This wonderful story from Internet Retailer does a nice job of detailing this cocoon of complexity: "In order to see the current price of a prepaid card, which is guaranteed to be at least $1.50 less than the card’s face value, shoppers first have to use a token called a Little Biddee Thing, which costs 99 cents. Each time a customer views the current price of a card, the price automatically drops 50 cents. If the shopper is the only person viewing the card, he has 30 seconds to buy the card at the current price," the story said. "If another person is already viewing the card, the shopper enters a queue before he can see the card’s price. If the card is purchased while the shopper is still in the queue, the shopper will be transferred to the next auction for the same product. An auction ends when someone purchases a card or when its price reaches zero. The last shopper gets the card for free." Of course. What could be more natural?
As eBay has discovered, there's a lot of money to be made in them thar online auctions. So it’s no surprise that lots of startups are trying to creatively find their own slice of the auction pie. But a site called Biddees, from the people who brought you shoes.com, is taking an unusual approach that just may prove to be the most needlessly complicated auction site in quite some time.