You May Want to Do a Price Check!

There are a few penny auction sites that allow us to apply bids spent to purchasing items at the retail price (bid-to-buy); however, some users believe that penny auction sites are inflating the retail prices on certain items. Other sites are even charging shipping on items when they are not paying to ship the item, i.e. fulfilling items with Amazon’s free shipping.

If you’re trying to save money (remember- sometimes penny auction bidding can cause you to lose money) it’s important that you make sure you know what you’re bidding on before you decide to commit to bid-to-buy!

Remember, MSRP is the price that a manufacturer recommends a retailer sell an item for, this is not always the price that the retailer uses.

One user wrote to tell us that he was so upset over penny auction sites “inflating retail prices” that he closed accounts on three sites, despite the fact that he still obtained some deals.  He told us that he purchased a universal remote on one site for $240, when he received the remote the invoice showed that the site had paid  $179. He tells us he would check other items he won against other online retailers such as Amazon and found a $200+ difference in prices, though the site told him they had prices competitive with Amazon, and the items were not on sale on Amazon during the listed time period.

In August of last year, penny auction RockyBid.com told us, that “a penny auction site cannot do enough volume in one product to have great wholesale deals and still offer a cool variety of products to the users. Nintendo, Apple and others will not allow Penny Auction Sites to be wholesalers at all. Very often we must purchase more of a particular item to fulfill orders than Amazon allows us to ship. In these cases we must often pay more than the Amazon price, sometimes much more.”

We have to argue that if we can still obtain an item for over the current market price, it’s still better than walking away empty-handed, as is the case when bidding on penny auction sites that do not provide users with this option.

Make sure you check to see if 100% of bids placed can be applied to purchasing an item, some penny auction sites will only let users apply a certain percentage of bids spent to receive a discount.

When bidding to buy items at a higher price than could be obtained through a retailer,  i.e. at MSRP, we must first ask ourselves whether or not we would like to take the chance to win the desired item at a lower price than MSRP, as is possible by penny auction bidding, or end up paying more than the current market price than to walk away empty handed, had we not been given the buy-it-now option.

Ultimately, we must ask ourselves what an item is worth to us, it’s always wise to do our homework before bidding!

Money Saving Tips for Shopping Online:

  • Remember, if you’re looking to save money you may not want to bid on penny auctions!
  • Speaking of Amazon.com, did you know that Amazon has an unstated 30-day price guarantee rebate policy? According to Mint.com,  “If you buy something on Amazon (with Amazon as the seller), you are entitled to a refund if the price drops. This doesn’t not apply to third party sellers on Amazon and they do not do price matching. Call 800.201.7575 (ext. 7) or go visit their help center to file for a refund online. It takes 1 or 2 days to get the refund.”

Click here to visit our penny auction forum for tips and reviews of penny auction sites!

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