Have you ever seen some ads on Google saying that you can get 95% off on electronics, laptops and HDTV’s? After you click on them, you will find that it is a penny auction site. 95% off?! Is it too good to be true? You may be wondering if this is another type of scam.
I have been researching and bidding on some penny auction sites. Penny auctions are not a scam. However, there are illegitimate penny auction websites. You have to carefully choose one before you start bidding.
I have been researching which penny auctions give the best bargains. I’ve learned that finding the right site can mean the difference between saving $10, saving $100 at best, or at worst, getting scammed out of all your hard-earned dough. During my research, sometimes a site would appear legit, but after careful investigation I would discover the site wasn’t very efficient for consumers or, at worst, they conducted illegal business practices.
I like to use websites that offer the Buy-it-Now option. This option allows you to buy the product for retail price, even if you do not win the auction. Whatever you already spent on the auction is subtracted from the retail price and you simply cover whatever is left.
Also, auctions go faster and are more exciting when the countdown timer does not reset too high or add too much time to the clock for each new bid. Some sites I saw added 2 minutes for every unique bid, which could make an auction last hundreds of hours! A fantastic website I saw only adds 15 seconds for each unique bid. Another positive: This same website has a policy that once the clock goes below 10 seconds, no matter how many people bid, the timer will only reset at 15 seconds. This makes for extremely fast and productive auctions.
On the darker side of things, a common illegal business practice I would find is the use of robots, called, “bots.” Bots are used to secretly outbid bidders, so the bidders still have to pay for bids, but they never win, meaning it is impossible for them to receive the products they have paid for.
Another common but unfortunate business practice is the allowing of company employees and family members to bid against consumers. Not only is this immoral and illegal, but company insiders are more likely just to outbid you and raise the price of that item, creating an extremely unfair advantage for the honest bidder.
The above-mentioned illegal practices are all designed to steal money from honest bidders. So bidders spend a lot of honest money on bids but the company never sends bidders the products they’ve won.