Bid4Africa.com , an online auction site for bidders to earn credits using airtime launched this December 2012 by Kevin Pillay allowing users without credit cards or bank accounts to buy stuff online via SMS.
The company has a number of partners such as Easionline.com and Dawn Wing couriers.
According to the firm, the auctions site has electronic products like Blackberry cell phones, Samsung Galaxy tabs, docking stations, home theatre systems and gaming consoles and as long as one is 18 years and over, they can bid.
One requires a cell phone and airtime, they can send SMS at R10 which earns one 100 credits. The auctions run Mondays to Fridays excluding on holidays from 8AM to 8PM and have now been closed till January 2 2013. Delivery of items is free in SA.
According to the team, they hope to change lives of ordinary South Africans through providing higher value items at an affordable price.
This is how it works. Users fill in their title, names and ID number providing current cell phone number and full address details. They are then given an account with a login name and password. Then they are required to send an SMS to 38806 for R10. Every time R10 is spent, a user gets 100 credits. One then chooses the auction(s) they want to bid on and start bidding.
One clicks on the bid button to bid. A bid under the users name is indicated. The final bidder to use up his or her credits in the process and who has agreed to pay the Displayed Final Bid Price for the goods/services before the countdown is selected winner.
According to the team, the system shows every bid being received and lists the current top 10 bidders. They add that every time one bids, the Displayed Auction Price increases by the same number of credits.