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How it Works


How Our GiftCards4Less Highest Unique Blind Bid Gift Card Auctions Work

We offer select gift cards for sale via our GiftCards4Less Highest Unique Blind Bid Gift Card Auctions, where you can bid to buy gift cards for a fraction of their face value!

Our GiftCards4Less Highest Unique Blind Bid Gift Card Auctions differ from traditional auctions.  In a traditional auction, the goal is to place the highest overall bid.  The bidder with the highest overall bid wins the auction and is able to purchase the auction item for an amount equal to his/her highest overall bid.  With our GiftCards4Less Highest Unique Blind Bid Gift Card Auctions, the goal is to place the Highest Unique Bid.  The bidder with the Highest Unique Bid wins the auction and is able to purchase the gift card for an amount equal to his/her Highest Unique Bid.

How The Highest Unique Bid Is Determined

In our GiftCards4Less Highest Unique Blind Bid Gift Card Auctions, a bid must meet TWO requirements to be deemed the Highest Unique Bid.  The Highest Unique Bid is a bid amount that is:
  1. Highest – a bid amount submitted closest to (and may be equal to) the Max. Bid Amount for the Auction; AND
  2. Unique – a bid amount submitted where no other bidder has bid the exact same amount.
In our GiftCards4Less Highest Unique Blind Bid Gift Card Auctions, bidders submit their bids in a limited range, equal to or less than the maximum bid amount ("Max. Bid Amount") listed for each gift card Auction all the way down to $0.01.  The Max. Bid Amount varies depending on the value of the gift card up for auction:
  • A $  50 Blind Bid Gift Card Auction has a Max. Bid Amount of $1.
  • A $100 Blind Bid Gift Card Auction has a Max. Bid Amount of $2.
  • A $250 Blind Bid Gift Card Auction has a Max. Bid Amount of $4.
  • A $500 Blind Bid Gift Card Auction has a Max. Bid Amount of $8.
For our $50 GiftCards4Less Highest Unique Blind Bid Gift Card Auctions, bidders can submit their bids equal to or less than $1 down to $0.01.  For our $100 Highest Unique Blind Bid Gift Card Auctions, bidders can submit their bids equal to or less than $2 down to $0.01.  For our $250 GiftCards4Less Highest Unique Blind Bid Gift Card Auctions, bidders can submit their bids equal to or less than $4 down to $0.01.  And for our $500 GiftCards4Less Highest Unique Blind Bid Gift Card Auctions, bidders can submit their bids equal to or less than $8 down to $0.01.  The bidder with the Highest Unique Bid (or the Highest Duplicate Bid in the event that there are no unique bids at the close of the auction -- see "Strategic Considerations" for more details) wins the auction and is able to purchase the gift card for an amount equal to his/her Highest Unique Bid!

Bidders pay a Bid Fee for each bid they submit.  For our $50 GiftCards4Less Highest Unique Blind Bid Gift Card Auctions, we offer a standard Bid Fee of $2/bid.  For our $100, $250, and $500 GiftCards4Less Highest Unique Blind Bid Gift Card Auctions, we offer a choice of three different Bid Fee structures: $3/bid, $5/bid, or $9/bid.

Strategic Considerations: The strategy of waiting to place your bids until an Auction is about to close may not necessarily be the most successful approach, particularly if there are no unique bids.  If at the close of an auction every bid submitted was duplicated by one or more additional exact same bids, then there are no unique bids for that Auction.  In the unlikely event that there are no unique bids at the close of the Auction, then the FIRST bidder to submit a bid closest (or equal) to the Max. Bid Amount for the Auction has the Highest Duplicate Bid and will be deemed the winner of the Auction.  In this scenario, it is very important to get your bids in early, rather than waiting to submit your bids just before an Auction is about to close.  You may want to keep this in mind for strategic purposes as you submit your bids.

How To Start Bidding
  1. Register: Complete the GiftCards4Less Registration Form.  Note that at the close of an Auction, your Username, city, and state will be displayed in the bidding details.


