Our Totally Free Practice & Demonstration Penny “Auction” Site Launches Today!

UPDATE 12/18/10: JONATHAN SMITH OF PENNYAUCTIONCOMMUNITY.com FORMERLY MIDPENNY.COM sold the Shillo.com script to me illegally when I asked him if he had resale rights. He sold it to me anyway and he was not entitled to do so. I did not have the right to purchase the software according to Scriptmatix, and apologize to Scriptmatix for buying it but Jonathan told me he could re-sell it. I did not know, he lied to me and he was in breach of the terms (if he really even owned the license).


shillo.com

Shillo.com

Earlier this month we announced that we’d soon be launching a free site to demonstrate and provide bidders with a free place to practice bidding on penny auctions, today, after a year in the making, it’s ready!

Penny Auction Sites are Stealing From Bidders with BOTS

I’m really frustrated now, more than ever, to really see just how easy it is for penny auction site operators to set up bots to shill bid and steal from paying bidders.

It has to stop! Yesterday, when it was posted here that investigation is imperative, because “it’s easy for penny auction sites to siphon money from hundreds if not thousands of customers, who’s to say that they even have to ship ANY items?”

Well, that was after we saw the “Hidden Reserve” function, “so products don’t undersell,” and just how easy it is to add autobidders (fake bidders) to auctions to bid until an X amount of bids (specified by the site operator) has bid.

A Very Possible Scenario

For example, let’s say I’m an unethical penny auction site owner and I want to sell a brand new MacBook. I get the site all ready, advertise that users are winning hot items such as MacBooks for a huge % off retail. I then list the MacBook starting at $0 (you know, that attracts buyers), I also set up a hidden reserve at let’s say 30% markup (there’s a “markup feature” in Shillo too), so let’s say the MacBook is worth $1000, I won’t let that MacBook be won by a real bidder until I’ve received $1,300 worth of bids by paying customers. What if I don’t? That’s easy, let a bot win for less, it will look great on the Winners Page.

That’s how it works, and that’s how the shady penny auction site operators do it.

If you’ve been a long-time reader perhaps you saw the post where we presented the information which alleged that there were no usernames found bidding on many penny auction sites that used the same script as Shillo, well, some of those sites are still open and when I added the usernames for the bots (indicated with the word *BOT*) no e-mail addresses were needed.

This script isn’t the only one that comes with bots, btw: it does say it’s for testing purposes, but I’d like to know why it’s not being used for just test purposes and why there are “hidden reserve.” Other developers have equated their penny auction site script bots to being “autobots = your angels = protectors = body and business guards!” Another calls their bots “Intelligent Investment Protection.”
That’s why this post says investigation is needed, it’s wrong what shady penny auction owners are doing. They’re stealing from us and it needs to stop.

Hopefully Shillo.com helps users realize just how easy it is for a penny auction site to set up bots to bid against them, it sure helped us see that.

Discuss Shillo in our penny auction forum!

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6 comments… add one
  • Charlie December 6, 2010, 8:41 pm

    So basically what you’re saying is that every single penny auction that is currently online or ever existed should be investigated?

    Does that take into account Swoopo, Bidcactus and all the sites you heavily promote in exchange for profit?

    Your posts are becoming quite ridiculous now. Whilst I myself have lost money on penny auction sites I do not believe what you are doing is beneficial to the penny auction industry at all. I even have a suspicion that many completely legitimate penny auction websites feel your website is doing great harm to the industry as a whole.

    While I’m writing this, I see advertisements for QuiBids and BigDeal. Who’s to say they’re legitimate websites not shilling any of their auctions? Have you examined their back-end code? Have you investigated their financial records? Have you verified all prizes have been shipped? I highly doubt it.

    The problem is you have grown this website into quite a powerful business and many site owners feel they must keep you happy in order to run a successful business, otherwise you will destroy their reputation. Readers believe you are an unbiased source of information, this couldn’t be further from the truth. You have turned ‘PAW’ into a very good money making machine, that’s quite clear.

    Your behavior mirrors that of a Mafia protection racket. Pay us money on a monthly basis or face the consequences.

    The whole website you operate is a complete scam. You are free to write what you want about businesses and approve or reject comments as you please under a cloak of anonymity. Even after I write this comment, it will go to approval where you’re free to reject it. Adding the words “alleged” to an article does not justify the lies you publish “Amanda” if that’s your real name.

    Reply
  • lana December 6, 2010, 9:45 pm

    that’s so sad. i work for a penny auction site and we are totally fair! if we make a loss, or a gain it’s all the truth. my husband (who loves auctions) and i noticed so many sites screwing around and being unfair, it’s ridiculous. like galaxybid.com with their reserves and wavee.com with obvious bots. i hope more sites use better practice like us (shopbig.com) before the whole industry goes down.

    Reply
  • Penny Auctions Bidder June 15, 2011, 5:23 pm

    It’s hard to say who’s right or wrong. I think Amanda is helping people to be careful. In doing so, there’re advertisers whom she cannot offend because of Ad income, and then there’ re easy targets PAW attacks. I like the analogy of a racket. You pay us and we won’t write anything bad about you. For example, I am a Bigdeal user and had lots of suspicion on their recent activities. Well PAW did neither agree nor disagree because they don’t have the facts (well I am assuming). I think that’s the right thing to do to not say anything. But since PAW did an interview on them, I am sure PAW got paid and the chance of PAW investigating on anything will be slim. Yet I don’t think PAW stops you posting anything that’s true if in fact Bigdeal.com is in trouble.

    Running a fair auction business is hard no matter what. The only game in town left standing is probably Quibid.com in my opinion. All the others are going to fail in the next 12 months. Mark my word.

    Reply
    • Amanda June 15, 2011, 7:05 pm

      Sorry, but you are wrong about that. Look at my track record, I’ve REMOVED ads for sites who Iv’e found to be cheating in any way. What are the suspicions with BigDeal? Tell me what needs to be investigated & share your experiences. Post about them here and in the forum I would NOT censor.

      Reply

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