This post does contain referral and affiliate links. Regardless I only post legitimate offers from trusted sites.
You’re watching tv and you see an ad pop up for one of those penny auctions sites. You know the ones where people are claiming they won laptops for $53 and big screen tvs for $75 or whatever the claim is. It might be easy to wonder if you really can win and save money on these sites. If you talk to the person that won, they’d probably tell you yes. If you talk to the other 80 people that bid on that Xbox One they’d probably tell you no. I get asked this question frequently.
Penny auctions sites have very similar set ups. Quibids, Orange Bidz, Deal Dash, all similar set up. Sometimes they will offer you some free bids to sign up. After that you start paying just to bid. You’ll buy a bid package. Looking at a site like Quibids, the cheapest package is $27 for 45 bids. So if you think about it in that aspect it costs you 60 cents every time you place a bid whether you win or lose. I also think the commercials only tell you part of the truth. Yes the lady in the commercial may have won the ipad for $50 but what they don’t tell you is how many bids it took her to get there, how many bids she bought, and how many others bid and didn’t win.
If you don’t win you lose whatever bids you used. So yes, if you lose, you lost 60 cents per bid. If you look at one penny auction site, in their terms and conditions it gives you the average number of bidders depending on the cost of the item. Of course bigger ticket items like flat screen tv’s and ipads get more bidders. For items that cost $500-$1000 the average number of bidders is 88.8 for items over $1000, 186.3 bidders. Remember there’s only 1 winner for each auction. Depending on size of the auction the price will only go up 5 cents for each bid. So even if there price is only at $50, do that math, that’s 100 bids already. Depending on the site, when you get down to the last 30 seconds or so, every time someone bids the clock resets to 30 seconds again. It continues this way until there’s finally a winner. So you can imagine how many bids actually go into the auctions. I could only imagine that as the holidays approach the number of bidders increase.
You then pay the winning price. Let’s stick with the $50 for a laptop but you also spent the money on whatever amount of bids you used plus shipping. If you lost, you take a chance on another auction. Again you can only bid as many times as you bid package you purchased. Sure they allow you to buy more but you have to do the math. You could realistically bid on 10 different auctions not win and actually be out $100+ with nothing to show for it.
So in a nutshell, I say no, they’re not a good way to save money.
You want my opinion on how to get legitimate deals and be sure you’re going to walk away with something with your hard earned money? These are some of my favorite deal sites for finding deals on electronics and bigger ticket items:
- BradsDeals I highly recommend signing up for their emails to keep up on top of the deals
- Groupon (check out the electronics category in the left column or the “Goods” column from the tabs at the top)
- LivingSocial (under the “shop” tab)
- Amazon Gold Box Deals (hit or miss but worth it to check or get the email updates)
Also if you want to stay on top of the deals but don’t have time or resources to compare all the deals, using a site like Nifti helps. You set up a free account, add nifti to your toolbar, and add the items you want to your nifti account. Choose a price you’d like to pay and it will keep track of the price for you and notify you when/if it hits the the price you chose. This site helped me save a lot of money last Christmas. You can try it with some of these products below.
How Nifti works: search for the item you want. Use your Nifti tool bar bookmark to add it to your list, input the price you’re hoping to pay, Nifti does the rest of the work for you. Emails you when/if the item hits the price you want.
Apple – 16GB Silver 5th Gen iPod Touch – MGG52LL/A
This is something on my two oldest boys’ Christmas lists this year
Apple – 16GB Silver 5th Gen iPod Touch – MGG52LL/A – $199.00, Free shipping – Available at ABT
Amazon – Kindle Fire HD 7″ 16 GB Wi-Fi Black Tablet – w/ Special Offers (Android, LCD Touchscreen, 1280×800, 11 Hours)
My youngest son wants one. He was using mine until mine kicked the bucket.
Amazon – Kindle Fire HD 7″ 16 GB Wi-Fi Black Tablet – w/ Special Offers (Android, LCD Touchscreen, 1280×800, 11 Hours) – $149.97, See Site shipping – Available at TigerDirect
Apple – iPad Air 9.7″ 32 GB Wi-Fi Space Gray Tablet (iOS 7, LCD Touchscreen, 2048×1536, 10 Hours)
I know the iPad air is on a lot of lists this Christmas
Apple – iPad Air 9.7″ 32 GB Wi-Fi Space Gray Tablet (iOS 7, LCD Touchscreen, 2048×1536, 10 Hours) – $599.00, Free shipping – Available at B&H Photo-Video
Microsoft – Xbox One Black 500 GB Console (Xbox One)
Game consoles are another big ticket item at the holidays
Microsoft – Xbox One Black 500 GB Console (Xbox One) – $499.99, Free shipping – Available at Microsoft Store
Sony – Playstation 4 Black 500 GB Console (PS4)
another big game system for the holidays
Dyson – DC 65 Multi Floor Upright Vacuum – 205497-01
One of these are on my Christmas list!
Dyson – DC 65 Multi Floor Upright Vacuum – 205497-01 – $499.99, Free shipping – Available at Target.com
Canon – EOS Rebel T5i Black SLR Digital Camera Kit w/ 18-135 mm Lens (18 MP, 7.5x Opt, SD/SDHC/SDXC Card Slot)
I LOVE my Canon Rebel. Best camera I’ve ever owned. Though since they came out with the T5i this will be a “someday” purchase.
Canon – EOS Rebel T5i Black SLR Digital Camera Kit w/ 18-135 mm Lens (18 MP, 7.5x Opt, SD/SDHC/SDXC Card Slot) – $899.00, Free shipping – Available at B&H Photo-Video
Electronic Arts – Madden NFL 15 : Xbox 360
Always popular at Christmas. Video games, particularly the Madden games. My dad get the new one each time it comes out. These games have some hot deals around the holidays. Add it to Nifi and let it keep track for you!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links provided by Postpresso.