Penny Auction Strategy Guide
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Penny Auction Strategy Guide Penny Auction Strategy Guide Document Transcript

  • Penny Auctions: A Complete GuideA penny auction guide written for beginner, intermediate & advanced penny auction bidders.The Penny Auction Guide is created and © by OnlineAuctionReviews.org. Page 1
  • Table of ContentsTable of Contents .......................................................................................................................................... 2Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 3Getting Started – 5 Things to Consider BEFORE Signing Up ......................................................................... 4How Auctions Work ...................................................................................................................................... 5Auction Types................................................................................................................................................ 5Penny Auction Tips........................................................................................................................................ 7A Look at Bidding Strategies ......................................................................................................................... 8 Strategies that DON’T WORK .................................................................................................................... 8 Spread the Luck ..................................................................................................................................... 8 Emotional Bidding ................................................................................................................................. 8 Strategies for Success ............................................................................................................................... 9 Strike Early ............................................................................................................................................ 9 Master the Clock ................................................................................................................................... 9 The Sniper ............................................................................................................................................. 9 The Bully................................................................................................................................................ 9 The Power Bidder.................................................................................................................................. 9 The Spoiler .......................................................................................................................................... 10Top Penny Auction Websites ...................................................................................................................... 11Disclaimer.................................................................................................................................................... 12The Penny Auction Guide is created and © by OnlineAuctionReviews.org. Page 2
  • IntroductionThe guide is built to provide educational information about penny auctions. It’s dedicated to helping youcut the clutter to determine which penny auctions are best (something you can also track at ourwebsite, OnlineAuctionReviews.org), and which are a plain old waste of money. It’s also designed toteach you about some strategic approaches that can help you make the most of your penny auctionexperience.There areincredible dealsthat can be made in these pay-to-play auctions that some people might callgood luck. The truth is, the best deals have very little to do with fortune, but rather come as a result oforganized strategy.So, let’s get started.The Penny Auction Guide is created and © by OnlineAuctionReviews.org. Page 3
  • Getting Started – 5 Things to Consider BEFORE Signing UpWhat to Look For, What to Avoid, and How to Set Yourself Up for Success From the Start 1. COMPANY CREDIBILITY & LONGEVITY Stick with long-standing penny auction companies. If they’ve not been around at least 1 year, be weary. They may boast great deals and limited competition, but there are other headaches. New sites frequently experience inventory issues, shipping dilemmas, and can have shoddy customer service. What’s worse, some will simply go out of business without warning, not only wasting your money, but leaving you without your product(s). Some of the recognizable names (Beezid, HappyBidDay, DealDash, etc.) are recognizable for a reason – they’ve earned their legitimacy through years of sound business practices and are much more trustworthy than a shiny new up-and- comer. 2. REGISTRATION Registration should always be FREE. If a penny auction site requires upfront payment for simply registering, this should be a big red flag that something’s not right. 3. UNDERSTAND WHAT “FREE” MEANS “Free auctions” don’t always translate to “no purchase necessary.” Some sites promote free auctions, but actually require you make a bid pack purchase before you can participate. Penny auction sites that offer true free-to-play auctions usually do so by giving you free/promo bids to spend in the “free” auctions. This is obviously more favorable, especially for a new user. 4. BIDDING ISN’T WINNING When you sign up with a penny auction site, the flashy registration pages and pretty bid pack graphics can sometimes make you feel like you’re winning already. Plus you paid for those bids, so you must win something right? Well, no. (Not yet, anyway.) As mentioned in the intro, it’s pay-to- play, not pay-to-win. To win with any consistency, you’re going to need a strategy. Simply placing bids does not (EVER) guarantee a win. But don’t worry, this guide’s full of insightful info for users. 