The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth

Have you ever heard those words before? Their origin is said to go back to the 12th century. They have been used in courts of law for quite some time. Maybe you’ve heard a judge requiring that from you way back when, before you learned how to be responsible???!! So, what was he (the judge) looking for?

First – “The Truth” Your testimony must be accurate as to what has happened to you.
Second – “The Whole Truth” Do not leave anything out from your testimony.
Third – “Nothing but the Truth” Of course, do not include any lies in your testimony.

So, are courts of law the only time this is required? Are we as a people, free to violate these terms in routine communication? Do the words we say or type in forums need to follow these three, simple… dare I say… rules? Well, let me ask you a question…. “Is it ok with you if I lie to you?” I rest my case.

Many people exercise the freedom of internet posting. From Facebook and beyond, comments are introduced for public consumption non-stop. I happen to participate on a forum that is specific to the penny auction industry. An industry I thoroughly enjoy and have for the past four years or so.

I am going to raise a question about posting on that site… How accurate are the words that I am reading? Do they contain The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing but The Truth? I am afraid not always and what follows here is a little tirade to address this issue, after all, this blog is called The Truth about Penny Auctions!

Shipping time frames are important to bidders. People start to feel a little bit anxious when their wins are not showing up in their mail boxes in a timely fashion. Often times, I will read the complaints about sites that do not, or are not shipping promptly. One post will usually result in many others adding their input as to the injustices they are experiencing. I appreciate people letting their peers know about sites that are not up to snuff with shipping. It is important to me and I am confident it is important to other bidders as well. Which brings me to an observation… should there be any response to the posts of bidders who praise a given site when they receive a package of wins that have taken two months to get to them?

Sadly, today there are sites that take a long time to ship out wins. Usually there is little patience for sites that do this. However, there is one particular site, which a year ago was one of the very best in the business. They shipped fast. We could expect our wins within three to five days. Like clockwork this site was prompt, fast and dearly loved. However, over the course of time, shipping slowed down. Pretty soon wins were taking two weeks to get to us. Then three weeks and four. The site even changed the terms for their delivery schedule to fall within the reality of what was happening. Over the course of time, wins are now taking two months to arrive and guess what… my fellow bidding peers post comments like, “Thanks to so n so, for the great customer service,” and I am thinking to myself… that is great customer service? Two months for a win to arrive is now great customer service? Is this The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but The Truth? I think not!

This is the work of manipulation, because those same bidders bad-mouth other sites for not shipping in two to three weeks of their wins. The reality is, the site with the slow shipping has threatened to close accounts of anyone who bad mouths them, thus bidders are willing to call poor customer service praiseworthy and in the process they choose to mis-lead their so called friends in the bidding world!

Here’s hoping for the day when The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing but The Truth affects more than just a court of law.

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For Penny Auction Sites to Survive – Who’s Responsible?

When considering responsibility, I would like to take you back to the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Here we find sin first entering into the world when Eve (Adam’s wife) takes the forbidden fruit, eats it and gives some to her husband who was standing right there next to her. I do not think the description of what actually took place could be clearer… however, when you get to the New Testament, who does God say is responsible for sin coming into the world? Did you come up with an answer? The Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit writes in the Book of Romans that by one man, Adam, sin entered into the world. How is Adam culpable, when clearly, Eve took the fruit FIRST! Adam was at fault because it was his responsibility to protect his wife and he did not! To all husbands – that is sobering!!! To those who want to talk about what responsibility is, that is also eye-opening.

Who is responsible for the protection of a penny auction site’s future? If a bidder wants to quit bidding in an auction and thereby watch someone else win an item for two cents, is it the bidder’s fault that the site is going to lose money on that auction? When a known power-bidder tags an auction hours ahead of time, is it the responsibility of other bidders to make sure the PB doesn’t win it for a penny? Just who is responsible for the success or failure of a penny auction site.

Recently, the forums have been subjected to (I am remembering at least three) disgruntled site owners who seem to think that the bidders are at fault for their losing money on their auctions. If fact, (if I am not mistaken – although I might be) there is even one bidder who also owns a site posting their frustration at fellow bidders for “throwing auctions.” Folks… who is responsible for the success or failure of a penny auction site?

