After using the QuiBids site for under a week it became obvious to me that
watching the bidding history is key to winning. So I looked deeper into
what could be done and what data could be found. From this came the BidTracker project.
This program watches the data coming to your
browser from the QuiBids site, other than that, it does not interact with the QuiBids site at all. Using this thought,
it helps you do a few things. Does it help you win, possibly, but almost as important, it helps you not loose. That is, by using that data you can tell if it is
'wise' to join the auction at the current point. Many times I see people joining, spending a few hundred bids attempting to win. They do this when another bidder has
already invested 800 or 1000 or even 1600 bids and continues to bid. I think this is the biggest error made
by users, you really must wait for such a user to either win or
leave. If you are super human, you might be able to track the bid history information on the screen for all the
bidders in an given auction as it goes by and add it all up, then again
that is the exact type of thing a computer does VERY well.
What BidTrcker does at the most fundamental level, is see the current state of the auction, including the number of active bidders(filtered by 1/2/3/5 minutes etc) and how
many bids of each type they have placed. Also, it can tell you the overall state of the auction, how fast it has been moving(minute
by minute breakdown). Also, very importantly, it outlines the number of
stockers in an auction. A define a stocker as a person who ONLY bids at 1
second on the clock. If an auction has more than 4 stockers, it usually is a
waste to start bidding at that time, the stockers will prolong the auction
and you are just wasting your bids.
Now all this data becomes most helpful in slightly longer lasting auctions. That is, ones that go over a few dollars, otherwise the data does not reveal that much. So if you are just
trying to win small voucher auctions, it may be of little help. For large items, computers, TV's etc, I do believe it could help a lot.
Here is an example of the screen.
At $31.64 dollars(3164 bids) into this auction, you can see one user entered at the very start and has not stopped, thus doing more than 1000 bids. Others, spent over 2100(3100-1000) bids
against that user to no avail. They should have been wiser and just waited for that user to win or leave, going against that person was foolish and expensive.
Short sample video
If you think this program might be something you could use, the cost is cheap, $50 USD. Which I think it will help you save more than that fast if you are an auction user of
QuiBids. For now it works on Windows only since I have not had time to verify it elsewhere.
Update: I recently purchased one of the new (mid-2011) MacBook Air computers. I can now confirm that the program also works on Mac OS Lion. It was very unclear to me what could be used in replacement
of wireshark on the mac. The answer, well, WireShark. Seems it works on mac also! Thus my program also works on the Mac OS.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org