Penny Auction Sites Review
Are you interested in getting a great deal from penny auction (aka penny bid) while you don’t want to take unnecessary risks? You might be wondering if penny auction is a scam or if some of the penny auction sites are scam. Since there are so many penny auction sites out there, making a good selection can be quite time consuming. We are here to help you understand how penny auction works and how particularly some of the best sites work. Hopefully, we can help you reduce risks and save time.
Choosing a good site is the first step of winning a great deal. There are more penny auctionsites than you really need. Since the business is very profitable if run successfully, more and more similar sites are coming out. Obviously, some of them are not going to survive. As you can imagine, if a site does not have enough traffic, it does not get enough bids. They either use fraudulent self-bidding or take a loss. If they lose money, you risk them not delivering what you win (even though you, as a bidder, face less competition). So how do you judge if a site is safe, or which site poses the lowest risk of going belly-up?Penny auction refers to the fact that each bid increases the price by just 1 penny. Clocks are reset to around 15 seconds when a bid is placed before time runs out. The idea of the business is actually brilliant. It keeps the price low and the bidding count high. The high bidding count benefits the house and the extremely low price makes the item a “ridiculously good deal.” A simple example is an iPad sold for $40.00 which is “ridiculously low” compared to its normal retail price ($500-$800). The $40 final bid represents 4000 bids placed. If the average cost of each bid is $1.00, the auction site pockets a whopping $4000 which is 5 times the retail price and a hefty profit (almost a “highway robbery!”) So why can the winner get such a great deal? It’s because there are a lot of losers who place bids that go to the auction house!Simulation of a countdown timer to Christmas
Although all these sites are based on the above model, there are variations in detailed rules for each site. For example, some sites offer the so-called “Buy-Now” protection which means that bidders can choose to buy the item at a preset “list price” while getting credits from spent bids. Many sites also have limits on how many items each bidder can win during a specified period of time. While each bid causes the price to go up by 1 penny, not all costs of bids are equal. Some sites have higher cost per bid than the other. Even on the same site, each bid cost can vary depending on the “bidpack” size you purchase. Obviously if you commit to a larger bidpack, the average cost of each bid is going to be cheaper. Most sites also have bidpacks up for bid.Bidding competition usually gets quite intense and eventually exhausting as time goes by. Most sites thus offer the so-called auto-bidder, a.k.a bidding bot, or bid agent. The bid agents place bids when the clock ticks towards zero. While they prevent you from missing the bid before time runs out, you want to avoid letting your bid agent run out of control. Remember, each bid costs you money. While most sites offer auto-bidder, we do not recommend you use it at least in the beginning. Some of the auto-bidders cannot be stopped during the bidding, and it will try to outbid every single bid from others. It can empty your pocket before you can realize.
According to our research based on the factors discussed above, we recommend the 3 penny auction sites below. We believe these 3 penny auction sites are among the best sites available. Each of the 3 sites has its pros and cons.
We summarize in the table below comparisons between the 3 sites, including items available for bid. Not all sites have the items you are looking for. You do not want to buy bidpacks until you know the site has the items up for bid (frequently).
Click the links below to see more details. It’s free to register, you pay only when you buy bids.
