Frequently Asked Questions
The BasicsWhat is BidCactus?
BidCactus is a new kind of auction experience that combines the best of online shopping with entertainment. Experience the thrill of participating in live auctions while trying to score real bargains!
Unlike some auctions sites, BidCactus auctions feature only brand new merchandise. Also unlike many auction sites, bidding starts at just $0.01 with no reserve. Bids cost only $0.75 each, so you can walk away a winner with only a small amount invested!
With each new bid placed on a penny auction, the auction price will increase by one cent. When there are less than two minutes remaining on the auction clock, any bid placed will increase the clock by 10-30 seconds. The reason for the time increase is to give other users a chance to respond and bid again if they wish (similar to the way an auctioneer in a live auction says "going, going, GONE"). An auction ends when there are no further bids and the counter reaches zero.
Registration is the first step and we have made the process as simple, secure and straightforward as possible. To get started on BidCactus, go to the Registration page and follow the steps:
- Enter your contact and personal information. Your contact information includes your first and last name.
- Enter your email address You need to enter a working email address that you can check immediately. We'll also use this email address to notify you when you've won an item, and to provide shipping and payment information.
- Choose a username and password You will use your username and password every time you login to BidCactus. Our online registration process will tell you whether the username you selected is available and will help you create a secure password.
- Read "How BidCactus Works" Learn how to bid, avoid rookie mistakes, and pick up some great tips by reading our How BidCactus Works section.
BidCactus registration is free, however you must purchase bids in order to participate in an auction. Bids cost $0.75 each and are available in packs of 30, 50, 100, 150, and 250 bids. If you win an auction, you will be responsible for paying the final auction price of the item, shipping & handling, and sales tax (CT state residents only).
Your "actual cost" to win an item consists of two things: the amount of bids you place, and the final auction price of the item. For example, if you place 20 bids on an auction (and bids cost $0.75 each), you have spent $15 worth of bids. If you win the item at a final auction price of $1.00, you will pay $1.00, plus shipping & handling, plus CT sales tax if applicable.
Customer Service Hours: Mon-Fri 9AM to 5PM EST
About BiddingHow do I purchase bids?
You can purchase bids using your credit or debit card, or via PayPal. At this time, we accept Visa, MasterCard, Diner's Club, Discover and Maestro cards. (Please note that all used bids are non-refundable.) Important: We do not accept Vanilla Visa Gift Cards. However, if you would like to use a Vanilla Visa Gift Card, you can register and use it through Paypal.
Getting set to bid and bidding on BidCactus is easy:
- Purchase Bids Bids cost $0.75 each and are available in packs of 30, 50, 100, 150, and 250 bids.
- Select an item you wish to bid on Find the item you want to bid on. You can even determine what's being auctioned next - go to Upcoming Auctions at the bottom of our home page and cast your vote!
- Place bids and go for it There is only one way to win and that is by bidding. You have found the items you want, you have the bids in your account, now get started! We advise beginners to focus their bids on one or two items at a time rather than spreading their bids around.
- Do I get my bids back if I do not win an auction? Any bids placed during an auction are considered "used" and will not be returned to your account, whether you win the auction or not.
Any bids placed during an auction are considered "used" and will not be returned to your account, whether you win the auction or not. This is an inherent feature of our site and is explained in our Terms and Conditions.
We do this for two reasons. The first is that it eliminates inflated auction prices that would occur if users knew they would have nothing to risk if they lost. A non-refundable bid means that each bidder has a stake in the auction, and is not likely to make frivolous bids. Second, this policy is what allows us to offer items at such low auction end prices. The amount of bids we collect during an auction covers the cost of the item for us.
Regular bids are bids purchased from the Buy Bids page or from the “Add Bids” section of the checkout cart. They can be used on any auction, and used toward the Buy It option.
Voucher bids are bids won at auction (or purchased at auction via Buy It), or obtained through a promotion, coupon, or special offer. Voucher bids may be used on any auction, however they cannot be applied toward another auction's Buy It option. Voucher bids have no cash value and cannot be refunded.
When bidding, regular bids will be used before your voucher bids. However, you can change this at any time by going to My Account > Bidding Preferences.
