Interview with Timerless Penny Auction


Love it when we see penny auctions that are providing both a fun and unique user experience!

PennyGrab is a different kind of penny auction in that their auctions are “timerless.” On PennyGrab there are no timers only a hidden, set win prices in each auction. The end price can be anything  in a range based on a small percent of an item’s value. So really an item could end at any time, when any bid is placed instead of when the countdown timer hits 0 with no competing bids placed.

PennyGrab is a BBB accredited auction site and offers many gift cards and consumer electronics items.

We spoke with PennyGrab’s founder Al Benyameen today to find out more about PennyGrab and what makes it unique.

Penny Auction Watch: Time flies and PennyGrab has been around for quite some time now, just when did you launch? 

PennyGrab: We opened for business  two years ago, on July 4, 2011.

Penny Auction Watch: What piqued your interest for you to start penny auctions? 

PennyGrab: Well, I’m also the founder of HamGo – a consumer electronics fulfillment company, specializing in gaming consoles and bundles. HamGo was an Internet Retailer 500 company from 2008 to 2011. We did fulfillment for BigDeal which got us interested in the penny auction business, and seeing the flaws I thought of a way to provide a different user experience.   [BigDeal is no longer open, but was one of our favorites- PAW]. HamGo also sells on eBay and has positive feedback.

Al tells us that he strives to provide a fair and honest auction site, without bots and shill bidding. And they’re growing, he believes that PennyGrab is the #1 gift card auction site.    The majority of PennyGrab’s items are gift cards for pretty much anything you can think of, Cabela’s / REI for lovers of the great outdoors, fast food: Chipotle, big box retailers, American Express cards, and just about all gift card wins can be swapped for Visa gift cards or any gift card that they offer.

Penny Auction Watch:  You and I both know that there are flaws in the penny auction model, but just what would you say are the top 3 things wrong with the traditional timer model?

PennyGrab: Top 3 reasons they fail:

1. There’s absolutely no guarantee that the operator wont lose.
2. Time, auctions could, and have gone on forever – days to win big items like a $1,000 TV, it just doesn’t make sense.
3. And of course there’s the issues with tagging auctions and collusion among bidders.

Penny Auction Watch: How much are your bids?

PennyGrab: Bids cost $0.50 a piece and can be purchased in packs of 50, 100, 500 or 1,000.

Penny Auction Watch: Tell us about your other auction types and just what are your “Mystery Prizes?”

PennyGrab: We always want to keep the experience fun and interesting for our bidders, so with that in mind we are constantly developing different types of auctions, prizes and contests.  Our Group Grab auctions, for instance,

Note: You can swap them out for any other card we offer! (so long as it is in equal amounts. E.g.; Gift Cards can be exchanged for any other Gift Card)  All Group Grab Deals start at $0.00, and participant must join by clicking, “Join Group Grab.” Once you buy in you cannot leave that instance of “Group Grab”, unless if nobody else joins and the clock starts.

Our Mystery Prizes, which by the way we hold a patent on them, in every auction there is at least one mystery prize that is awarded to at least one bidder within specified increments, for example from $0-1, $1-2, and so on. Numerous mystery prizes are hidden throughout each auction. These prizes may be a gift card, bid credits or more.

We also offer bonus prizes, added bonuses given to bidders who place credits at the exact auction price.


Penny Auction Watch: I see you offer buy-it-now, tell us how that works?

PennyGrab:  Buy Now is available after an item has ended or during the auction, only one item per auction is available at the price specified (if you have a “blit token” before the item has been reset to the retail value. Only the top 3 bidders in an auction can qualify for buy now.

Penny Auction Watch: What are your shipping fees and how quick do you ship?

PennyGrab: We ship items within 3-5 business days. All items are shipped free.


Penny Auction Watch: You have games! Can you tell us more about them? 


PennyGrab: Yes, we currently offer 5  games – but the only time you can play games is if you win an auction with a game, i.e. bonus play bundled with the auction item. The current games are PennyPunt, Whack-A-Penny, PennyScratcher, PennySpin, PennyDozer – and prizes such as bid credits can be won in these games.

PennyGrab tells us that they will soon be offering a new, exciting feature to enhance the bidding experience on Be sure to stay tuned here and we’ll tell you more about it! Thanks PennyGrab.

Have you bid on PennyGrab? Did you win? What do you think about timerless penny auctions? Let us know what you think and be sure to post your reviews of PennyGrab both here and in the Penny Auction Watch Forum!


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