Over 150 Closed Penny Auction Sites: Is the Model Sustainable?

Closed penny auctions

Tons of penny auction sites have come and gone over the past 2 years (at least since when I and the Penny Auction Watch℠ Community started watching/bidding). The frequency of new penny auction shutting down has definitely increased over the past few months.

The penny auction model in its present state, unless a site offers buy it now, is not sustainable.

A word about buy-it-now.

So what if you don’t make thousands of dollars on the sale of one iPod, can’t you at least make what you paid for the item + maybe a little bit more if you purchase them at a discount/wholesale?

What’s up with so many sites closing?

Many got into this industry thinking they would make millions (probably!) off of consumer’s desire for more “cheap” stuff.

However, thinking you can get rich off of greed only shows who the greedy one is, and some of the sites that are now gone really have showed us that. The majority shut down, leaving consumers, myself included, out of money and items that were won. Did some launch just so that they could swindle us? Think so? We know so. Take this statement from the owner of now closed penny auction site Muulu/then Vuulu  “because things will sell to people you dont want things to sell bots act as a reserve so items never sell you get money, and dont sell products”

Some sites, the better sites, (rare) made sure users had their items and even bids refunded before they went out.


The following, though not a complete list (feel free to help us add to it), is a listing of penny auction sites that have open & closed over the past 2 years, the majority within the past 12 months:

Gone as of March 2010:

Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.-Sophocles

Is the penny auction industry nearing its end?

We don’t know yet, but if some of these lawsuits against top sites where users have actually won and received items from favors the plaintiffs and legislature is drawn up against them, well then they will be. Some shouldn’t even be allowed to run.

This is an area of the Internet that over the past 2 years has grown and has recently begun to receive media attention. However, the media hasn’t been bringing enough attention to the fact that some of the sites listed above, and many more that are currently still open and running bots/shills are stealing from thousands of consumers. Here’s just a glimpse of what some of the closed sites have taken from bidders.

We don’t like it.

Enough IS Enough!

“I certainly understand that we’re all trying to make a living, but I’m not thinking about that when I’m making it. And if that’s your sole motivation, it’s going to reflect that narcissistic greed, and you’re going to hear it in the music.” –Aimee Mann

Were you ripped off by a penny auction site? File a complaint, see & our directory with contact info for Attorney General’s offices by state, the FTC, and other government agencies.


Join our penny auction forum!

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26 comments… add one
  • richard connelly April 5, 2011, 1:17 pm

    wavee is going to join that list very few people all there big players i see there names pop up on other sits they get do not enough income from bid packs you can win 15 for $1.00 all day long so for $7.oo you can get 105 bids y if they cant see that they must be brain dead and free shipping no wonder they cant ship what you won not enough income the only way you get your winnings is to call goverment agencys and wait months if you are lucky november and december they just voided your winnings no money paid back what about all the times i lost in auctions in november and december no bids back good luck richard connelly connellyrichard60@yahoo.com

  • lil April 5, 2011, 3:04 pm

    pennytarget.com gone
    freezula.com gone

  • SmartBid April 5, 2011, 3:18 pm

    It is disappointing to see so many PAs are out of business but the writing was on the wall. Penny auction model is fundamentally flawed when 99% of your users are losing and 1% is winning. Adding a Buy It Now might help you in not getting a charge-back but will not help you to win over the user as a loyal member specially when he/she came to the site with a promise of 90% off and ended up paying a Buy It Now price which is more than the retail cost! (And don’t get us started on some of the ridiculous shipping charges some of the sites charge).

    We at SmartBid were avid users of Swoopo but we were frustrated and wanted to start something which will be fun, engaging and not an insult to consumer’s intelligence. Even though we can’t say we have found the perfect model yet but we are getting there. We have less than 1% charge-back (3% charge-back is average for e-Commerce industry – for PA it’s higher) in our entire history and no it’s NOT a coincidence. We have made several changes to the PA model to make it more sustainable over long-term: 1. Fixed cap on profit, 2. Strategic game rather than mad bidding, 3. Bids Back auction aka no risk bidding, 4. Reward Structure to match dollar for dollar and many more (customer service and fast shipping times are paramount for any e-Commerce business). And most of the PAW members LOVE us for a reason! See for yourself what they are saying in the official PAW SmartBid thread here – http://www.pennyauctionwatch.com/forum/penny-auction-site-bidder-reviews-discussion/13472-smart-bid.html.

    We are always open to feedback and we wanted to give this shout out to let every one know here at TC that we are in for the long term sustainability of the format. Please send us a mail at support@thesmartbid.com with any of your feedback/suggestion.

  • eshopper April 5, 2011, 11:08 pm


    • Amanda April 7, 2011, 9:03 am


  • eshopper April 5, 2011, 11:09 pm

    oh and who could forget those bastards at PENNYTARGET!

