The £180,000 flat that is for sale to the lowest bidder

Looks like a promising way to enter the British housing market… I think this model could work here in Taiwan…

[quote]

The £180,000 flat that is for sale to the lowest bidder


http://www.humraz.com/
In a radical new kind of auction, this £180,000 flat may soon be sold for a figure between £9,000 and a single penny. But is it too good to be true? Is there a catch? And how do we all sign up?
By Helen Brown
Published: 20 June 2007

So, the apartment is valued at £180,000," I say, very slowly, “but you’re selling it online for less than £9,000.” Former Bupa IT boss Asmat Monaghan and her two daughters, Amberine and Hinna smile and nod patiently. Experience has taught me that, in the property world, any number that sounds too good to be true is exactly that. I’m equally suspicious of internet bargains. When I put the words “property” , “internet” and “bargain” into the search engine of my brain, the result is “scam”…

…Then on a trip to India the family found themselves watching a televised auction in which the lowest unique bid won the item. There was a fee for each bid. Once enough people’s bid fees had covered the price of the lot, laptops worth £1,000 could go for as little as tuppence…

…The £3 per bid fee is small beans compared to the costs incurred by participants in a traditional property auction…

http://classified.independent.co.uk/property/article2677003.ece[/quote]

Singaporeans are bidding… http://blog.humraz.com/blog/_archives/2007/3/18/2815500.html

Reverse auctions are great (for the auctioneer :smiley:) because what is essentially a gamble feels to the bidders like a real game of skill where they can outwit their opponents. These things are quite popular in the UK now where you bid via premium rate text message billed at anything up to GBP1.50.

The guys pushing these things are very smart - essentially you have no greater chance of winning than picking, say, lottery numbers, but most people will automatically think, ‘hey, I’m smart, I can beat the other bidders’. Kind of like spread trading etc.

I don’t think its sustainable.

serious collusion possibilities exist, that would seem to be a major weakness.