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… Bidrail.com 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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