  2. Fund Your Account: In order to start submitting bids in any of our GiftCards4Less Highest Unique Blind Bid Gift Card Auctions, you will need to deposit funds into your Bidding Account.  Once you have registered, click the "add funds" link (next to your "Bidding Account Balance").  Then enter the amount you would like to deposit into your Bidding Account.  Note that we require a minimum deposit of $10 each time you add funds to your Bidding Account.  Next click on the "Submit Funds" link and you will be taken to the PayPal website to complete your deposit transaction.  Funds will be credited to your Bidding Account Balance once we receive confirmation of your payment from PayPal.


  3. Submit Your Bid: Simply click on the "bid now" link below the GiftCards4Less Highest Unique Blind Bid Gift Card Auction that interests you.  Enter a bid amount, confirm your bid amount, and then click on the "submit bid" button.  Once you have submitted your bid, you will get immediate feedback as to whether your bid is a unique bid or a duplicate bid via "My Bidding History For This Auction."  Your Bidding History will show the date and time of your bid, the amount of your bid, and the current status of your bid as a highest unique bid, unique bid, highest duplicate bid or duplicate bid.  If you want to submit additional bids, simply enter a new bid amount, confirm your bid amount, and click on the "submit bid" button. Note that during an open Auction, the Highest Unique Bid may frequently change as additional bidders submit their bids.  The status of a bidder's unique bid could change to a duplicate bid at any time if any other bidder bids the exact same amount.
Information About Our Free Live GiftCards4Less Demo Practice Auctions

Step 1 – Choosing a Practice Auction

Below is a screenshot of three demo GiftCards4Less Highest Unique Blind Bid Gift Card Auctions, for purposes of illustration.  Three $100 Sears gift cards are up for auction in this demo screenshot.  One has a $3 Bid Fee, the second has a $5 Bid Fee, and the third has a $9 Bid Fee.

Generally, a higher Bid Fee requires fewer total bids to close the Auction.  The first Auction with a $3 Bid Fee requires a total of 74 bids to close the Auction.  The second Auction with a $5 Bid Fee requires a total of 44 bids to close the Auction.  And the third Auction with a $9 Bid Fee requires a total of 25 bids to close the Auction.

$100 Sears

Auction ID#:126
Start Date:3/15/2009
Bid Fee:$3.00
Max. Bid Amount:$2.00
Max. # of Bids per Person:25
Bids Required to Close:74
bid now
$100 Sears

Auction ID#:125
Start Date:3/15/2009
Bid Fee:$5.00
Max. Bid Amount:$2.00
Max. # of Bids per Person:15
Bids Required to Close:44
bid now
$100 Sears

Auction ID#:127
Start Date:3/15/2009
Bid Fee:$9.00
Max. Bid Amount:$2.00
Max. # of Bids per Person:8
Bids Required to Close:25
bid now
 
Step 2 – Submitting Practice Bids

Each demo practice Auction begins with a $100 "Bidding Account Balance" for use in practice bidding.  Enter a bid amount, confirm your bid amount, and then click on the "submit bid" button.

Notice the Max. Bid Amount for Auction ID# 129, shown below.  The Max. Bid Amount listed for the Auction is the maximum amount that you can bid to purchase the gift card.  Bidders can submit their bids equal to or less than the Max. Bid Amount down to $0.01 for this Auction.

Below is an example of how Auction ID# 129 may look after several practice bids have been submitted.



Step 3 – Analyzing Your Bidding History

Once you have submitted your first bid, you will get immediate feedback as to the current status of your bid in your Auction account under the section titled "My Bidding History for This Auction." Your Bidding History will show the date and time of your bid, the amount of your bid, and the current status of your bid as either a unique bid, a duplicate bid, the highest unique bid, or the highest duplicate bid:

Unique Bid – A unique bid is a bid that is not identical to any other bid submitted in the Auction; a unique bid is one in which the amount bid is the only one of that value because it has not been submitted by any other bidder.  

Duplicate Bid – A duplicate bid is a bid that is identical to at least one other bid submitted in the Auction; a duplicate bid is one in which the amount bid is not the only one of that value because it has been sibmitted by at least one other bidder.  

