Have you bid on Prizes4Pennies.com? Just launched on July 26th, their penny auctions really have been ending for just a few pennies, some with only 1 bid.
We recently interviewed Prizes4Pennies’ owner to learn more:
Penny Auction Watch: What got you interested in the penny auction industry?
Prizes4Pennies: I first heard about penny auctions from an ad I saw online early this year. Like most penny auction ads, it had a product pictured with a great price next to it. So, being curious, I clicked the banner and checked it out, I think it was Swoopo.com. I was amazed by the model and the genius of it. At its core it’s so simple, to this day I’m kicking myself for not coming up with the idea first. So first I was a user on a couple of sites like Swoopo, Snaglo and Bid Rodeo. And as I learned more about penny auctions and the intricacies of the industry, I decided to start my own site. This isn’t my first web business, back in 2005 I was heavily involved in the freebie industry (remember freeipods.com? Not my site, but I had 11 like it). Ever since I closed that site in 2008 I’ve been anxious to start another business in a similarly intriguing field. And so, here I am. When I decided to start this site, I knew there were plenty of other penny auction sites out there. Making one just like the others wouldn’t be a great idea, so I knew I needed some kind of differentiator. I wanted to modify the typical bid system that was in place, I wanted to be able to offer multiple types of bids, and preferably for a lower price. That’s how I came up with Hot Bids. Hot Bids work the same as Regular Bids but they are sold for a heavy discount. I offer Hot Bids for a discount (from $.40-.50) because they are only valid for a certain period of time. You have to use them in the allotted time or they disappear. I like to think that I’m giving my users a challenge. If you purchase 10, or 25, or 50 of these Hot Bids, can you use them all before they expire? If you find that you simply can’t use them before they expire, we have a newly announced Hot Bid Exchange Policy. At the end of the day, if you still have Hot Bids remaining, you can exchange them into Regular Bids at a rate of 3-to-1.
Penny Auction Watch: What kind of items do you offer/ have lined up? Do your auctions run on a schedule?
Prizes4Pennies: Right now I’m pretty much sticking to the basics in terms of prize offerings: Gift cards, cash cards and a few iPods here and there. Although I do run gift subscriptions for services like Netflix about every other day. I haven’t found any other penny auction sites that do this, and I think it’s a great prize so I decided to offer it. So far it’s been a pretty popular item on my site. I don’t have a set schedule, I change it up everyday based on which auctions are doing well and at what times they are doing well.
Penny Auction Watch: What are the timer increments between bids/does this vary by auction?
Prizes4Pennies: Right now it varies per auction. Some are on 10-second timers, some are 20-second timers. I’m still deciding which time increment I want to use permanently.
Penny Auction Watch: How much are your bids?
Prizes4Pennies: Hot Bid Bidpacks vary from $.40-.50, depending on how many you buy. Soon, we will be introducing different time lengths for the Hot Bids. At the moment, all Hot Bids expire after 12 hours. But soon, we will have Hot Bids that expire after only a few hours, and they will be sold at an even greater discount.
Regular Bid Bidpacks vary from $.80-.90.
Penny Auction Watch: What are your shipping costs? How long does it usually take for users to receive their items?
Prizes4Pennies: Physical giftcards are shipped for $.99, small items are shipped for $1.99 (usually via 2nd Day Air). And of course any virtual items are sent for free. I send everything the same day of the auction, usually within minutes of its completion.
Penny Auction Watch: What states/countries are you open to?
Prizes4Pennies: We are open to any country, although most of our users are from the US and Germany. Because we offer cash exchanges for all of our prizes, we can send money via Paypal, Obopay or check to virtually anywhere in the world.
Penny Auction Watch: What is your policy for bid refunds?
Prizes4Pennies: If you get disconnected during an auction, or if the auction ends prematurely, all of your bids will be refunded. Simple as that.
Penny Auction Watch: Are there any win limits, limits /household?
Prizes4Pennies: Right now win limits are 2 per person per day, excluding Bidpacks.
Penny Auction Watch: Is there a story behind the name/theme?
Prizes4Pennies: Actually a friend of mine came up with the name and design of the logo, I’m not exactly talented when it comes to graphic design. There’s not really a story behind it, I liked it so we went with it.
I’d just like to invite everyone to try us out. I mentioned differentiators earlier when I was talking about the Hot Bids, but I feel I can differentiate my site more from others by the level of service that I personally offer.
I make myself available to my customers all day everyday, and I’m eager to give you a great experience on my site so that you’ll want to come back to us again in the future. I look forward to working with you guys! Thanks PAW!
You’re welcome Prizes4Pennies!
Let us know if you’ve bid on Prizes4Pennies.com and what your experiences have been!
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