Sunday 26 June 2011

REVIEW: Website

I was asked to do a review of and given 100 free credits so I could get a feel for it and be able to do a thorough review and this is what I thought...

Signing up to the site was fairly quick and easy - you have to fill out your basic details, however you need to register your mobile phone number in order to receive a verification number to activate your account. I didn't like this, as I don't like giving my mobile phone number out, because no matter how much companies promise not to sell your details or anything, you usually end up getting annoying sales calls anyway. I don't know if that's the case with MadBid or not, but I am always cautious from past experience with other sites. That plus, if you choose not to have a mobile phone, then you are excluded entirely. However, if you do have a mobile phone and don't mind supplying your number, it doesn't add much time to the sign up process and overall, signing up is quick and simple. However, states " asks for your mobile number so we know you are a real person with only one account and not a computer and so we can alert you when you win."

You get 2 free bids just for signing up, so it gives you an opportunity to have a little try out with it before you commit to buying credits. In fact, you can participate in the rookie/newbie auctions which gives you a good chance of winning and with my first 2 bids I won 25 bids for 1p (well 50p when you include the bizarre 49p p&p which I didn't get at all??) and 50 bids for 1p (again 50p by the time you add postage for a virtual item!!).

After signing up, it is a good idea to look over the FAQs and watch how other people bid to see what strategies work best.

There is also a video tutorial available at if you are still unsure.

When I started bidding on the non-beginner auctions, I found I quickly got through my 100 bids and the other 75 I had won too. I jumped in a little too quickly I think and quickly got through about 100, before pacing myself and trying to be a little more strategic, but by this point, I didn't have many bids left and quickly got through those too. With 175 bids, I never even got 1 win :(

I found it easy to get carried away and you can see why they recommend you that you only spend what you can afford as it is as easily addictive as gambling and easy to spend a lot of money (more than you can afford) trying to win something that you may not even win in the end anyway - refer to

Each bid costs up to 6 bids (the newbie ones are 1 bid, but bigger items like laptops may be 6 bids  for each bid).

If you are in the middle of bidding but need to go out or go to bed or something, you can simply use the auto-bid feature to carry on bidding for you - you can find out more at works with The Children's Trust too, and hold regular auctions whereby all the profits are given to the charity - so it's nice to see they are giving something back too.

I can't say I managed to master a great strategy to help me win lots of stuff at bargain prices - but I wish I had!

It was fun, however, though very addictive. There are some great prizes up for grabs everyday - some of the things on offer today include a Nintendo 3DS, £200 cash, an Apple MacBook Pro and much more. A £75 Debenhams gift card just ended at just 38p! £1,000 cash sold for just £75.16! There are some real bargains to be had if you are just lucky enough to be the winner. I do wonder how much people end up spending before they get a good win, however.  A bargain is great, but if you've spent 3 times as much as your win is worth getting it, you might as well have just gone out and bought it in the first place - that's just my opinion, however! I guess you could look at it that you're paying for entertainment and it's a bonus if you win a bargain, but I got through almost £25 in value worth of bids and got nothing in return - granted because of the 100 bids to review and the 75 for £1 I won, then I only lost £1, but I'd be far more annoyed having lost almost £25 in money and gaining nothing.

The cost of bids are as follows:
£374.99 -> 3,750 bids (normally 1,500 bids)
£194.99 -> 1,950 bids (normally 750 bids)
£99.99 -> 1,000 bids (normally 375 bids)
£27.99 -> 275 bids (normally 100 bids)
£14.99 -> 135 bids (normally 50 bids)
£9.99 -> 80 bids (normally 30 bids)

So, how would I rate this site overall? Well, for entertainment 10/10, time wasting 10/10, chance of winning at a profit 1/10, cost of bids 4/10, choice of prizes for auctions 10/10, ease of use 10/10. Overall, maybe 5/10 - simply because it is fun, but it is also addictive. That plus, unless you are lucky, you might have to spend a lot before getting a decent win. I guess I'm biased based on the fact that I didn't win however, so maybe if I'd have been more strategic and won with those first lot of credits, I'd have been shouting out more praises - I guess what I'm trying to say is, your perception of the site will likely change based on how you do the first time you use it - you win, you're happy, whereas you lose, you're annoyed at having wasted your time and money!

New customers who don't win, get their bid package refunded the next day to try again which is a bonus!


