NutBid Online Penny Auctions

nutbidA quick search on Google is all it takes to find more penny auction sites than you care to count. They’re a dime a dozen nowadays, and it makes perfect sense that many of the movers, shakers, and the wannabes try to differentiate themselves. However, there are some that don’t pretend that they’re more than a penny auction site – those that choose to focus on the bare basics of the business model and try to deliver a smooth service. NutBid is one such auction site. No new rules to acquaint yourself with! Whether they did a good job or not is the subject of this review so read on.

NOTE! If you are new/intermediate to penny auctions we strongly recommend you to read our guide on how to win penny auctions and how to get free bids.

The Site Layout & Contents

Minimalist is the NutBid’s approach to site design, layout, and content. However, I can’t help but feel they’ve gone a bit too far. Aside from the necessary pages like Contact Us, Terms & Conditions, etc., there’s not much to read and learn from about the site.

This is somewhat a turn-off especially for newcomers to penny auctions. I’ve seen a few sites that have very detailed yet beginner-friendly guides to the basics of penny auctions and the mechanics of the site. Perhaps NutBid doesn’t need a guide for the latter, but providing info about penny auction basics would really help up-and-coming bidders.

Important Things To Know About

Yes, NutBid doesn’t offer a lot in the way of incentives, rules, or features that are unique to their site. Having said that, there are important details you should know about before you sign up.

No Free Bids: Yes, no free bids unlike other websites. This sucks since you want to get a feel for the site as a new user. Beginners, on the other hand, would want to get a feel for the bidding process and mechanics without losing money. Nope, you’re having none of those perks at NutBid.

Only US And Canada: If you’re a bargain hunter or bidder from Asia or Europe, you can forget about NutBid for now. Only US and Canada users can bid on the site, and it seems the site won’t expand any time soon.

Nuts Instead Of Bids: Just like any penny auction sites, there are a lot of items on auction at NutBid – from gift cards, smartphones, to digital cameras, and more. What’s different, however, is that you have to buy “nuts” so you can bid. Every bid raises the item’s price by a penny.

Minimum Nuts Per Bid: Here’s another important detail you should know – at Nutbid, not all bids are created equal. It’s not uncommon at all for an expensive item – say an Apple iPhone 5C – to require 7 nuts for every bid. On the other hand, lower ticket items like USB flash drives, Amazon gift cards, or food sealers should only cost 3 to 4 nuts per bid.

Automatic Bidder: Let’s say you saw an item you really like and you’ve made up your mind – you want to win that stuff! Wouldn’t it suck if you have to go somewhere and you can’t monitor what’s going on the item you passed a bid on? In cases like this, the Automatic Bidder might be helpful. As the name suggests, you can set up the Automatic Bidder to do all the bidding for you based on parameters you set. Remember, this feature is only as good as how you set it up. If you’re a total beginner, I recommend you steer clear from this.

Buy Now Option: Going back to our scenario above, let’s say you have set up the Automatic Bidder and went your way. You came back home, and alas – you lost the auction and quite a bit of money in the process. Now, there’s still some hope. NutBid offers the option to buy the item on auction if you lose. The price will be close to the retail price, but the upside is the all of the money you lost in the auction goes into the purchase.

My Thoughts About NutBid

thoughtsThe nut-based bidding system and the varying bid prices is an interesting way to try and level the playing field. It makes sense for higher priced items to have higher bid prices (as much as 70¢ per bid) while lower-value items would require just about half of that.

As for the items available, you’ll see that they have a lot. They have gift cards (lots of them), which you can find in almost every penny auction site so no surprises there. You can even bid on nut packs. There are 900 and 1250 Bonus Nuts about to be auctioned at the time of this writing. If you’re lucky, you can keep getting nuts and bidding on auctions without spending a dime if you win a lot of bonus nuts.

But here’s what’s nice: NutBid has a lot of high-end products for you to bid on. Want a Sony PS4 500GB? One will be auctioned tomorrow. Looking for a DeLonghi Espresso Maker? NutBid has one. What about a Nikon Coolpix L830 Digital Camera? They’ve got one too and people are going nuts bidding on it right now. As far as inventory goes, I’m giving NutBid a thumbs-up.

On the other hand, there are things about this penny auction site that deserve a thumbs-down. First off, the lack of information is pretty annoying, and I’m not just talking about information guides for beginners. The site doesn’t explicitly state how much a nut costs. I have a feeling that this is intentional as interested visitors would need to sign up first. Yes, the sign up is free but the visitor is now a user and has made a slight commitment to at least use the site. Fortunately, using my limited math skills, I was able to work out the cost for every nut. It’s at 10¢ each.

All in all, I’m giving NutBid a score of 3.5 out of 5. But make no mistake about it, it has potential. If they can only iron out the wrinkles I pointed out, NutBid will be a great site for sure.