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On Halloween next Wednesday, online auction Humraz.com will sell £716 worth of gold bullion for less than £35.

The gold will be sold to whoever tables the lowest unique (i.e. unmatched) bid in the auction. Humraz limits bids to a maximum 5% of the value of anything it auctions, so the winner is guaranteed to pay less than £35. Humraz works by charging participants £3 to submit a bid online or via SMS. This charge is pooled into a syndicate to cover the cost of whatever is being auctioned.

The Halloween auction is the first of three leading up to the new version of Humraz. The final auction to close under the current system is the widely-publicised sale of a £180,000 two-bedroom flat in Woking. The winner is guaranteed to pay less than £9000 for the property.

The success of the property auction – the highest-value lot in lowest unique bid auction history – depends on enough bids being placed to cover Humraz’s costs.

Whilst Humraz’s founders are optimistic the auction will close as planned on November 30th, the eBay-style mentality of waiting to bid on the final day – known as ‘sniping’ – has affected the speed of the auction.

Waiting until the final moments of a lowest unique bid auction gives participants no advantage, not least because the number of bids an individual can submit in a 24 hour period is restricted. Sniping was proved useless in a previous Humraz gold auction, when the winning bid was placed on day one of the auction opening.

To counteract this issue, Humraz’s mother-and-daughter team has devised a unique new auction model. The new concept will eradicate the potential for sniping and strictly limit the number of bids each participant can place.

In the meantime, the Halloween gold auction will be followed by a currency auction before attention turns to the ‘big one’ at the end of the month.

‘The smaller gold and currency auctions have helped people get used to the unique way Humraz works,’ says founder Asmat Monaghan. ‘Whilst they’re good fun and some people will pick-up incredible bargains, our thoughts are beginning to turn to the end of the month: it’s very exciting.’

For further information, images and interviews with Humraz directors and participants, please contact:

Sami McCabe
m: +44 (0) 7789 777 440
t: +44 (0) 20 8849 8180
f: +44 (0) 20 8899 6001
e: sami@ubiquitycomms.com

Editors’ Notes:

• 2.5% of the value of the property will be donated to Warchild UK – the charity dedicated to young victims of armed conflict

• If the minimum number of bids required to cover the cost of the property aren’t received, Humraz will award £3000 to the lowest unique bidder, plus the value of all bids that bidder submitted. 60% of the remaining funds will be donated to Warchild.

• ‘Humraz’ is an anagram of Asmat Monaghan’s daughters’ initials

• Bids are placed via SMS, online and post: there is no premium rate telephone line

• As soon as the auction closes there are no further bids accepted

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