Sunday, October 9, 2011

Penny Auctions in News

Penny Auctions have been regularly in the news, on and off though. However, most of the press around them has been negative. Sure, there are dishonest penny auctions but there are a lot of genuine and honest penny auctions around as well. The media should provide a more holistic view of the industry.

Penny auctions do not guarantee a win. The price to be able to win a Macbook at $50 is that you might not win anything at all, and end up spending money on the bids. Yes, this is a possibility but you know the rules of the game before you get started don't you?

The advertising around penny auctions is something that I have regularly written about and would like to see improved by leaps and bounds. If penny auctions are to go mainstream, they need to stop all kinds of misleading information and advertising, promising too good to be true deals. This is done implicitly or explicitly by probably every penny auction. However, this isn't the right way to go about it.

The best way for the penny auction industry in general would be to lay out all the rules and possibilities in front of the customer. Let the customer then decide if she wants to spend money trying to win a product real cheap or if she is happy to go to a "risk-free" bidding site like eBay.

Quibids for example states that odds are not available for penny auctions, which is certainly true - after all it is a multi-player game where the outcome depends on the actions of different bidders with different strategies. However, they can certainly give the statistics if they really wished to.

There are some elements in the positive direction but these seem inadequate as of now. The news around penny auctions has been grim to say the least, which is a pity considering how much potential they do have, especially with the holiday season fast approaching.

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