Here’s another letter that came into our support desk where I think the response will be helpful to us all:
James D writes – I am a new iConsumer user and I would like to purchase stock in the company however: the difference in the Bid and Ask price in the open market is Outrageous, currently .18 and .51,so if I want to purchase 1,000 shares it would cost $510 plus the fee,if I would lose $333 immediately upon purchase.The bid and ask should be adjusted to make the stock more attractive,also if I buy through your website offer,I have no idea what price I am paying until the purchase is complete.
Thanks for your inquiry. We love that you want to be an investor.
You’ll see a whole bunch of articles on our blog about the difference between bid and ask (the “spread“). We don’t control that in any way. Market makers control that, and they won’t ever talk to us. They can’t, they’d get in trouble legally.
What we can do is try to help there be more stock being traded, which should increase its liquidity, which should help to reduce the difference in the spread.
The ask amount is always going to be higher than the bid amount. The ask amount is also controlled by normal people who own our shares (they own lots more shares than do the market makers). Right now, nobody wants to sell for less than $.51/share (that can change instantly). At least one market maker would buy some immediately if anybody would offer to sell at $.18/share.
But there’s a big BUT! You can offer to buy at any price you want. Somebody just bought at $.21/share. You may not have to pay $.51/share. You put in a limit bid, not a market bid.
You’re also right: if you bought on the open market today, and tried to sell immediately, you’d lose out. That’s almost always true for any stock (even Google stock). Or Bitcoin, for that matter. For most people, they buy today with the expectation that the price will go up over time, not instantly. It’s an investment of time as well as money.
There are two other ways you can get our stock. If you earn it by shopping, you can always see the price (the SEC made sure of that) we’re using to calculate the number of shares you’d earn. It’s at the bottom of every page on our site. Right now, that’s $.15/share. That’s always disclosed in our current offering circular.
If you’re purchasing our stock, and we hope that you do, the price is, by law, outlined in the offering circular. We also should be displaying it on our iConsumer.com/invest page. It is possible that a test version of that page doesn’t highlight it like it should.