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Last Minute Auction – An Hour or Less, A Buck or Less

written by John Chow on August 9, 2007

The Ultimate Online Profit Model

Mike Powell and Juergen Horn came up with an simple idea: gather all auctions on eBay with one dollar or less and with just one hour left to see what kind of bargains they can pick up. When their search resulted in over 30,000 auctions, they decided to capitalize on it. LastMinute Auction was the result and this ReviewMe review is the buzz to kick start it to a mainstream site.

What Is LastMinute Auction? gives consumers a neat new way to hunt for bargains on eBay. The service is completely free to use. The site searches for eBay auctions that ends in one hour and for items that are prices under $1. The items are displayed as a list on the front page. By clicking on the product link, you’ll be directed to the item’s auction on eBay.


The front page shows all the latest auction from every category. You can target your search among 30 categories, from antiques all the way to video games. The site also offers a feature to manage favorite categories and geotargeting for Germany, Britain, Italy, Australia and Spain.

In addition to displaying the current bids, the list shows how many minutes until the auction expires, how many bids have been made and how much shipping and handling cost (more than the bids in almost all cases).

Doesn’t eBay Already Offer This Sort of Search?

You would think so, but in fact they don’t. If you want to search eBay for all auctions that are one dollar or less, you can’t specify time remaining and vice versa. Additionally, you can only browse through one category at a time and even then you’ll have to contend with a large amount of “Featured Items” which are usually way more expensive than a dollar.

A Fantastic Example of an Affiliate Site

LastMinute Auction is a fantastic example of an affiliate site done right. It has all the right ingredients: self-updating content, useful information and perceived value for the end user. The site pretty much runs itself. All its information are supply from eBay. The information is always changing because each auction has only one one hour left. This encourages bargain hunters to check the site often.

The site makes most of its income from the eBay affiliate program. When bargain hunters click on any of the auction links and makes a winning bid or Buy It Now (BIN), LastMinute Auction gets a share of the revenue generated. Supplemental income is made by two banner ads.

eBay addicts will find LastMinute Auction a great resource to check every hour. John Chow dot Com readers wanting to make money online will be adding LastMinute Auction to the “Damn! Why didn’t I think of this?” category.

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Eastwood August 9, 2007 at 9:25 pm

yeah there’s quite a few e-bay search/listing services out there. could be quite a competitive market.

Hottest Girl August 9, 2007 at 9:57 pm

What a crappy looking website though.

Statis Pro Baseball August 10, 2007 at 6:16 am

Hopefully they will some geographic search functionality. Most of these less than $1 items have prohibitive shipping costs. August 10, 2007 at 10:41 am

That is a great service for us seasoned eBay sellers. eBay doesn’t have the search options they offer.
This is really brilliant idea. “Why on earth didn’t I think about it first?” In fact, there are many many breakthrough ideas like that around eBay’s auction site.
In fact, I thought about that already and am making a lot of money with eBay.
I know eBay like my pocket if we talk about selling information products. Zero shipping cost, viral potential and automated income. That’s one of my biggest earners beside paypal.
If you wanna see my progression, I’ve just started a successful blog called
John, congrats for your blog. I’d like to get mine at this point of success.

Debo Hobo August 10, 2007 at 6:43 am

Another great resource though.

Jim Leedham August 10, 2007 at 7:28 am

I gotta agree that its not a pretty site. Unless they make it look a whole lot more professional, it won’t be hugely successful. Afterall, ebay is all about handing over money for goods, and nobody likes dealing with seemly-dodgey sites if their money is involved, even if its indirectly. Especially when companies like PayPal send out hordes of emails to their users, informing them about fraud sites that mimic the appearance of popular sites

OMGbay August 13, 2007 at 12:01 pm

I just checked your site… :oops:

Steven August 9, 2007 at 9:39 pm

Its a good idea but I would still prefer to use ebay directly. I am sure lots of people would too while there may be some that would use their website.