Highest Unique Bid – The Highest Unique Bid is a bid amount that is both: (1) Highest - a bid amount submitted closest (or equal) to the Max. Bid Amount for the Auction; and (2) Unique -- a bid amount submitted where no other bidder has bid the exact same amount.  

Highest Duplicate Bid – The Highest Duplicate Bid will only be displayed in the event there are no unique bids in an Auction.  If at the close of an Auction every bid submitted was duplicated by one or more additional exact same bids, then there are no unique bids for that Auction.  In the unlikely event that there are no unique bids submitted by the close of the Auction, then the FIRST bidder of the two or more bidders who bid closest (or equal) to the Max. Bid Amount for the Auction is deemed to have the Highest Duplicate Bid and will be declared the winner of the Auction.

The Bid Status of bids submitted changes between unique, duplicate, and highest unique as additional bids are submitted in an auction.  For example, of the following six bids submitted thus far in an open Auction with a Max. Bid Amount of $2.00 -- $1.98 and $1.99 are unique bids.  [Note that the $1.99 bid is also currently the Highest Unique Bid - see the Highest Unique Bid definition above.]


Unique Bids, Highest Unique Bid, and Duplicate Bids
Bid #1  $1.94- highest unique bid 3/16/2009 1:01:10 PM

Bid #1  $1.94- highest unique bid 3/16/2009 1:01:10 PM
Bid #2  $1.48- unique bid 3/16/2009 1:10:44 PM

Bid #1  $1.94- unique bid 3/16/2009 1:01:10 PM
Bid #2  $1.48- unique bid 3/16/2009 1:10:44 PM
Bid #3  $1.98- highest unique bid 3/16/2009 2:05:01 PM

Bid #1  $1.94- unique bid 3/16/2009 1:01:10 PM
Bid #2  $1.48- duplicate bid 3/16/2009 1:10:44 PM
Bid #3  $1.98- highest unique bid 3/16/2009 2:05:01 PM
Bid #4  $1.48- duplicate bid 3/16/2009 2:30:59 PM

Bid #1  $1.94- unique bid 3/16/2009 1:01:10 PM
Bid #2  $1.48- duplicate bid 3/16/2009 1:10:44 PM
Bid #3  $1.98- unique bid 3/16/2009 2:05:01 PM
Bid #4  $1.48- duplicate bid 3/16/2009 2:30:59 PM
Bid #5  $1.99- highest unique bid 3/17/2009 8:30:59 AM

Bid #1  $1.94- duplicate bid 3/16/2009 1:01:10 PM
Bid #2  $1.48- duplicate bid 3/16/2009 1:10:44 PM
Bid #3  $1.98- unique bid 3/16/2009 2:05:01 PM
Bid #4  $1.48- duplicate bid 3/16/2009 2:30:59 PM
Bid #5  $1.99- highest unique bid 3/17/2009 8:30:59 AM
Bid #6  $1.94- duplicate bid 3/17/2009 8:30:59 AM


Below is an example of how a Highest Duplicate Bid appears in an Auction with a Max. Bid Amount of $2.00

Highest Duplicate Bid
Bid #1  $1.94- highest unique bid 3/16/2009 1:01:10 PM

Bid #1  $1.94- highest unique bid 3/16/2009 1:01:10 PM
Bid #2  $1.48- unique bid 3/16/2009 1:01:10 PM

Bid #1  $1.94- highest unique bid 3/16/2009 1:01:10 PM
Bid #2  $1.48- duplicate bid 3/16/2009 1:01:10 PM
Bid #3  $1.48- duplicate bid 3/16/2009 1:10:44 PM

Bid #1  $1.94- highest duplicate bid 3/16/2009 1:01:10 PM
Bid #2  $1.48- duplicate bid 3/16/2009 1:01:10 PM
Bid #3  $1.48- duplicate bid 3/16/2009 1:10:44 PM
Bid #4  $1.94- duplicate bid 3/16/2009 2:05:01 PM

Note: It is important to keep in mind that during an open Auction, the Highest Unique Bid may frequently change as additional bidders submit their bids.  The status of a bidder's unique bid could change to a duplicate bid at any time if any other bidder bids the exact same amount.  Use your Bidding History to monitor the status of your bids.  If any of your unique bids become duplicate bids, then you may want to bid again before the auction closes!