There are some who are already to reply to this blog with the accusation of GREEDY BIDDERS being to blame. Are they really? IF… IF… IF (did you read that?) If bidders are playing within the TOS on a given site are they really GREEDY? Or is this another attempt on the part of frustrated bidders looking for entitlement bidding? Sorry, but the government doesn’t own any penny auction sites. 

Site owners are responsible for their own sites. There are known issues in this industry that need to be tackled. There are powerbidders – RIGHT? There are forums where friendships reduce competition – RIGHT? (I dare you to deny this)  There are immature bidders who cry over every little thing that doesn’t allow them to win an auction for under $0.02 – RIGHT? There are some site owners who want so desperately to be friends with their customers that they fail to be leaders at their site – RIGHT? Mr Site owner, it’s your business – YOU make the decisions!

Bid-Bob was one of the most creative minds in the industry. The tagging parties are still unmatched in the industry. Bob brought in – on average – an additional 800 bids a night with this idea. It has never resurfaced! Why not?

Cash Arena had a little goldmine going for a while with their coloritas. We all loved them! The idea has never resurfaced. Why not?

BidRail introduces their Game Board Plays and their auctions go crazy! We all loved it when it first came out. It brought in new players, it encouraged existing players to buy more bids, it lengthened auctions – it was (and to some degree still is) a HIT! So why are they blaming bidders for not bidding on and on if they don’t get the tag? They introduced an exciting side-event with creative ingenuity and it brought in tremendous results – even attempts to duplicate it at other sites! So why blame the customer?

Hear me out on this… is my favorite site! I LOVE the Game Board! I love the rush to be the bidder to get the ‘almighty’ tag. (I even suggested that they alter the starting times of each auction so that it is not always at the one minute mark. Make some start at the 20 second mark and others at 43. Vary it and keep the bidders on the edge of their seats. Those who play at Speedyfinger know how to rapid click for minutes at a time!!) I love BIN auctions and the strategy necessary for using Bonus bids verses paid bids. I love their customer service too – but I strongly disagree with a perception that bidders who honor tags are responsible for their financial losses. They need to create more ways that will keep bidders engaged in the auction. They have the Game Board. Cash Arena and Bid-Bob had value-added gadgets on their sites.

You may say – yeah, those sites did but they are out of business today. True enough. One of them due to a very poor decision to battle powerbidders and the other due to poor tax planning. I would still hire Bid-Bob in a heartbeat to market my penny auction site! I just wouldn’t put him in charge of payroll. 😉  

There are some who may still feel that the bidder has a responsibility in all of this. As far as the profitability of a site is concerned – I disagree. The bidder is responsible for following the site’s terms and conditions. And if those are lacking – who’s responsible for that?

The penny auction model created an opportunity to win items for pennies (thus the name!). So why blame the very ones who came thinking they could win something for pennies if they are willing to wait until the next auction for that opportunity? It’s not their fault their BFF on TBL got the ‘almighty’ tag. It’s not their fault they’re up against amcoffee who never loses! (Just wanted to see if you were still paying attention). It is the responsibility of the site owners to engage the bidders to come to their sites and spend their hard-earned money. Is that an easy thing to do? Of course not. Responsibilities are seldom easy – just ask a husband!

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What is Truth?

“What is truth?” This phrase was made famous by a governor of Rome somewhere around the year 33AD when Jesus Christ stated that He had come into the world to testify to the truth. (John 18:37-38) But let’s examine modern culture and this word, “truth.”

A definition that includes practical application goes like this… “Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts.” I like that! Doing what is right should result in benefits, right? So what happens when one doesn’t accurately report facts? Is that a lie? A falsehood? A deception? A fib? It could be all of these and more. Our culture seems to say that when someone is not accurate they are misleading. In today’s culture, What is truth?

Pennyauctions have a rough time convincing people that they are legitimate forms of on-line purchasing. There are sites that have outright cheated and stolen from customers through various means. If the industry is going to be able to stand up to its critics, it must promote honesty and point out the lack of it.