Matthew Blancarte August 9, 2007 at 9:49 pm

Definitely an awesome affiliate site. Well done to the owners.

Terra Andersen August 9, 2007 at 9:52 pm

Yeah, I totally thought of that last year… but figured that usually $1 items had $40.00 shipping. Looks good though!

Geedos August 10, 2007 at 5:39 pm

Yeah I think the shipping expense may be a bit of a problem.

It’ll be interesting to see how many people are willing to cop the shipping cost because they’ve snagged a “bargain”?

Cristian August 9, 2007 at 9:56 pm

Let’s spam 0.99 auctions! with 100 shipping

I’d like a site with better parametric search like “under 2 bucks” & “under 1 buck shipping”

J.D. August 9, 2007 at 10:00 pm

I think Last Minute Auction is having problems with their server.

It’s a great idea. It will be interesting to see how many sellers actually sell for a buck.

Michael Kwan August 9, 2007 at 10:01 pm

Short review John, but I guess there’s not much to be said about this site. Looks like an interesting idea, but the problem, as Terra mentioned, is that many of these penny and 99 cent auctions come with ridiculous shipping rates.

Ink cartridge for a penny = good

Ink cartridge for a penny + $40s/h = not so good

And you’re going to see A LOT more of the latter.

Debo Hobo August 10, 2007 at 6:43 am

Excellent point

Chuck Brown August 9, 2007 at 10:04 pm

Too bad they didn’t think enough of their own idea to put it on a web host that could support a little traffic, eh? :idea:

Geedos August 10, 2007 at 5:41 pm

Yeah totally agree – what’s the point of ordering a John Chow review if you’ve not got a server which can cope with the influx of traffic that gets generated. :roll:

Making The Money August 12, 2007 at 4:07 am

My number one gripe at the moment is bad hosting. It doesn’t take a huge amount of traffic to take down some of these 99.9% uptime guaranteed hosts.

How Not To Make Money

dcr August 9, 2007 at 10:09 pm

Dang! Why didn’t I think of that? :oops:

Colin Klinkert August 9, 2007 at 10:16 pm

Interesting site,

Who else thinks the design and layout could do with some work though? :oops:

Rich Minx August 9, 2007 at 10:28 pm

I agree Colin, the content is all shoved to the left to make room for the ads. And it does look a little bit Dreamweaver 101. :roll:

Joshua August 9, 2007 at 10:47 pm

Not too bad…

As a money making idea, they’d have to be pulling a lot of quantity, no? Is their cut a percentage or flat fee?

Shaun Carter August 9, 2007 at 11:08 pm

I was thinking the same thing. Ebay pays a fee… about half of the income they generate from the sale. So likely, less than a dollar per auction (assuming a small listing fee and near 0 ending value percentage because of the sub $1 item.)

Gary Jones August 9, 2007 at 11:00 pm

It would be nice if they were to add an RSS feed which could also be monetized.

If they need help with that have them contact me :wink:

Chris August 9, 2007 at 11:04 pm

typical one of those ideas that makes you wonder: ” why didn’t I think of this??!”

xd1 August 9, 2007 at 11:09 pm

I wish I would have thought of that.
On a side note what is up with the smile face at the bottom of the page next to your copyright. I tried to click it it does nothing. It’s actually kind of creepy. I don’t know why I notice weird things like that.

John Chow August 9, 2007 at 11:36 pm

It’s a stats tracker.

MrGPT August 9, 2007 at 11:51 pm

Why don’t you use Google Analytics?

Steven August 10, 2007 at 6:20 am

I am sure he does but like myself, he probably uses more than one site tracker because analytics isn’t complete. There are things other trackers can do that analytics can not

James August 9, 2007 at 11:14 pm

The person that commented on the rss feed should have kept that to yourself and marketed it.

Budget Babe August 9, 2007 at 11:39 pm

I don’t mind the design but on my wide screen it is leaving a big gap on the right hand side. But otherwise, it it had been centred on the page, I don’t really mind it. Good idea btw. Like others here, wish I had come up with the idea!