  1. All that is quite true but what you didn't experience was the auto-deduction of your account which they now do! £90 from my account fro a opt out contract that is virtually un-seeable. It's a rip off and a good one because you have to fight and fight for your money back

  2. Anonymous above is referring to the fairly new 'rapid recharge' feature, whereby when your credit balance falls below 20 credits the site automatically buys additional credits on your behalf. The idea behind it is that, if you are busy bidding on an auction, you might not realise you are running low on credits, and if you suddenly run out you don't want to spend time faffing about buying more. I, however, have opted out of the feature (which is pretty easy to do: you just untick a box), as I prefer only to buy credits when there is an offer on.

  3. You should not have to opt out of this. This could cost a lot of money, especially if used in conjunction with the auto-bid feature. This should definitely be an opt-in. Also hiding the information about rapid recharge on page 22 of the T's & C's is devious at best and criminal at worst.

    1. these scum bags took 40 pound out of my account b4 i realized what was happening, yes ignorance on my part, i thought they would request my permission. they dont answer their customer service calls or online help. its near impossible to win, my advice would be dontgo near this site. theiving morons

    2. It is criminal, it's an offense to not make obvious any features that could cost you money. If the feature is not made either clear or obvious on sign up they could be open to legal action. Although you would need to check the legal definition of making it clear and obvious.

  4. I had put what I thought was 30 pounds on and the rapid button was on without me knowing it. I am now 130 pounds down. I thought this was like e bay if you do not win you do not pay. I feel sick over this as I dont have the money which I want back. The terms and conditions do not come up to agree this first, you have to find them. I sent an e mail to cancel my account but very worried now about this. I dont gamble and have never owned a credit card. Any help with this appreciated.

  5. This happened to me. I bought 27 pound something of credit on this and did not realise the rapid credit was on. I had just registered and did not know about this feature and by the time I realised I was 130 pounds down. I was very upset as I also did not realise this was a gambling site as it is not advertised as one. I have explained this in an e mail and they will not refund my money back and I have nothing to show for it. I then sent another e mail to state that this is fraud as this feature is hidden and guess what a week later and no response. I am going to call The Trading Standards tomorrow as this is not advertised on the television as a gambling site. I hope enough people complain to them for them to take action. I have read lots on comments on the web who have also had the same experience.I have also sent an e mail to watch dog.

  6. pissed off as well20 April 2014 at 08:05

    contact your bank and block all future payments to them

  7. Here's few pointers;

    Every aspect of is heavily stacked against the bidders. From the ridiculous situation where users have to pay, up front, for each bid, in the form of credits - to the auto-bidding process, which can wipe out 1000 of your credits (approx. £100) in less than 30 mins, sooner if the bid duration time is down to 5 seconds:

    1. There are never more than 10 or 12 auctions on the go at any one time. thereby ensuring that there are many bidders for each auction.

    2. There is no search facility on the site, so you can only bid on whatever items are currently live.

    3. Each item carries a 'multiple credits' figure, e.g. 4x 5x 6x 8x - meaning each bid costs the bidder these multiples in credits.

    4. Each auction item can only have ONE winner. So, all other bidders lose the credits they have just used in bidding. They do offer a discount on an item's RRP based on the amount of credits used by the bidder, but these offers expire after a short time and anyway, if you add the cost of the spent credits to the discounted price, you end up paying the full RRP anyway.

    5. Auctions can last for days, so even if you are prepared to monitor the auction over a very long period, you will still have no idea when the optimum auction price has been reached and consequently, it's impossible to judge when the best time to start bidding would be.

    6. I work in the IT industry and can see that their site uses very sofistcated software - this makes me wonder if these auctions are kept running artificially. A little tweak in the programme could easily place a robotic bid just as it looks like the auction is about to end. Just a thought from my suspicious mind.

    7. When all the spent credits and final auction price are totted up, madbid are probably raking in much much more than the value of the auction item.

    Bottom line:
    Don't get involved
    They describe themselves as the 'No.1 fun shopping site' when in reality, it's just a money making exercise on behalf of the owners. A casino where bidders have very little chance of actually getting a bargain or even winning.

  8. I would like to cancel my MadBid account but all I can find in their T&C's is "The Company provides the instructions on how to achieve this on its Web Site" but where?

    I would also like a refund of my initial deposit (no purchases made) but reading this and other forums I'm not holding my breath!

  9. How do you get out of this site with your money intact, (I have never made a bid on this site)?
    where do you re-sign from this site, I've looked and can't find it anywhere, and that includes "Terms & Conditions"?

  10. Reply to Anonymous 24 August 2014 17:00 from Anonymous 24 July 2014 11:43

    This is the reply from MadBid when I asked how to cancel my account:

    You can delete your account by going to "my information" after clicking your name at the top of the screen.
    Then you click "edit settings".
    then at the bottom of this screen you will be able to close the account.