After nearly three years in development, we are delighted today to introduce our new auction platform, ASTRO™!
Astro is based on the popular silent auction model, but we’ve gone much, much further. Indeed, in Astro, we’ve completely reimagined the online auction and built an amazing, totally new kind of auction that we think you’re going to LOVE participating in and marketing to the world.
The quickest way to understand Astro is to compare it to Pricebenders penny auctions. Unlike our penny auctions…
1. You place your bid first, and just one time. Simply place the highest bid you can for as many TCredits that you think will win (i.e. be the highest bid).
2. With the exception of one TCredit required for a processing fee, you can get all your bids back if you don’t win. Yes, when you enter your bid, you’ll choose how many TCredits you want to receive back if you don’t win. In other words, Astro Auctions are essentially risk-free!
3. There’s much more to win with Astro than just the item being auctioned! For each auction you enter (with as little as a single bid), you’ll be entered to win two different jackpots (“Rocket Box” and “Supernova.”). You also get a free entry in our new “Pick-The-Bid” contest. Like the Pricebenders “Pick-The-Price,” your objective is to predict what the winning bid will be. Be the closest and you’ll automatically win 500 Rewardicals! And that’s still not all! For each TCredit you “tip your pilot” (the TCredits you choose not to receive back if you don’t win the auction), you’ll automatically earn at least 10 Rewardicals that you can redeem for VersaPoints, PSAs, CSAs, and more, at the Rewardical.com Exchange. And if all that wasn’t enough, you’re guaranteed to win at least two additional “Constellation Prizes!”
4. Whenever you win an Astro Auction, there’s nothing to pay for, no checkout to go through, etc. You already took care of everything when you placed your bid! So when you win, we simply deliver it to you automatically! For digital items like TCredits and CSAs, they’ll be dropped into your account instantly. For physical items, they’ll get queued to ship to you ASAP.
5. There are no “bogeymen” in space! That is, unlike Pricebenders penny auctions, you don’t have to worry about being “sniped,” “intimidated,” or “clobbered” by those with the ability to buy as many TCredits as they need to win whenever they want. Rather, everyone simply places their bid before the auction begins. And no one can increase their bid once the auction starts. And even if you don’t wind up being the high bidder, you can get all your TCredits that you bid back (minus the one for the processing fee).
6. Winning Pricebenders penny auctions often required being actively engaged with the auction for hours at a time, watching every bid like a hawk, and bidding at exactly the right times to protect your time and TCredits investment. With Astro, you simply go to the auctions index, place bids for the auctions you wish to participate in, and then return later to view the revealing of the winners. Note: We’ll shoot you an email to let you know when it’s time. Just click the link included in the email, then sit back and enjoy the flight!
7. Astro Auctions has been designed from the ground up to be fully mobile-friendly. With nearly 2 BILLION smartphone users now worldwide, we just exploded the potential customer base for auctions (and all the commissions and overrides that go with it)! And wait ’til you hear about our powerful new Astro Auction gateway we’ve got coming!
8. Because of the nature of penny auctions, it wasn’t feasible for us to offer a wide variety of items to bid on. With the way Astro has been built, however, we mostly don’t have his issue anymore. On the contrary, not only can we offer a wider variety of items, but we also hope to bring in third-party sellers in the future to offer their goods and services, too!
9. Pricebenders penny auctions utilized a small bit of “gamification,” but were, by and large, just standard auctions. With Astro, however, we’re debuting with a free, built-in game (Pick-The-Bid), two other big Rewardicals jackpots for each auction, plus the opportunity to win a plethora of delightful other prizes (our goal is to have over 100 different prizes for each auction)! Pricebenders penny auctions also only had ONE badge. There are going to be numerous fun and collectable Astro badges and badge collections! And there are many more fun touches to come. In short, Astro Auctions are designed to feel like a game with LOTS of fun and excitement for bidders.
Above are some of the most exciting features of Astro, but there’s we’ve got many more goodies in the pipeline. Here is just SOME of what we are working on:
A. A new kind of “junior” auction that can actually verify that only true “juniors” partake.
You see, unlike Pricebenders penny auctions where bidders can buy more and more TCredits during an auction (or circumvent win limits by opening other accounts under different names), we can now verify how many TCredits each participant has at the time of their bid. And since you can only bid once, we can keep out those with large stockpiles of TCredits.
Example: An auction for a silver bullion bar that can only be entered by those with 25 or less TCredits on hand. This will, at the same time, typically assure a great, money-saving price for the winner.