Rhys August 9, 2007 at 11:49 pm

Grrr…awesome idea, and they cater for the international market too (though a printer for $1, less than 50p, must be worth having, n’est pas?)

Lars Koudal August 9, 2007 at 11:58 pm

I actually thought of something similar, not long ago.

Its about finding cheap bargains on domains.

The system is still in alpha, but it works, and I have bought some cheap PR6, lots of PR5 and one single PR7 domain. August 10, 2007 at 12:52 am

is that data real?
i mean, is that data verified?

flash August 10, 2007 at 1:43 am

I think it’s usefull! :razz:

fanatic August 10, 2007 at 3:14 am

It’s hard to say whether this will do better as a website service or if they should have made it a shareware program..they do note on their “FAQ” about the shipping issues that can happen with $1 items…as for site design, it’s basic, but then again sites like Google and Ebay aren’t exactly cutting edge in terms of their look..simplicity can work for search style sites…

Mr. smartass August 10, 2007 at 5:52 am

Its been up for a while. I think it will take off though

Mike Panic August 10, 2007 at 5:59 am

I’ve known about this site for what seems to be nearly 2 years now and use it now and again. I agree, it is a great use of an affiliate and I’m sure they make bank from it. Month in and out eBay’s affiliate program is one of my biggest earners.

mason August 10, 2007 at 6:10 am

Genius! I wish I thought of that :(

Marc Eilbeck August 10, 2007 at 6:42 am

yeah is a good idea relies on a large amount of traffic to make some good money as I could imagine the commisions would be very low.

Chris B August 10, 2007 at 7:18 am

I’m sure they make their money (for the most part) on new ebay user sign-ups who see something they want for cheap and sign-up for the first time to get it. The payout on new sign-ups who do a BIN or win an auction is like $25! That could add up QUICK.

Casey August 10, 2007 at 7:24 am

Again, another really smart idea!

iBt August 10, 2007 at 7:35 am

It is good idea but it won’t make good money because we know it is hard to get new signup with ebay and comission from $1 or less item? Priceless.

and site is not ready for JohnChow Review.. August 10, 2007 at 8:00 am

The design may not be great, but I really like the idea behind it… - $100,000 in one year August 10, 2007 at 8:35 am

Smart idea

Jorge August 10, 2007 at 9:49 am

Simple idea. Great idea. :idea:

Daniel August 10, 2007 at 10:08 am

yes…absolutely simple and great idea…

Mark August 10, 2007 at 9:52 am

This looks interesting I’ll definitely give it a try!

Jorge August 10, 2007 at 10:06 am

The first 30 to subscribe to my blog and to leave a comment on the last post will enter a draft to pick 6 links that will stay in my blogroll for 6 months! :shock:

Also, in the following weeks our shop will be online!

Jorge August 10, 2007 at 10:10 am

The first 30 to subscribe to my blog and to leave a comment on the last post will enter a draft to pick 6 links that will stay in my blogroll for 6 months! :shock:

Also, in the following weeks our shop will be online!

Daniel August 10, 2007 at 10:21 am

Gud Luck Jorge…

KingJacob August 10, 2007 at 11:19 am

Interesting, do they filter out the auctions with min bids.

Geedos August 10, 2007 at 5:46 pm

I don’t know why e-Bay don’t actually do this themselves as it’s a great idea – especially if you could put in multiple cost parameters – $1, $5, etc.

Perhaps they’re happy to sit back and see how successful sites like these are before they create their own version?

Last Minute Auction is a great idea but the design makes it look very amateurish which could potentially put people off from using it.

Jess August 11, 2007 at 3:36 pm

I think this site is very useful and interesting to look at!

Click Input August 16, 2007 at 9:54 am

1. Surprising that eBay don’t have this function.
2. That said, this is perfect for people who want to look at bargains in general and an EXCELLENT example of using the eBay affiliate program.

Awesome idea.