Penny Auction Guide: 4 Trusted Penny Auction Sites

If you haven't tried a penny auction yet, you should give it a try.  Not only are they addictive, they bring back the fun of the older traditional auction websites.  And you just might get a great deal on a product you've been coveting.  You've probably seen the commercials, or seen ads on the internet about penny auctions.  But just what is a penny auction?

A penny auction is where the bid price of an item being auctioned off is raised by one penny at a time.  There is a timer for the auction, and each time there is a bid, the timer increases.  Whoever is the winning bidder when time finally expires wins the auction.  If you win an auction, you pay the final bid price plus the cost of any bids you placed.  For example, if the final price on an item is $4.94, that means there were 494 bids placed.  If you, as the winner, placed 63 bids, you would have paid for your bids, plus $4.94.

What Are Penny Auctions?

Penny auction sites are becoming more popular, evidenced by how many are popping up all over the internet.  The question is, which are the best penny auction sites?  The best penny auction sites are the ones that give you opportunities to win quickly, or win free bids, or offer you bids for joining.  But be advised, if you want to win a penny auction, you will need to invest some money up front to buy a bid package.

In case you are unaware, penny auctions don't actually cost a penny!  Most of these auction sites let you purchase bid packages, for a certain amount of money.  The bigger the bid package, the less you pay per bid, but costs per bid vary. For example, you might pay $25 for a bid package of 50 bids.  In some cases, penny auction sites will offer free bids as part of an incentive.  Sometimes you get free bids just for signing up, or bonus bids for buying certain bid packs.   In any case, they all offer the same promise:  A chance to win an item for significantly less than retail value.

How To Win A Penny Auction

Penny auction bidding is a skill in its own right.  You don't want to spend your bids carelessly.  Its best to outlast your bidding opponents for awhile, so they run out of bids before you do.  Find items that don't have many people bidding on them.  When using your penny auction bids, make them count.  You should focus on one item at a time, and don't spread those bids around on multiple items.  That's a quick way to burn through your bids and your money. Penny auction bidding can be a bit tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, you start having a lot of fun.  Don't overspend your bids, and keep an eye on the "key players" of your auction.  You might find clues as to what kind of bidder they are and that can give you the advantage to win your auction.

Another tip on winning your auction is when you first register your account, choose a name that is intimidating.  Even if you are the kindest, sweetest person that you know, choosing a username that intimidates your bidding competition can give you a psychological edge.  Remember, the timer increases each time there is a bid, so you want to convince them that you are in it to the end.  A name like "BidBank3000" which implies you have 3000 bids, or a name like "AlwaysLastBid" will put the idea in your opponent's head that they can't win.

Avoid Penny Auction Scams

Something else to keep an eye on, is penny auction scams.  There are two basic forms of penny auction scams.  The first, and easier to spot is the fly by night penny auction scams.  Winners spend their money, win the item, and wait for the item to arrive in the mail, but it never does.  You can avoid this type of scam by making sure you are participating on a site that is reputable.  Check their address, phone numbers, and look for reviews.  You can check the better business bureau for reference.  Use their "contact us" to find out more information about them.

The second and more common form of penny auction scams is the shill.  A shill is a person or computer program designed to appear as a legitimate bidder, who actually just wants to raise the bid price higher so the seller makes more money.  A good penny auction site will have an aggressive policy toward the practice of shilling, and you should report any activity that would appear suspicious.  You can also minimize the potential of this type of penny auction scam by only shopping on sites that promise integrity and openness, and that have an proactive approach in dealing with this type of illegal behavior.

Which Are The Best Penny Auction Sites?

Your odds of winning a penny auction depend largely on your bidding strategy and how many bids you have available.  If you don't have a lot of bids, you should focus on items with a smaller retail value.  But its not all about how many bids you have, but how you use those bids.  And just as important to your chance to win is which penny auction sites you choose to join.  BidRivals, Beezid, BidHere, and Quibids are some of the most popular penny auction sites on the web.  Each site has its own promotions, but they all work in a similar fashion.  Most importantly, these sites are accredited with the better business bureau, offer inventory and delivery guarantees, and are well established.  There are literally hundreds of penny auction sites to choose from.  Once you find a site you want to join, prepare yourself for a frenzy of fun!

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