B. Country and/or regional auctions
Like the previous example for “junior” bidders, we will also be exploring Astro Auctions that will be limited to individual countries and/or regions.
C. ECA advertising/sponsorships
We have hundreds of ECAs who are hungry for ways to gain exposure to our hundreds of thousands of Zing Network members for their products and services. Astro Auctions provide the platform for this too! That is, we are developing an auction sponsorship program. Qualified ECAs will be able to sponsor individual auctions and be prominently featured during the 2-minute IN FLIGHT stage and more. Stay tuned for details.
D. A new way to build your team and boost commissions
Astro Auctions are a powerful new online auction hybrid, deserving of similar innovation in its marketing. To that end, we will be coming out with an amazing new affiliate gateway that will allow you to recruit PRMs by offering them FREE participation in an Astro Auction of their choice! Keep in mind that with just their single free bid (via a TCredit that you’ll provide transparently), they’ll have the opportunity to win the item being auctioned, plus the opportunity to win the Rocket Box jackpot, the Supernova jackpot, and Pick The Bid, too! They’re also guaranteed to win at least 10 Rewardicals and at least two additional Constellation Prizes! What a deal, right?! Yes, with Astro Auctions, we’ve got a true game-changer that can flip the switch to an explosion of growth, new revenues, and commissions for every affiliate. Stay tuned.
E. Expanding the product galaxy
Pricebenders penny auctions—for it’s almost-8-year history—has been exclusively TC Direct products. But with Astro Auctions, we now have the ability to incorporate third-party sellers of all kinds. In other words, there’s virtually no limit now to the type of product and service that could be found at Astro!
AN ASTRO AUCTION IN ACTION…
Here’s how to join and win an Astro Auction:
1. Go to the Auction Index.
2. Choose an auction you wish to bid on. Click the BID button.
3. Enter your bid in TCredits.
4. Choose how many of your TCredits you wish to receive Constellation Prizes on (minimum 1). For each TCredit you earmark for said prizes, you’ll automatically receive a minimum of 10 Rewardicals (redeemable for VersaPoints, PSAs, CSAs, PRMs, silver bullion, Bitcoin, gift cards, and more), plus other Constellation Prizes.
5. Enter your free Pick-The-Bid prediction. Be the closest prediction to the auction’s winning bid and you’ll win 500 Rewardicals!
6. When fueling and boarding are completed and the auction is ready to launch, you will receive an email alert.
7. The auction you bid on will now be displayed on the Auction Index with “READY” status. Click the “LAUNCH” button.
8. During the next two minutes, the auction will be “IN FLIGHT” and the top 20 bidders will be revealed one by one in “countdown” fashion. Also during this stage, you’ll find out how many Rewardicals and what other Constellation Prizes you’ve won.
9. At the end of the two minute flight, your auction’s starship will have landed successfully and ALL winners…for the auction itself, for Rocket Box, Supernova, Pick-The-Bid, and Quantum, will be announced, recorded, and prizes queued for immediate delivery.
For complete details, tiebreaker rules, and much more, please refer to the Astro Auction OFFICIAL RULES page.
Q: Is bidding on Astro Auctions really risk-free?
Yes! The worst thing that can happen is you spend one TCredit and a couple minutes of time and in return win several Constellation Prizes including a minimum of 10 Rewardicals for each “earmarked” TCredit (while also having an entry to win thousands of Rewardicals, the item being auctioned, and other great prizes).
Q: What do you mean by “earmarking for prizes?”
In step two of placing a bid, you’ll choose the number of TCredits you wish to receive Constellation Prizes on. We refer to this as “earmarking” the TCredits of your bid.
Q: Why would I not want the maximum number of TCredits to be returned if I don’t win the auction?
There are at least three reasons: For each TCredit you earmark for prizes, you’ll automatically receive a minimum of 10 Rewardicals (redeemable for VersaPoints, PSAs, CSAs, PRMs, silver bullion, Bitcoin, gift cards, and other value items), plus other Constellation Prizes. The amount of earmarked TCredits is also the important first tie-breaker (the higher the number, the better your chance of winning the auction) and is applied to badges, too!
Q: Do I earn 10 Rewardicals for each TCredit I use for Astro Auctions?
You actually will always earn MORE than 10 per TCredit! Plus, you’ll have multiple opportunities to earn additional rewards and prizes.
Q: Can I win the item being auctioned with a minimal bid?