5. WHERE TO START The best penny auctions to start with are those that first meet the credibility standards, and secondly offer something for you, the new user. Look for sites that offer beginner auctions, genuine free-to-play options, and also auctions with bid packs (in many cases you can pay a lot less for bid packs through an auction win). Another feature to look for is a winning guarantee. At registration some sites offer this as a sign-on perk, and will replenish your bids on certain bid packs if you don’t win. You want to start with sites that will not just give you the opportunity to win, but ones that encourage winning strategies for new users and make it affordable to get started.The Penny Auction Guide is created and © by OnlineAuctionReviews.org. Page 4
  • How Auctions WorkFirst things first, let’s take a look at how penny auctions work.Once registered with a penny auction site, users must first buy bids to participate in the auctions. Bidscommonly cost anywhere from $0.50 to $0.90, and most penny auction sites offer bid packs in whichusers can save money by purchasing larger quantities at one time.Penny auction sites auction products ranging from electronics to kitchenware to jewelry and gift cards,all set to end by a certain time on the auction clock. The starting “price” of these items starts at a verylow value (sometimes less than $1) and each bid typically increases this price by $0.01 – hence the namepenny auction. As participants bid, the auction clock winds its way towards 0:00.As the auction timer approaches the final seconds of the auction (usually set for 00:10, 00:15, or 00:20)the clock automatically resets with a few extra seconds after a bid is placed, allowing all participantsequal opportunity to bid. Think of the “going once, going twice…” call in traditional auctions.Once there are no more bidders and the timer gets down to the 0:00 mark, the last person to place hisbid is the auction winner. The bidder then wins and buys the product for the closing price, plus anyshipping and handling.Auction TypesNot all auctions are created equallyPenny Auctions: Penny auctions or 1-cent auctions work on the model explained in the How It Workssection. Users purchase bids and then bid on items they want, incrementally increasing the productprice by $0.01 with each bid placed. When the auction timer reaches 0:00 and there are no morebidders, the last bidder to place his bid wins.*Free Auctions: These auctions are offered by penny auction sites that promote sign-up bonus bids,rewards programs, and other "free bid" incentives. Users can then use their free bids in the freeauctions. Typically, Free Auctions feature lower end retail items, gift cards, and bid packs.*Newbie/Beginner Auctions: These auctions are promoted to users that are new to the penny auctionindustry. They often have win limits attached and are designed to let new bidders participate in auctionsalongside others with similarly limited skill levels.*Capped/Price Freeze Auctions: In this format, the penny auction site limits the auction close price. Theauction runs as a normal penny auction until it reaches the designated price cap (typically 10%-25% ofits retail value). Once there, bidders continue to place bids as usual, however, their bids do notThe Penny Auction Guide is created and © by OnlineAuctionReviews.org. Page 5
  • incrementally increase the price anymore - it stays fixed at the capped amount. This is the amount thewinning bidder pays for the item. These auctions are commonly identified by designated icons.*Buy Now Auctions: This auction format allows non-winning bidders of a given auction the opportunityto purchase the product they were bidding on at retail cost. The competition is stiff, but the format ispromoted as risk-free bidding. Penny auction sites will often let you apply your used bids towards thepurchase, however, only those bids that you paid full-price for will count. If you spent any promo/freebids in the auction, those bids won’t count towards your buy-now purchase, so you may be on the hookfor more than you thought. Some sites offer a different format wherein they actually replenish all thebids you spent and put them directly back into your account when you make your buy-now purchase.This is a more preferable buy-now option as it’s a truer risk-free format.No Jump Auctions: No “jump” or “jumper” auctions are a limited participation style built to protect theinvested bidders, cutting off those who may want to join in the final seconds for a stealthy win. At adesignated auction price (for example: $5) an auction is no longer open to new bidders – only those thathave placed bids can continue to participate. The theory is great, but easy to game. Savvy bidders whouse “jumping” tactics will often place a single bid as a placeholder, and then ultimately “jump” theauction anyway.**In these kinds of auctions, the last bidder is still responsible for paying for the auction win at the closingprice.The Penny Auction Guide is created and © by OnlineAuctionReviews.org. Page 6
