Grabaseat dodgy auctions?


Sorry madam, we'll all out of pies today

stand by my earlier post that the Grabaseat site is a dogs breakfast, it’s gone from a tidy simple uncluttered site to a messy, cluttered multi windowed, flashing sign affair that looks like K’Road and is just a pain in the arse to use.

I noticed today (it’s been there a while, but I only just noticed it) that they are doing auctions for flights from $1 reserve. So I clicked on the link and got taken to auction web site. Why you wouldn’t go with the market leader ( is beyond me.

There looked like some good deals going and a fair bit of bidding… it looked good until I noticed that the flights on offer seemed to have the same few people bidding on every auction. In particular a recently registered user ‘whitepele252’. Now I could just be a bit cynical here, but I’ve seen this stuff happen on trademe with sellers using other names to push their auctions up. Now either ‘whitepele252’ is just so keen to get the hell out of NZ they’re trying on everything that moves, or it’s something else going on. This user seems to pull out of every auction once it gets above a fairly high level, that in itself is not cause for suspicion, but on all but one of the flights on offer this user is trying to go to Vancouver, London, Hong Kong and a number of other places, which is a bit odd.

Could it be a dodgy bidder?

Pop over to and take a look…

And who knows, if you strike a day when user ‘whitepele252’ isn’t pushing the price of every auction up, you might get yourself a deal!

  1. Hi there, thanks for the blog post.

    We to noticed that ‘whitepele252′ was bidding on lots, so our team tracked him down and had a chat. We do take these auctions seriously and I can assure you he & his wife don’t work for us or Air NZ – he’s simply looking for a cheap flight for a holiday.

    It’s great to see action on the auctions, but we do fully understand that it can look dodgy.

    If you spot any dodgy happening in the future, don’t hesitate to contact us, we are keen to keep Sella safe & a great place for Kiwi’s to trade online.


  2. Hi,

    Thanks for clearing that up, it did look odd, but then like you say some people are just desperate for a cheap holiday – hopefully he finds something soon!


    • Whitsd
    • November 27th, 2008

    I don’t except the explanation from Sella. this whitepele252 character is not out to look for a holiday. He is definetly there to push the price up. At this very moment this person is continually bidding to get holidays for the same dates. unless he clones himself there is no way he would be able to travel to 7 destinations at once. Shame on Air NZ for putting in a plant instead of actually helping people get a great deal on a holiday. Genuine people will bid on the auctions – but it is just pathetic to list a special and then push it up to get higher prices. and of course the person would’t admit to being dodgy.

    • Denise Oertel
    • May 4th, 2009

    Hi just found your site from googling. I have been watching the $1 auctions and yes I agree that there are quite a few bids that come up in the last hour with very similar codenames and their intent seems to increase the price.
    I was very keen to travel last week on the business premier to San Francisco from Dunedin and noticed that the same person was bidding on another SanFrancisco auction with a premier economy fare with similar dates which I thought looked suspicious so stopped bidding.
    I received a phonecall from Sella stating that the winner of the auction had got their dates wrong ????and would I like to purchase it at my last bid as they no longer wanted it.
    I said this sounded like a scam and rang Air New Zealand they then got someone to contact me her reassured me that this was not a scam and have since emailed stating that even though this person won both auctions they have paid for the auction. Sounds very fishy to me .
    I would love to hear from someone else who has been approached by stella and offered the win because someone got the dates wrong or something along those very fishy lines ?
    I was very disappointed and certainly hope that this is not a way of selling tickets for air new zealand as it leaves a very bitter taste

  3. I have had a bit of all experiences.

    Suspicious – same as any auction site or auction for that matter – then i got over it – you pay what you are happy to. People often complain when they miss out but if you want to win you bid – simple.

    Also had the second bid once and was called about the winner pulling out due to??. Was a little suss with that – but glad he had won as in the heat I bid more than I wanted!

    I have also bid on multiple Auctions at the same time (as I lost bids on others I would shift back to the previous) and for different locations – LAX and SFO. I would go to Oz too if the price was right.

    I can understand the likes of a ‘whitepele252’ or such type who may not have a restricted life timetable and can hunt a getaway. I won an Auction on the 14th Aug and went to LA at 8 days notice – and Business class @$1950 rtn – scam me again please! Also met someone else who’s friend had won another and passed on the their ticket – no complaints there either.

    I love the sites and the opportunity. Like everything you choose what you pay. Maybe one of your latest post is right – Have New Zealanders become a bunch of whinging girlie men?

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