It is our #1 goal to make the site fair to all customers. Therefore, collusion of any kind is not permitted.
Bids placed & items won in violation of our Terms & Conditions will be forfeited. Bids in excess of 250 in an account closed due to site violations are ineligible for refund.
AuctionsWhere can I view auction activity?
By clicking on an item that is up for auction, you have the ability to see a list of the 10 most recent bidders. You can also view your current and past auction purchases in My Account.
Just below our live auctions, you can view the results of completed auctions. The 300 most recent auctions are listed.
In a penny auction, the auction price will increase by one penny each time a bid is placed. All BidCactus auctions are penny auctions.
Depending upon auction speed, between 10-30 seconds are added to the auction clock each time a bid is placed. Auction speed may change during active bidding.
Only for newbies who have never won an auction. These are great auctions to start with, since you will only be competing against other users who are new to the site.
Only for users who have won fewer than five auctions.
Where experienced users battle it out! Expert auctions are open to all bidders, but enter at your own risk. You can win up to 3 per day and they do not count toward your 30-day win limit. However, category limits do apply (e.g., if you have won a camera in the last 30 days, you may not bid on an expert auction for a camera).
These rapid-fire auctions are always on a short clock, and won’t count toward your daily or monthly win limits.
Free to Bid auctions are just what they sound like: free to bid on! You don’t have to purchase bids, and no bids will be deducted from your account. Simply click the “free to bid” button to place a bid on the auction.
With each bid, the auction price will increase by the amount listed in the green corner tab of the auction. For example, if the increment is $0.33, each bid will add thirty-three cents to the auction price. As with all of our auctions, the auction ends when people stop bidding on an item and the auction clock reaches zero.
Free to Bid auction wins MUST be checked out of your cart within 2 hours of winning. Winner pays the final auction price, plus any shipping & handling charges.
New win limit rules: You may win 1 Free to Bid auction per rolling 24 hour period. However, you may unlock another win spot by checking out your Free to Bid win. This means that, as long as you keep checking out your Free to Bid auction wins, you may win as many as you wish. However, if you do not check out your Free to Bid win, you are locked for the next 24 hours.
An auction ends when the auction clock reaches zero ("going, going, GONE") AND when people stop bidding on an item. Our auctions are completely interest driven; some may go on for hours while others will end after only a few bids. It often depends on the website traffic and the popularity of the item up for auction.
A note about the auction clocks: As you may have noticed by watching the site, some of the auction clocks get close to zero and then increase again. When an auction is "in the zone" - that is, when there are less than two minutes remaining on the auction clock - any bid placed will increase the clock by 10-30 seconds. This gives other users a chance to respond and bid again if they wish (similar to the way an auctioneer in a live auction says "going, going, GONE"). If nobody else bids by the time the clock says "GONE", the auction will end.
- Check OutOnce the auction has ended and you are the winner, you will be directed to our check out process, which is fast and easy. Just remember to purchase the item within 30 days of the end of the auction. If you still haven't purchased the item within 30 days, the item will be removed from your cart. All bids placed towards that item are non-refundable.
- Pay for the item you won! Purchasing items is easy and follows the same process as purchasing bids. As with purchasing bids, you can use Pay Pal, Visa, MasterCard, Diner's Club, Discover or Maestro. We will confirm via email payments received and shipping information. Please contact us if the item has not arrived within 15 business days of our payment confirmation.
The retail price is the price you would pay if the item was purchased through a traditional retailer.
Auction end price
The auction end price is the price at which the auction ended. Only the winner of the auction can buy the item at that price.
We want everyone to have a good time at BidCactus! In the spirit of fairness, users are allowed a certain number of auction wins before hitting their limit. This allows more users to enjoy the site.
24-hour limit: Users are limited to 6 wins (3 item wins + 3 Bidpack wins) and 3 Expert auction wins in any rolling 24-hour period.
30-day limit: Users are limited to 30 total wins in any rolling 30-day period.
Category limits: Users are limited to 1 Television, 1 Camera (including video cameras), 1 Computer System, 1 Phone, 1 Game Console (excluding handhelds), 1 Tablet, and 1,500 bids won during any 30-day period.
