– New MLM Format Penny Auction Opens Tomorrow – Requires Users’ Social Security Numbers

New Georgia based penny auction, claims to be the first penny auction running  a multi-level marketing (MLM) program (note: DubLi & myBidShack also tout an offered MLM program). SmHeartBid (pronounced SMART BID) is requesting bidder’s social security numbers at sign up along with their mailing address, full date of birth and telephone number.
According to SmHeartBids’ MLM marketing video on YouTube, they’re the only penny auction site where users earn commissions “eight levels deep” on an auction whether you’ve purchased a bid pack or not. “Earn commissions almost immediately! And, ” With thousands of penny auction participants daily, is pure entertainment shopping at its very best with one big twist, it’s designed to pay you, and isn’t it time you got paid?”

One new forum member, presumably an affiliate marketer/MLM member, in a forum post, recently posted:

“Please note that since this company shares some of their profits by paying commissions on positive activity, they do ask for your SSN on the registration page. The CEO doesn’t want to take any chances with the IRS.”

Alexa says, “ has a three-month global Alexa traffic rank of 3,412,999.

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smHeartBid’s ‘About Us’ Info:

“ The Leader in Penny Auction/Multilevel Affiliate Marketing (MLAM)
smHeartbid endeavors to be the leader in the Penny Auction online industry.
smHeartbid was established for three logical reasons.
1. Provide an outstanding entertainment online shopping experience
2. Provide income opportunity from auction activity
3. Provide financial assistance to communities in need by way of our Non-Profit organization (NPO) Initiative.”


According to SmHeartBid’s terms, they’re incorporated as Pangea Global Network:

“The following General Terms of Service (“Terms”) shall apply exclusively to the business relationship between Pangea Global Network, Inc. d/b/a (“smheartbid”), its internet platform (“the Website”) and our users. By using the Website, the user accepts the following General Terms and Conditions, as well as the manner in which the Website and its “AUTOSBIDDER” operate as described on the Website. (Autosbidder?)

SmHeartBid’s terms state the following,

“Publicity: smHeartbid reserves the right to publish the name, region address and photograph of any winners. This rule is one of the conditions of participating on the Website, which allows smHeartbid to provide the public with proof of the auctions won by users. This constitutes a fundamental transparency issue. As a winner of a major auction, you may be asked, depending on advertising needs, to take part in a photo session and a brief interview about the circumstances surrounding your win. The following rules apply to the photo session:

  • The face must be uncovered
  • smHeartbid might require photo ID to confirm the winner’s usual appearance. If a winner refuses to comply with these rules, smHeartbid reserves the right to suspend payment of the prize.
  • The information gathered may be used to write a press release sent to the media. Your win will also likely appear in one of smHeartbid’s commercials, including but not limited to, television and radio, as well as on the Website.”


Domain name:

Registrant Contact:
Whois Agent LiquidNet US LLC ()

1500 N. University Drive, suite 115
Coral Springs, FL 33071


We e-mailed to ask Bob Johnson, CEO of SmHeartBid about the required SSN and if users can join without giving them this info, He tells us:

“ is actually a paradigm shift in the Penny Auction Industry. Our goal is to share our profits with our Affiliates. The income that Affiliates can earn, can be very attractive and are treated as “earned income”. With that in mind all income over $600 is reported to the IRS. (It’s like having a home based business.) The Social Security # or Fed Tax ID # is imperative in order for us to pay the referral commission.”

Business owners are required to send a 1099 out to independent contractors who are paid over $600/year and for that a ss# is required, however I don’t feel it necessary for a penny auction site to require this from all registered users. Just my opinion.

The  site appears to be partially encrypted.

Under right to cancel – users must contact:

The following contact details must be used: #516
400 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suite 5
Suwanee, Ga. 30024″

Under Use of Data- SmHeartBid’s Privacy Policy:

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe, smooth, efficient, and customized experience. You agree that We and affiliates or members of our corporate group may use your personal information to:

  • provide the services and customer support you request;
  • resolve disputes, collect fees, and troubleshoot problems;
  • prevent potentially prohibited or illegal activities, and enforce our Terms and Conditions;
  • customize, measure and improve our services, content and advertising;
  • inform you about our services, targeted marketing, service updates, and promotional offers;
  • contact you for market research; and
  • compare information for accuracy, and verify it with third parties.


According to Bob, they plan to re-open tomorrow at noon EST., SmHeartBid’s instructional site takes the following info from closed auctions (though it doesn’t specify from where), yet we don’t see these same closed items on their site?



If you’ve tried it, what have your experiences been with Would you give sensitive personal information out to a penny auction site?

Should you?

Discuss this in our penny auction forum.

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11 comments… add one
  • Mary zabolski May 21, 2011, 7:42 am

    S.S#? D.O.B AND ADDRESS? Something just don’t sound right sounds more like easy target for Idenitytheft what more would you need? Think i will skip this site all together.

  • Tres May 22, 2011, 2:19 am

    There is a little bit more complexity to payments then just issuing a 1099-MISC to stay out of trouble. I don’t see mention of a required W-9, to affirm that the person receiving payment is not subject to back up withholding. Also, depending on their structure, they could be challenged with a SS-8, which if that challenged is lost, get ready to pay a whole lot of the person’s taxes for them. I feel for their HR person at this site.

    • Amanda May 22, 2011, 10:27 am

      Yeah, You’re right. Thanks! 🙂

  • Jillian Rainey May 23, 2011, 8:17 pm

    I find it odd that anyone would question a company who is going to PAY it’s participants, asking for their SSN #…. If they DIDN’T ask for it, … that’s would be suspect! Where in this country can you find ANY company who will pay you without getting your SSN #???

    I have personally had several successful bids that I am DELIGHTED with…my first successful bid was a great little digital camera for under $2.00!!!! And the next one was a Wii for under $4.00….. My friend just got 43″ HDTV for $8 and change…. Anyone who passes on this new company with a new idea… is missing the boat, in my opinion~ Don’t miss SmHeartbid…. you’ll be sorry!

  • Jenster May 26, 2011, 1:15 am

    My experience with smHeartbid has been positive. It was my first penny auction experience so I’m glad that I didn’t get burned as others unfortunately have by some penny auction sites. I’ve been blessed so far to have won items at INCREDIBLE prices. The competition is kind of low right now but a win is a win.

    I received my items less than one week of winning them. The owner is very accessible. He holds corporate conference calls M-F 7:30pm EST. Have a question? Join the call or email. Either way he responds promptly. I have only good things to say about smHeartbid.

  • Jenster June 9, 2011, 4:23 pm

    Just posting an update to the SSN requirement. As announced by smHeartbid recently, tax information is no longer required on the registration page. Users no longer are required to submit their SSNs during registration.

    • AuctionWatcher June 9, 2011, 11:21 pm

      Thank you for letting us know this!

  • Zeek Rewards November 30, 2011, 5:05 pm

    Is that really a true statement? That smhearbid claims to be and really was the first mlm penny auction site? Anyone have some actual comments about that mlm program?

    • Amanda Lee November 30, 2011, 7:46 pm

      I think Zeekler started the MLM format first…

  • Zeekwad March 18, 2012, 4:29 pm

    WTF cares? Zeek is a pyramid scheme and will soon be out of business! The feds are hot on their tails and they know it.

  • Randy April 9, 2012, 1:58 pm

    Thanks for the efforts you have made in writing this


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