  • Milt Murphy April 6, 2011, 10:10 am

    Tens of thousands of people died or lived much shortened lives getting to and trying to settle the very land which I type now, surrounded by towering buildings and millions of people who are prospering.

    Failure is not a sign that all are doomed. Failure is an opportunity to learn so that others may prosper.

    I am thankful for all those that have tried and failed. Their lessons will make it easier for the future entrepreurs to succeed.

    Mistakes are meant to be learned from and not dwelled on over and over. Learn, Move Forward, and repeat what what done right!

  • Razor1911 April 15, 2011, 1:31 am

    Well look at t this way.. back in 1998 – 2001 during the dot com internet ecommerce boom, 1000s of new site launched selling product .. where are they now? most gone! and the rest survived.. those that survived are the smart business owners, which is what the PA industry needs.. not people trying to launch a PA site with a $800 script and a godaddy server… boo

  • richard connelly May 3, 2011, 3:56 am

    wavee monday 4/2 /11 shut down they still owe me $1600 dollars 6 items will i ever get my items 46 in sony i won and paid $191 thats only 1 item jacky lai president paul nicholes co founder terance co founder paul tsyrlin co founder daniel yang jeff chan co founder beat hundreds of people just keept thair money they should all go to jail for stealing ripping people off

  • vlking77 May 5, 2011, 8:52 am

    Don’t forget these:

  • pam August 7, 2011, 10:17 am

    what happened to JoJolie does anyone know, I never saw a closing warning for them, and they were a respected company never heard complaints or anything , does anyone know if they will be back??????
    they sold gift cards and luxury purses.
    any info

    • Amanda August 7, 2011, 5:58 pm

      Hi Pam,

      I am not sure what happened to them, thanks for letting me know. Not too sure… You received items from them?

  • Bubba July 4, 2012, 10:42 pm

    P-A-W, the self-appointed Watchdog of the Penny Auction community. You publicly slam every penny auction site in the country meanwhile apparently supporting QuiBids.com and DealDash.com, both of whom actively advertise on your own site! One could only deduce that you are nothing more than a shill for Quibids and DealDash, making YOU one of the biggest SCAMS going! You’re simply another Internet Whore scamming from the pretense of looking out for the poor innocent public’s wellfare, by promoting the very sites that you’re slamming and making a profit yourself!! Granted, there have been scammers running Penny Auction sites. There have also been scammers running Religious sites and every other site you can imagine. Scamming is RAMPANT on the Internet. We all need to look before we leap. Sadly, you’re no better than ANY of them. I’m sure this will never appear in your Comments.

    • Amanda Lee July 4, 2012, 11:23 pm

      Prove to me that the sites that are being advertised are scams. I am not a fraud.

      • Nadine Zachary (@deenie61) October 21, 2014, 6:45 pm

        Those “scam” sites are among the handful left that I would consider trusting.

        • Amanda Lee October 24, 2014, 9:51 am

          What do you mean?

    • Amanda Lee July 4, 2012, 11:38 pm

      Prove that the sites I have ads for are scams/frauds. I will not advertise for known scam sites.

  • Bubba July 10, 2012, 9:58 pm

    I owe you an apology Amanda! When I first discovered your site, it appeared that you were actively promoting (and profiting from), the very sites that you were condemning. Further examination reveals that this is not true. You are promoting ONLY the sites that you deem to be HONEST, while chastising the scammers. I formally and officially apologize, and applaud your efforts! Please feel free to delete any derogatory comments I may have made in this regard. My bad for jumping on first impressions before investigating and understanding. So sorry!

  • Bill July 29, 2012, 9:17 pm

    New Penny Auction Website, 10 free bids to sign up! All Buy it Now Auctions!

  • Bill July 29, 2012, 9:19 pm


  • penny auctions news January 30, 2014, 2:51 am

    hello i know a new web site penny auctions http://www.bidscream.co.uk

  • William September 17, 2014, 7:54 am

    Bid serious , has made a living on taking over a month to send out winning items and buy-it-now items , then close ur account based on ” terms and conditions ” you agreed to at sign up … They keep your money , they do not send out the items you won , you pay for shipping and handling , for something that is never shipped , never handled , and they think they are just going to get away with it …. David lee and Cory Owens are listed as owners of this site and they will go the way of hundreds of other sites that rip people off , word gets out , and they will be under investigation …. Do not hesitate to field a complaint if you are one of the many people Bidserious would claim you violated a ” term and condition ” they have listed …. You can file a complaint right on line at the Texas Attorney General’s web page , under consumer complaints … Greg Abbott , the Attorney General of Texas will never let Texas be the home state for a business that takes consumers money , does not send you out your winnings , and bully’s around there users….

    • Amanda Lee September 18, 2014, 10:32 pm

      What happened William?

  • Carolyn January 23, 2016, 9:58 am

    BidSauce.com is now redirected to Happybidday.com …so I am thinking it was purchased by Happybidday.com

    I am a penny bidder and have never been ripped off!


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