Free to Bid limits: You may win 1 Free to Bid auction per rolling 24 hour period. However, you may unlock another win spot by checking out your Free to Bid win. This means that, as long as you keep checking out your Free to Bid auction wins, you may win as many as you wish. However, if you do not check out your Free to Bid win, you are locked for the next 24 hours.
"Items" are defined as physical items, gift cards, or coupons.
When calculating win limits, Combo Auctions (Item + Bidpack) will count as 1 item win.
A pop-up window will appear after your win, notifying you that you've hit your limit.
If you are close to your 30-day limit of 1,500 bids, you may get a warning pop-up if you try to bid on a Bidpack that would cause you to exceed the limit. You may still be able to bid on smaller Bidpacks.
Limits are calculated on a rolling basis, taken from the most recent 24 hours or 30 days of your history. As older wins drop off, you become eligible to bid again.
Rewards StoreWhat is the Rewards Store?
At the BidCactus Rewards Store, you can redeem points that you've earned on the site for fun prizes like gift cards, jewelry, electronics, laptops and more!
Earn points simply by participating in BidCactus auctions. You get 2 points for each regular bid that you place on an auction. The more you bid, the more points you can collect!
Earn 500 points for winning a First Timer auction, and 200 points for winning a Beginner auction.
Keep an eye out for additional promotions where you can score even more points.
Click on the Prizes & Promotions tab at the top of any page and select Rewards Store. Review your earning and spending history by clicking on your Rewards Store Balance.
You must be logged in to redeem your points at the Rewards Store. If you have accrued enough points to exchange for a prize, click the "Add" button next to any eligible item to add it to your shopping cart.
Points you earn are immediately added to your account and reflected in your Rewards Store Balance. Your Rewards History (detailing points accrued and spent) is updated every 15 minutes.
You can click on any Rewards Store item to view more details about it. Shipping & handling costs are listed below the description. (Shipping and handling costs are the same as on auction items)
As with auction wins, all in-stock Rewards Store items will arrive no later than 15 business days after checkout.
If an item purchased at the Rewards Store arrives damaged or broken, please contact BidCactus customer service at 1-800-243-8711. Items may be returned within 7 days of receipt. Items may not be exchanged for different merchandise.
Points do not expire. However, if you decide to close your account or if you are permanently banned from the site, all points will be forfeited.
Points can only be redeemed for prizes at the Rewards Store; they have no cash value.
Points cannot be transferred to another account. Please note that having multiple accounts is a violation of site rules. Users with multiple accounts will be banned from the site and all points will be forfeited.
Sorry, we do not currently support this feature. Items must be purchased with points.
No, they do not count towards any limits.
Yes, feel free to shop 'til you drop!
If you see a Trade It offer in your checkout cart, it means your auction win is eligible to be traded for voucher bids. This is a great option if you wish to decline the item and get more bidding power instead. If you like the deal, click “Trade It.” Continue checking out as usual and your bids will be credited instantly. Please note that once a trade is made, it cannot be reversed.
Buy ItWhat is the "Buy It" option?
Buy It allows you to purchase an auction item even if you didn’t win the auction. The value of the bids you spent on the auction is applied to your Buy It price, reducing the cost. You have 60 minutes from the end of the auction to purchase the item. The Buy It option is only available on auctions marked with a dollar sign icon.
Your Buy It cost starts at the retail price of the item, and each bid you place on the auction reduces the price by $0.75. (Note that voucher bids cannot be applied.) The value of bids applied will cap at 50% of retail price.
- Example: You’re bidding on a $100 item. If you spent 20 bids (valued at $15), your Buy It price would be $85. If you spent 67 bids or more, your savings would be capped at $50 (50% of the item's retail cost), and you could purchase the item for $50.
After the auction ends, the auction details page will allow you to add the item to your cart at the reduced Buy It price. (Note that you must have participated in the auction to be eligible.) The item will also appear in the Buy It report located on the My Account page.
Yes; you have 60 minutes after the auction ends to decide whether to buy the item. After 60 minutes, your Buy It price will expire.
