|Launched||11 June 2003|
|Closed||17 April 2014|
|Owned by||Bid Shopping|
|Picture format||16:9, 576i (SDTV)|
|Broadcast area||United Kingdom|
|Sister channel(s)||Shop at Bid|
(at time of closure)
|Eutelsat 28A||11426 V 27500 2/3|
|Virgin Media||Channel 741|
|Smallworld Cable||Channel 702|
Price Drop was a British television shopping channel based in the UK, that ran daily live reverse auctions. It was the first reverse auction channel of its kind in the world. The channel was owned by Bid Shopping.
The channel first launched as Price-Drop.TV on 11 June 2003. The channel began broadcasting from 4pm to 12am, Wednesdays to Saturdays. The hours of live broadcast have been extended since and currently operates from 7:45am to 1:30am, 7 days a week. It is available to more than 12 million homes in the UK, and makes weekly revenue of over £3 million.
Prior to December 2004, each 'price drop' started at the guide price. After guide prices were removed, it was no longer possible to judge how closely the starting prices reflected the true value of products. A certain number of units of a product were advertised at a specified price, and buyers could place orders by telephone. The price was decreased in steps until all units were sold. All purchasers paid the final, lowest, price. Occasionally, the channel had promotions where a small number of products "Megadrop" to £1 during a special event (it appeared to be random, but directors chose which products will Megadrop beforehand). Megadrops were also used on sister channel Bid, but Price Drop was the first to use the promotion.
2005–2011: Price-Drop TV
On 21 January 2005, the channel was renamed from Price-Drop.TV to Price-Drop TV, losing only the 'dot' part of the channel's name.
In October 2005, a start price graphic was introduced, effectively reinstating a rephrased guide price. The "start price" was used to show the starting price of the reverse auction, but was not used to represent a value or worth.
On 10 May 2006, products were now sold at prices in pounds and pence instead of just pounds.
2011–2014: Price Drop and closure
On 1 August 2011, 'Price-Drop TV' rebranded as 'Price Drop' dropping the 'TV' and '-' from the channel's name. Along with the new name, new buying graphics were introduced on all three Bid Shopping channels and new idents compromising of different 3D products flying around the new logo designs were shown. The new design was created to make buying easier for the viewer. At the same time as the new channel design, multi-buy was introduced on certain products where the viewer can select to buy more than one product at the same time (P&P is still applied to each item).
On 30 March 2012 at 6pm, Price Drop "re-launched" with a completely new set, but still in their existing studio. The new set primarily consisted of a brick-work wall design with blue and purple lighting filling the left and right window cut-outs. In the centre of the simulated wall there was another cut-out which housed four LCD screen panels that constructed the main visual display on the Price Drop set; this also provided a backdrop for images and video behind the presenters and assistants.
On 21 May 2013, it was announced that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) had referred Sit-Up Limited, who operate Price Drop to Ofcom for consideration of statutory sanctions following repeated breaches of the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising. Ofcom has confirmed that it has accepted the referral. Since January 2012, there have been 33 ASA rulings against Sit-Up Ltd. The two main types of problem have been misleading pricing claims and misleading product descriptions.
On 17 April 2014, the channel's owner Bid Shopping went into administration; Price Drop and its sister channel Shop at Bid were closed down with immediate effect with 229 jobs being lost. Websites for the channels were immediately pulled offline, and a technical fault card appeared on the channels. On 23 April 2014, the Bid and Price Drop websites were updated with information regarding the administration, and the channels were pulled from Virgin Media and Sky Broadband. The channels were removed from Freeview and Sky on 25 April 2014.
Broadcasting on Freeview
On 5 January 2009, Price Drop was removed from the Freeview digital platform, as Sit-Up Shopping lost its space on multiplex A. It was outbid for renewal of its carriage contract by Discovery Networks UK, which launched the entertainment channel Quest. The channel returned to Freeview in August 2009 - but, because it was time-sharing capacity with another channel, its hours were limited to 8am to 12am.
In late June 2012, Price Drop started broadcasting on new Freeview capacity from 8am to 2am in post-digital switchover areas, which will include all areas of the United Kingdom by 24 October 2012.
- Megadrop: Products sell for £1.
- Non Stop Drop: Price will not stop falling (until £1) until quantity reaches zero.
- Penny Deals: Products sell for £0.01.
- Steal the Deal: Product is sold for less than the usual price.
- Warehouse Clearance: All products remaining in the warehouse are sold at even lower prices.
- Adam Heppenstall
- Andrea McClean
- Chris Park
- Eilidh Nairn
- Justin Hazell
- Lisa Brash
- Mark Ryes
- Paul Evers
- Simon Davies
A pilot retail outlet at the Hatfield Galleria opened in 2004 selling goods initially at close to RRP, and dropping the price each day. Another store opened at Kingsgate Shopping Centre in Huddersfield around the same time. Due to the global recession and questions over stock quality, both stores were closed in April 2009.
- "TV channel Sit-Up falls into administration despite passing CVA last month". Retail Week. 17 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- "Administrators appointed to sit-up Limited". KPMG. 17 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.