Online auctions offer big savings to consumers who know how to play the game; unfortunately, not all of them are legitimate. There are numerous complaints regarding a potential uBid scam; before you sign up, read this review.

What is it?

U Bid allows consumers to compete against one another for a variety of items, including electronics and jewelry. Unlike penny auctions, such as SkoreIt and QuiBids, uBid.com does not require participants to buy bidpacks that ultimately lead them to lose money even if they don't win a particular auction. When the competition ends, only the winner is required to pay. That said, the company has a somewhat troubling history, and there are plenty of negative reviews floating around the Internet.

The company has traded hands from one owner to another multiple times and has survived a bankruptcy and a handful of business failures that have led to layoffs and an arrest of one of its former owners. Currently owned by Sunrise Bidders, U Bid now operates as a way for businesses to liquidate merchandise using an auction style platform.

What people are saying

A quick Google search reveals several complaints regarding a uBid scam; however, most of these are aimed at the vendors and not the company, itself. Many consumers have complained about excessive delays in shipping, high shipping costs and bait-and-switch tactics in which the product they receive doesn't match the one pictured on the auction. Other consumers have complained about shoddy merchandise, poor customer service and slow response times from uBid.com's staff.

Final verdict

The Better Business Bureau has listed penny auctions in its yearly list of top ten scams; however uBid.com is not a penny auction site. That said, unlike many other online marketplaces, the company is not accredited by the BBB, and it probably owes this to the inordinate amount of complaints from unsatisfied consumers.

My uBid review is negative mainly due to the prevalence of online complaints. That said, I don't necessarily believe the company is guilty of much more than providing poor customer service and perhaps not policing its vendors well enough. In the end, if you choose to participate in one of the site's auction, consider doing a bit of research on the vendor beforehand. If it is a reputable entity, you probably won’t have much to worry about.