Yipiii.co.uk: cashback and freebies at the spin of a wheel
Yipiii is a new website that promises to inject some fun into shopping by inviting you to spin an online wheel to try and win something before you buy it, with no risk of ever losing your stake money.
How it works
On Yipiii, you play to win things you want to buy. It is as simple as that.
Yipiii has named this original concept for online shopping a 'winmarket' because you just can't lose.
You use the website to browse and compare prices for things you want, then use the money in your Yipiii account to pay for spins on a roulette-style wheel at £1 a go.
If you land on the red you win the item, land on a star and you could be entered in to a competition or earn further free plays.
For such a new website, Yipiii has an impressive list of big online names such as Amazon, Selfridges, Boots, Currys, PC World and HMV on board, so you're unlikely to be stuck trying to find something you want that you can play to win.
If you lose, you can get your stake back through your 'Discount Balance', which increases even if your spin was a free play. So you could get back more than you ever put in.
You can convert this balance into cash when you buy a product through the website. How much cash you get depends on the 'Maximum Discount' available on the item you are buying.
So if you choose to buy an iPad for £579, which has a Maximum Discount of £26, you could convert this £26 into cash. After 31 days you can withdraw your money into a bank account if you want to.
The Winit tool
You don't have to shop solely through the website to benefit from it.
Yipiii has something called the Winit tool. This is a widget that sits in your internet browser and allows you to check if you could spin to win on other affiliated websites, such as Amazon and Boots. Just open the widget on the product page and try your luck.
Is this gambling?
Yipiii is not a site for gamblers. The company considers itself more of a shopping platform with an added gaming element designed to be a bit of fun rather than something to rob you of your hard earned cash.
If you lose a spin, your pound doesn't disappear, it just goes into your Discount Balance and your money is returned once you use the site to buy things you normally would.
The site is rewarding if you are loyal and use it as your main online shopping portal.
European gaming licence
One essential thing to point out about this website is that it has credentials.
My own suspicions were that no one ever won but just relentlessly spun the wheel.
But when I found out about the strict European Gaming Licence I quickly changed my mind.
Founder Christoph Kingler delayed the project by two years in order to obtain the licence because he wanted users to feel safe.
Yipiii is required to abide by strict EU regulations and satisfy the highest standards of transparency, fairness and player protection. Like any other online gaming site, they can't fix it so anyone can win but the way the system is built means there has to be winners.
OK so we've established you could win, but what are your odds of actually winning when you spin?
Well, every wheel is unique and has a different number of segments. To ensure total game fairness each wheel is tailor made for the product that is being played for, based on the cost of the item and backed by a certified number generator.
Generally on more expensive or aspirational items like a Rolex watch the likelihood of being a winner is reduced but on cheaper items like a Casio watch you have a better chance – this is indicated by the size of the segments on the wheel.
The idea is to appeal to aspiration as there is always a chance you could win but if you don't you haven't wasted £30 trying. You can then use the discount balance to get money off something else instead.
Yipiii, I won!
Yipiii offered me some free credits to test the website out. I had 40 spins to begin with.
My first impressions of the website were that it was nicely designed and easy to use. Signing up was quick and searching for products intuitive. I even used the Winit tool which worked perfectly on affiliated websites.
I also didn't find that I was limited when looking for things I wanted.
I first tried my luck getting an iPad. After 20 spins I hadn't won. But the spinner did land on free plays and I was entered for competitions to win things from Monster Beats Dr Dre Beats Solo Headphones to an iPod Nano, and a Landmann Piccolino portable barbecue.
I decided to change tack and forget about an aspirational item that I didn't intend to buy unless I won. Instead I went over to the music section and decided to spin to win for a CD (the deluxe edition of Lana Del Rey's album Born To Die, to be precise) – an item I had every intention of buying.
The 'wheel of winning' on this product looked vastly more realistic; the segments were much larger than on the iPad wheel and I felt lucky. Within five spins I had won the item, which could have cost me £12.97 from Asda Direct if I chose to shop first.
In total I got 17 competition entries and £44 in my Discount Balance, which has the potential to be turned into cash when I buy through the site.
Later on I also won an iPod Nano from the competition I was entered for.
Winning felt great but I think there are at least two potential downsides.
Loyalty versus price: the obvious caveat is that by playing or buying something through Yipiii and staying loyal to the site, you may not be getting the best price that you could hunt down freely elsewhere. For example, I was able to find the iPad for less at other retailers than on the sites on Yipiii.
Also, if you are not a loyal shopper and prefer using other sites you have potentially lost your money. This is because if you don't use the site after losing a spin the Discount Balance you amass will eventually disappear. If you use Yipiii regularly this shouldn't be a problem and the Discount Balance lasts for a year.
Addiction: it is also a bit addictive and I was tempted to play more and more for the iPad.
However, the website has features including a warning when you have been logged in for an hour and a maximum top up of £50 a time. You are automatically logged out if the site considers you've played too much and there are also limits on the size of the account that you can set yourself to ensure you don't go crazy.
Find out more at Yipiii.co.uk
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