  • Penny Auction TipsA few key guidelines to keep in mind.Read, Read, Read! Before signing up with any penny auction site, read their rules, learn their terms andconditions, and understand their auction types. Education is a primary factor to penny auction success.Watch to Learn.Watching auctions will not only help you understand the pace of online penny auctions,but will also offer insight to other bidders’ behavior. This insight is a huge component to strategydevelopment.Speaking of Strategy…Find one, and make it your own! It is not impossible to win without one, but it’sfar less likely. Having a strategy allows you to practice it, and you know what they say about practice.Don’t Go For The Gusto (yet). When you’re first starting out, chances are you don’t have a strategy yet,and even if you do it’s probably pretty green. Hone it in smaller auctions. Try your hand at gift cards andsmaller gadgets before trying to hang in the iPad or HDTV auctions.Don’t Spread the Wealth. Bid on a single auction at a time. Trying to do too many things at once willlikely spread your resources thin and result in a loss.Build a Budget and Stick to It. When you enter an auction, have a maximum number of bids in mindthat you’re willing to spend and DON’T surpass it. Ignoring your budget is an easy way to spendunnecessary bids and get caught up in an emotional bidding process, which is always a bad idea.Do the Math (and Your Homework).To effectively enforce your budget, it’s a good idea to know theretail value of the product you’re bidding on, as well as the cost of your bids so you can accurately figureout where your ceiling should be.Know Your Neighbors. Knowing who you’re bidding against and around can make huge differences inyour strategy.Stock Up. Having a supply of bids in your account is critical to success, regardless of your strategy. Tryingto operate with just a few is like running your car with 1 gallon of gasoline; it will work, but won’t getyou very far.Use the Auto Bid Feature When It Makes Sense. If you’re in a tight auction and need to get up for abreather, or if you’re trying your hand at intimidation and want to drive bidders away from an auction,the auto bid feature is a great tool. It should be noted that auto bid is a tool and not a strategy.Especially as a new bidder, employing the auto bid without discretion can backfire and cost you manybids on an auction you may only be marginally interested in.The Penny Auction Guide is created and © by OnlineAuctionReviews.org. Page 7
  • A Look at Bidding StrategiesBidders take a few different approaches to penny auctions – some work, and some don’t. With alittle research and education, you can avoid common errors and set yourself up with a winningstrategy.Strategies that DON’T WORKSpread the LuckMany new bidders arrive on the penny auction circuit mistakenly thinking that placing a handful of bidson several different auctions increases their chances of winning something. Anything. But really, allthey’re doing is spreading themselves far too thin to have any real chance at winning.Winningcomes down to a “last man standing” scenario. By sprinkling a few bids here and there, chancesare you won’t be the last bidder because you’re not even sticking around – you place a few, then moveon to another auction. This kind of strategy (or lack thereof, really) rarely works out and morecommonly leaves you empty-handed and frustrated.Emotional BiddingWe are human and we are emotional, but feelings have no place in auctions. Remember, each bid youuse is a bid you’ve already paid for; with each one you place,you are spending money. There is nothingwrong with this and the potential for savings is often well worth the investment, but it’s important tokeep a level head becausewith emotional bidding comes irrationality.Rather suddenly you can disregard your bid budget, blowing 100s in just a few minutes. The only realwinner in this scenario is the penny auction site itself. While this approach does result in “wins,” theclosing price is rarely worth the investment which is why we recommend not bidding from emotion.The Penny Auction Guide is created and © by OnlineAuctionReviews.org. Page 8
  • Strategies for SuccessStrike EarlyThis strategy is a great one for getting the BEST deals out there. It plays on the notion that jumping intoan auction too early is a “waste.” It’s not. Here’s why: many bidders will pass on an auction while thereis a lot of time left, because traditional thinking says you’re more likely to win when you bid near theend.But this is only one view. As everyone else thinks “oh it’s too early,” you place your bid and wait.The auction quietly ends, and you prove not only that it’s never too soon to bid, but you walk away witha STEAL because nobody else bothered to join! This strategy sees moderate to good success and resultsin great deals with practice.Master the ClockThis strategy takes into consideration the time of day you’re bidding. (For auction timer strategy, see:The Sniper). It is a simple fact that some times are slower than others. It sounds easy enough – find theleast busy times, and shop ‘til you drop. But it’s not quite that straightforward. Aside from simplyunderstanding the high and low volumes of the penny auction sites, you must also take intoconsideration who is bidding and when, whether auto-bid software is being used, and the productsbeing placed for auction. This research commitment is not always worth the time to some bidders. Butthose who do feel it’s worth it can see moderate