Entertainment Auction Association Formed

Entertainment Penny Auction Association


It’s been a while since good news was shared here on the penny auction industry, and I know a few critics have said this site is pretty negative, and unfortunately this is not without reason. There are shady operators that are, and have been, ripping consumers off and giving the entire penny auction industry a bad name. As a penny auction user you enjoy penny auctions, and you deserve to spend your money on an honest site. As a site operator you don’t deserve the illegimate sites to give your site a bad name, but you know that they do.

Today, we bring you good news,  and in my opinion the answer to the penny auction problem, the Entertainment Auction Association (EAA) has just been established!

“The EAA is a California nonprofit corporation that formed an industry trade association, with the sole purpose of promoting integrity within the entertainment auction industry.”

Entertainment Auction Association Seal

The Entertainment Auction Association Seal

Swoopo, BigDeal and BidCactus are the Entertainment Auction Association’s founding members.

The Entertainment Auction Association will be run and directed by board members, officers, and a paid Executive Director, all of whom will oversee the activities of the Association and its members.

BidCactus is an approved member, they were audited by Ernst & Young in May, while BigDeal and Swoopo are pending audit completion.

The mission of the EAA is to promote integrity within the entertainment shopping penny auction industry and protect penny auction consumers.

“BidCactus.com is thrilled to be a founding partner of the industry’s first governing body dedicated to offering players a fair and just way to play penny auctions,” said Michael Staw, BidCactus.com CEO and Entertainment Association Co-Founder. “It is our hope that other penny auction sites will adhere to the principles and guidelines the Entertainment Auction Association has set forth in order to provide our players the best experience possible.”

”The founding of the association is an important step in strengthen the industry by weeding out those companies that engage in fraudulent behavior.  Our goal is to have customers feel secure that any company that is part of the association runs a website that is ethical, transparent, and safe to bid on” says Nicolas Darveau-Garneau, CEO of BigDeal.com.

“As the founder of the first penny auction site, Swoopo is concerned about the rise in fraudulent activity over the last two years and has decided to join forces with other credible industry leaders to battle this phenomenon by co-founding the EAA” said Frank Han, CEO, Swoopo.

The organization’s mission statement ensures that an EAA member will be performing business honestly and fairly. The code of conduct poses a strict set of rules, audits of members are a requirement and there will be fines for non-compliance.

Penny Auction Watch℠ strongly encourages legit penny auction sites to join the Entertainment Auction Association, as it will give users a sense of trust, as well as demonstrate that a penny auction site will do what it takes to further prove that an honest, transparent and overall good experience is being provided for all users.

The Entertainment Auction Association’s Mission & Code of Conduct, from http://entertainmentauctionassociation.com/mission.html:


To promote integrity within the entertainment auction industry through a strict code of conduct, audits of members, and fines for non-compliance. Specifically:

  • Ensure that all members do not engage in any unethical practices in their auctions
  • Ensure that all products are shipped as promised
  • Ensure that all marketing practices adhere to the FTC’s truth in advertising policies
  • Ensure that customers are treated honestly and fairly at all times

Code of Conduct

  • Company’s real name, email, and address will be prominently displayed on the site
  • No employees, shill bidders, or bots bidding on the site
  • Company will ship all items as promised at the S&H cost displayed
  • Company will have a clear refund policy for unused bids and abide by that policy
  • Company will not create fake testimonials, fake quotes, or fake promotional material
  • Company and its affiliates will comply with the FTC’s truth-in-advertising policies
  • Company will not make any fraudulent claims in its advertising or on its website

Before applying, all companies must represent, warrant, and agree:

  • Not to engage in any fraudulent or deceptive behavior
  • Website and marketing campaigns comply with the FTC’s truth-in-advertising policies
  • Be subject to specific fines and penalties as set out in the association’s by-laws (including expulsion) if the company violates the Association’s Code of Conduct

Applicants must keep in mind that:

  • Membership is not automatic
  • All applications need to be approved by the Association’s board
  • All members need to pass an independent audit establishing that they maintain effective controls to ensure that consumers are being fairly and honestly treated
  • All members are subject to random spot checks of auctions or bidders to ensure that their practices are at all times above board”

The Entertainment Auction Association  is calling penny auctions world-wide to adhere to its practices, governing bylaws and ethics. This new organization is definitely a step in the right direction and it could not have come at a better time.