Today, I came across a promotion that stated; “Look through all our videos and you will find a promotion code at the end of one giving you 20 free bids at” What did you read? What do you have to do to get the 20 free bids? Buy a bidpack or watch a video for a code?

This bothered me. So I posted this question in reply to the ad… “Is the offer 20 free bids or 20 free bids when you purchase a bidpack?” Here’s the answer I received from them… “Hi amcoffee! You will have to purchase a bidpack to receive these free bids. But once you do that you will qualify for all of the promotions which means up to an extra 55 bids! We are working on adding some other promotions and I will let you know as soon as they are in place! I hope this helps!…” (I did not include the person’s name at the end of the quote)

I decided to push the issue further with the following reply… “While it helps, it is disappointing to learn that your original ad misrepresented your offer.” To which I received the follow response… “I apologize if you felt that was misleading. I don’t feel it was a misrepresentation though because you ARE able obtain the free bids! We will keep it in mind that you would prefer to receive the free bids before you purchase a bidpack and perhaps in the future add that as a promotion. Also, If the starter pack seems a little high to you we will be starting a new promotion soon where the beginning bid pack drops down to $20.00 for 40bids. I will let you know when that promotion starts. Again, I do apologize…” (Again, I did not include the person’s name at the end of the quote).

Did you notice who is responsible? It’s my fault for feeling it was misleading! They are going to stick by their ad and state it is NOT a misrepresentation? (By the way, a second bidder has now also posted on the same forum after “discovering” that they had to buy bids in order to get the 20 free bids). How is it that they came to this new revelation? Because nowhere in the ad did it state that a purchase was necessary for the 20 free bids.

Could you imagine the outcry if I posted something like this… Get a $10 Starbucks giftcard free when you read this article. Then, when someone tries to collect, I tell them that they have to make a $60 purchase first. Do you think that there would be anyone bothered by that obvious lack of accuracy?


What’s happened to us as a people that this is the kind of communication we throw around and then blame the reader for “feeling that they were misled?”

A second issue with their answer is that they still hold to their original claim that “you do get 20 free bids.” Right, it’s just that you have to make a purchase first. So, because a portion of it is true, they do not think it is misleading? (WHAT IS TRUTH?) What about the part that is missing? Yes, dear misled customer, you do get 20 free bids with your $60 purchase.

So, the bottom line is that these so-called free bids are only available when you make a $60 purchase.

Truthfulness is ACCURATELY REPORTING FACTS and that would include all the details of this promotion. There was not one word, not even one small 4 point font that stated “some restrictions may apply.” GOOD GRIEF! This one really bothers me (in case you couldn’t tell!).

The Pennyauction world is a fun-filled place with many, many, many GREAT people and sites. We must represent ourselves and the industry in a manner that is above reproach. We want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

Now, PLEASE understand something here… I have no experience with this site other than what I have posted here. PLEASE understand that I am NOT accusing them of being a sham site or a cheating site or anything like that. I object to the lack of truthfulness (according to my definition) in their ad.

End of tirade.

By the way… anyone bothered by the fact that I left off who the site was? You see, you too want all the facts. Thanks for proving my point!


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What’s in a Name? (part 1)

Let me begin this blog with claiming that a name means allot! Your parents chose your name for a reason… well, at least in modern times they did. Years ago Peter’s boy and John’s boy got very basic names… Peterson and Johnson. But names are important.

They are vitally important in the penny auction business. People choose a username for different reasons, but they put allot of thought into it. They want to have a good reputation in the industry.

The penny auction sites also strive to make a good name for themselves and one of those sites is

Today they are adding to their good name with an invitation to receive 5 free bids just for “liking” them on Facebook. You can do that through their website. is a newer site that has quickly found favor in the eyes of many of my peers in the penny auction industry. From creativity to customer service, they are building a great reputation. They know that a good name is important. Even Solomon wrote about that (Proverb 22:1).

So, check out the site, do your homework and take advantage of these five free bids. You’ll want to make a good name for yourself on these penny auction sites!

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What do You do with FREE BIDS?

So why do penny auction sites give away free bids? Well, someday, I’ll have to conduct an interview with a site owner and ask. Until then, I’d like to tell you what I think they should be used for.

