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.
One of the best ways to get a free iPad is to enter contests, where sponsors offer Apple iPad as a prize. You can find many such contests online. Some are only open to Canadians, and this restriction gives you better odds of winning. For example, this contest is open to Canada only:
It is hosted by PrizeToday, a well known Canadian contest sponsor.
There are many different sweepstakes and contests available online, with a variety of prizes. Apple iPad is probably the most popular prize, that is being offered these days. This guarantees that you can find and enter at least 25 iPad contests today.
The more iPad contests exist, the better your chances! If you tried googling for them, but had a hard time finding recent Canadian giveaways, read my article on 'How to Google for iPad Contests and Sweepstakes'.
Another type of contests for iPad in Canada, is where you have to complete a survey, in order to get an entry to the contest. Most of them are legitimate, but make sure to always read the fine print, or contest rules & regulations.
One survey that I would recommend, is by CanadianPrizes.com:
They run this contest continuously, giving away one iPad every three months. Many people are lazy to fill out surveys, so your odds of winning are higher. This survey being limited to Canadians, also increases your chances.
When I win something, other people say: "You're so lucky!.." Well, let me tell you something. All it takes to win is one entry. If you never enter anything, how can you expect to win? I simply ENTER those contests. And that is how I build my own luck.
Don't be lazy and you will become lucky too!
Another way to get a free iPad is to sign up to be a tester, like on this website:
The big question is: Can you in fact receive a free iPad this way? I found myself asking this same question, is this really possible? It sounded too good to be true! Is it a scam? We all know there are a lot of phishing scams being passed around, so taking every precaution is a given.
One of the most common asked questions is "Why would a company give away an iPad, or an iPhone for free?". Big companies, such as Apple, are willing to give you free merchandise - in exchange for a little work.
They may be willing to give out a limited amount of their merchandise for free, because they want you to test out their new products. In return for their product, they want you to report back to them with an honest and constructive opinion about your experience, and any faults or issues you found when using it. The company may hold you to their expectations, such as reporting on a daily basis, writing about your experience with the product. Failure to do so may result in the company taking back their giveaway. Major companies will not let you test out two separate products at the same time, meaning: you cannot be given the iPad and the iPhone at the same time. If you see an offer with two items at the same time, it is most likely a scam - steer clear of it.
I recommend this website if you want to become a tester - it is well known and holds a trustworthy reputation in Canada.
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!