Cebu-based online auction site raring to make a name

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With e-commerce enjoying robust growth in the country, Cebu-headquartered has launched an auction site that particularly caters to the taste of the local market.

yoo_costume_basketball business model works by offering various items and gadgets, which online bidders can acquire for P1.00 or even less. They must, however, compete with other shoppers across the nation.

Bidders can join the auction by ?grabbing? a seat at the auctions via Seat Points, which are converted from their purchased value (P1 peso is equivalent to one Seat Point). Like any auction, the last person to place a bid before the time runs out gets to win the prize.

The company said it patterned the site after the penny auction model, which appeared in early 2012. A penny auction is a type of all-pay auction in which all participants must pay a non-refundable fee to place each small incremental bid. The auction ends after a period of time, typically ten to 20 seconds, without new bids; the last participant to have placed a bid wins the item and also pays the final bid price, which may be significantly lower than the retail price of the item.

?We found it interesting in the sense that users have the opportunity to win items at really low prices. However, we saw the reality that the majority of people did not win and some users spent a considerable amount of time and money and still end up empty handed. With this realization came an opportunity for us to start a business,? it said.

The company initially envisioned Yoobids to be exactly the same as the previous penny auction models with minor improvements like Yoocash. But after a careful research, it came to the conclusion that adopting entirely the original penny auction model did not exactly work in local market.

Thus, it made some tweaks in its business model to suit the habits and customs of the local population. While this contributed to the delay in the launch of the site, these adjustments eventually led to the right formula.

Since its test launch in October, the bidding site has held 50-plus successful auctions.

?More than 75 percent of those auctions were won for free through our General Auctions which users can join using our Promotional Free bid points and the 12 Bid Points given to our users upon registering,? it noted.

The company said it has already applied for a patent for its ?Seat Auction? process and Yoocash system. As part of its future plans, the company is also eyeing to ?open localized versions of the Website in other countries?.

In addition, it is also readying its on-ground invasion of Metro Manila. ?We have 40,000 promotional scratch cards ready and waiting to be distributed to the Manila market,? the company said.

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