First, is to test the functionality of the site. Pernny auction sites have timers that differ. Some have slight delays before your bid registers. On other sites the timers actually move up or down depending on the quantity of letters in a bidders name. Still another site has a timer that, when you click on it at 1 second left, it actually looks like the auction is over, only to have it continue. There are some sites where the auction does not end at 1 second. After you see “1” there is a GOING ONCE and then a GOING TWICE. People who have not done their homework will always bid at the 1 or 2 second mark and waste allot of bids while others watch and wait. (By the way, every site I know of makes it very clear that if you wait until that last second to bid, there is no guarantee that your bid will register. So don’t go whining to a site saying that amcoffee does it and expect to get your bids back if you lose the auction). When a site gives you free bids, use them to try their timers out.

The second thing to do with free bids is try your best to win an auction. Study the site thoroughly. Know the bidders you’re up against. Determine the best time to bid. Watch a site over the course of a week or so BEFORE you bid on it. Check out the closed auction tab to see if there are certain items that go cheaper. Do your research so that you can win an auction. Too many times I hear people say; “Well they were just free bids so it really doesn’t matter if I win or not.” If all you want to learn with the free bids is how a site works, then your right. But you should be striving to learn more and you need to win an auction to learn some important things about a site. Namely, do they ship promptly? Do they do what their terms and conditions say they will do as far as shipping out new items? Do they honor the things they declare they will do?

Folks, listen carefully… NO ONE ever gets a second chance to make a first impression! By winning an auction and receiving it promptly, you will get the assurance that you are dealing with a site that has taken their responsibility of fulfilling orders seriously. I hope that these things work out this way and I trust you do too. Those free bids are the means by which you are able to win great prizes and begin new relationships with real people! That first impression speaks volumes and frankly, do not the emotions of winning something get in the way when a site fails to follow through. BUYER BEWARE when that happens. I am not saying that you throw that site out as scam site if they fail to deliver on time. I am saying that you keep in the recesses of your mind what transpired and be very careful should you decide to buy bids. That brings me to the last purpose for free bids. To avoid losing money.

When I have been able to use my free bids to win an auction, I NEVER, did you read that, I NEVER buy bids until that item is in my possession. We can discuss your strategy if you want, but when I read of my peers who have lost hundreds or thousands of dollars to sites closing their doors, I’ve got to raise the question… “What made you jump in with such an investment in the first place?” I have seldom made purchases greater than the value of the items I have received. Here’s what I do… a true story, in fact two stories.

I received free bids and won two $25 giftcards on the 10th of March. I paid $4.52 for the cost of those two auctions including shipping. Then I waited for the cards to arrive. On the 19th of March, I won another giftcard and contacted the site to let them know that I was not comfortable paying for this third auction when I had yet to receive the items I already won. The site owner agreed, researched the problem with shipping and told me that they used my street address instead of my PO Box when they shipped the first giftcard. I was told a new card would go out and I received it within about another week. ONLY THEN did I go back and pay for that third item which brought my total out of pocket expenses at this site to $6.97 of which I was holding a $25 giftcard. I refused to purchase any bids until I got the other two cards. Guess what? Those cards never showed up and that site is now closed. Net result? I am up $18.03. What do I read on the forums? I read of my fellow bidders who are out hundreds of dollars. Why? Maybe because they did not use their free bids to learn and respond to what they learned. (you’d have to ask them to know for sure)

There is another site right now that owes me $125 in giftcards. They are talked about on the forums as being slow to ship, some are questioning their legitimacy, many are fearful of getting their wins at all. What’s my take? I have spent a total of $103.56 on this site and have received $100 in giftcards. If they do go under, I am out $3.56. If not, I’m up $121.44. I will not spend one more penny until one of those $25 giftcards comes in. I can afford to lose $3.56 but I will not risk losing more.

Free bids are extremely valuable. You can protect yourself from allot of financial difficulties with them. You can also learn with them, win great things with them and create new relationships with them. Use them wisely!

