Penny Auction Review: RisingPenny
So you want to know if puppids.com, the online penny auction site, deserves a thumbs-up or down (or two)? Well, you’ve come to the right place. First we’ll have a look at what is a penny auction. If you already have a good idea about the concept, feel free to scroll down directly to the site review by clicking here.
Penny auction vs. regular/tradition auction
What makes a penny auction unique from a regular auction? Well, on a penny auction site, any bid you make during the auction, you MUST pay, whether or not you end up winning the auction. This means you spend on every auction in which you participate. There are numerous strategies to placate bidders who do not win the auction, yet the common denominator at all penny auction sites is the “Buy It Now” button- this allows you to buy the item (at retail price) using the money you already bid (and must pay) as credit.
Another detail unique to online penny auctions is that the auction clock is reset with each new bid (not to full-time, though). Thus, the bidding will continue until there are no more bids, which leads to the most common complaint among bidders: the length of the auctions (sometimes lasting days).
Finally, what might be the grandest difference between online penny auctions vs. traditional auctions: the responsibility of the website itself. With traditional online auction services, the site takes on the role of a mediator between the seller and the bidders. In this role, the website focuses on ensuring that both both the buyer and seller uphold their respective end of the deal. However, with penny auctions, the site is not only the mediator, but also the seller; this can complicate things dramatically.
Why Are Penny Auctions So Controversial?
Penny auctions are often the target of a large amount of criticism, the majority of which concerns the manner in which they are unique to regular auction sites. Due to the fact that penny auctions require (force?) all bidders to complete their transaction- in essence, handing over money simply for the opportunity to win – there is a growing voice among online users who claim that that penny auctions resemble much more a form of online gambling rather than auctions.
This viewpoint is extremely controversial (yet not without merit), since a gambling website is required to be specifically licensed, and not simply a ‘dot-com’. However, at this moment US law does not allow online gambling.
What’s more, the “Buy It Now” option on most penny auction websites is oftentimes not necessarily such a bargain as it’s made it out to be. In general, the price for a particular item at a penny auction site is quite often higher than it would be from another commercial site, for example- Amazon or at brick-and-mortar’s online store.
What’s more, these sites are not authorized retailers of the items that they are selling online. The is not a just a minor detail to simply overlook, because the fact that they are not authorized retailers mean that the manufacturer’s warranty of any item that you purchase is invalid. In other words, if you run into trouble with the gadget that you won/ purchased on a penny auction site, you’re up the creek….with out a warranty.
However, the most problematic issue with these sites is that there is zero confidence between the bidders and the site itself. Due to the fact that the the website serves as both seller and mediator, it is in their favor that the auctions continue for as long a time as possible; this has led to many accusations of the use of bidding bots or ‘accidental’ server malfunctions that result in the bidding time to be reset to full-time.
What’s also important to note is that if you wish to issue a complaint about a product or conduct during a penny auction, the only party that will receive the complaint is the site itself.
From what can be gleaned reviewing this site, it seems to be fairly new, as first and foremost, there is very little info to be found googling the title of the site. In addition, they offer many promotions and rewards (of course, with a catch) for getting your friends to also join the site. What’s more, it seems almost guaranteed that bots are ‘making bids’ to extend the bidding time. There is only one bid shown to have ended on the list, and the bidding time for the next two items keep re-extending to 11 or 12 seconds, no matter if the time drops to 8 or even just 3 seconds; very peculiar that a bidder keeps jumping in just in time to extend the bidding.
Looking at a TomTom 5” GPS on the site, it was listed for $139.99; yet only $108.39 on Amazon.
With respect to the list of ‘winners’, the only thing listed……is the item won.
And with the 10 ‘free bids’ for joining and/or 25 ‘free bids’ for bringing friends on- they seem really tempting and made in great faith, until you realize just how limited the limited time to place those bids are (and it’s quite likely the bots won’t let an auction that you’ve bid on with – one, if not all, your freebies- end quickly so that you might have the chance to win ).
What’s more, this website more or less goes, ‘Pontius Pilate’ and absolves itself of guilt of…..well, just about anything under the sun (or otherwise whatever might upset you, the bidder). Here is what we find under their terms & conditions:
In addition to the terms set forth above, neither Rising Penny, nor its affiliates, information providers or content partners shall be liable regardless of the cause or duration, for any errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or other defects in, or untimeliness or lack of authenticity of, the information contained in the Website, or for any delay or interruption in the transmission thereof to the user, or for any claims or losses arising therefrom or occasioned thereby. None of the foregoing parties shall be liable for any third-party claims or losses of any nature, including, but not limited to, lost profits, punitive or consequential damages. Neither Rising Penny, its affiliates, information providers nor content partners warrant or guarantee the timeliness, sequence, accuracy or completeness of this information.
In other words, if you suspect that you have been cheated, well- too bad. Feel free to e-mail us your complaint, and….we’ll get back to you, buddy.
So with regards to the authenticity of the item, they’re not reliable; if they can’t actually provide you with the item you bid on, they’ll send you something ‘of similar value (??)’ ; and it’s not their fault if the product reaches you in a not-so-timely fashion, if at all. Their attitude seems to be, ‘But hey- email us and let us know and we’ll get back to you’ Not actually the sort of attitude that inspires confidence.
The final call:
Ladies and gentleman, in good faith, it must be said that this penny auction is definitely an ‘avoid if you want enjoy your time playing a penny auction’ site.