Bidding Assistance: The section of your Auction account titled "Bidding Breakdown For This Auction" is useful for developing a strategy in submitting successful winning bids.  The Breakdown provides detailed information regarding your total unique and duplicate bids for the Auction as well as competing bidders' unique and duplicate bids for the Auction.  You can use this information to develop a strategy as you submit additional bids before the Auction closes.

Step 4 – Reviewing the Closed Auction Details

Below is an example of how an Auction might look once it has closed (Completed Auction Detail has been truncated for viewing):



An Auction will immediately close when the total number of bids required to close the Auction ("Bids Required to Close") is reached.  The Bids Required to Close is the total number of bids submitted by bidders that must be accepted by GiftCards4Less for the Auction to close.  Additionally, the Bids Required to Close is the largest number of bids that can be submitted by bidders for the Auction.  In these practice auctions, the $2 Bid Fee Auction requires a total of 60 bids to close.

The winning bidder at the close of an Auction is the bidder who submitted the Highest Unique Bid for the gift card out of all the bids received for the Auction.  When an Auction closes, the section of your Auction account titled "Completed Auction Detail" will provide a detailed breakdown of all bids submitted prior to the close of the Auction.  The Auction Detail will show: the Bid ID # for each bid submitted; the date and time each bid was submitted; the Username, city, and state of each bidder; the amount of each bid submitted; and whether the bid was a unique bid or a duplicate bid.  The Auction Detail will also identify the Highest Unique Bid as the winning bid.  The winning bidder will be extended an offer to purchase the gift card for an amount equal to his/her Highest Unique Bid, which is a fraction of the face value of the gift card.

[Note: If at the close of an Auction EVERY bid submitted was duplicated by one or more additional exact same bids, then there are no unique bids for that Auction.  In the unlikely event that there are no unique bids at the close of the Auction, then the FIRST bidder to submit a bid closest (or equal) to the Max. Bid Amount for the Auction is deemed to have the Highest Duplicate Bid and will be declared the winner of the Auction.  In this scenario, when the Auction closes, the Auction Detail will identify the Highest Duplicate Bid as the winning bid.  The winning bidder will be extended an offer to purchase the gift card for an amount equal to his/her Highest Duplicate Bid, which is a fraction of the face value of the gift card.]

Step 5 – Paying for a Winning Bid & Winning Bidder Options

Once an Auction closes, the winning bidder will be extended an offer to purchase the gift card for an amount equal to his/her winning bid.  The winning bidder must return to his/her Auction Account and click on the "pay winning bid amount" link in order to pay for the gift card using PayPal.

Below is an example of how a winning bidder's Auction Account might look once the winning bidder clicks on the "pay winning bid amount" link:



In this example, assume Auction ID# 132 closed on 3/22/2009 at 1:24:15 AM ET.  The "Winning Bid Payment Status" tells the winning bidder that he/she has 30 days from the close of the Auction to purchase the $100 Sears gift card for the $1.91 winning bid amount. Thus, the winning bidder's payment is due by 4/21/2009 at 1:24:15 AM Eastern Time.  

Once the winning bidder clicks on the "Pay $1.91 Winning Bid Amount via PayPal Now" link, the winning bidder will see the following pop-up window:



When the winning bidder clicks on the "submit" button, the winning bidder will be taken to PayPal where the winning bidder can log in to his/her PayPal account to pay the $1.91 winning bid amount for the $100 Sears gift card.  After the winning bidder has successfully paid the winning bid amount, the winning bidder can log out of his/her PayPal account.

Once the winning bidder closes the PayPal web browser window, the winning bidder should see the following section titled "Winning Bidder Options" in the winning bidder's Auction Account:



Note: If there is a delay in notification from PayPal regarding the payment by the winning bidder of the $1.91 winning bid amount for the $100 Sears gift card, then the winning bidder may not immediately see the above "Winning Bidder Options" section in the winning bidder's Auction Account.  If such a PayPal payment notification delay occurs, then GiftCards4Less will manually update the winning bidder's Auction Account payment status.  Once the "Winning Bid Payment Status" has been properly updated to a "Paid" status, the winning bidder should see the "Winning Bidder Options" section.

