Experiences of a Penny Auction Owner: The Closing of an Unconventional Site PennyAmmo.com

Dunny Shane Jessup Bullet

 “The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try.”

-Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies

Did you bid on the penny auction site PennyAmmo? They sold unconventional – controversial items such as ammunition.

While many niche sites are unique, and you’ve got to hand it to them for offering unique products, Other penny auctions have since and even before PennyAmmo, launched sites selling ammo/weapons – others have shut down, too.

PennyAmmo.com just shut down, Jeff, its founder, tells us a little bit about the pitfalls and why he had to close:

 “It is with a heavy heart that I announce the closing of pennyammo.com.

Going into this venture, I was aware that there were some uphill battles to be won with respect to merchant services & hosting;  what I didn’t anticipate is the troubles I’d have with respect to advertising;  Google & Bing to be exact.

Due to the nature of my merchandise, neither Google nor Bing will allow me to use their adwords programs & my estimation is that those 2 alone account for probably 80% of the internet marketing.  Yes, my site includes keywords embedded within the auctions, but most of that is just “blind luck” when it comes to being found.

When I began this venture, my ultimate goal was to run a 100% reputable site, free from shill-bots & be completely transparent & honest;  To this end, I can honestly say I’ve succeeded.  I will not pay someone for a false testimonial, nor will I spend money for fake write-ups on blogs or any of those other deceptive tactics.  If nothing else, I’ve conducted all business on the up-n-up and have no regrets with how I’ve treated people (one particular customer, who shall remain nameless unless he chooses otherwise, should be able to attest to my good customer service – after registering & agreeing to the terms & conditions, he informed me that he wouldn’t bid on reserve auctions & wished a refund.  I refunded his package 100%, rather than the 30 cents per credit as stated in the terms and conditions:  All because I wanted to exemplify excellent customer service.

I’ve got the site listed on Flippa, but to be honest, really don’t anticipate any sales.

To those customers who’ve purchased bid packs, I will refund all your funds no later than 2/24, by whatever method you choose (PP, check or refund through the merchant services).

Thank you for believing in my site enough to at least to register & I’m only sorry that this couldn’t have been better for all involved.”

I’d like to take a moment to commend Jeff for trying, and for telling us he did it the clean-honest manner.

What was your experience with PennyAmmo.com, if you bid there? What do you think about penny auctions like PennyAmmo? Discuss this in our free penny auction forum.

Photo used in accordance with Creative Commons license – by Jenn Mau.


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2 comments… add one
  • Anthony February 22, 2012, 4:41 am

    Suppose it’s true that niche PA’s have a harder time making it, but I’ve often noticed that people launching them are often more pensioned about the venture. I suppose it takes a special sort of determination to take such a big and obvious risk. One thing for certain I think that such sites have a lot more character, you can either love them or hate them, there’s less middle ground like in the case of an iPod/handbag timer showcase…

  • Alex February 25, 2012, 8:21 am

    Owner is honest person, this is good. Probably it was a lack of preparation – difficulties with very niche auction, restrictions in advertizing – I think this was possible to know ahead.


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