Dubli.com: Gambling for products?

I have looked at and tried out dubli.com. It is a new site where you buy credits to see the price of an item. Every time you click "show price" it takes away 1 credit and drops the price by 25 cents. The idea is to find a good deal where you get something, such as a gift card or ipod, at less than it's face value. It sounds good on the surface but they actually make a fortune.

Here is how it works:

  • Credits: Each one costs 80 cents. Each click of "show price" only drops it by 25 cents. If you buy the item they still make 65 cents off you. If not then they keep it all!
  • Pricing: Each item starts at full value. You have to get lucky to get one that is low and not bought by someone else yet.
  • Shipping: Starts at $6.95 even for gift cards. To break even you need the item to be at least 8 dollars below face value.
Bidding types: Auction, Zero, and Unique Bid

  • Auction: The price gets bid down by clicking "Show Price." It costs you 80 cents (1 credit) to do this. The price drops 25 cents each time. If you like the price you can buy the item on the spot.
  • Zer0: Same as auction but you only get the item if you are the person who bids it down to zero. With them making 65 cent per bid that means they make a 65% markup!
  • Unique Bid: Who ever bids the lowest and is the only bidder at that price gets the item. It is time limited.
Based on my evaluation this is basically gambling for products. It is most certainly stacked in their favor because they make money no matter what price they sell it for. You have to get very lucky to get the item at the very low prices they advertise on their site. I gave this a try to figure out how it works and ended up slightly ahead on a couple of gift cards.

Don't fall into this trap! You will lose more than you stand to gain from a site like this. You are much better off on eBay or craigslist if you are looking for a deal on something. Let's be smart with our money!