For more information and to apply to become a member, visit http://www.entertainmentauctionassociation.com/.

Discuss this in our penny auction forum!

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28 comments… add one
  • Josh December 8, 2010, 10:29 pm

    As an auction site owner this seems very interesting. I will have to check it out and do some research. Seems to me there could be the possibility that the major players in the formation of this company could use EAA to “rat out” smaller and up coming websites in order to weed out the competition. I know people will say that you wont join because you are scared of being caught cheating, but this is furthest from the truth. I believe we have a very good track record with all users, not just PAW users. I will see how their reviews go for a little while before i make my decision.

    Josh w/ PennyShop

    • Amanda December 9, 2010, 8:33 am

      That’s an interesting thought, but I’ve said it many times before, there needs to be oversight & audits need to be done. It’s way too easy for a penny auction site to cheat.

  • michael December 8, 2010, 11:19 pm

    This new Association that was formed is nothing but another way to Monopolize the industry and hurt another site like Quibids. You can post this if you want or not, But PAW and the new Non Profit with a 5K membership fee is nothing but a love fest as a reader suggested.

    You also call for a Independent Audit, Who is doing the Audit? An audit is for public companies, and now you are getting a group of people together who are all in Cahoots with each other to say who is in and who is out is total crap.

    Does anyone really think that this will be allowed. It also says you have to be approved and audited however 2 of the founding members of the board are not audited and yet they are the founders, whether or not its pending, fact is they aren’t.

    Personally I think an investigation needs to be done on the correlation between Bidcactus, Swoopo, BigDeal and Penny Auction Watch. I have spent the last 24 hours scanning and camtasia this whole site and no complaints on this site at all about them except a few. This site bad mouths every company out there, and then I went threw every penny auction that is out of business listed on this site, and then tied it to posts started by this site its crazy and doesn’t look good at all. I hope Quibids fight back and people see this as a way of the big boys trying to keep people out of the industry, which I will sure to put in my 2 cents.

    • Amanda December 9, 2010, 8:29 am

      Michael , what is your affiliation with penny auctions? It’s not a way to monopolize the industry, too many people have been ripped off and there needs to be audits done. I’m tired of seeing consumers cheated with their hopes up that they’ll get a good deal while they’re being robbed. I’m entitled to post my opinions and I think this is a step in the right direction. You’re entitled to your opinion too, but there’s no correlation between Penny Auction Watch. Bidcactus, Swoopo, and BigDeal.

      • Amanda December 9, 2010, 8:36 am

        Michael, What are you talking about? “I hope Quibids fight back and people see this as a way of the big boys trying to keep people out of the industry, which I will sure to put in my 2 cents.” I thought Quibids was a big player with “12k+ auctions in one day”!?
        From their Facebook wall: ” The actual auction number yesterday was 12,323″

        • Amanda December 9, 2010, 9:46 am

          And also 17,220 in one day: “QuiBids Congrats to Denisa Simpson on receiving 10 free
          bids for being the closest to answering the number of auctions we
          conducted yesterday. We actually had 17,200 auctions! Her answer:
          17,220 Be sure to check back tomorrow for another chance to win 10 free bids! In the meantime, be sure to check out what’s coming up for …”

          Wouldn’t this make Quibids the biggest fish?

  • Mark December 9, 2010, 4:19 am

    I did look website and this is looking very legit, I think this is only positive development but then again it has been known that those 3 sites don’t run scams anyway. I guess my question is what does it take to have other sites to join? As a constant bidder it would give me piece of mind to see site as member but am not sure how many want to pay for expencive audit? Also eaa site dosent offer detail how these members are audited, is it just accounting based audit?

    • Amanda December 9, 2010, 8:31 am

      Mark, it’s a full audit of shipping, bidders:

      “The EAA is requiring that all members complete an audit of their Online Penny Auction environment in conformity with AT_101, Attestation Standards of the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts (AICPA). This examination is important as it is a testament by management that company employs controls to provide reasonable assurance that prevent the use of bots, shill bidders, or hidden reserves, and validates that auction wins are fulfilled. The goal is to create transparency and accountability for each EAA member within the industry.” from the site.

  • Hari Seldon December 9, 2010, 1:10 pm

    the http://www.entertainmentauctionassociation.com/ link at the end of the post is broken

  • Martin December 9, 2010, 1:18 pm

    QuiBids lost any credibility for me after running across their fake news site… I will never bid there again there, I guess michael is their representative? You can say what you want for swoopo an example but at least they don’t run for scams. I have got all my items delivered and I know from other sources they don’t run scams. This is the problem on these days that anyone can set up an auction site and run bots that takes away any interest to bid on any of those sites as well any new small websites that was probably set up by “ready-to-go” templates.

