Until recently, reverse auctioning was something only available to corporations sourcing materials. In a regular auction, buyers compete for an item by bidding at the highest price; however, with reverse auctions, sellers compete with each other to sell their merchandise to the buyer for the lowest price.
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Websites like sorcity.com, hedgehog.com, and ariba.com all provide corporate sourcing, spending analyses, and office supplies at low prices, but are only accessible to companies.
DubLi.com, an online marketplace has brought this concept to the general public by having buyers compete to bid at the lowest unique price in order to win an item.
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While still following a general reverse auction model, DubLi offers products way outside the range of business and office supplies. Users can register to bid on items ranging from iPods, to table settings, to gift certificates originally priced at hundreds or even thousands of dollars for up to 98% off.
The important part to note about making a low bid on DubLi, is that the bid needs to be the lowest unique bid – the only bid at that specific price.
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In order to place a bid, DubLi credits are required. Users can purchase them upon registering with the site, and they cost $0.80 apiece. Each time a user places a bid, it costs 1 credit, essentially meaning each bid will cost $0.80.
Buyers can make bids in $0.25 increments and will know as soon as they place their bid whether it is the lowest unique bid at the time. As long as the auction continues, bidders will be notified by e-mail if someone else has bid at their amount, canceling their current status as the lowest unique bidder.
Bidders can actually bid over a range of prices during the duration of the auction; for example, from $1.25 to $2.50, until the last 5 minutes, when only single bids will be allowed.
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DubLi, like some corporate sourcing auction websites like hedgehog.com, also offers a partnership program, in which users pay to become a partner and then create their own DubLi store in order to gain commission off of the credits used by other users to place bids.
This creates a real potential business opportunity, rather than just the chance to sell their own merchandise and pay for shipping like other personal auctioning websites, DubLi takes care of the merchandise and shipping while the user only has to attract buyers to their particular store.
Combining the best of corporate auctioning and personal online marketplaces, DubLi brings the two together in a new way to shop online.