“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” -Abraham Lincoln
Just a few days ago we received the following e-mail from a reader:
|IP Address 126.96.36.199
I’ve found a new penny auctions site.
the link is: http://www.shopybids.com“
Check out ShopyBids.com and you’ll see a few very expensive penny auction items, all of which were and still are counting down simultaneously. Take the lineup right now, for instance, at 1:30 PM CST, December 20th, 2012 the following items ending are: a Sony digital camera, an xBox 360 gaming console, an iMac, iPad 2, MacBook Pro, Toshiba Satellite laptop, $50 gift card and penny auction for 150 free bids. Yep, all ending at the same time, all being bid up by a large number of bidders. Ok, so now take a look at the ended auctions and you will see that 46 have closed thus far including a Samsung Slim HDTV, iPhone, gift cards, MacBooks, iMacs, iPad Minis, another Samsung TV, more iPad Minis, Lenovo Laptop, Samsung Galaxy S smartphone, Chromebook, iPod touch, all very hot consumer electronics items. End prices – $16.48, $87.40, $113.46 (that’s 11k bids!), $112.32, for instance.
Just the sheer volume of top dollar items alone led me to have a few questions about this penny auction site.
ShopyBid Testimonials – Curious
First, take a look at the ShopyBids YouTube channel and watch two of the “bidder” testimonial reviews:
That ShopyBids site is absolutely awesome. You get free shipping, everything on there is so cheap! It’s great! I would recommend this to anyone because it’s not like the traditional auction sites. I absolutely love it [cheesy smile + thumbs up!].
Fiverr Makes Fake Reviews Easy to Come By
Pretty sad what one will do for a dollar, make that $5. That’s right. Have you heard of Fiverr? Fiverr.com is a website that allows users to offer and purchase “gigs” for $5… And there are Fiverr users who can read, have a webcam, and read a script and say just about anything a gig purchaser asks of them for $5.
Why do we think that ShopyBids.com employed two Fiverr users to create the above mentioned “reviews?” Well, we don’t have to think.
The first ShopyBids review was done by the user jjkaczor on Fiverr.com, see: and she states, “I will make a video of myself promoting your website or product. I would like to know all about your website or product before I can feel comfortable making it the best and most convincing to help you. My video will be no more than 30 seconds long so I’ll get right to the point to promote what you need!” under her gig I will make a video testimonial for your website or product for $5.
Coincidentally “Jordan” is Fiverr user thecartoonman who in his gig description for I will do a casual or professional video testimonial for your product or company for $5. states, “I will make a casual, or professional looking testimonial for your product or company. The video I send you can be used for advertising on your website or anything you would like.” Again, for a mere $5 Jordan will do this for your company.
Now take a look at what was said in the review/comments section reviewing both of the two who do fake reviews by fiverr user kirehardwell.
Now, scroll back up and take a look at the e-mail address of the reader “happy user” of ShopyBids.com… kirehardwell @ gmail.com. Coincidence?
Interestingly enough, kirehardwell left a review for jjkaczor’s gig too,
“kirehardwell created 3 weeks agoExcellent Video!! Amazing Work!! Thanks!
Thank you so much for the kind review. I appreciate the direct instructions! ~Jessica”
So… Looking at just the bidding patterns, their usernames, and sheer number of bidders it also leads us wondering whether or not the bidders are totally legit, real paying customers… This brings us back to YouTube, take a look at this video posted by YouTube user kirehardwell with a screen capture of the penny auction site entitled “The autobidders do not work.”
What are autobidders?
The short version… A feature added by less-than-honest, unethical, shoddy, looking to make a quick buck, penny auction software developers to either 1. “be an intelligent investment protector,” “business bodyguards,” and used by dishonest individuals who see penny auctions as an outlet to exploit less than susceptible consumers, delivering nothing but false promises, fake items and laughing all the way to the bank. Don’t think penny auction sites do this? Many do and have and still will continue to.
Gee, so why would kirehardwell be posting a YouTube video showing the backend of ShopyBids.com and showing us that the autobidders DO NOT WORK? A cry for help… “Please Check Autobidders!!” He writes on his notepad (note the language of the computer is Spanish). Note the text in the screencapture on the autobidder page: “Autobidders or test-bidders to mimic real-life users” Watch the video and you’ll see how easy it is for shopybids (or anyone using this penny auction script (and others)) to add fake bidders to their auctions.
Noticed how kirehardwell has freelancer projects affiliated with penny auctions too?
Oh yeah, by the way, e-mailed ShopyBid lastnight via their contact form on their website and check out the IP address of the person that e-mailed me back?
188.8.131.52 – the identical IP address to the person who e-mailed us alerting us about this penny auction site (see above). Location: San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Again, note the Spanish language in the notepad in the above video capture?
Would you bid on ShopyBids.com?
ShopyBids you are officially inducted into the Penny Auction Watch Hall of Shame…
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