In this article, I will tell you about an original method of getting an iPad for almost free - or, under 5$.
Have you heard of Penny Auctions before? In Canada, the most popular penny auction is BidCactus. Some example items sold at this auction are:
If you win the auction, on top of what the item sells for, you also pay for each bid that you made. At BidCactus, each bid costs you 0.70 CAD. It could take you 1, 5, 10 or 15 bids to win the item. It is a game of luck, basically.
How do Penny Auctions Make Money?
Well, each bid costs around 0.70ct. So if the iPad gets sold in the auction for 10$, it means that 1000 people bid on it, so the auction collected 1000 x 0.70ct = 700$ for it. It is beneficial for the auction, since they make money on the difference of the price of the item and the collected money for it. In fact, it is also beneficial for the winner of the auction, because in the end, the winner didn't spend the full amount of 700$ on bids himself (there were many people bidding), so he might have only spent 0.70ct - bid only once. Then the iPad would have cost him 10$ plus 0.70ct for the bid. Even if he bid 10 times, he would have only spent 17$ total for this item.
The best deals are those, where the auction looses money on the prize. They can afford to do so, because they leverage the cash that they made from other items. When you get a deal like this, you can consider yourself very lucky. For example, look at the screenshot of this ended auction:
The PS3 sold for 2.09 CAD - that means there were 209 bidders. With 0.70ct per bid, the auction made 146 CAD on this item. The value of this prize is 469 CAD, so the auction took a loss of 323 CAD. Even if the winner Rover3537 was the only person bidding 209 times on this item, he would have spent only 146CAD on this PS3. Of course, he wasn't the only bidder, so he likely got an amazing deal on it. And imagine, if he only made one or two bids on this item - then he got the PS3 for $3.49 total!
Most of the time, auction will make around 10% on each item sold. Essentially it doesn't matter whether the auction makes money on the prize or not - the winner still gets a very good deal.
How to Bid Wisely
Be careful, and don't start bidding left and right. Watch it first. Observe what others are doing. It is actually very much fun to watch the penny auction, and you don't even have to be registered to watch it. Watch the bidding board for a little while, see which items are dead, and which ones are highly competitive. Aim for the less competitive item, and wait till it shows Going Once, Going Twice.. and only then click BID.
If you learn the tricks of the trade by observing & watching the auction closely, you will have a good chance to win items for a very low price.
p.s. Here are a few of their banners, that I found online. Clicking on them will bring you to BidCactus page, where you can watch people make bids and check at what prices things get sold for.
I discovered a neat website, which offers free gifts in exchange for referrals. It's freebiejeebies.co.uk. Even though the company is based in UK, they do accept signups from Canada.
Their system works like this. You complete 1 offer (signup for a free trial, order a service, etc). Then, you refer friends, in exchange for a free gift. The more friends you refer, the better gift you qualify for.
Most of the offers require you to purchase about 10$ worth of something - software, trial, services. You can also find offers without the need to pay for anything at all - for example, it will require you to sign up for a free trial.
That is not a very tall price to pay for a free iPad. It will cost you 10$ + work involved promoting this to your friends, to get a free iPad.
They have the following options:
iPad 16GB Wifi Model - 17 referrals
iPad 32GB Wifi Model - 20 referrals
iPad 64GB Wifi Model - 24 referrals
iPad 2 Wifi - 16GB - 20 referrals
iPad 2 Wifi - 32GB - 24 referrals
iPad 2 Wifi - 64GB - 28 referrals
The good news is, that if you fail to find 20 or more friends to sign up, you can change your free gift to something else anytime. For example, you can receive Apple Magic Mouse for only 3 referrals.
Why is it worth it for FreebieJeebies to give away free gifts? Is it a scam?
Well, they are definitely not a scam. They have contracts with advertisers, and get paid for new member signups. When you complete one offer, they get more than 40$ from the advertiser. From this amount, they offer you 30$. The 30$ can be received in cash, or in a form of a free gift. If you refer more friends who complete offers, you get more cash, or a higher value gift. So for 20 referred friends you get a free iPad. FreebieJeebies makes money, you get a free gift, and the advertiser is happy to get a new member signup. Win-win-win situation.
Of course, this option will require a lot of work on your part, promoting this to your friends. But I would highly recommend it, if you cannot afford to buy an iPad yourself. All you have to spend is your time and maybe about 10$. If you have the time to tell about FreebieJeebies to your friends, why not?
Here are some ways you could promote your referral link:
1. Post it on Facebook
2. Post it on Twitter
3. Create a Youtube video
4. Link to it from your blog / Start a blog
5. Email friends and family
7. Write your referral link on dollar bills 🙂
.. the options are unlimited
You know, if you can only find 1 referral, you can choose to receive 30$ cash from FreebieJeebies and forget about them. But your goal is a free iPad, right? The chances that you can convince 20 of your 500 Facebook friends to sign up, are fairly high. It's just a matter of telling them about it.
To take a look at available prizes, go to FreebieJeebies website.
If you already tried googling for new iPad sweepstakes using something like “ipad contests canada 2011″, you likely realized that the results weren’t exactly what you wanted - they might have been outdated, they might have not been the actual contest pages, or they might have been simply discussing iPad contests in general. It’s not very easy to find new, non-expired iPad contests using Google, not knowing how to look for it. I think i can help you with that.
The first thing to do is to enter a strategic search phrase. I recommend:
“no purchase” prize -forum iPad
I use ‘no purchase’, because in general 90% of the rules have this phrase in them. The wording usually varies: ‘no purchase necessary’, ‘no purchase required’, ‘no purchase is required’, etc. Therefore it’s the best to use ‘no purchase’ and the word 'prize' next to it. You can of course use alternative key phrases, like ‘winner selection’, ‘how to enter’, but in my experience, ‘no purchase’ works the best. I also use ‘-forum’ to exclude forum posts and only have actual contest sites in my search results. Strategic search phrase in place. Press ‘Enter’.
But that is not it!
Next, use the sidebar on the left to filter results so that you only have results for Canada. Otherwise, you will see many US-only contests. You will also notice that in addition to the country filtering, your results get sorted by area as well (or, for the most part). For example, I see contests hosted in Ottawa first. And only then, elsewhere in Canada.
After that, choose a time filter from the left sidebar, called ‘Past week'. Of course, filter the time according to your situation. If you’re googling for new iPad contests on a daily basis, you could use ‘Past 24 hours’ option, or if you’re doing it only once a while, use ‘Past month’. You will notice that as soon as you choose time filter, the number of results will be reduced. Just to let you know, the time filter does not necessarily mean the page was created in the past week. It also means that the page was updated, in the past week. Usually pages for old and expired contests don’t get updated, and our filtering method relies on this fact.
Optional Step: Choose to filter by ‘Not yet visited’. Google remembers which pages you have previously seen (unless you cleared you cache in browser settings), and can exclude seen contest pages from your search results. This is a very nice feature.
Then you are done. Go ahead and claim your improved odds on those great iPad contests!