What is a Penny Auction?

Just what is a penny auction?

A penny auction is an auction where bidders pay-per-bid for an item and the time increases with each bid. The winning bidder is the bidder whoever is the last to bid when the timer counts down to 0 seconds. Not all auction websites are the same so make sure you read the rules carefully. Some auctions require you to also pay for the final amount showing for the item. For example if each bid raises the auction cost by $0.01 an auction that ends at $5.98 would mean there were 598 bids placed on that item. If the winning bidder were to place 74 bids on the item they would pay for each bid placed in addition to the final cost plus shipping.

Editor’s personal experience: I had some success with my first penny auction site. I won a few nice items at low prices, with some of my best being a Garmin GPS for $5, $50 Starbucks gift card for $0.80, a KitchenAid Mixer for $7. I have also spent more too, sometimes even over the value of the item and other times spending money and getting no items at all. These auctions can become very addictive, so be wise!

I didn’t know that there were so many penny auction websites until I did some investigating I found quite a few. Some are even auctioning off items such as cars, Michael Jackson concert tickets, gift cards, dvds, iPods, vacation packages, designer handbags, and other popular items.

Beware of shills, bots & scam auctions!

I have come across a few penny auction sites that appear to be doing business fraudulently by using shills: Penny auction employees/owners/friends that act as bidders to attract more bidders to the auction, and bid bots. A bid bot is a program that bids on many items or the same item over and over again. In order to obtain enough money to pay for the auction item so that the dishonest penny auction company makes a profit from all bidders then either releases the item to a real bidder in an effort to legitimize their penny auction site and reel more bidders in. Some auctions may even steal your money and not even ship you the item that you won.

PennyAuctionWatch was created with the bargain seeking, cautious bidder in mind. Feel free to share your experiences with other bidders in the forum so that others can be warned of the fraudulent penny auctions as well as the legit, safe sites.

Thanks for visiting!

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49 comments… add one
  • Adolf August 13, 2009, 7:50 pm

    Penny auctions are scams. The only one thing is that when they start their business allows to win a few months , the example is gozila.co.uk.

  • www.gozila.co.uk August 17, 2009, 1:18 am


    Not all penny auctions are scams. Even gozila.co.uk penny auction allows players to win. Anyway if you are not going to count your cash, you will probably became outbidden.

  • Anonymous September 14, 2009, 6:50 am

    This website it's the best penny auction website you will find. With your bids you get premium information where you can see how many are bidding on a auction and how many bids remain. It's a great genuine website and now is the time to get great bargains. Register and try the virgin auction witch are free to bid and win it's that simple and 100% genuine. The Customer Service that users receive is fantastic you will not get service like this anywhere else. There is also a new tool where you can now chat to other people on PsychoAuction with PsychoChat and tell them which items they should not bid on because you want to win them yourselves! Also new: If you purchase more than 500 bids within 7 days and use them on an object without winning it, they give you back half of the used bids. It's great fun and you win also great place and the best. You don't need Mathemitcal skills you can see how many bids remain. see for yourself, i have won 24 items so far and there have been many winners.

  • Anonymous September 19, 2009, 1:24 pm

    just to update you i have now won 27 items, on psychoauction .com n the past week i have won a nitendo wii, LG TV and 1000 cash it's just great.

  • bargains September 21, 2009, 7:24 pm

    There are many people out there running scam penny auction sites. People need to have a place where they can turn to find out whether a penny auction site is legitimate or not

  • TJ September 25, 2009, 12:45 pm

    Far as I can tell this one is legit I won an xbox for like 10 cents had to pay the shipping I think the total was like 15-16 bucks after shipping. They acutally sent it and I got it about a week after I paid :D. Didn't seem like many people were bidding on there either so I'm guessing it's new or they suck at advertising. lol

  • TJ September 25, 2009, 12:48 pm

    P.S. the site I was talking about was http://poordaddypennyauction.com/ enjoy!

  • Steve November 8, 2009, 9:12 am

    Landofsavings.com is nothing short of a scam, you have to wait for months

    to get your winnings. Poor customer service, their bids are worth nothing cos

    they give it out for free to prolong the auction.

    If you don't mind waiting for months for your winning

    or if you wona spend days bidding, then this is the site for you.

