Legitimate Deal? iPads for 23 bucks?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by uraniumwilly, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. uraniumwilly macrumors 6502

    Apr 7, 2007
    For several months there's been this advertisement on macrumors for ipads being sold for next to nothing. The funny thing, the adds aren't going away, so it must mean the Better Business Bureau has no case against them and it's not false advertizing. Has anyone bought one at such ridiculous prices?
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Have you clicked on any of these ads to see where they go and if the "23 bucks" part is just a lure?
  3. pintsizemacman macrumors regular


    Sep 26, 2010
  4. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    If your instincts tell you that a site that advertises iPads for $23 is a legitimate opportunity to get one at that price then go for it. These are nothing more than "penny auction" sites where you buy bid credits for the opportunity to bid on an item. The last person that bids when the auction ends "wins." However, the credit fees are non-refundable.

    So let's say you buy a penny credit for 50 cents (some places charge more and others less) and then start "bidding." You're bidding against a number of other individuals who are also paying 50 times the bid value. So never mind that the $23 iPad actually generates well over $1,000 for the site, the important thing to remember is you're buying the right to bid. So unlike other auctions where only the successful bidder pays, ALL bidders pay their non-refundable fees, even if they don't "win" the item.

    And before you try to convince yourself that 50 cents for what is essentially a "raffle" opportunity is a fair deal, remember that you have to be the last bidder to get the item. It's totally stacked against the bidders. They're "legitimate" sites in teh sense that they tell you how they operate upfront, they just count on people not really understanding how they operate.
  5. Alaerian Guest


    Jan 6, 2005
    A barstool, Innis & Gunn in hand
    "If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is."
    Food for thought. :)
  6. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    the Better Business Bureau is not a government agency. It has no enforcement powers nor any authority. They do their best to resolve issues, but in the end, they can't make anyone do anything.
  7. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    The sites aren't doing anything illegal or fraudulent, it's just that many people aren't really paying attention to the details. They're just raffles for suckers.
  8. gatearray macrumors 65816

    Apr 24, 2010
    EDIT: just saw that poloponies got here way first. :)

    These are penny auction websites, kind of a neat idea especially for the proprietors of such websites, as they probably make 10 times the full retail of an iPad after they sell it to you for $23.

    How? I'm no expert, but it goes something like this...

    You pay up front for bidding "credits," and each bid on the item is only a penny, but there are hundreds of bidders, each paying a set amount for each bid they place. The or ice on the item creeps up and up penny by penny, and there is a countdown timer until bidding closes, and the pat timer gets 10 seconds added to it with each bid placed.

    So basically in the end, one lucky bidder is on top when the timer expires and you may have spent $50 trying to win it, meanwhile, there has been 2300 bids placed at something like 50 cents a bid, or close to it. At that rate per bid (maybe more, even) the website just made at least $1150 on the auction, bought the iPad for $499+tax, and the winner pays $23 plus whatever it cost him to make the bid(s).

    No do this 1,000 times a day on everything from cars to household items like cleaning supplies. Pretty good racket, eh? :)
  9. martosprint macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    It works like a raffle, you buy a ticket and hope you win though your chances are slim like with any other raffle ticket. 
  10. uraniumwilly thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 7, 2007
    I wish they would advertise it as such.
  11. kenmarable macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2007
    Or as I like to scare - I mean, explain it to people:

    First, consider eBay auto-bidding where it automatically increments up to your maximum.

    Now, when 2 people on eBay have auto-bidding, it automatically jumps back and forth until it hits the higher maximum.

    Got that?

    To see the difference from eBay, now consider having to pay for each and every one of those auto-bids, regardless of whether you actually win the item or not.

    On many of these, you might "win" an iPad for $23, but spend $800 paying for bids. Or you might be the lucky person who spends $799 on bids, and winds up with no iPad.

    Of course, it just grows worse because you don't want to be the person in for $799 and no iPad, so if you buy just a few more bids you'll surely win... except the other person is thinking the same thing. Oh, and every bid extends the clock giving everyone a chance to buy another bid - including all of those who sat back and watched until the last second to start their bidding. :cool:

    So, no, you can't get an iPad for $23. Can you get an iPad for less than retail? Maybe, if you are really lucky. Can you spend a lot of money and get nothing at all? Almost certainly.
  12. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    As I pointed out above, it's like an anti-raffle. At least when you buy a raffle ticket it has a chance of winning, regardless of how many tickets are sold. With penny auctions you can buy the first thousand "tickets" but have zero possibility of winning because each subsequent bid cancels out all raffle purchases preceding it.

    As to the OP's question of why the sites don't explain it? They do. The fact that people still participate despite the terms being spelled out it as a testament to greed.

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