Yes. With as little as one bid, you have entries to win Rocket Box, Supernova, Pick-The-Bid, and multiple Constellation Prizes, too—including whatever item is being auctioned via “Quantum”!
Q: I can win the item being auctioned with just ONE bid?
Yes, via Quantum (one of our random Constellation Prizes you can win).
Q: What is the status of the TCredits I’ve used for my bid until the winner is revealed?
The TCredits you’ve bid are “frozen” (no longer accessible by you) until the winner is revealed.
Q: If I placed a bid of 100, and the person with the second highest bid was for 50, did I just spend 100 TCredits to win the auction?
No. Since the second highest bid was 50, you’d be named the winner for a bid of 51…and 48 TCredits would automatically be returned to your account (1 TCredit goes towards the auction processing fee). Note that if you chose to earmark more of your TCredits for Constellation Prizes, you’d receive less than 48 TCredits back.
Q: Can I maintain my auction “green streak” badge with Astro?
Yes, and you’ll also earn the daily one bonus VersaPoint.
Q: You say there will be a variety of badges for Astro. Are there any badges I can acquire TODAY?
Yes, win an auction today and you’ll earn our spiffy new “ASTRONAUT” badge. We also have a special “FIRST 5000” badge to celebrate our new Astro Auctions. See special, separate announcement for details soon.
Q: Are there any limits to how many Astro Auctions I can enter or win?
Right now, there are no limits. After we’ve had a little time to monitor results, we will likely add some win limits. And there will also be some auctions that will only be available to new/”junior” bidders and/or residents of individual countries/regions.
Q: Can I participate in multiple auctions?
Yes, multiply your fun by entering bids in lots of auctions!
Q: When are bids accepted?
Bids are accepted during the fueling and boarding stages.
Q: How many times can a person bid on a single auction?
You may bid ONE time only.
Q: Will there always be at least one auction available to bid on every day?
That’s the plan.
Q: Is Astro replacing Pricebenders penny auctions?
It may. It depends on how many choose Astro over our penny auctions. If the majority switch over to Astro, it may no longer be feasible to operate our penny auctions.
Q: How long will an average Astro Auction last?
This is undeterminable at this time. All auctions will launch after fueling and boarding is completed, which is dependent on how many bidders appear.
Q: What if I’m not available when the auction I’ve entered launches?
No worries! We’ll send you an email and/or other type of alert…and you’ll have a full 7 days to respond and claim your wins/prizes.
Q: What if there is a tie for the highest bid?
See TIEBREAKERS section of Astro Auction Official Rules.
Q: What if there is a tie for the closet Pick-The-Bid prediction?
See TIEBREAKERS section of Astro Auction Official Rules.
Q: Why is the second jackpot called “Supernova?”
The second jackpot is called Supernova because it has the potential to be “super big.” This is because 1000 Rewardicals are added to this jackpot each time a new auction comes online. If no one wins it, it automatically rolls over to the next auction, becoming bigger and bigger and bigger until someone wins it.
Q: How does a person win the Supernova or Rocket Box jackpots?
Both jackpots are standard random drawings. If you’ve entered an auction, you have an entry to win each of the two jackpots.
Q: So if I entered ten auctions a day, I’d have TEN chances to win Supernova and Rocket Box?
Yes. Every auction you enter gets you another entry for each (and an entry for Pick-The-Bid for each too).
Q: Is there a way to get free TCredits to enter Astro Auctions?
Yes. See the bottom section of Astro Auction RULES. Also, Rewardicals that you win free in various SFI contests (e.g. Daily Grand, E365, Badge Quest, Biz Quiz), and in Astro itself, can be redeemed for TCredits that you can use for placing Astro Auction bids.
Q: What’s going on during the “fueling” stage of an auction?
During “fueling,” we’re collecting enough TCredits to pay for the cost of the item and other associated expenses. Once that’s taken care of, the auction moves from “fueling” to “boarding.”
Q: What’s going on during the “boarding” stage of an auction?
During “boarding,” much like the preparation for a real flight, we’re going through a checklist to make sure all aspects of the auction are ready to go before changing its status to “ready for launch.”
Q: What’s going on during the “in flight” stage of an auction?
During the “in flight” stage is when we reveal the top 20 bidders from lowest to highest (winning) bid, and also the Rocket Box, Supernova, and Pick-The-Bid winners. This is also when all the Constellation Prizes you’ve won are awarded to you.
