Who ever decided that a hamburger was a dinner or lunchtime meal? Ray Kroc? When McDonalds first started opening at 6:00am, why didn’t they just serve Big Macs and Fillet-O-Fish sandwiches like they usually did? Why did they have to do the Egg McMuffin thing? Have you ever wondered why? It’s because someone, a long time ago, decided that eggs were for breakfast and burgers were not. I remember my son declaring he was looking forward to being “the man of the house” some day. When asked why, he said; “So I can have cookies for breakfast.” Well, that trend was not going to start on my watch. The old traditional ways are good enough for me. New trends are hard to start… although my son is now the head of his own house and he has been known to have cookies for breakfast.
Internet shopping is one of those new trends. For some, the transition was as easy as my son choosing to eat cookies for breakfast. For others, skepticism abounds. Can I trust this cyber company to safeguard my financial information? That question didn’t enter your mind when you handed over your credit card to the guy behind the counter at Walmart! Why the internet? If it is because you can SEE the guy at Walmart, let me suggest that you cannot see the processor that just scanned the information on your credit card and communicated that information to someone, somewhere…right? (I hope I am not making you too nervous, just trying to prove a point).
At times, we are held hostage by our traditions. There’s a song called, “We ain’t never done it that-a-way before.” It might just be a fitting song for internet shopping.
There’s a new trend in internet shopping called penny auctions. I have been able to save thousands of dollars using various penny auction sites. In fact, last year our family traveled to South Carolina to attend our son’s graduation from the Army Basic Training in Fort Jackson. We estimated that this trip would cost about $350 in gasoline. Through penny auction sites, we were able to secure $450 in gasoline gift cards for a total out of pocket expense of less that $100.
Now, don’t just jump in because of my experience. But here’s what I am saying, you can do your homework, make plans, budget your expenses and then join in. Remember, there’s no guarantees. So where do you begin? Good question because starting new trends is not easy.
First, you’re going to want to read up on the various sites available. There are a number of web-sites that provide reviews of penny auction sites. One of my favorites is called Pennyauctionscore. You can click on this link to find them. Read through the various reviews. See what other are saying about these sites.
Second, go to the sites you researched and look them over. Look at their terms and conditions. Look up the closed or ended auctions to see how much the end auction prices are. You want to make sure you know who the winning bidders are. Do they have win limits? You will want to watch some auctions take place. Learn how their timers work. Does it go from 3 to 2 to 1 and then end? Does the timer go down to 3 seconds and then read “GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE, GONE?” Some timers count down to 10 seconds and then read, “GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE, YOU’RE TAKING A CHANCE, SOLD.” You get the idea. You want to know how the timers work on each site.
Third, find a good deal on bids. With penny auction sites, you purchase bids. These can run anywhere from $0.40 to $1 each. Almost every day a site called Pennyauctioncoupon provides special offers for bids. You can click on this link to find them. (When you register there, please remember to type in amcoffee when it asks who referred you.) With these special offers, you can purchase bids at a discounted price. They are great deals.
Let me add this… do not let your first purchase of bids be at a site where people have had problems. In other words, when you are reading the reviews, if someone said that the customer service was slow or unresponsive and everyone else said it was good, you may want to pass on that site. Find a review where everyone who posted comments, praised the site.
So now you have read the reviews, you researched the site, you got a great deal on bids, you’re ready to go, right? WRONG!!! 25-100 other people got the same deal. You may consider waiting a couple of weeks before using those bids, I do.
Starting new trends is hard. It takes time and homework and patience. The return on investment can be well worth it though. Do I always get $450 in gift cards with my $100 investment? No. But then again, I don’t always eat eggs for breakfast either. Sometimes I have cookies.