homepage logo

West Side resident launches Maui Bids

By Staff | Dec 18, 2014

LAHAINA – Dan Dull has launched a new company called Maui Bids, a unique entertainment auction site specializing in vacation rentals, Maui merchandise, activities, gift cards and other items.

Dull said the secure site, www.mauibids.com, is based on a penny auction concept.

“The basic premise is people bid against each other just like a normal auction, but the prices only rise one penny for each bid. So, it’s possible to win an auction and only pay a few cents for the product or activity. For example, we offer restaurant gift cards for many restaurants here on Maui. Let’s say the card is valued at $10 and you won the auction with just five bids. You only pay five cents for that $10 card,” he explained.

Readers might ask, “How do you make any money selling a $10 gift card for five cents?”

“While the bids only go up one cent, each person must purchase what we call a Bid Pack in order to bid. However, we do offer 20 free bids when a person registers. And registration is free, by the way,” he said.

“The Bid Packs vary in size from 30 bids on up. Each bid costs 60 cents. So in reality, that $10 card actually cost the winning bidder $3.05, which is still a great bargain. Now, keep in mind, that bidder is not the only one bidding. The total of all the bids placed may exceed the actual cost of the card. It’s basically a win/win for everyone. The bidder gets a $10 card for $3.05, and we make money. Those bidders who didn’t win the auction usually win other auctions and more than make up the cost of their bids.”

Dull said he was inspired to start Maui Bids when discussing with friends how to promote vacation rentals during slow times.

“One person suggested we hold auctions online for a week’s stay. We did some research for online auction platforms and came across these penny auctions. This seemed like the best platform to encourage people to visit Maui during the offseason. Airfares are usually less costly, plus they could end up winning an auction for a vacation rental for as little as $300 per week instead of the $1,100 it would normally cost. They could further their savings by getting restaurant gift cards and activities for pennies on the dollar.”

Dull hopes residents and merchants on Maui and around the state will participate.

“We wanted to get the word out to our local population. In addition to vacation rentals and activities, we offer electronics, clothing and other items of use to anyone. We also encourage local businesses to contact us so we can put their product or service on our site,” he said.