On Sunday night, a friend of mine, overcome with joy having watched her team win the Super Bowl, headed over to some other friends house to visit and relish the moment. Although uncertain as to who her friend might have been rooting for, she donned her Packer sweater and scarf and bounced down the road to celebrate. Upon arriving at her friends house, she noticed that there were a people there with Steelers’ jerseys and caps on. Up for a little bit of teasing, she praised the “Team from Wisconsin” for bringing the Vince Lombardi Trophy back to Lambeau Field where it belongs! Then something happened. Something was terribly wrong. She glanced at the television. The football game was on. “Ummm, are you guys watching the highlights from the game?” “No,” replied her host. “We went to church tonight and taped the game so we could watch it when we got home.” “Ahhh, I see,” my friend said, but it was too late.
My poor friend did what so many of us have done so often. That is practice a very common three step approach to certain situations. I call it the “Ready, shoot, aim” syndrome. She had no idea that these people had not known the end result of the game. The television showed that there was about 1:38 left in the game and Pittsburgh had the ball trailing by six points. Thanks to my friend, they really didn’t have to watch the rest of it.
It might be easy to laugh at a story like that, after all it wasn’t you who bounced down the road and ruined these peoples night.
Bidding on penny auction sites can be like that at times too. You find a great deal on bids, buy them and off you go. Bouncing down the internet to that site to win that XBox or giftcard. However, like my friend, you have no idea about who’s going to be there or what is going on at that site. Let me try to help you overcome potential problems with a three part series I’ll call, “Ready, Shoot, Aim.”
As the title implies, there are three steps that must be taken, but it’s the order that is key. It is important to be ready. To be prepared. To know what kind of penny auction environment you are heading into. Is it friendly? Who’s going to be there? What is the competition like? How can someone tell in advance? You need answers to all of these questions, BEFORE you buy that special bid package, unless of course you like throwing around $5 – $8 without knowing where it’s going. But if you do like doing that, let’s get together for coffee. I’ve got something I’d like to sell you. It only costs about $6…
There are a number of resources available to do this kind of homework and you will have to sort through the information they provide very carefully. I have already told you to do your homework at the site itself. Read through their terms and conditions. Look at the closed auction section. Check out who is winning and how much the auctions are closing for. There is plenty to glean from the site itself, however, the penny auction community has more help for you.
You’re going to want to know what the penny auction site is like? Have you ever been there before? If you haven’t, has anybody you can trust ever been there before? I may have been there and you can send me your question, but here’s the thing… you want to find out this kind of information BEFORE you buy any bids. Remember the order in our three step approach is important. There are some invaluable resources that provide more information about the penny auction site you are considering. Here are four…
Each of these sites have a section for what is called ‘reviews.’ This is where bidders have registered their experiences with various penny auction sites. Read the reviews. Don’t be lazy when you go to these resources. Make sure to take in what has been posted. You may find good and bad reviews for the same site. You’re going to have to sort through this information and come to some decisions.
Not too long ago, Pennyauctioncoupon.com, offered a special deal on bids for a certain site. I had read mixed reviews about the site that had the bid special going, so I passed it up. Why? To be thoroughly honest, I’m really frugal. I still pick up pennies in the parking lots I traverse. After all, a penny saved is a penny earned. (I have a friend who agrees with that theory however, he adds, a penny leveraged is a nickel). So, because of my personal bent, I am not always willing to buy bids, even with a special offer, if there are too many negative comments on the review forums.
Let me add this side note. There are certain bidders who are frankly chronic complainers. I have been at this penny auction business long enough to know a) that they do exist and b) who they are. If they are the only ones complaining about a site, I will, as my dad used to say, “consider the source” when making my final decision.
The reviews often speak of how long it takes to receive a win. Pay close attention to those comments. People may say that it takes three weeks to receive their wins. At first that sounds bad. However, if the site itself says it will ship in 3-4 weeks, then there is nothing wrong with their shipping time frame.
These reviews are extremely helpful in the research you need to do BEFORE you buy any bids. It is information that is designed to help you, the bidder, make wise choices at the right time. It is also information that is helpful for the pennyauction site too. It is their report card, a public barometer that states how well they are doing.
Bidding on pennyauctions is really allot of fun, especially when you win. I will never outgrow the excitement of seeing “Auction Ended” with amcoffee as the last bidder. But the bidding itself comes later. First, you have got to be ready. After all, you want you know all you can about the place you’re going to visit. It can keep you from getting embarrassed.