I have previously posted on Swoopo (Pure Profit: A Look At Swoop) and on the types of auctions they have. And as you can probably tell from the title, they are making a ton of money. Well apparently one Swoopo wasn’t enough so enter PennyCave.
PennyCave operates on the exact same concept as Swoopo. You purchase your bids from PennyCave and then you use the bids on various auctions they have going. But, they can’t outright copy Swoopo so they have their own set of what I call gimmicks to sucker you out of your money. If you don’t have any background on either Swoopo or PennyCave read my post on Swoopo which describes in detail how the sites work.
Gimmick 1: All Penny Auctions This is the most glaring gimmick that PennyCave has. By having each bid raise the price of the auction by only a single cent it makes the total price look very attractive. Consider seeing something worth $100 going for just $11.53. Then remember that that is 1,153 bids each at around $1. Swoopo has this style of auction but not each and every auction.
Verdict on Gimmick 1: Fails to help the customer or be less of a scam.
Gimmick 2: Discount On Bids If you buy bids in bulk you can save money. Since you waste the money anyway I don’t see that as a huge bonus, just a ploy to get you to buy more bids. I am guessing the thinking here is that while it is true that you will pay less for an individual bid, ultimately you will bid more than you would have with a standard cost bid ($1). Therefore, overall you will spend more money because you know your bids were cheaper, but who is going to calculate by how much? This also makes it difficult to see how much you really have into the site in bids because each bid may cost something different if you buy bids at different times.
Verdict on Gimmick 2: Fails to help the customer or be less of a scam.
Gimmick 3: Shipping Included This one is pretty self explanatory. In reality it is just another ploy to get you to think that you are not really spending that much. The real trick here is that in your mind you will look at an auction for $4.20 and think it is not so bad because shipping is included. That would be good logic if it didn’t take (at minimum) $315 in bids to get to that price. And that is using a rate of 75 cents a bid, the lowest possible rate when buying bids and you have to buy $1000 worth of bids to get it.
Verdict on Gimmick 3: Fails to help the customer or be less of a scam.
Gimmick 4: ‘Auctions Live’ Time Frame This is another great example of ‘helping the customer’ meanwhile ‘robbing them blind’. By limiting the time the auction is live from 10 AM to 12 AM what looks a perk to you, the bidder, is really a scam by PennyCave to not let the auction end during an off peak time. By having bidding during a time that ‘you won’t miss the end’, guess what, neither will anybody else. That means that you will get to bid against everybody else and drive up the price and waste your precious bids. Time to celebrate this great customer service.
Verdict on Gimmick 4: Fails to help the customer or be less of a scam.
Gimmick 5: Fewer Live Auctions Clearly this is to minimize risk. Less live auctions means that more people will be bidding/betting on those auctions. On the plus side, you have less things to lose money on.
Verdict on Gimmick 5: Helps the customer control betting but ultimately fails to be less of a scam.
As you can probably tell I am not enamored by this site. It is very easy to get in over your head. Currently it looks like there are actually some good deals in the finished auctions section, but that is because the site is so new. Once more and more people start using the site it is only going to get worse and the deals with it. Just look at eBay and how they are moving from auctions to fixed price. It is not that you can’t get good deals, it is just that it is a lot harder to get the deal for the amount of time you invest.
The bottom line is to stay away from these sites – so called “entertainment shopping” sites – unless you go into it with a set amount of money that you are willing to lose. If you don’t plan ahead like this you are bound to end up over investing in the auction and come out way behind. Just look at this auction where there is over 900 bids (at almost $1 each) and the thing retails for just $280. Not smart.
This has been some Thoughts From The Cake Scraps.