Ann Zimmerman published a piece on penny auctions today in the Wall Street Journal. I, as well as a few Penny Auction Watch members were interviewed by Ms. Zimmerman and would like to thank her for the mention and also for writing about penny auctions: Penny Auctions Offer Bargains, Suspense.
I’d also like to add to what I was quoted saying here. I was quoted as saying that it’s hard to know which sites are legitimate, but it’s not impossible to find a site that actually does ship and provides a good customer experience. I have exposed many penny auction sites over the past two years. On many penny auction sites I have found that sites shill bid, I’ve matched IP addresses with shill comments.
With the help of Mozilla’s FireBug I even observed code that was openly accessible on penny auction sites that have shown where particular penny auction sites have had insider-employee bidders, the bidders’ e-mail addresses were public and they matched employee’s e-mail addresses. I’ve posted conversations with script developers who promote the “bot” computer bidding practices. I’ve even posted about about penny auction owners admitting to ripping consumers off, they seemed to be proud of it. See our Penny Auction Hall of Shame & the Legit or Not section for more information.
I started Penny Auction Watch back in May of 2009 when penny auctions were operating very much under the radar, and they weren’t publicized by the media. I am glad to see now that the media and government agencies are taking notice, and would like to see the businesses and individuals who have knowingly stole from consumers be held accountable and consumers made whole. A few months after I exposed PennyBiddr.com, they were held accountable and shut down by the Washington Attorney General. Wavee, a Georgia based penny auction site that was not only backlogged on shipping, they were operating without a required auctioneer licensed. The Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer protection shut them down and fined them heavily. There are still too many scams out there, not just in the penny auction industry, but there sure seem to be a lot here. Enough is Enough.
Feel free to join the forum here and help others by posting about your experiences.
If you’re a reporter interested in running a story on penny auctions I’d be happy to help, contact me.
Note: You might need to be a WSJ subscriber to read the article.