How to Spot a Penny Auction Scam: BunPig.com Head Programmer Comes Clean About Penny Auction Sites
Holiday shopping can be drag, but it gets a lot more exciting and less expensive if you have good luck on a Penny Auction Site. These sites offer amazing deals on really hot items, but you need to know what you are doing. Even if you do, says BunPig.com programmer Alec Sherman, you can still get burned by one of the many shady sites that actually cheat customers. Alec sat down to guide us through the wild world of penny auctions, and explain why he thinks BunPig.com is the best penny auction site.
In doing the upfront research and building their site, the BunPig team spent countless hours surfing the web, checking out and reading up on other Penny Auction sites. "We were really surprised at how many traps were set for bidders, even on well known and reputable websites," says Alec. We asked him to walk us through some of the things we should be looking out for.
Know what you are signing up for before you sign up, says Alec. "Many sites require bidders to register or make purchases before they are told the hidden charges, or even how much each bid is going to cost them." This should be a red flag, Alec maintains. "At BunPig, we decided right away that it was going to be 100% open and honest," and he recommends sticking to sites that have equally transparent policies.
Another disturbing practice that exists is that many auction sites, to guard their bottom line, use programs that act like fake bidders to drive up auction prices and cost customers bids. They do this until the auction hits a set hidden reserve price. "If there is a reserve price, then it is not a penny auction!" says Alec, who says that none of these practices will be part of BunPig's business. "More sites do this than you would guess, and no site will openly admit to using these tactics," so Alec recommends doing background research on any site you want to deal with to make sure there is no suspicion that they are cheating.
One last thing that Alec pointed out is that in the world of penny auctions, just like in any other industry, staying power is going to be decided by customer service. "Many Penny Auction companies only care about their customers until they pay for a bid pack," says Alec, after which shady bidding practices, poor communication, and horrible shipping practices can alienate customers. "...and that is fine with us, because that will lead people to seek out sites like BunPig.com, where we promise 2 day max handling times and top notch customer service."
With penny auctions increasing in popularity, it is nice to know that some of them are among the good guys. It is also nice to know what to watch out for. Do we have to worry about the BunPig? "BunPigs are cute and fuzzy, and they don't bite," says Alec, "and they also hate underhanded dealing, so you know you can count on BunPig.com to be an honest penny auction site."