There are three options available to the winning bidder once he/she purchases the $100 Sears gift card for the $1.91 winning bid amount.  The winning bidder will have a total of seven days to select one of the three Winning Bidder Options displayed in the winning bidder's Auction Account.  If the winning bidder does not make a selection within that seven-day time frame, then the three options will be removed from the winning bidder's Auction Account and GiftCards4Less will ship the $100 Sears gift card to the winning bidder's PayPal Confirmed Shipping Address free of charge via the United States Postal Service.

Important: A winning bidder can always check the status of his/her Winning Bidder Options by clicking on the "Auctions Won" link in the winning bidder's Auction Account.

Option #1: The winning bidder can take delivery of his/her gift card - "I want the $100 Sears gift card."

If the winning bidder selects this option, the winning bidder should see the following notification in the winning bidder's Auction Account:



The $100 Sears gift card will be mailed to the winning bidder's PayPal Confirmed Shipping Address free of charge via the United States Postal Service within approximately 48-72 hours following the winning bidder's selection of this option.  (Note that the approximate 48-72 hour processing time excludes weekends and holidays.)

Once GiftCards4Less has mailed the $100 Sears gift card, the winning bidder's Auction Account will be updated to provide the date of the shipment and the Tracking Number for the shipment:



Option #2: The winning bidder can trade in his/her gift card to GiftCards4Less for almost any gift card that the winning bidder prefers - "I want to trade my $100 Sears gift card for another $100 merchant gift card for a 15% trade fee."

If the winning bidder selects this option, the winning bidder must specify the merchant gift card that the winning bidder would prefer in the "Specify Preferred Merchant Gift Card" field of the Winning Bidder Options form.  Assuming the winning bidder selects this option and, for example, specifies Costco as his/her preferred merchant, the winning bidder should see the following notification in the winning bidder's Auction Account:



GiftCards4Less will review the winning bidder's offer to trade.

If GiftCards4Less does NOT accept the winning bidder's offer to trade, then the winning bidder will see the following notification in the winning bidder's Auction Account:



The winning bidder will have to click on the "Choose Alternate Winning Bidder Option" link in order to select another winning bidder option or specify a different preferred merchant gift card.

If, as in this Sears/Costco example, GiftCards4Less is able to obtain the winning bidder's preferred gift card with a reasonable amount of effort and within a reasonable amount of time, we will accept the winning bidder's offer to trade the $100 Sears gift card for a $100 Costco gift card for a 15% trade fee.

GiftCards4Less will send an invoice to the winning bidder's PayPal account for the trade fee, which is 15% of the value of the preferred gift card.  The winning bidder will see the following notification in the winning bidder's Auction Account once we approve the winning bidder's offer to trade:



The winning bidder must pay the 15% trade fee directly to GiftCards4Less using PayPal within 30 days of the date of the invoice.  (If the winning bidder fails to pay the 15% trade fee invoice within 30 days, then we will ship the $100 Sears gift card to the winning bidder's PayPal Confirmed Shipping Address free of charge via the United States Postal Service within approximately 48-72 hours following expiration of the 30-day payment deadline.  Note that this approximate 48-72 hour processing time excludes weekends and holidays. Once we have mailed the $100 Sears gift card, the winning bidder's Auction Account will be updated to provide the date of the shipment and the Tracking Number for the shipment.)

After the winning bidder pays the invoice for the 15% trade fee, GiftCards4Less will mail the $100 Costco gift card to the winning bidder's PayPal Confirmed Shipping Address free of charge via the United States Postal Service.  We will ship the $100 Costco gift card within approximately 48-72 hours following receipt of the winning bidder's cleared payment.  Note that this approximate 48-72 hour processing time excludes weekends and holidays.

If, however, the winning bidder chooses to trade for a gift card from a merchant that is not nationwide and we have to order the winning bidder's preferred gift card online or by phone, then we will mail the gift card to the winning bidder's PayPal Confirmed Shipping Address within a reasonable amount of time after we receive the gift card from the preferred merchant.