After posting this article, I got to thinking about my use of the word “NEVER” back in the fifth paragraph so I did some research and discovered that in July of last year I won a giftcard and purchased a bidpack the same day. So I need to retract the word NEVER. But let me add this… it happened at a site that closed (BittyBidz) and I NEVER got the giftcard I won with the free bids! My conclusion is that I will NEVER do that again.

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Compassionate Care for Bidders

My wife and I are blessed to have six children, all girls except for five of them. So you can imagine the lack of emotions in our home. This was made painfully clear by the testimony of our 4th born while he was visiting last month. All we did was ask a 22 year old who lives by himself “what’s new?” We then listened to him talk for the next 45 minutes!

Out came this account that took place when he was about 5 or 6 years old. He loved to play with football cards. He would arrange them like a football game on the floor complete with an offense and defense. He would pretend that the quarterback would hand the ball off to a running back and this child would verbalize the play by play like a television announcer while moving each card as if they were real players. He was doing this one day in the kitchen near the stairs to the basement and in the process of getting excited in one of his plays, he fell down the non-carpeted stairs. After reaching the bottom of the stairs he began crying as any 5 or 6 year old would after such a fall. He truly was hurt (he received 6 stitches to close the cut on the back of his head). While getting up from this fall, still at the bottom of the stairs and still crying, his older brother, who was downstairs doing the laundry at the time, approached and said; “Does the crying really help? I mean you’re hurt and all but you’re making allot of noise and frankly, that noise is not going to take away the pain.” That’s all he said and walked away satisfied with the result… the crying stopped. Our 4th born remembers two things about that day; that he fell down the stairs resulting in stitches and that his older brother simply told him to stop crying about it because crying would not make the pain any less. See what I mean about a lack of emotions in our home! You’d think one brother would have a heart for the other. Where’s the compassion????

Don’t you wish penny auction bidders had more compassion? What do you say to the bidder that just spent $100 in bids trying to win a $25 gift card against a well known power bidder? Well, what you really want to do is help them BEFORE they lose all that money. So… amcoffee to the rescue!

There are more and more opportunities to learn about the penny auction world without having to go through the pain of losing hundreds of dollars first. I would like to introduce you to some so that those who may be new to this exciting way to shop can avoid losing tons of money. Why? Because, unlike that older son of mine, I have compassion.

First, there are plenty of sites on the internet that provide feedback, reviews of sites and discussions on the topic of penny auctions. At the right side of this blog there are links to the sites I think will benefit you. One that is not there because of it’s newness is This internet radio broadcast takes place on weeknights from 8:00pm to 10:00pm CST. There are great interviews and helpful tips from the hosts as well as others who call in. These people do these things because they care about the industry. They understand that learning is necessary to become successful at penny auctions and they are truly concerned for the new bidder. You really need to spend time listening to what others are saying and doing before you jump in.

Another newer site has more of a social atmosphere to it while containing helpful information from site owners and bidders alike. TheBidLounge is a site where bidders and site owners can kick back and enjoy one another. You’ll enjoy the friendly bantering and be able to pick up good information from the members there.

In addition, there are articles in most of these forums that expose sites that are dishonest. The penny auction community has a strong distaste for scam sites that hurt the reputation of the industry! Scam sites do not come up to you and give you a cyber kiss on the cheek announcing that they are crooks! You have to be able to identify which ones are bad.

Those who are involved in penny auctions also have the desire to make public the sites that have good reputations. One place to go for information on sites which are verified is There are plenty of good sites on the net that you can trust. So do some homework first and that includes the venues I have already alluded to in this post and in the links on the right side of this page.

Something else I can help you with is letting you know about daily specials where you can purchase your bids at deep discounts for different penny auction sites. Check out my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter and you’ll get those daily announcements. In fact today (April 15), there is one for 25 bids for $7 at a site called Orangebids. There is also a promotion for 25 bids for only $5 at Pointnbid. Just click on the site names and you will be taken to the special offer.

On last thought… leave your emotions in the other room before you start the actual bidding. Don’t get all wrapped up in a single auction as if your very life depended on it. Could you imagine what my older son might say to you should you lose and start crying about it… “Hey pal, you know that crying isn’t going to put bids back in your account. I know you’re hurt and all, but do you have to make so much noise?”