Q: What if I’m not around to see the flight?
For up to 7 days (168 hours) after boarding is completed, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the flight. Important Note: You MUST watch the flight to claim any items/prizes won.
Q: How long does the flight, where the winners and prizes are revealed, last?
All Astro Auction starships are equipped with “hyper-speed” engines…so each flight lasts no more than 2 minutes, no matter which planet is the destination.
Q: Can the winner of the auction also win other prizes?
Yes. If you’re extremely lucky, you could win the auction item itself, Rocket Box, Supernova, Pick-The-Bid, and a variety of Constellation Prizes, too!
Q: I think a lot of my friends and family might be interested in participating in Astro Auctions. How can I introduce them to Astro and be credited as the referrer?
For right now, you can refer them to the Astro Auction index (include your SFI ID number in the link like this: http://www.tripleclicks.com/12345/Astro/). In the near future, we will be introducing a special new gateway that you can use that will allow you to gift them a TCredit so they can experience an Astro Auction 100% FREE! “100% no risk and guaranteed to win prizes” is a very powerful offer we think you’ll agree!
Q: How do I, as an SFI affiliate, make money promoting Astro Auctions?
Those you refer to Astro will need TCredits to bid on auctions. As their referrer, you’ll earn Direct Commissions on every TCredit they buy.
Q: Would it be smart to train my downline members to promote Astro Auctions, too?
YES! With the SFI compensation plan’s new Team Overrides, you will almost certainly be leaving money on the table if you don’t! With Team Overrides paying out 48% of CV on all sales and purchases, on 12 dynamically-compressed generations, getting your affiliates involved in promoting Astro is a very smart move.
Q: It doesn’t look like there’s much that non-affiliates would be interested in bidding on. Will this change?
Definitely. But we need to crawl before we walk, walk before we run. Astro Auctions are basically in a “soft launch” just for affiliates right now (and will be likely for at least a couple weeks) so everything can get streamlined first before we really start expanding our offerings and focusing on persons outside of SFI.
Q: What are the “Constellation Prizes?”
Right now, Constellation Prizes consist of Rewardicals, VersaPoints, Eager Zebra “lifelines” like Matches and Moves, bonus entries in the Daily Crown, and more! But that’s just the beginning. We plan to add a wide variety of additional items to the list over the coming weeks.
Q: How do I win Constellation Prizes?
Simple! By simply participating in an Astro Auction (with as little as a single bid), you’re guaranteed to win at least five Constellation Prizes. That’s a minimum of five prizes for every auction you join. All prizes are drawn at random and you have the same odds to win prizes as anyone in the auction, no matter how many TCredits they’ve bid or earmarked.
Q: What’s the “Quantum” prize?
It’s one of the available Constellation Prizes. If you win it (drawn at random during the In-Flight stage of each auction), you’ll receive the same item that the overall auction winner won with the high bid!
Q: Do you think that more non-affiliates will be attracted to Astro Auctions?
Absolutely! Penny auctions simply aren’t for everyone because most people feel the reward is not worth the risk (it’s “too scary” for most). Astro Auctions, on the other hand, have been specifically and carefully designed to appeal to EVERYONE…with virtually no risk, simple and easy participation, and all delivered with an ample dose of fun!
Q: Where are Astro Auctions located?
For now, they’re at TripleClicks.com at http://www.tripleclicks.com/Astro/. However, we’ve also secured the domain AstroAuctions.com and auctions may migrate over there in the future. In the meantime, AstroAuction.com is a splash page. Check it out!
Q: There was a mention of you allowing third-party sellers to add their products/services to Astro Auctions. If I’d like to sell my products…or if I know a seller who would like to sell theirs on Astro, what steps need to be taken?
It’s premature to contact us just yet, but we recommend that you get fully familiar with Astro Auctions and how the work in the meantime. Also, what we’re releasing today is just version 1.0. We will want to get a little further down the road, make sure everything is working smoothly and add several other cool features we’ve got planned before we start inviting third-party sellers. But don’t worry, when we’re ready, we’ll make a can’t-miss announcement…so stay tuned.
Q: What about all the references to auctions around SFI and TripleClicks that only mention Pricebenders penny auctions?
It will take a little time to update everything, so please bear with us. We also need to determine if penny auctions will continue or be fully replaced by Astro before we do our major updates.
Head over to the FORUM–to the SFI NEWS DISCUSSIONS section–to discuss this announcement with your fellow SFI’ers now.