conversations with my "whales" and they want us to succeed and acquiesced to my suggested hiatus. This, at the end of the day is a perfect world. I think, the answer is to have a toll free number and discuss, as I have solutions and issues. This is not a "me against you" business. We can all eat. I read your pontification above and it's close. Our site can be profitable while kicking out merchandise at a significant discount. The key to our success is an old proverb: "pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered". In any event, I really like your comments and observations.

Dan

#15

rotaryguy
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Dan-

props to you man for being able to read and take in constructive criticism for what it is and not getting defensive. im loving this site more and more with the way you guys handle things and treat your customers. i think with yalls mentality and willingness to hear out the "whales" and the...uhh...err i guess "minos" says alot about you and your company. i can foresee guys being very successful.

#16

nixnutz7897
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@B2W-Hate to admit it, but I agree with most of what you're saying. :)

There are some names on that site, which have previously been alleged to be involved in collusion. If they're the real people behind those names, then this gentleman does have a potential collusion situation.

With respect to "bidders who only bid if they can steal the item"--they're everywhere. I think they play just as important a role as the bidders who win all the ipads, ipods, game systems and laptops. Albeit, they don't contribute as much to the site financially as the big winners, they play a role.

As for tagging...agreed--it has become a standard and, frankly, I prefer it. I prefer knowing who I'm gonna have to fight with, before the fight has begun and especially before I'm deeply comitted to an auction. Tagging is not a bad thing, but implicit agreements, by means of outside communication, are a problem.

"There are many bidder that are cheering you on of which some of these bidders would never consider paying retail for an auction item infact they complain about the PB's that will." --this is a little over-stated...I really don't think there's anything wrong with a bidder who has no desire to go to retail. Don't all of us come to these sites looking for a deal? If people want to pay retail, just got to a retailer...sort of destroys the whole penny model, doesn't it? If they have the fortitude to stop when they've reached their pre-set limit, then kudos to them. Alot of us could save alot of $$$ if we just put the brakes on once in awhile (myself included).

The over-stated part..."...they complain about PB's that will." (go to retail) I think they complain about PB's that will pay 3x, 4x and 5x retail, not just go to retail. I think they complain about PB's that will go 3x retail to win the 100th ipad of their bidding career. I think they complain because they perceive that even if they wanted to take on one of the PB's, they fear retribution for legitimate competition. The dynamic of big fish/little fish is not so simple in the penny world, IMHO. I'm not saying these folks are right, just saying it goes slightly deeper than your assertion.

Now, the part I'd like to contribute to this dialogue, and it is strictly speculation and opinion...

to dssATpw (sorry the "@" makes it look like an email in my post)--What I have seen as the demise of some penny sites, not all, is the following:

1. Allowing bidders to exchange their wins for bids at retail price. This may seem like a good idea up front, but it does little to even the playing field and, frankly, it creates an uneven playing field. I use 3 bids to bid on a $25 gift card that I know no one is interested in and then exchange that 3 bid investment for 50 bids (just a hypothetical). Meanwhile, the unwitting bidders who are bidding wildly on the 50 bid pack, did not know they were able to exchange their wins for bids. I'm not saying you're doing this, but if it has been proposed to you by any of your bidders, that should be a red flag.

2. Allowing bidders to exchange the $50 toilet store gift card for the $50 electronics superstore gift card (or worse yet, paypal cash). Again, not saying it's happening, but if it has been proposed to you, that should be a red flag. Whatever is advertised in the auction, should be the product awarded, unless you have a clearly stated exchange policy in your T&C or in the auction description. Certain bidders will scoop up the unpopular auctions, knowing that they can exchange them for the popular items or for paypal cash. If it's not clearly stated somewhere, it's unfair to those who were not privvy to the exchange.

3. Giving away free bids, which are not available to all users. Again, not saying you're doing this, just pointing it out. If theres a SNAFU and you give the victim bidder some bids for the SNAFU, that's different, but when bids are being offered merely as a reward for participcation, they should be available to all bidders. If bidders are begging you for free bids for pointing things out or making suggestions, this should be a red flag.

If any of your "whales" fall into the above categories, then I believe you're on the right path with restricting them or cutting off their perks. If they do not, then perhaps a little growth will spur more competition (as B2W said).

OK, I've rambled enough. Best of luck to you!! My experience so far has been great. I won an auction yesterday and received a shipping notice within hours of the auction's end. Kudo's to you pennywarriors for that!! woot

#17

rs9090
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The math is simple...If you have 1oo players and remove the 5 top bidders you will have 5 new top bidders and 95 players

#18

kimbers
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having very few big ticket items limits the power bidders as people will not go up against them as proven on other sites. thus cuts the losses of the site. having limits that are reasonable like 2 a day and 3 or 4 a week also spreads the wealth. Also having fewer auctions limit the exposure of potential losses at the beginning.
now if you have the ten big guns on your site it is destines for failure.

#19

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I visited your site for the first time a few minutes ago. Anything that I would be interested in has been stamped by people I have lost a lot of money to on other sites. No point in even trying.

#20

dss@pw
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BC1:

My point exactly. However, I suspect it's the nature of the animal. Knock 4 off and 4 more step up. We're beginning to build up a sizable group of bidders so it's not quite as devastating as it once was. But, I have to admit it's frustrating to answer all those customer service calls and field complaints about this one and that one. I will admit there is a significant amount of collusion going on in bidder-land. There are little groups that have off-line agreements about auction participation or lack thereof. In that example, it "is" us against them. Then I take a hard-ball stance against them and will not put up with that nonsense. Otherwise, this is a fun little business and I've met some terrific characters since opening.




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