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This strategy article is the work of Emma Stebbins, a Probability & Statistics Major at the College of William & Mary. Emma contributes top-notch strategy articles for our loyal readers. Her detailed analysis of penny auction data will help bidders in their quest to develop a QuiBids gift card strategy.

QuiBids is one of the largest penny auction websites out there, with hundreds of auctions going on every hour. I spent a day collecting data from one of the larger groups of auctions – the $25 gift cards.

For this analysis, I grouped the cards into five categories: Gas, Health and Leisure, Home and Office, Restaurant, and Miscellaneous. Each of these categories (except Miscellaneous) held specific cards for names like Walmart, Subway, and ExxonMobil. All categories also had “You Choose It” cards, which allow the winner to pick one card of their choosing from that category. Miscellaneous contained gift cards that spanned multiple categories, and are simply labeled as “$25 Gift Card – You Choose It” on the site. Some cards from each category are also bundled with a bonus, either an additional 20 bids or a gameplay (which allows the user to play for free bids).

QuiBids Gift Card Strategy

Which $25 gift cards were the cheapest/most expensive on QuiBids?
At around 35 cents per card, Health and Leisure went for nearly twenty-five cents less than the average card ($0.59). CVS cards averaged even lower. Home and Office came in second at $0.56, though Walmart cards averaged $0.75. Gas cards cost around $0.60 with Shell averaging five cents lower and Exxon eighteen cents higher. Restaurants averaged $0.62, with Subway falling around $0.70. The Miscellaneous category was the most expensive, at around $0.91 per card.

The cards with the lowest maximum prices were Health and Leisure ($3.29), Miscellaneous ($4.55), and Gas ($4.62). The two highest were Home and Office ($6.56) and Restaurants ($7.72).

That being said, if you’re going to bid at $25 gift cards at QuiBids, the data suggests that you target gift cards in the Health & Leisure category. CVS gift cards tend to go for cheap. If you’re looking to bid on gift cards in other categories, try focusing on Staples (Home & Office) or Shell (Gas).

How do the auction bonuses affect the selling price?
The average card without a bonus attached sold for $0.31, though auctions went as high as $5.15. Auctions with the gameplay bonus were among the most expensive. On average, these cards went for $1.95, and sold for as high as $7.72. The 20 bid bonus, meanwhile, raised the average selling price of a card to $0.60 and sold for up to $4.39.

In other words, you should avoid auctions with a gameplay bonus unless you really love the QuiBids games. The bonus subtracts more value than it adds, even if you win a few voucher bids in the game.

Which $25 gift cards had the most bids on QuiBids?
The highest number of bids was an ExxonMobil card with a gameplay bonus, which sold for only 3.86, but required the winner to use 108 bids. In the auctions requiring more than 40 bids, about 29% were Gas, 24% Home and Office, 19% Restaurants, and 14% Miscellaneous and Health and Leisure.

More than half (52%) of these cards had a gameplay bonus, while 29% had a 20 bid bonus attached.

How many auctions had no bidders?
Surprisingly, about 21% of the auctions ended without any users bidding on them. Health and Leisure led with 33%, followed by Home and Office (22%), Gas (20%), and Restaurants (19%). Only 11% of the Miscellaneous cards did not sell.

Of the cards without bidders, 14% had the 20 bid bonus attached. All cards with a gameplay sold for a price (though this price went as low as $0.04).

Which $25 gift card auctions had the lowest savings?
Of the auctions in which a bidder spent the most in return for the least amount of savings, 29% were for Gas, 24% Home and Office, 18% for Miscellaneous and Restaurants, and 12% Health and Leisure. Additionally, 65% were bidding on a card with a gameplay, and 12% were bidding on cards with 20 bonus bids.*

*Because the value of a gameplay cannot be calculated, its price was not included in savings calculations. The bonus bids were given a value of $12 (20 x $0.60).

So here’s are some inferences you can make from the data:

Best $25 Gift Card Auctions at Quibids (based on average price, savings)

  1. CVS (Health and Leisure)
  2. Home Depot
  3. Choice (Home and Office)

Worst $25 Gift Card Auctions at Quibids (based on average price, savings)

  1. Choice (Miscellaneous)
  2. Exxon (Gas)
  3. Walmart (Home and Office)
$25 Gift Card Prices (by category)
Prices: Lowest Highest Average
Gas $.00 $4.62 $.60
Miscellaneous $.00 $4.55 $.91
Health & Leisure $.00 $3.29 $.35
Home & Office $.00 $6.56 $.56
Restaurant $.00 $7.72 $.62
All Categories $.00 $7.72 $.59
With No Bonus $.00 $5.15 $.31
With 20 Bids $.00 $4.39 $.60
With Gameplay $.04 $7.72 $1.95
$25 Gift Card Prices Extended Analysis (by store and category)
Prices: Store Lowest Highest Average
Gas Choice $.00 $4.62 $.53
  Exxon $.00 $3.86 $.78
  Shell $.00 $3.38 $.55
Health & Leisure Choice $.00 $3.29 $.41
  CVS $.00 $1.59 $.29
Home & Office Choice $.00 $4.88 $.41
  Home Depot $.00 $4.39 $.53
  Walmart $.00 $6.56 $.75
Restaurant Choice $.00 $3.54 $.54
  Subway $.00 $7.72 $.70
Miscellaneous Choice $.00 $4.55 $.91
$25 Gift Card Ending Prices
Prices Percentage
No Bids 21.33%
1¢ – 5¢ 27.42%
6¢ – 50¢ 24.65%
51¢ – $1.00 8.03%
$1.01 – $3 13.03%
Above $3 5.26%
$25 Gift Card Data Availability (in other words, the percentage of total auctions per category )
Prices Percentage
Gas 23.82%
Miscellaneous 12.47%
Health & Leisure 14.96%
Home & Office 32.69%
Restaurant 16.07%
With No Bonus 68.70%
With Bids 17.17%
With Gameplay 14.13%

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