|Special notes||clock resets to 2 minutes on bid||Fastest growing in traffic|
|Cost/Bid||$0.69 – $1.15 depending on size of bid pack. Min 1st-time purchase $150.||$0.75. min. purchase is $22.50 (30 bids).||$0.65 min purchase $32.50 (50 bids pack)|
|Traffic Estimate||1 M visits/mon||1.2M visits/mon||3M visits/mon|
|Live chat support||Yes||Phone support only: M-F.||Yes|
|Current Promotion||bigger bidpacks lower cost/bid||for night owls – between 2:00 am and 7:00 am (ET) for 5% off ANY BIDPACK PURCHASE||1 free bid for new signup. Use promo code “LSC37″ to get 10 free bids (good as of today 10/13)|
|Win Limit||limited to winning up to 2 auctions in a 14 day rolling period||24-hour limit: Users are limited to 6 wins (3 item wins + 3 Bidpack wins) and 3 Expert auction wins in any rolling 24-hour period. 30-day limit: Users are limited to 30 total wins in any rolling 30-day period. Category limits: Users are limited to 1 Television, 1 Camera (including video cameras), 1 Computer System, 1 Game Console (excluding handhelds), and 2,000 bids won during any 30-day period.||Each user can win up to 4 per 24 hours, 12 per week. Also, you can win only 4 items that’s worth over 750 Euros (approximately $1000) per month.|
|International||United States only||Not all items are available to Canadians. Gift cards can be redeemed only in the U.S.||item will be shipped locally from your country|
|Buy-Now Protection||Yes, you have 24 hours after auction ends, spent bids credited towards retail price||No Buy-It-Now||Yes – you have 14 days to use “Buy Now” to get the item you bit on but did not win. If you pay the “Buy Now” price, all bids are refunded to you. Certain restrictions apply.|
|Products Frequently Offered||Nokia 6700 Slide, Wii + Bonus pack, PSP Go, Garmin Nuvi 3790T, Nintendo DS Lite, Nokia 6700, xBox 360 Slim, TomTom GO 950, Apple iPad, iPhone 4, iPod, MacBook Air,||Mostly gift cards and bidpacks, shell, macy’s, red lobster, olive garden, Wal Mart, Chili’s, JCPenny, Khol gift card.||Apple iPad, iPhone 4, iPod, MacBook Air, iMac, MacBook Pro, Digital camera Rebel T2i, Wii Sports, Need for speed, Prince Tennis, Calvin Klein Belt, iTune Amazon Target or Best Buy gift card, Call of duty Black Op, Sony 40″ BRAVIA LCD TV|
|Sign Up||Sign Up||Sign Up|
|Basic strategies:1, You might want to have enough bids to start participating in an auction event. You certainly do not want to run out of bids when it comes to the critical time. Running out of bids is a common reason of losing a penny auction. Starting with a 30-50 bid pack might seem “safe” but it can be a disadvantage.
2, Buy-Now protection will become useful especially when you have spent too much bidding – worst-case scenario is you pay the retail price. At least you don’t walk away empty handed. On the other hand, theoretically, bidding will be more intense/competitive when bidders understand that they won’t lose a lot even if they do not win the auction. Pay attention to the listed retail price to see if they have been marked up from normal market price (for example comparing to Amazon price). A significant markup should somewhat lessen degree of careless bidding. In other words, if the listed price is obviously higher than normal retail price, Buy-Now might not seem like much of “protection” anymore.
3, Obviously you want to place all of your bids right before the clock expires. Whenever there is a bid, approximately 10 seconds are added to the clock. So it can be a very time-consuming and exciting process.
4, Common sense is that you should do a little calculation before you jump in. Observation does not cost you any money and should help you save some.
5, There can be better times to bid, e.g., when there is less competition.Alternative to Penny Auction
There is yet another type of auction that works slightly differently and is less risky compared to the above mentioned. I would call this a reverse penny auction. In a normal auction event, bidders compete and bid up the price, and final highest bid wins. In the reverse auction, the “auction house” bid down (by the seconds) the price, and you decide if the price is low enough to buy it. Any bid will end the auction immediately. The site charges a monthly fee of $29.99 with a 7-day free trial. Note that these auction events also cost you money to enter though much cheaper than the above penny auctions. It normally costs 10 “credits” to enter an auction event. The minimum credits to purchase is 50 credits priced at $7.50, so it is about $0.25 per credit, and each event’s entry fee is a minimum of $2.50. Once you hit “Buy it Now,” you have 2 minutes to complete the transaction. Note that the monthly fee does not count toward any auction bidding price. This type of auction also has no limit on number of items you can win. This reverse auction obviously does not have the risk involved like the above penny bid auctions. It’s a little harder to get an “outrageous deal,” but you can still get pretty good deals if you are not too greedy.