  • JM December 9, 2010, 3:33 pm

    What is interesting about this is that 2 of the 3 founding members are still pending review? How can you be a founding member but not a member yet? These are the 3 links in the chain that all point back to PAW. This is just another weak attempt to kill legitimate competition. The fact that this site continuously points out auction sites as “fraudulent” or “cheats” simply because they wont allow some morally corrupt person view their back end systems is ridiculous, and yes Amanda, I am talking about you. You cant be a watchdog and accept money from those you are “watching”. I have found more negative comments about bidcactus than nearly any other site, yet there is not one negative thought about them on here.

    Anyone else find that the least bit suspicious? I certainly do.

    • Amanda December 9, 2010, 3:37 pm

      JM, I don’t know what you mean by “these are the 3 links in the chain that all point back to PAW” Let me know what is not legitimate about BidCactus? They were audited. If you look through this site and forum You’ll see that I’ve removed ads from sites that have later found to be cheating in some way or questionable, i.e. very slow shipping, etc.

  • Martin December 9, 2010, 6:32 pm

    I guess JM is running site that can’t afford 5k audit, too bad! If you read eaa site Bidcactus was audited by Ernst & Young that by no means can considered “morally corrupt”, so why don’t just mind your own business and save us from your bitter comments


    • JM December 10, 2010, 12:22 pm

      Martin, the fact is an audit itself is a guise that bidcactus.com gets to hide behind. Since you didn’t apperently read the Ernst & Young report you can do so here: http://images.bidcactus.com/bidcactus-ernst-young-report.pdf. This report was based on the assertations bidcactus reported on themselves to Ernst & Young, to which Ernst & Young (assuming bidcactus was telling the truth) formed an “opinion”. They did not actually look at anything progromatically. And now this same company (bidcactus) starts an organization to regulate itself? That’s absurd and doesn’t work.
      Tell you what Martin, I will start a new organization, it will be based on donations from penny auction users. Those donations will go towards the audits for companies who want to be legitimized. This way it’s run and supported by the users, not those who need to be regulated. The EAA, and bidcactus are ethically bankrupt for that simple reason.

  • Bastille December 10, 2010, 12:00 pm

    Amanda you asked JM what was not legitimate about bidcactus.com. You said yourself that you think the false news sites or advertorials are misleading well….. http://www.pennytimesdaily.com is owned by bidcactus and it sure looks like a false news site to me. Point is most of these sites are run by or advertise through affiliate networks so we are bound to see some bad landing page reviews, offers or whatever you wanna call them.

  • Earl December 10, 2010, 4:29 pm

    I can understand the value to a user possibly looking at this association and feeling a little more safe.

    However, lets just get to the heart of the matter. It is nothing but a clever marketing ploy. There are tonnes of sites that offer “seals” and such, and some are questionable.

    The biggest being the BBB, where payment renders someone an A rating. If people knew the truth about the BBB, they would question sites possibly even more that have the seal than don’t.

    Check out this YouTube video about the BBB.

    I digress a bit, but you get what I am saying. At first glance to regular users, sites that offer seals like the EAA featured in the post above, and the BBB seem credible and such. But rather, they are just marketing ploys.

    Though, there is some value in the audit I suppose.

  • jim December 12, 2010, 12:59 pm

    We are interested in more information about this….However the fee is abit on the heavy side. If there is any new info about this please email me.

    I do have a question about the legitimacy of this as it states in the contract that no fake news sites would be allowed. Yet one of the founding members bidcactus has a fake news site i ran accross the other day.. So are the rules for some and not all? I get that feeling here at paw too sometimes. Yes we have had affiliates create fake news sites promoting us, and we were successful in removing two of them but there is still one lingering out there .. We cut off thier pay until it is removed, but at this time it is still up. Not much else we can do about it as we do not own the site it was created on.

    But for a founding member, who is promoted so nicely here on paw, this fake news page bothers me as it seems there is one set of rules for some sites, and another set for others..The news site can be found here. So whats up with that?

    Has any other sites contacted this new Entertainment Auction Association? We really are interested, and would like to know if anybody else has explored this yet.


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