Many tears can be avoided by listening to someone who wants to help. Aren’t you glad that you can come to this blog and find compassionate care?

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Practice makes perfect?

One of the very first times I ever participated in an auction was at a state of Wisconsin auction for automobiles. These are the vehicles that were used by the state of Wisconsin employees and agencies. For the most part, they have been well maintained but they also make it very clear at these auctions that bidder who wins, purchases the car AS IS.

My father-in-law had heard through some of his friends that this was a way to purchase an automobile pretty cheap and it so happened that his daughter (my wife) and I needed a car that had eight seat belts as our sixth child had recently been born. So my father-in-law and I headed down the road about 85 miles to this auction. Now remember, I’ve never been to one of these things before.

We got there, registered and they gave us a card that had a number on it. This was OUR NUMBER. When we wanted to bid we simply held up this card and the auctioneer would acknowledge us and credit us with the next bid. Next, we had to examine the vehicles that they were auctioning that day. A couple of our sons were with us and they would hop into all the mini-station wagons to see if there was a third seat in the back of the car. You may remember those mid 1980 Pontiac 6000s and Chevy Celebrity wagons. Sometimes they had a third seat way in the back. This would give us the two extra seat belts we needed. Three belts in the front seat, three in the second and two in the back… 8 seat belts. So the boys would jump into the mini wagons and see if there was a seat in the back, because, if you won an auction the car was yours… AS IS.

We took note of every car that had this extra seat. We would start the engine and check under the hood, look over the interior and check the mileage. We would see if it had air-conditioning or other features. We looked the cars over because the winner took possession of the car AS IS.

When the auctions started, it seemed that every one of these mini wagons were in high demand. They were selling for allot of money as we watched in amazement. Then they brought out this little four-door car. My father-in-law said, “Hey, that would be a good car for your work. It would give you good gas mileage.” “But dad, we didn’t check this car out before the auction and besides, it only has six seat belts and I need eight.” While he acknowledged my points he pressed the issue a little bit and then dropped it. Then a 1988 Chevy Celebrity came up. It was a four door, again no previous examination and it only had six seat belts. “Hey, let’s practice bidding,” my father-in-law said. I looked at him with disbelief because he was serious. “No dad, it only has six seat belts.” “Come on,” he said, “it’s just practice.” Now, I know that practice makes perfect, but not now. The auction was at $2,900. Then at $2,950. Finally it went to $3,000. The auctioneer asked, “Do I hear $3,050?” and to my amazement my father-in-law raised that card we had been given at registration and guess what? It was as if everyone at the auction knew the car wasn’t worth a penny over $3,000 and the auctioneer said, “Going once… going twice… SOLD for $3,050 to number 283!” My father-in-law was so excited. He looked at me and said, “WE just bought a car!” And I thought, “Yeah, with my money.”

Now, when you go to a penny auction site, you’re not placing bids that will cost you $3,050, but the principle is the same. You want to know what you need and make sure you examine it beforehand because when you win it, it’s yours.

There are a couple of ways to practice this penny auction bidding without spending $3,000. First, find a penny auction site that offers free bids when you register. There are a number of sites that offer these. One is They will give you 10 free bids when you register on their site. You can use these to test the waters and see what bidding is like on their site. You can even win with the bids they give you. Another site is called They have a wide variety of items and their customer service is top notch. In fact, I won an auction there with my free bids.

Another way to practice without a huge investment is to use This is a site that offers daily specials on bids at various penny auction sites. Now remember, just because they offer these specials doesn’t mean you just jump in. You still need to look over the site your thinking about trying, right?. You’re going to read the reviews, right? (see my previous blog). You will do your homework, right? My boys jumped in and out of allot of cars that day. We did our due diligence and you need to do yours too, even for a $5 purchase… unless $5 doesn’t mean anything to you and if that’s the case, can we get together for coffee? I’ve got something I would like to sell you. It only costs about $5.

So, free bids and special deals for bids. Two ways you can practice bidding in this exciting penny auction world without your father-in-law’s help! By the way… that Celebrity “WE” bought… I drove it for over 225,000 miles. One of the best cars I’ve ever had. But that doesn’t justify the method of bidding without practice.



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