Bid It! Bourbon County, an online auction Web site similar to e-Bay, was created only two weeks ago and is growing rapidly. The site, which is found through Facebook and now boasts more than 1,100 members, allows Bourbon County residents to browse auctions and place bids for a variety of used items ranging from more common, everyday items such as clothes, toys and books, to more high-end items such as Louis Vuitton luggage, diamond jewelry and even vehicles.
Angie Simon, co-administrator of the site along with Missy Reynolds, said the two came up with the idea for Bid It! Bourbon County after seeing the popularity of similar ventures in nearby counties. Simon said she and Reynolds are running the site as a hobby, for now.
Simon said the idea was to create an auction site like e-Bay where people can buy used items in good condition, have fun and save money. A big difference from e-Bay, Simon said, is buyers don't have to pay shipping costs or other fees. Another benefit of the site is that money is spent locally.
"The money stays in Bourbon County," she said. "It's a win-win for everybody."
Simon said that while Bid It! Bourbon County is a closed group on Facebook, anyone can join. Simon and Reynolds monitor the site every day and approve all members.
"It's a fun place for people to get together and find things they need at a better price," Simon said. "We want to make sure it's fun and friendly. It's also a way to connect and interact with friends."
The rules for the site are listed at the top of the home page. The site only accepts legal items and doesn't accept any items regulated by the state. Simon said sellers are asked to check for recalls and expiration dates on certain items before posting them for bid. Sellers must keep track of items they have listed, give their location and describe and state the condition of the item. They can also post one or more photos of the item.
Simon said buyers appreciate knowing exactly what they are bidding on.
"It's a buyer beware site," she said. "We want people to be as honest and forthcoming as possible."
One of the main reasons the site has become so popular so fast is more people are starting to see the value of buying good quality used items.
"I think there used to be a stigma on buying used items, but I think that's changed," she said.
Items up for bid can be listed for up to 48 hours. Sellers must delete the items after two days if not sold or after contacting the buyer. However, if the item has not sold, they can re-list the item as a new auction, Simon said.
"I think that's what sets us apart, the site always stays fresh," she said.
Each post contains a time and date the auction will end. The last bid at that time is the winning bidder. The buyer and seller then negotiate a time and location to make the transaction for the item, Simon said.
Simon said it is often exciting to watch the auctions because many times, several bids will come in quickly during the final minutes of an auction.
"It's fun to watch," she said.
Simon said one complaint that has arisen with users is the time it takes to scroll through so many postings, given the fast rate that new members are joining and new items are popping up. Users can avoid this by using a keyword search or photo link to find auctions they are looking for quicker.
There are a minimum of 450 to 500 auctions running each day on the site, Simon said.
People can join Bid It! Bourbon County by visiting the site on Facebook and clicking on the Ask to Join link.