Note: Some merchants limit the availability of their gift cards to certain smaller denominations (e.g., the largest gift card offered by some merchants is $100).  If GiftCards4Less is unable to purchase only one gift card from the winning bidder's preferred merchant equal to the amount due the winning bidder for the trade, then we will buy the largest denominated gift cards available from the merchant to total the amount due the winning bidder for the trade.

Once GiftCards4Less has mailed the $100 Costco gift card, the winning bidder's Auction Account will be updated to provide the date of the shipment and the Tracking Number for the shipment.

Option #3: The winning bidder can sell his/her gift card to GiftCards4Less for cash - "I want to sell my $100 Sears gift card to GiftCards4Less for $75 cash." (Incurs a 25% cashback fee.)

If the winning bidder selects this option, GiftCards4Less will buy back the winning bidder's gift card at 75% of face value.

The winning bidder can choose to (a) have the payment sent to the winning bidder's PayPal account, (b) receive the payment via cashier's check or money order, or (c) have the payment credited to the winning bidder's Bidding Account Balance.

  (a) "I want to receive my $75.00 payment via PayPal."

If the winning bidder chooses to have the payment sent to the winning bidder's PayPal account, the winning bidder will see the following confirmation in the winning bidder's Auction Account:



The payment will be sent to the winning bidder's PayPal account within approximately 48-72 hours following the winning bidder's selection of this cash option.  Note that this approximate 48-72 hour processing time excludes weekends and holidays. (Please be advised that PayPal may assess a transaction fee for the winning bidder to receive this payment.  Premier and Business PayPal accounts are assessed a transaction fee for accepting all payment types; Personal PayPal accounts that accept credit or debit card payments are assessed a transaction fee.)

Once the payment has been sent to the winning bidder's PayPal account, the winning bidder will see the following status update in the winning bidder's Auction Account:



(b) "I want to receive my $75.00 payment via cashier's check / money order (made payable to the PayPal account holder).

If the winning bidder chooses to receive the payment via cashier's check or money order, the winning bidder will see the following confirmation in the winning bidder's Auction Account:



The payment in the form of a cashier's check or money order will be mailed to the winning bidder's PayPal Confirmed Shipping Address free of charge via the United States Postal Service within approximately 48-72 hours following the winning bidder's selection of this cash option.  Note that this approximate 48-72 hour processing time excludes weekends and holidays.

Once the payment has been sent to the winning bidder's PayPal Confirmed Shipping Address, the winning bidder will see the following status update in the winning bidder's Auction Account:



(c) "I want the $75.00 payment credited to my Bidding Account Balance."

If the winning bidder chooses to have the payment credited to the winning bidder's Bidding Account Balance, the payment will be credited immediately following the winning bidder's selection of this cash option.  The winning bidder will see the following confirmation in the winning bidder's Auction Account:



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Your use of our GiftCards4Less Auction website, your registration with our Auction service, or your participation in our GiftCards4Less Highest Unique Blind Bid Gift Card Auctions constitutes your agreement to and acceptance of our GiftCards4Less Auction Terms and Conditions.  If you do not agree to and accept our GiftCards4Less Auction Terms and Conditions, please do not use our GiftCards4Less Auction website, do not register with our Auction service, and do not place any bids in our GiftCards4Less Highest Unique Blind Bid Gift Card Auctions.   All www.GiftCards4Less.com website design, text, graphics, the selection and arrangement thereof, and all software are protected by United States copyright law and international treaty provisions.  Unauthorized use is subject to civil and criminal penalties.  Copyright © 2005-2013, GiftCards4Less.  All rights reserved.   The name "GiftCards4Less," the phrase "Where Great Gift Card Savings Are Only A Click Away!" and all other names, logos, and icons identifying GiftCards4Less and its services are trademarks in the United States and other countries.  Any use of such proprietary service marks without our prior express written consent is strictly prohibited. Unauthorized use is subject to civil and criminal penalties.   All other copyrights, trademarks, service marks, brands, product names, and company names or logos for any products and/or materials referenced on our GiftCards4Less website are the property of their respective owners.