    They might have been good sometime back but I am talking about now.

    Hope this review help others. In case you wona sign up with them raise issues with them first.

    Good luck

  • Manchester November 13, 2009, 4:24 pm

    One of the penny auctions that I think is legit is http://www.bids4penny.com
    I found them over 2 months ago and I won an item (PDA cell phone) on my first attempt for only £5.98 and I’ve paid £16 for the postage and I received my item within 8 days. since then I won so many items. I am planning to go for the ford KA that will start in future. they also have one of the best customer service. you will also get 10 free bids for each referral that you refer!
    if you want to register on http://www.bids4penny.com then contact me and I will give you my referral link so we both get 10 free bids as well…

  • craig November 26, 2009, 12:31 pm

    I have to agree with Physco auctions, very good site, i have won £200 and 2 game systems, Landofsavings.com is also a very good site, delivery is slower (I waited 4 weeks and 2 weeks) but did win a lot of good items, £300 in cash, tesco gift card and a 50" tv. Stay away from froggybids.co.uk this one is a rip off.

  • ladygaga December 10, 2009, 12:48 pm

    I have been using http://www.ReetBid.com which is a UK based for 2 months now and I think is the most legit penny auction in the UK and I recommend it to all the users out there.

  • Bidfella January 1, 2010, 4:18 pm

    Scam sites are out there but many of penny auctions are still legit businesses. Try out Bidfella – we work hard to offer big wins and pleasant user experience.

  • Bid crazy January 5, 2010, 1:48 pm

    I really like that website, BidBiter.com, I won some gift cards and I only paid like one dollar for two fifty dollar gift cards. and the bids are only seventy five cents.

  • MR Rick January 14, 2010, 1:42 pm

    I still don’t know what all the fuss is about with these penny auctions, seems people have a problem with how much the penny auction site is making off the items they auction rather than concentrate on the fact that there are winner and they are getting items for far less than they would pay for it in the stores
    look at it this way, who is making the fuss the winner or the loser? think about that as you throw away your lost lottery ticket and are on the way to buy another. Also check out swoopbug.com they have level playing field with their bid til you win option. if you do not win the auction your bids are returned to your account untill you win one, hows that for a level playing field ?

  • Not Saying January 23, 2010, 7:01 am

    Manchester (aka Manchester Boy) promotes the Bids4Penny.com website anywhere he can.

    Having bid on this site – I am convinced it is a scam – it definitely uses bidbots and/or shill bidders.

    It sometimes auctions cars but you can never find any publicity about the prize giveaway – doesn't that seem a bit strange?

    When Madbid.com auction off a car they publicise it everywhere, well you would wouldn't you – if there was a genuine prize!

  • Vizion Quest February 7, 2010, 11:44 am

    Here's a list of some of the top penny auction sites and a comparison chart that addresses the differences in features and benefits of them. You can filter, sort and compared pricing, bid costs, shipping, and whether or not they offer credit towards lost bids:


  • Susan March 3, 2010, 6:52 am

    The first charity penny auction site http://www.Bid2battle.com

    There are not so many players like at swoopo or Bidrivals so you have more chance of winning great products. You don’t have to be battling with 20000 other players and they donate 25% of their profit to charity. Check it out and you will thank me later …

  • Bidito March 18, 2010, 7:32 am

    Scam sites are out there but many of penny auctions are still legit businesses. Try out http://www.Bidito.com – we work hard to give the most pleasant user experience.

  • shell March 30, 2010, 8:27 am

    Don't be sucked into their lies and rubbish. Waste of time don't send items only contact you when it suits them already went to trading standards stay well away.

  • R March 31, 2010, 1:41 pm

    We are working on a brand new penny auction which will be geared more towards women who LOVE designer goods…but men should keep a watch b/c it will be a great way to get great deals on gifts for their girlfriends and wives!

  • shell April 14, 2010, 5:40 am

    btw i wad talking about landofsavings.com

  • Best penny auction April 19, 2010, 1:02 am


    Nice information,

    Thanks for sharing,

    keep it up.

