Kevan jumps into this week’s video by talking about penny auctions.  He discusses the difference between an auction site like eBay and penny auction sites by pointing out that you only pay for what you win on eBay.  Kevan breaks down how the use of bid tokens and a refreshing timer by penny auction sites can often lead users to buy tons of bids but still lose an auction.  He then reports that Scambook users have experienced not receiving items they won but still getting hit with all the fees and charges.  Kevan advises everyone to stay away from penny auction sites and always do their research if they still want to try.

There’s hardly any debate that so many consumers are always looking for the next hot deal or bargain.  This is even more so as so many people in our country are still fighting through tough economic times.  So, it should come as no surprise that penny auction sites have really burst through the gates over the last year.

Quite inviting isn’t it?

Unfortunately, Scambook users have reported alarming experiences with penny auction websites.  Users have filed over 600 complaints with over $65,000 in damages against and over 1000 complaints with roughly over $150,000 in damages against – just to name a couple of the more prevalent sites.

According to our user reports, some penny auction sites don’t deliver items that are won fair and square in an auction.  Sometimes, customer service even gives the excuse that there was a glitch in the system so the item in question was not actually won, but still charges the user for all of the bids that were used along the way.

Other Scambook users have reported signing up for what they thought were free trial accounts, but ended up getting charged up to $100 for bids without any way to opt out or be refunded.  Some of these penny auction sites are indeed complete shams and will have no real customer service department, making it virtually impossible to find a live person to speak with, according to user reports.

“Virtually impossible” is an appropriate theme when it comes to taking a good hard look at penny auctions operate.  Are there legitimate sites where you really can indeed win big-time items like a new 55-inch Samsung flat panel TV or a brand new Macbook Pro for pennies on the dollar?

It’s best to know how the game is played before deciding to jump in or not.

Yes, there are.

Be that as it may, it still does not change the fact that these sites make money because people spend a ton of money on bids, refreshing the countdown clock for a penny at a time and virtually turning each auction into a game of roulette.  It also does not mean in any way that you will be one of the lucky ones to nab big ticket items.

Don’t forget, even if you appear to have won an item, you might not receive it due to a “glitch in the system.”

We understand if you really can’t resist the idea of potentially winning that new TV or laptop for next to nothing.  We just hope you will remain diligent in doing your research first on Scambook and seeing what kind of experiences other people had before you engage any penny auction site.

 Photo Sources:,


See Also

Penny Auction Scams: $27.43 iPad 2?
This Is Your Brain on Bargains: Why Sites Like NoMoreRack, BargainRoom and JustFab Are Hard to Resist
BidRack Class Action Lawsuit

About The Author

I am a passionate writer who believes that there is nothing as engaging as the written word. I sincerely hope that the Scambook blog is a strong resource for consumers who always want to stay informed and out of harm’s way.

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9 Responses

    • Sean O'Connor

      Hi Alice,
      Thanks for your comment. I don’t know enough about the site you mentioned but I do have a fair bit of skepticism towards penny auctions. Penny auctions profit from user placed bids. This is different than traditional auctions which profit from final sale. A quick web search shows that many penny auction websites have been accused of using bots to drive the bids up and lure consumers into bidding wars — all for a dollar or so per bid. Knowing this information, I couldn’t recommend penny auctions or condone any site that claims to offer a “secret solution” to that problem.

  1. John Hagerman

    These guys have been running a lot of commercials on TV…mostly Fox. Completely misleading. I bought $75 in bids…and got nothing for it. In fact, I really think the company, (in this case bidrack) has computer bidders, and this no one wins the merchandise.

    After complaints, the company informed me there were other items I could bid on…thinks like teddy bears, cheap sunglasses and other junk. I looked, and no one was bidding on these items. I was one of those “born every minute”suckers

  2. Tina

    There is so much hype about these penny auctions right now. Thank goodness I listened to my gut about these kinds of offers. I have actually been on the fence because I know a lot of people who promote penny auctions and are always trying to get me to join. But when I visit the site it just doesn’t feel right there. I always opt out immediately after a good look around. Ty for this post.

    • Lavoris

      Those people that are trying to get you to join are simply promoting the auction sites and getting paid to advertise. You might want to reconsider and change your mindset. I’m just saying. 🙂

  3. Robert White

    I got stung with this penny auction site, I was told I had free bids when you paid $100.00 I found nothing was getting sold the bid status never changed to show current amounts etc. I sent email to them with questions and got no response I tried calling them on Skype and no answer. I called credit card company cancelled my credit card and they still tried to bill my card for extra dollars to which I never approved .I’ve had a terrible time getting them off my back. I also sent 2 days after sign up to cancel my membership which stated you could do at any time I did this the second day and to this day I’ve had no response. LOOK OUT STAY AWAY FROM PENNY AUCTION R.White Canada

  4. noelene

    you say some penny auctions sites are legit ? can you name a few that are please… I’ve had success at bidding winning and receiving from a site called zeekler, so must say not all are scams…


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