You are allowed to use the Buy It option once per auction. (If you win the auction, your option to Buy It is removed.)
The usual shipping & handling charges apply. As with a regular auction win, your purchase should arrive within 15 business days of item checkout (20 business days for Canada).
Bonus TasksWhat are Bonus Tasks?
Bonus Tasks are opportunities to earn a little extra credit! You can earn reward points or even free bids by completing various tasks on the BidCactus website. To see if you have any Bonus Tasks for the day, log into your account and look for the green TO DO LIST button in the upper right. Complete a task within the time frame and the reward will be credited to your account. Bonus Tasks are completely optional; you may complete as many or as few as you like.
AutoBiddersWhat is AutoBidder?
AutoBidder is a tool that allows you to bid even if you’re not at your computer. Set it up, and it will bid according to your parameters. AutoBidder is available on any auction with a gear icon, and you must be logged in to see it.
To access the AutoBidder tool, click on the gear icon or go to the details page of an auction.
- First, enter the maximum number of bids that you want AutoBidder to use. Don’t enter more bids than you would normally be willing to risk on the auction if you were bidding live.
- Then, choose when AutoBidder should bid by moving the slider. "x seconds left" bids whenever the auction clock hits this time; better if you’re trying to conserve bids. "Anytime I’m not top bidder": bids immediately and aggressively so that you are always the top bidder.
Click “Activate” and AutoBidder is ready to go!
A spinning gear icon indicates that the AutoBidder is active. Hover your mouse cursor over the gear to see how many bids the AutoBidder has placed so far. Click on the gear to view or change your AutoBidder settings. A gear that has stopped spinning and turned red may indicate that your AutoBidder has reached its limit or run out of bids.
Absolutely – just click the “Deactivate” button in the AutoBidder panel. If you need to change your AutoBidder settings, you must deactivate it (which will clear out any previous settings) and set it up again.
AutoBidder will always bid at the appointed times, provided you have enough bids in your account. However, it cannot guarantee an auction win. That would depend on many factors, such as the persistence of other bidders participating in the auction.
Of course! Once your AutoBidder is set up, you may log out of BidCactus if you wish. However, you must log back in to see AutoBidder activity or to change your settings.
Yes – you may continue to bid manually at any time during the auction
You may enter your full bid balance (up to 99,999 bids). However, if you are bidding on other auctions or have multiple AutoBidders set up, it is your responsibility to make sure that your bid balance is sufficient to cover each of these.
AutoBidders with a higher “When to bid” setting will fire first. If multiple AutoBidders are attempting to bid at the exact same second, bids will be accepted round-robin style. (On each turn, the bid will be placed by the least recent bidder, and so on.)
Only your username will be listed in the bidding history, not whether you are using an AutoBidder. However, based on the timing of your bids it may or may not be clear to others that you have an AutoBidder set up.
Returns and ComplaintsThe item I won is broken. What do I do?
Occasionally an item might not work or may get damaged in transit. If this has happened, our goal is to resolve your problem as quickly as possible.
If an item is not working, it can sometimes be useful to check the manufacturer's website or call their helpline for assistance. Many of the most common problems are easily solved without having to return the product.
For damaged items, please contact us at [email protected] or 1-800-BID-8711. Please give us the auction ID, as this will help us to deal with your problem more quickly.
We work with different suppliers who are happy to help identify any problems and to replace faulty items if necessary.
Important: Please don't return the item back to us without first contacting us - this is likely to delay the time it takes to replace your item if it is damaged.
Purchased items are subject to the warranty provided by the manufacturer. Most items have a 1-year limited warranty.
If within 7 days of delivery, you decide that you no longer want the item, we will be happy to refund the final auction price that you paid for that item. The item must be in its original packaging and must not be damaged. Please contact our customer service team for details of what to do, making sure to provide them with the auction ID and your user name. Please note that we cannot offer you a refund on the cost of the bids that you placed on that auction (bids are non refundable) nor the return shipping cost.
Managing my AccountHow do I change my password?
Please log onto BidCactus.com, then go to My Account > Personal Info and select Edit. You will be given an option to enter a new password.