success with this strategy.The SniperThe Sniper strategy is highly analytical. The Sniper watches, waits, and at the perfect moment, pulls thebid trigger for success. The Sniper understands momentum of auctions andevaluates the best times tobe aggressive. The idea here is to bid aggressively with perfect timing in a way that doesn’t give theother bidders enough time to react. This strategy can work quite well but often requires a good deal ofpenny auction experience, as well as a hefty stock of bids to execute effectively. The strategy sees goodsuccess but is not recommended for new bidders.The BullyThe Bully wants everyone to know who he is, what he does, and why you should avoid him. This strategydepends on serious intimidation, expertise, and lots of bids. Itworks best on newer penny auction siteswhere the Bully’s name is one of few instead of one of many. Ultimately, the idea is to limit competitionby what is sometimes calledwin-timidation, in essence sitting atop the penny auction food chain. Thisstrategy works but it’s worth noting that it is less effective on well-established sites.The Power BidderThe Power Bidder is an expert on penny auctions that has mastered several strategies. The Power Biddertakes advantage of every promotional offer, often logging many hours and even using his strategies tomake a living reselling his wins. The characteristic Power Bidder is typically a very seasoned bidder thathas acquired many, many wins using a variety of strategies. Usually, Power Bidders are active on severalpenny auction sites. This strategy takes a serious amount of time and dedication, but often results inexpert bidders that win with proficiency.The Penny Auction Guide is created and © by OnlineAuctionReviews.org. Page 9
  • The SpoilerWhen two bidders are left in a ‘bidding war’ scenario near an auction end, something interesting takesplace when a third bidder jumps in. The two sparring bidders notice the third has bid on the auction, andnow they’re faced with a dilemma: If I outbid the new guy, the other bidder is just going to outbid meand I’ll lose. They each hesitate not wanting to waste their bid, and in their hesitation, both lose theauction to the third bidder, a.k.a., The Spoiler! This is an excellent strategy, although it does rely on anelement of lucky timing. It can be fun, but should be part of a strategy repertoire, not your onlyapproach.Gift Cards = $$Product-specific bidding is rarely considered “good advice,” primarily because there are so many otherfactors that are more important. But this is a unique approach that works and works well. By biddingexclusively on gift cards, you are offering yourself a few advantages. Firstly, these auctions are seen aslower-end, and inevitably have less competition. Second, gift cards (especially those in you-chooseformats) are some of the best returns on investment. They’re not simply worth retail value - they arespent at that value. It’s kind of like winning money! Stock up and buy whatever you desire. And with thecompetition limited, there is a lot to be won.Combo Auctions for the WinSome penny auction sitesincorporate bids in combination with other product auctions. The beauty ofthese kinds of auctions is that they include a way to earn some of your spent bids back through yourwin. The reason this is successful is because no win is going to break your bank; with combo auctions,you’ll always have a chance to recoup some of the bids you spent.The Penny Auction Guide is created and © by OnlineAuctionReviews.org. Page 10
  • Top Penny Auction WebsitesThe following penny auctions were rated as the best penny auctions websites onOnlineAuctionReviews.org at the time of publishing this guide. These sites have all been in business 2+years and rank consistently as the highest rated sites in the industry.Remember, leading sites are continually upgrading their offerings, which is part of what makes them thebest. However, these kinds of changes can impact the ranks, so please visit our website for a more up-to-date list.Top 3 Penny Auction Sites: HappyBidDay.com Zbiddy.com Beezid.comThe Penny Auction Guide is created and © by OnlineAuctionReviews.org. Page 11
  • DisclaimerThis content is copyrighted by OnlineAuctionReviews.org and may not be reproduced or retransmittedin any form without explicit written permission from the publisher.This guide is presented for informational purposes and is intended to be an educational tool. This guidedoes not purport professional advice of any kind and should not be used as such. The included contentsare represented as opinions of the publisher and do not offer any guarantee of any kind.Every effort has been made to maintain the accuracy of the information held within this guide, but dueto the changing landscape of industry dynamics and technological advancements, this guide may requireperiodic updating. The author reserves the right to these updates and is not responsible fordiscrepancies that occur as a result of these changes.The guide, its author and its contributors accept no financial, legal, or other responsibility for any actionstaken as a result of reading this material. Readers are solely responsible for consulting professionalservices before taking action.Results for penny auction bidding are dependent on a number of contributing factors including skill leveland competition, and none of the material held within should be interpreted as guaranteed.The Penny Auction Guide is created and © by OnlineAuctionReviews.org. Page 12