  • Jimbo April 29, 2010, 10:16 pm

    Agree with shell, such a shame was a good site, feel really suckered now

  • shell June 5, 2010, 3:54 am

    i got trading standards involved eventually got money back however i have 409bids in account that are useleslooks like they haven’t been running for a couple months now.
    Scam nothing but a scam

  • martin June 23, 2010, 9:41 am

    Penny auctions are scam, or at least not a bargain at all. The more participants the site has the lower chance you can win. I prefer highest unique bid auctions much more. There, no matter how many participants, your chances remain the same. Try http://www.eUNIBID.com. I haven't been succesfull winning a big item but have already won 7 best buy gift cards altogether worth $140. Seems to me like they're giving them away to promote their business or something.

  • deen July 14, 2010, 11:40 pm

    It is true … not all penny auction is a scam…

    you just need to make a thorough research..

    Penny Auctions

  • Joe Jewell September 5, 2010, 4:25 pm

    Don't use Swipebids, it is a total scam and you are NOT gonna get a good deal on anything they have. There are people on swipebids that live on the site and have thousands of bids that bring the price up and you can't win against them. I have tried to get ahold of them for some time now, they have my home phone, nextel number, skype number, email, and still they have not gotten in touch with me. They take your money and if you complain they kick you off so you can't log in anymore unless you do it all over again, then your proof is gone. They have this rewards program on the site, it works buy how many bids you buy and use, and I was 200 bucks short of getting a computer and they changed the prize so they took all the money I put into it and just laughed at me. I don't ever get to see it again, I am a stupid fool for trusting this guy. STAY AWAY. WARNING WARNING!!! A GREAT site is letsgobidding.com, its a new company and only a few people know about it so you get great items for a low price. I have bought $295 worth of bids and I have won 7 items including a 700 dollar t.v. I am way ahead and I work with non-profit organizations for animals, so I win at letsgobidding.com and I donate it to the animals so they auction it off and make money. GOTO LETSGOBIDDING.COM they have the best deals right now and none of that auto bidding crap!

  • BidRivals November 2, 2010, 3:24 am

    The three main reasons why people bid on penny auctions are Cheap Products,Fun & RewardingA much more exciting approach to shop online

  • Richard March 12, 2011, 1:48 pm

    I now nothing about penny auctions, but in my 40 years on this earth i know one thing, you very,very,very rarely get anything for nothing.
    There is no buisness model i know that involves giving stuff away. someone somewhere IS paying for it.

  • Animoto June 2, 2011, 8:17 am

    What are the most legit penny auctions out there? Like who has the best reputation?

    • AuctionWatcher June 2, 2011, 11:38 am

      Hey animoto please join our forum!

  • Jojoba Oil India August 1, 2011, 7:23 am

    We are the Manufacturers, Exporters and Suppliers of Jojoba Oil in India.

  • Charmaine December 13, 2011, 12:41 am

    I’ve gone through a lot of penny auction sites, and i really ended up frustrated with their fraudulent service. I’ve come across this new site, http://www.gottadeal.au where I won bids easily, no hassles at all. 🙂 This is really a must try!

  • David March 23, 2012, 4:20 pm

    This is really cool stuff. I just recently got into researching penny auctions and found a cool one that will be coming out pretty soon. There isnt a lot of information out now on it, but I emailed the guys and they have so cool ideas and seem legitimate in wanting to create a lasting site! Like I said, no content really yet, but in a few days (from what they tell me) check out http://www.bidplayers.com for all the news on the launch. I followed them on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/bidplayers) to get updates and what not.

    Seriously, I think this one could be pretty sweet!



  • Rick April 9, 2012, 2:07 pm

    I found a site that has so that I have been winning without even buying bids. They normally will only give you 25 bids for free to start with, but I found a link that gave me 500 bids for free to start with and they actually have some great stuff to win, they even had a car and a trip up for grabs last month.


    I really have been winning some cool items.

  • James December 5, 2012, 10:52 am

    Hi Guys,

    There are a lot of scams out there bidcrazy.com.au is a great way to shop and save awesome items. free shipping prices can be high compared to other sites since all their auctions offer the bids back feature as well as the buy it now feature.

    I won a 250Gb Ps3 for under $10.00 plus $80.00 worth of bids and the new call of duty game for $4.36 including postage.


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