Helpful Tips for Avoiding Penny Auction Scams

penny auction tips
Pay Attention to Alexa Rank

An Alexa rank is a rank given to websites by Alexa, an owned company. Alexa provides web analytics such as traffic rank, country demographics, site load time, pageviews/
user, and much more. The lower the Alexa rank, the better it reflects on the quality and 
popularity of a website. For example, Google holds the number 1 traffic rank on Alexa.
 The higher the Alexa rank, the more risk you are taking when participating in that website’s
 penny auctions.

A clear warning sign that a penny auction site is not “on the up and up” is when
 the site auctions off expensive products (Macbooks, iPads, HDTVs, etc.) but has an Alexa rank
 greater than 40,000.

You can download the free Alexa Sparky toolbar for Firefox. This will allow you to see the traffic
rank of the website in the bottom right corner of your browser when you visit any site, including
 penny auctions websites.

Pay Attention to the Checkout Process

Any legitimate auction site will not try to sell you or fool you into an initial bid pack purchase of
 over $100 to start participating on their site. Also, any company that tries to auto-enroll you in a continuity program where you are billed monthly is another obvious indicator of an unscrupulous
 penny auction site. This is a tell-tale sign that the website is a scam.

Read the Terms and Conditions Closely

If a penny auction website says they will sell your information to third parties, or that they will not
 refund any bids that are purchased, take this as a sign that this is not a penny auction website 
where you should participate.

Look for Suspicious Signs

There are many suspicious signs that a site might not be legitimate. Here are a few:

1. Small ticket items ($20 or less) that go for hundreds of bids
You can often catch certain sites “bot bidding” as you notice that even the cheap items
 will go on for forever. Even large sites rarely ever get 100 or more bids on small items,
 so be cautious of sites where you witness this.

2. Six or more big ticket items ending at once on a site
There are not many penny auction sites that have the user traffic rank to legitimately support 6 or more 
big ticket items ending at the same time, or very close to the same time.

This guest blog was written by Matt Beckham, CEO of Would you like to submit a guest blog? Contact Us!

Discuss & review penny auctions in our penny auction forum!

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10 comments… add one
  • rpgman1 May 9, 2010, 6:56 am

    Thanks for the wonderful advice on penny auction scam sites. I was on one that

    had big ticket items almost ending at the same time (around 30!). It wasn't listed on PAW and wasn't one of the more famous penny auction sites.

  • dublilegend May 13, 2010, 3:03 am

    Hi, is IceBidz legal?

  • Mark May 17, 2010, 6:38 pm

    "Read the Terms and Conditions Closely

    If a penny auction website says they will sell your information to third parties, or that they will not
 refund any bids that are purchased, take this as a sign that this is not a penny auction website 
where you should participate."

    bidcactus home page: "Please note: all bidpacks are non-refundable."

    bidcactus just got the BBB, and anyways, please tell me any PA that refunds money of bids, i am really curious, i will buy 1000 bids tomorrow, spend them, and ask for refund in case i don't win… Sorry i do not agree with this one.

    • auctionwatcher May 18, 2010, 2:01 am

      Hi Mark,
      We meant unused bids purchased. Thanks & Good luck!

  • eddie July 8, 2010, 1:50 am

    Wow. I dont know what to think about these penny auctions. I just looked at and looked over the bid history on one of the closed auctions and I checked on one specific bidder so I chose apbid. The auction was for $100. The auction ended at $3.05, so that means that they were 305 different bids on this auction. That is all good as long as you have alot of people bidding on this specific auction. What gets me is that the specific user by the name of apbid bid 147 different times on this item. That means that he spent $147 to win $100. LOL there is no way that is logical. Some say its strategy to keep people from bidding against them on the next auction but if that is true how long can a business go on after realizing that they have bullies that try to scare people from bidding against them because they know apbid is willing to pay more then what he is winning. By using BOTS against the bullies that’s how.


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