Is That Penny Auction About to Sink?

sinking glacier titanic out of business bankruptcy

It’s happened time and time again, a new penny auction site opens and bidders get some great deals, but it’s not too long before your experience and the site plummets downhill. Then, before you know it the site has disappeared and you never really won anything.

penny auction closes

What are some signs of a penny auction site that’s about to hit the iceberg?

  • Still Waiting - Users are reporting that they’re still waiting for their items and it’s been at over 30 days
  • When asked when you’ll receive your item the site either 1.) doesn’t respond or, 2.) tells you it will go out soon (you wait, maybe 2 weeks more and still, nothing!)
  • Super Good Deals - Majority of items really ending for just a few pennies, you wonder how can they sustain such high losses – Chances are they can’t.
  • Free Bids - More free bids and promotions than profit.
  • More is Less - Decrease/increase in item offering – It could go both ways, too many items are offered to try and generate revenue to pay for items that have ended cheaply – or – you see a decrease in items being offered, perhaps the 10/day offerging goes down to 2/day, etc.
  • “Rip and Runs” (thanks eta420!) Cheap looking site – poor graphics and overall not a very aesthetically pleasing layout (translation: they didn’t even try to customize their cheap script), yet there are tons of high dollar items.

What are some ways that you can protect yourself and reclaim your money?

  • Has it been almost 45 days and you still haven’t received your item and you paid via PayPal? You’re covered under PayPal’s Buyer Protection, if “You open the case no later than 45 calendar days from the date of your PayPal payment and – if you need to – escalate it to a claim no more than 20 calendar days after you open your case.”
  • Perform a charge back with your financial institution, bank, credit card company, call them and explain the situation.
  • May not help you – you may not even hear from them, but it’s important to file a complaint with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) http://ftccomplaintassistant.gov.

The big question that we’d all like know is, how can we see the demise of a penny auction site coming? Can we? What do you think? One of our members just recently started a thread to discuss this very topic and we’d love it if you would contribute your thoughts!

Glacier image Credits- AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by andysternberg

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