Across Asia live streaming auctions are becoming the new latest trend in online shopping, but what are the pitfalls one should be wary of before jumping on the next big thing?
1 – Ghost bidders:
Ghost bidders bid an amount to drive up the price of an item but have no intention of buying it. Many work with the seller to drive the bids higher.
2 – How to spot them:
Ghost bidders increase the price by SG$10-SG$10 whilst most genuine bidders only bid around SG$5 at a time. Also ghost bidders don’t ask original questions regarding the product being sold and usually mimic real bidders questions.
3 – Check for a timer:
Legitimate auctions usually have a time limit for buyers to place their bids, but when there is none, it means the auctioneer can delay closing the auction to gain more money. A timer ensures that everything is fair.
4 – Amazon rejects:
Many bidders have found that some items being sold on live-stream auctions are returns or defects from Amazon. To spot an item from an Amazon pallet, look for a return label with a bar code with “a four-digit number or maybe an alphanumeric” — advised Amoz Lee, who owns web auction house Lelong Factory.
5 – Selling old as new:
Some sellers are upfront about defective items but others are not. Bidders have reported of receiving earphones that looked “greasy”, as if they had been used and electronic items not working at all.
With live-stream auctions being mostly unregulated, (as auctions can be held from big companies to individuals) bidders will have to have their wits about them before making any serious bids.