Penny Auctions Canada Review

penny-auctions-canadaPenny Auctions Canada, Inc. was established in 2010 and is an auction website that claims to specialize in everyday shopping items, including fashion, jewelry, items for the home, business products, technology, and gift cards from retailers that may be used throughout Canada.

Webpage appeal

The homepage isn’t too appealing unless you want to bid on gift cards, since that is pretty much what is exclusively listed on this page. The gift cards are for well-know chain stores and restaurants such McDonald’s, Wal-mart, Subway, Tim Horton’s, and Footlocker. However, only listing one type of item isn’t the best way to entice people interested in the other types of items, so they should definitely have more variety on the homepage.

Shopping

What’s interesting is that although on the webpage they claim to have a wide variety of items (including technology), when you click on categories it is clear that this penny auction website is limited to a few categories that are geared toward female shoppers. The categories include several types of jewelry items (rings, bracelets and necklaces, earrings, and there is even a category for men’s rings). Other than those jewelry categories, they have fashion and accessories, items for the home, health and beauty, kids and “neat ideas and everything else”. Unfortunately there are no items listed in kids, health or beauty, and just one listing (for a bottle wine glass) in the “everything else” category. This probably varies, but it is still clear that this website has a niche, which is jewelry. So if that is what you’re looking to purchase and bid on, this website is probably a good choice. If not, look elsewhere. In fact, when you click on “daily deals” these are the items that come up (jewelry, shoes, and kitchen accessories such as tea infusers, wine bottle glasses, and coffee mugs).

Another interesting issue to comment on is that fact that these categories for jewelry and accessories actually aren’t even part of the penny auction. You realize this when you see the prices of these items – they don’t really qualify as “penny auctions”. In fact, the reason the gift cards are listed on the homepage is because those are actually the only penny auctions you can find on this page. Actually, the same list of items comes up when you click on “Penny Auctions” as did on the homepage. So, if you’re looking for a penny auction website, keep in mind that this one pretty much only has gift cards. If you like the idea of bidding for gift cards though, this site could be a good option as you can spend a few dollars or even cents on a gift card worth anywhere from $10 to $100 dollars. Another option for penny auction bidding are “bid packs” (a bundle of bids that you can use to shop on this website). These expire after 90 days.

How does it work?

If you are interested in purchasing on this website, you can participate in the Penny Auctions (as we have already learned, gift cards or bid packs, primarily) or the Daily Deals Auctions (items mainly for women such as jewelry, shoes and stuff for the home). For the penny auctions, you have to first purchase bids, which cost $0.75 each and come in packs of minimum 25. Now that you have your bids, it is time to pick an auction, and if you want, bid on an item (or a few). The website has a helpful diagram to help you understand all of the features of bidding and how it works (where to click on the item images and why).

Below the explanation for how the penny auction works, there is an explanation for how the daily deals auctions work. In this case, you don’t need to purchase any bids and can place a bid on an auction item you want for free. Each time someone bids, the bid on the item will go up. If you’d rather just buy the item now, there is also an option to do that.

One thing this website does have going for them is how they display their items; the ways listed items are displayed to the buyer is effective and appealing. There are usually about four to six rows each with five featured item images, that include a photo of the item, a countdown clock notifying you of how much time you have left to place your bid, the retail price of the item, the current highest bid, and the price you can pay if you just want to skip bidding and buy the item at that moment. There is a large button to “bid now” on each image, making it easy to get right to bidding. You’ll need to sign up to bid or purchase of course, but that only takes a few minutes. While the items are displayed well, and the system seems very easy to use, unfortunately the website doesn’t have much variety in terms of items.

Information for buyers and sellers

infoFinally, if you click on the sell or buy tabs they take you to a very simple and static page which basically just outlines the benefits of buying or selling on their website. Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of information for sellers; instead you have to send an email to request a free media kit if you want to start selling on this website. This isn’t very enticing for sellers and they can’t get the information they’re looking for in the moment. Also, neither of these pages have any links or graphics, just text to read and then you’re only option is to go back to the page you came from. The return policy is prominently displayed on the homepage in simple terms (basically you have 10 days to return the unused item), and on another tab you can find a very detailed and involved return policy, so no lack of information in that area.

All in all, this penny auction website is easy to understand, easy to navigate and easy to use. Also, there are many options for payment, and there are several trust guard icons on the page to show customers that their purchases are secure. Unfortunately the variety of items to bid on is limited.