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, MadBid.com states "MadBid.com 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 http://uk.madbid.com/faq/ and watch how other people bid to see what strategies work best.
There is also a video tutorial available at http://uk.madbid.com/how/ 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 http://uk.madbid.com/responsible_bidding/.
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 http://uk.madbid.com/list_autobids/.
MadBid.com 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!