Common Penny Auction Questions & Answers

penny auctions how penny auctions workQ: How do penny auction sites work?
A: These sites use a pay per bid model. This means that to bid on one of these cheap priced auctions you have to purchase bids prior to bidding on an auction. There is a limited supply of bids (how many ever you can afford to buy). You have to then use this limited supply of bids to try and be the last bidder in an auction for a product you want when the timer reaches “SOLD”. Every time you click bid you spend a bid and your bid-supply shrinks by 1. Seconds are also added to the auction count down timer. Your job is to be the last bidder when the auction timer counts down to “SOLD” Penny auctions are a competitive game. Here is a full explanation of exactly how penny auction sites work.

Q: If I bid on an auction and lose, do I get my bids back?
A: No, those bids are gone. You have lost them and any money you spent on them. Bye-Bye.

Q: How do you LOSE money on a penny auction site?
A: By bidding on an auction and not winning it. Every time you bid you are spending money (usually around sixty cents). You could also spend more on bids winning an auction that the auction item is worth, which is also a loss. You could have purchased the item cheaper.

Q: How do you WIN money on penny auction sites?
A: By bidding on and winning an auction. When this happens you have the choice to buy the item at the auction closing price which is usually a few dollars, or pennies on the dollar compared to it’s actual retail value. You get the item for the price of bids you spent plus the ending auction price, tax and shipping. It is not easy, but it is possible.

Q: Are penny auctions gambling?
A: While we are not lawyers, it appears by the definition of the law that no, penny auctions are not gambling. I like to define penny auctions as a competitive game of brinkmanship where all of the bidders are pushing one another to see how many bids one another will spend to be the last bidder alive at the “SOLD” moment. It is a game that has elements of risk, skill and luck. You can lose money and you can win money so if that is your definition of gambling then you would consider penny auctions to be so. But so would investing in a 401k, right? MSN compared bidding sites to crack cocaine so if you have a gambling problem penny auctions are NOT for you!

Q: Is there a safe way to bid on a penny auction? Can I guarantee a win on a penny auction site?
A: Yes, more or less. If you find a trustworthy penny auction site that has a ‘buy it now’ option that allows you to take the full value of the bids spent trying to win the auction and apply them against the purchase of that item in full. You also need to make sure that the sites retail price of the item is what you can actively purchase it for anywhere else online or in a store. If all of those factors align and the shipping rate is fair then it is relatively risk free and safe to try to win the items at a discount.

Which Penny Auction Sites offer Buy It Now
A: Foopile offers 99% of their auctions as a “buy one now” however you only get to use half of your bid value against the retail price. Some of Skoreit auctions offer an “OT” setting which works like a buy it now. We are researching other penny auction sites that offer buy it now features but to be honest we prefer playing in auctions that make our competition have an element of risk.
Q: How do I know I will get my items I won?
A: Only bid on reputable bidding sites like the ones we list here. Avoid the newest penny auctions at least until they have established themselves with 6 months history of positive ratings from the review sites like or the community at a site like PennyBurners. There are scam penny auction sites and there are legit ones. Bid at legit ones because nothing is worse than bidding, winning and never getting your item.

Q: Are penny auctions scams?
A: Not all of them. Sure, there are some scam penny bidding sites out there but there are many legit bidding sites that are not scams (those listed on this site are non scams!). Also I would like to point out that many of the complaints that a penny auction scammed me reviews you see plastered over the web are from people who had no clue how penny auctions work and started blindly bidding and spending money without knowing it.

Q: What is the BEST penny auction
A: That depends on what you want to do and how you want to play on them, and that question is what lead us to create Right now our top rated penny auction site is a site that really surprised us. They offer a nice quantity of daily auctions that are somewhat competitive but not as hard to win as the bigger auction sites. They also do not offer quite as high end of products so it really depends on what you want from a penny auction site before we can say which one is best for you. We have created lists of top rated sites by category to help you find the best penny auction site for you:

Is there ways to get free bids at penny auction sites?
A: Yes, generally penny auction sites offer sign up promotions for new bidders. Read our penny auction site reviews or skim over the current penny auction promotions listed in our blog, just make sure the promo is still current, the details will be on the posts themselves. Right now, new users can get 30 free bids at just for registration. You can use these bids in the auctions and if you get lucky could walk home winning something with free bids! Fair warning, usually you will not win anything with just a handful of free bids. Use them to learn how the site works and prepare to go to battle by buying a good sized bid pack.

Q: Can people cheat in penny auctions?
A: Yes, people can cheat in just about anything. There is a huge difference between a penny auction site cheating you and other bidders cheating you. Avoid untested penny auction sites and you can for the most part sleep easy knowing that the reputable penny auction sites are not cheating you or using shill / company based bidders to drive the price up. What you do need to look out for is when bidders or a group of bidders is colluding together to try and beat you in an auction. They do this simply by only bidding against you and not against one another, ever. If you suspect this is happening then you need to contact the customer support team ASAP.

Q: Is there a way to guarantee winning an auction?
A: Not really, however you can bid on an auction that offers a buy-it-now feature that suits your requirements. The reason you can not guarantee that you will win is because anyone at anytime can start bidding against you and they may be willing to spend more on bids than you.

Q: How do you get unlimited bids on skoreit, beezid, bidcactus or any penny auction site?
A: You purchase them or win them in bid pack auctions. Unlimited bids is impossible but you can buy as many bids as your credit card limit allows. There is no fool proof way to get massive bids, however there are bid hoarding strategies that are employed by some bidders where they only win bid packs and collect them up for weeks or months at a time. Once they have a sufficient amount of bids saved up they go to battle. This is not an easy strategy to execute because on many bidding sites, the battle for bid packs is intense.

Q: What is the biggest penny auction site?
A: Quibids, Beezid & Madbid are the big three. Take a look at this google insights search of these biggest penny auctions online.

Q: Is there any penny auction affiliate deals available?
A: Yes, many of the penny auction sites offer affiliate deals and refer-a-friend programs.

Is there a winning penny auction strategy?
A: Yes, and it is constantly evolving. Read through our strategy articles and be sure and sign up for our skoreit winners guide as it has a higher level of strategic theory discussed.

Is there an average spend I should estimate at a penny auction site
A: Yes and no. Yes because you absolutely should research the current ending price of previous auctions that are the same/similar to the item you are intersted in and see if you can get an idea of the average price the auction ended at. Find that price and budget half of the bids spent in the auction. That is the average number of bids I like to budget to battle for the item. I’m hopeful I can win it for much less but that is how to come up with a basic budget guideline. If you follow the winning tips offered on our strategy section you should be able to take an auction down for that price.

Q: Should I spread my bids out on a bunch of different auctions or focus on one?
A: Focus on one. Win it first and move on. Spreading out your bids is a common rookie bidding mistake.

Q: Are penny auctions the same as ebay?
A: No, not at all. Penny auctions are totally different than ebay. Read our penny auctions 101 guide or re-read this FAQ before you start bidding at a penny auction.

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