A penny for them….
Penny Auctions are a relatively new internet phenomenon. These auction sites offer an alternative method of bidding for items as opposed to traditional auction sites such as Ebay. Potential buyers place bids on offered items. Each bid rises by a set incremental amount, usually one cent or one penny. Once no new bids have been received for a short set period of time (sometimes as little as ten seconds) the auction is over and the person placing the final bid wins the item. This means expensive retail items can be purchased for a fraction of their usual cost. The auction site makes its money by charging its buyers a set fee for each bid, whether a bid is a winning bid or not. Bidding on penny auction sites can be both fun and addictive, with equal amounts of success and disappointment. Here is a rundown of the top ten penny auction sites:
Currently regarded as the industry-leader, Quibids typically have more auctions than any other site. Each bid costs 40p (or 60 cents) and the maximum bid time is a mere 15 seconds. Quibids have been so successful they have succeeded in advertising on national television. They also have a unique “Buy Now” feature if you miss out on a must-have item, and will gently ease you in to the sometimes hectic world of penny auctions with auctions for new and inexperienced members. Quibids has a “fair usage” policy limiting each member to a maximum of twelve auction wins in every 28-day period.
A relative newcomer to the scene, Bid Cactus offer auctions that cease after a set time, rather than after the last timed bid. Each bid costs 75 cents, and they are usually special auctions for new users and the less experienced. They are currently North America-only but report an ambition to move into other markers. Bid Cactus specialise in Gift Cards and low-priced electronic items.
Styling themselves the #1 penny auction site, Beezid offers buyers on average to save 92% on retail prices. They have a huge amount of daily auctions, and promise each item is brand new. Their bid prices range from 55 to 90 cents, depending on how many bids you buy. Beezid offer occasional promotions, such as a “Guaranteed Win” feature to ensure anyone who joins the site wins at least one auction.
Ziinga is a UK-based penny auction site that offers a range of options, including a “Bid Agent” where you can set the maximum price you’re willing to pay for an item, and how many bids you are willing to make. This means you can partake in an auction when you’re away from your computer, although you do miss out on the special “buzz” when an auction nears its conclusion. Ziinga specialise in consumer electronics, such as cameras, computers and gaming systems.
Whilst Deal Dash is a typical penny auction site, charging 60 cents per bid, they are rare in that they offer consolation to failed bidders. If you really want an item but fail in the auction you can purchase it at a “Buy It Now” price, and be refunded for your failed bids. Deal Dash are based in NYC and are one of the longest-running penny auction sites, being founded in February 2009.
Happy BidDay offers potential new customers the reward of 50 free bids, plus the opportunity to earn more by signing up to deals. Purchased bids run from 120 bids for $27 to 1200 bids for £185. Occasionally Happy BidDay will offer special deals, including auctions that are completely free to bid in, or smaller-scale auctions where bids cost as little as ten cents.
PennyGrab is a site that specialises in selling gift cards for prime retailers with significant discounts. They also have a “Buy Now” option and bids cost 50 cents each for the auctions. If you ever get bored simply bidding on penny auctions, the PennyGrab site has a range of flash-type games in which you can win promotional credits.
Zbiddy is a fairly typical penny auction site that promises brand new items. Bids are raised by one cent each bid and can be bought for 60 cents each. Zbiddy has been in existence since 2010 and have built up a solid reputation with a worthwhile selection of products, including grocery coupons and holiday vouchers. Zbiddy also offers auto-bid software meaning you don’t have to watch an auction to win it.
HQ Bids are relative newcomers to the penny auction world, but promise to save their members up to 98% off typical retail prices. There have special offers from time to time, such as 25 free bids with every bid purchase, with bids being bought from 60 cents upwards. Currently HQ Bids only ship to the US, Canada and Australia.
Another new player, You Never Lose is one further site specialising in auctions for retail gift cards for use with major retailers such as Shell, McDonalds, Starbucks, Amazon and Sears. Uniquely, they promise to match every bid purchase you make with a gift card of equal value to a retailer of your choice. Their auctions are fast and furious as seven seconds with no bid closes the auction.