Utterly Shameful: Alleged Shill Bidding and Phony, Shill, Paid for Testimonials of Penny Auction Site SmartBidderz.com: Review Part 2

Yet again today, 7/4/2012, SmartBidderz.com has the same 4 vehicles they offered yesterday. This phppennyauction.com script the site runs on allows site owners to recycle items.

Yesterday I wrote about why I found SmartBidderz.com to be a very odd new penny auction site. Which I will even further add, is a very suspicious penny auction site, in my opinion, based on my years of experience reporting and bidding on penny auctions. Have You Bid Against DoucheBagJ on a New Audi, Escalade, or Suzuki on SmartBidderz.com?- SmartBidderz.com Review Part 1. 

Today, one very  awesome Penny Auction Watch reader went a step further and found what really appears to confirm my suspicions of SmartBidderz’ seemingly fake testimonial.

Months back I found a few different penny auction sites’ testimonials and was able to match the actors of the video testimonials up with those of Fiverr actors.

Take a look: More Penny Auction Testimonials That Seem Fake: Biduh & MixBids

Could BidNuke’s Name Be Fitting? We Found What Appears to Be Phony Video Testimonials

This time I actually checked Fiverr but wasn’t successful in finding the same individual in the SmartBidderz’ testimonial that I posted here yesterday, but someone else was, thankfully!

Thank you Marcus!

So, this was the SmartBidderz YouTube video testimonial that I found and shared with you yesterday:


“Hey folks, George William here wanting to send you a video thank you instead of another email to…tell you, uh, in a more personal way how seriously I appreciate your website, Smartbidderz with a Z .com. The The THe. Well. let me start at the beginning. I had always wanted to do some online auctions so I went to uh your site also went to QuiBids.com (pronounced Q Bids) and uh, the stuff at your site is, you know, it appears to be higher quality things, it appears to be priced less and I can buy them at a much lower priced. I had actually. *Looks around.* I don’t. *grabs iPhone from desk – shows it* Well I’ve got my iPhone with me but thats not what I’m looking for, I’m looking for my iPad, I guess my Wife has it. We won the iPad and it shipped quickly and um *Shrugs* it was a, we saved a ton of money. And what’s an iPad now? Like $600 or something, I don’t know, but we got ours for less than $200 at your auction. How great is that, and uh great site. I just wanted to tell you how much I love the site. I go there everyday to check your auctions. HA! I’m goinna win everything!”

One word: Shameful.

Meet Banjoman15 who advertises on Fiverr, “I will give a REAL looking testimonial for $5.” and “I will as a Preacher, promote your product, service, or event, announcement for $5.”


Fiverr.com/banjoman15 Says, “I can give you a REAL-LOOKING testimonial”


And from the “review” of SmartBidderz.com that was posted by SmartBidderz’ to YouTube:


Alleged Fake Paid for Review of SmartBidderz.com Penny Auctions

Months ago I e-mailed Fiverr telling them how wrong it was to even allow these fake testimonial gigs, they declined to respond.

Banjoman15 says, “I can give you a REAL-LOOKING testimonial .. I’m a talented actor and can deliver these that are just as real as you expect. see the reviews; you know I’m SERIOUS about giving you high-quality videos. These will be amateur-looking, casual, from a webcam, and slightly out of focus for that genuine look of a non-professional testimonial. You DON’T want ‘sharp’ in such a video. www.youtube.com/watch?v=yexNWakpNxo”

By the way, you can check out Banjoman15’s other fake testimonials for other companies.

Ha, you don’t want sharp? Well obviously the above posted video testimonial was far from being just that, which even further made me question the legitimacy of the review.

Transcribed from Banjoman15’s gig video:

“Hello there this is banjoman15 on Fiverr.com and I have got a gig here. What this gig is focused on is getting you a natural sounding, unrehearsed, unpolished testimonial for your website or your business. Um something that doesn’t look as polished, uh, planned out as, uh, you know kind of a casual testimonial so if this is somethin that kinda interests you go ahead and pick this up and remember it’s on Fiverr.com exclusively and I can also embed a URL if you’d like. Uh, or extend it past 1 minute and those upgrades uh and I sure appreciate you taking the time to look at this and I hope you pick this gig up and I will see you soon. Thanks!”

Oh, that’s not all. Take a look at what else Marcus found us:

I did some further research to help you along here.

Here’s a screenshot of the Twitter account from the Google Cache…


As you can see he used to be “Snobby College Grad” before he was “Better Than eBay”.

That link went to a post on TheSnobbyCollegeGrad.com where we find another review of SmartBidderz.com.

http://www.thesnobbycollegegrad.com/archives/2577  Also hosted on BlueHost, Take a look at “TheSnobbyCollegeGrad’s” “review:”



smartbidderz scam alleged

smartbidderz scam alleged

Interesting, in the above “review” it states to not forget to mention “SHERINAVICTORIA” as the source when registering on the penny auction site. If you remember from yesterday’s posting, the site’s registrant is  Sherina Barnes  of San Diego, CA. That’s not all that’s interesting… if interesting is the word we’re looking for here. Take note that the above posted review found on TheSnobbyCollegeGrad.com was published on June 16th, 2012, the SmartBidderz.com domain name was purchased on June 11th, 2012.

Look at this paragraph in particular:

“Last week my phone arrived in the mail. Here I am today after two weeks of being bid happy on Smart Bidderz to share this awesome website with my readers.  IF you do decide to sign up and give them a try please don’t forget to mention SHERINAVICTORIA

When did the won iPhone arrive? One week prior to June 16th, yet this new penny auction site’s name had not even been registered until June 11th.

