How does MadBid Work?

This is how MadBid works, in a nutshell: you sign-up, you buy some credits and you use up those credits bidding on auctions. You are charged per bid so that each time you bid on an auction a certain number of credits come out of your account. How many credits come out depends on what you’re bidding on. Bidding on an iPhone is going to cost you more in credits than bidding on a kettle. 5 credits more, to be exact, or 50p. Why 50p? Credits normally cost 10p each, so every time you bid on an iPhone you effectively spend 80p. On a kettle, 30p.

Buying credits

Credits come in packages of different sizes (x-small, small, medium, etc). Don’t buy the x-small or small packs or you will pay more per credit than is necessary. Instead, buy a medium credit pack or bigger and pay 10p per credit. Even better still, buy a medium credit pack or bigger with a BOGOF code (more on promo codes) and pay just 5p per credit. Once you have bought some credits you are ready to bid. Hurrah!


Let’s pretend from now on that there is an iPhone auction running as it’s easier to talk about a specific auction than auctions in general. You decide that you want to bid on it and place a bid by clicking on the ‘bid’ button. It costs 8 credits to bid on an iPhone, so 8 credits fly out of your account, never to be seen again. If no one bids on the auction again before the timer reaches zero then you are the winner: the last bidder wins.

If someone does bid before the clock hits nought they will become the last bidder. If no one else bids after them in time then they will be the winner and you will have effectively lost 80p.

The auction will have opened at 0p and risen in price by 1p every time someone bid on it. So when you placed your bid the price will have risen by 1p, meaning that if you were the 23rd bidder then the price will have risen to 23p. If you won with the 23rd bid then the final price would be 23p. In total you would pay the final price, 23p, plus a small (few pounds) admin fee, plus shipping (£9.99 for an iPhone).

Think you’ve got the hang of the basics of how MadBid works? Good, but before you start bidding on auctions for real, you should know what autobidding is and what Buy Now auctions are. If I had known about the latter feature when I was bidding on my first auction (a Kindle), I wouldn’t have lost quite so much money! And if you don’t use the former, everyone will assume you are a noob and you will have a hard time winning auctions. Best read up on them then, huh?

I often think that MadBid is much easier to describe on-screen than off, so I made a YouTube video that will hopefully serve as a useful introduction to the site. Here it is. Enjoy.

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