Bidding fee auction sites or more popularly known as penny auction sites have existed in other countries for a number of years now.
In the Philippines, a handful of them started a few years ago but all of them eventually closed down.
But with social media marketing and the growing number of Pinoys who are spending and shopping online, a new list of penny auction sites have been enjoying good success in recent months.
What is a penny auction site?
It’s a website that puts items up for bid and gives users the chance to bid on the item with very small price increments, usually 1 centavo (thus a penny auction).
The auction closes at a certain time but extends a few seconds if someone bids on the item. The bidding continues until no more bids are placed and the timer runs out.
At this point, the winning individual will then have to pay the final bid price and eventually, gets the item.
Locally, I’ve seen individuals pay only P100.91 for a brand new iPhone 4 or only P146.16 for a brand new iPad 2 among hundreds of other desirable items.
Yes, you’ve read it right, they paid less than P150.00 for items worth around P29,000.00
How do penny auction sites make money if people are paying for those expensive items at very little cost?
Now here’s how it gets interesting. Before an individual can bid on an item, he or she must first buy what is commonly referred to as a bid pack.
There are several bid packs you can choose from, one of them for example, is a P500 bid pack that gives you 50 bid points.
Your bid points decrease by 1 every time you place a bid. If you don’t have bid points left, then you can no longer bid on an item.
So let’s say that you bought the P500 bid pack above and you now have 50 bid points. If for example there’s an LCD TV up for auction at a current price of P0.15 – if you place a bid on that item, then the price will go up to P0.16, you will become the highest bidder, and then you will be left with 49 bid points.
Thus, each time you bid, you’re actually spending P10.00 – and conversely, the penny auction site owners are earning P10.00 – that is because the bid points that you used to bid on the item will NOT be returned (whether you win or lose the auction).
So going back to the iPhone 4 above which was “sold” for only P100.91 – if we assume that each bid point that was used costs P10.00. Then the website actually earned a gross income of P100,910.00 (10,091 bids multiplied by P10.00).
List of Penny Auction Sites in the Philippines
At current, there is only one penny auction sites in the country which I have personally verified as operating legally.
Active but Unverified Philippine Penny Auction Sites
- Bid Mania: www.bidmania.ph
- Bidgatin: www.bidgatin.com
- Happy2Bid: happy2bid.com
Inactive or Launching Philippine Penny Auction Sites
- Bidang Bidder: bidangbidder.com (closed)
- BidPH: bidph.com
- Bid Pilipinas: bidpilipinas.com
- Bilibid: www.bilibid.com (closed)
- Panalo PH: www.panalo.ph (clsoed)
- Pera Bid: perabid.com
- Pinoy Bidders: www.pinoybidders.com (closed)
- PNoyBid: pnoybid.com
Warning: There are many penny auction scam sites out there. So be careful when joining one. Make sure that you personally know someone who has actually won an item there and the site is owned by a reputable company.
Also, keep in mind that some penny auction sites could start as a legal entity, but eventually end up as a scam. So always take everything in stride and be careful always.
AND AN EVEN MORE IMPORTANT WARNING
At first impression, penny auction sites seem to be a good way to save money on items that you want or need to buy. But it is not!
Penny auction sites fall under the category of entertainment shopping. If you want to save money through a good bargain deal, then don’t go to a penny auction site.
So what’s the use of penny auction sites?
For entertainment – much like how you spend money inside the arcade to play those games, hoping that you’ll win a prize.
In conclusion, let me say that these websites can be quite entertaining… but it can also be extremely addicting (and frustrating). So be sure to exercise discipline when playing – never bid over your limit, practice patience and most of all, just have fun.
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