A is the source.”

Take a look at this: 

Notice the “Sherina” name again in the SnobbyCollegeGrad’s blog:

“I hope all is well with my readers and I hope you’re in the process of moving on and moving forward.  For business opportunities and proposals email sherina@thesnobbycollegegrad.com”


Created on…………..: 2012-06-11 10:02:59 GMT
Expires on…………..: 2013-06-11 10:02:59 GMT
Last modified on……..: 2012-06-14 22:58:42 GMT

Registrant Info: (FAST-18467556)
Smart Bidderz
Sherina Barnes
18736 Caminito Cantilena
San Diego, California 92128
United States
Phone: +1.8582127458 ” from DomainTools.com Whois lookup of SmartBidderz.com.

From their Terms & Conditions:

“(2) A party who intends to seek arbitration must first send to the other, by certified mail, a written Notice of Dispute (“Notice”). The Notices to Smart Bidderz should be addressed to:
Smart Bidderz
18736 Caminito Cantilena, Suite 189
San Diego, CA 92128



TheSnobbyCollegeGrad.com’s about us page states that the site/”company” “The Snobby College Grad ‘Inc.'” is headquartered in San Diego, CA, the same place SmartBidderz.com domain is registered to.

“Headquartered in San Diego, California, The Snobby College Grad, Inc. is not only a blog, but it is also a leading specialty retailer of fashionable and urban apparel.  The Snobby College Grad, Inc. has also partnered with Offensive Apparel to offer products for both men, women and children.  For questions or business proposals please email biz@thesnobbycollegegrad.com”

A California Secretary of State business lookup for The Snobby College Grad Inc. returned no results.

Here’s the same fake review published on another site:

Oh and I just checked SmartBidderz.com right now and look who is bidding!

SherinaVic… ?

Also, “Sherina Victoria” is listed as a SmartBidderz.com employee on Manta.com, oh and she updated the company profile on 6/16/2012 the same day she published her “review” about receiving the iPhone:

And here’s Sherina Victoria listed as the Owner of The Snobby College Grad, notice the address? It’s the address for SmartBidderz.com: “18736 Caminito Cantilena
San Diego, California 92128”


Oh, but look at this, right from their terms & conditions:

From SmartBidderz.com’s Terms & Conditions page:

“Our most important goal is to create a fair bidding experience for all our customers. One part of the high standards we set for ourselves in this regard is our strict “fair bidding” policy.

Smart Bidderz employees, officers, directors and immediate family are expressly forbidden from bidding on any auctions, and are contractually bound to follow such directions. “Smart Bidderz does not employ shill bidding or other questionable practices.”



The penny auction site is even abusing the Oodle.com marketplace posting an ad for a non-existent $65 iPhone with a link to the penny auction site in the description:

Posted by “Helen Ward of San Diego, CA”

When I ran the free test/demo penny auction site Shillo.com to demonstrate the bidding bot function that came with the PhpPennyAuction.com script (the same script that SmartBidderz.com runs on) I saw just how easy it is for scam artists to defraud by way of penny auctions. In 2010 the UK’s Office of Fair Trading cracked down on PhpPennyAuction’s use of bot/fake bidders in live auctions and promotion thereof: http://www.pennyauctionwatch.com/2010/12/uk-office-of-fair-trading-penny-auction-php-scriptmatix-bots-shills/. When I tested out the PhpPennyAuction.com software I saw that there was also a function in there to recycle auctions.  See also for backend proof of bots http://www.pennyauctionwatch.com/2010/03/penny-auctions-do-they-shill-bid/

This could be why there are yet again 2 Audi’s, 1 Escalade and a Suzuki up today as they were there yesterday. Does SmartBidderz.com really have all of this high end inventory and vehicles? $130k alone in the two Audis, and daily? Really? 

Click to Enlarge

This was the backend of ScriptMatix’s PHPPennyAuction site when it was SwoopoCloneDemo:


Feel like you’ve been scammed by a penny auction site? Check out our Scam Reporting Directory.

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7 comments… add one
  • Loraine (rainbow56) July 4, 2012, 10:48 pm

    Things like this is the reason I just stick with the 1 or 2 that has been around and are very legit. It isn’t worth my time to help them rip me off. Penny Auctions are tuning into Dollar stealing scams anymore, so I don’t hardly even participate in them anymore. Can’t trust them at all, they just keep coming out of the woodwork like cock roaches do.

  • Amanda Lee July 4, 2012, 11:36 pm

    Thing is this same thing has been going on since I started bidding, which is why I started PAW to begin with in May 2009.

  • Dave Welch July 5, 2012, 11:32 am

    Nice Job!

    This is the main reason I don’t do penny auctions any more. Most of the new ones go out of business or are shills and in both cases you don’t usually get your money back.

    I love fiverr, but there is a limit to what should be allowed. Honestly, I think most people who provide real testimonials that I have seen have it more together than this guy made it look. It just looked dumb.

    Feel sorry for anyone who got taken… probably not PAW members… lol! 🙁

  • passer by July 5, 2012, 8:36 pm

  • passer by July 5, 2012, 8:48 pm

    From her Flickr’s profile: “Go to http://www.thesnobbycollegegrad.com to see my madness. I don’t feel like making up another cool tagline for a bio.”



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