Click the Forgot Password link next to the login button. Enter the e-mail address associated with your account, and your password reset information will be e-mailed to you.
Unfortunately, your username cannot be changed. When registering, please be careful not to select a user name that could cause offense or that abuses the rights of third parties. If you notice such a user name, please contact customer service.
Please log in to BidCactus.com, then click My Account in the top navigation bar. Under your account options, you can select Personal Info or Addresses to view and edit this information.
Select "My Account" from the top navigation bar to view your auction wins and manage the items in your checkout cart.
It is strictly against BidCactus policy to have more than 1 account. If you are operating more than one account, your account(s) will be closed. Any items won through a multiple account will be deemed null and void.
If you have more than one user in your household, please contact customer support at 1-800-BID-8711 to assist you in setting up a second account.
Payment and Payment MethodsHow do I pay for bids?
You can buy bids using either your credit or debit card, or via PayPal. At this time, we accept Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, Discover and Maestro cards.
As with purchasing bids, you can purchase items you've won using either your credit or debit card, or via PayPal. At this time, we accept Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, Discover and Maestro cards.
Important: We do not accept Vanilla Visa Gift Cards. However, if you would like to use a Vanilla Visa Gift Card, you can register and use it through Paypal.
Your privacy and security are important to us. We use high-security encoding (SSL) to protect your payment details when processing your online payments.
Verified by VISA and MasterCard SecureCode are additional ways to help you secure your credit cards online. If you are enrolled in these free programs (offered through your credit card), you may be asked to provide additional information such as a code or pin number in order to verify your identity.
Most credit card companies will place a pre-authorization hold on your card when you make a purchase. If you attempt to make a purchase and get an error, you may see a pending charge on your card. It will drop in a few days. If you experience an error at checkout but are unsure why, please contact someone from customer support at 1-800-BID-8711 MON-FRI 9 am to 5 pm EST so that we can assist you.
Delivery and ShippingWhat are my delivery charges?
Shipping charges are located at the bottom of the details page. You can reach the details page by clicking on the item up for auction, then going to the bottom of the screen.
U.S. shipping charges are for delivery within the continental United States. There will be additional shipping charges for Alaska and Hawaii. We cannot ship to P.O. Box addresses, so users with a P.O. Box address should contact customer service to make alternate delivery arrangements.
Canadian shipping charges are listed in U.S. Dollars, and will include sales tax (GST and PST, or HST) and tariffs if applicable.
Requests for change of delivery or rerouting a package already shipped will incur a fee of $14 which is charged by our shipper. This fee will be passed onto the customer. Rates for Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada may be slightly higher.
At this time, we do not ship outside of the U.S. and Canada.
If you win your auction, you deserve to receive your stuff. All auction wins should arrive within 15 business days of item checkout (20 business days for Canada). If you have not received your item within the allotted time, please contact us at [email protected] or call 1-800-243-8711.
We work hard to make sure that all items are shipped in a timely manner; however there are times when an item may be temporarily unavailable. In this case we will contact you when we have an estimated ship date.
We'll let you know via email as soon as your item has been shipped. If an item has not been received within 15 business days, please contact us at [email protected] or 1-(800)BID-8711.
Click here to read our current Terms and Conditions
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Technical IssuesWhat are the system requirements
You can participate in BidCactus auctions with nearly all PCs or Macs that allow you to access the internet:
- Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher
- Firefox 3.0+
- Google Chrome
Recommended internet connection:
- DSL connection or faster
- Adobe Flash
A downtime, or outage, is an occasional and unforeseeable problem with the internet, and means that bids cannot be placed during this short period when we are offline. If we experience downtime at any point, we automatically increase end time so that our bidders are not left at a disadvantage. It is impossible to place any bids while the system is experiencing downtime, so any bids attempted during this period will not be accepted or debited from your account. If this situation does occur, we advise you to refresh your screen regularly, either by pressing F5 or the refresh button on your browser.
In the event that an auction ends prematurely due to a system outage or an unforeseeable disruption in service, all ended auctions will be reviewed on a case by case basis. BidCactus reserves the right to deem any won auction as null and void during a system outage.