Differentiating Penny Auction Sites from eBay

There are tremendous opportunities for bargains online, but the more opportunities there are, the more chances you have to encounter penny auctions offering discounts too good to be true. None of this is to say penny auctions are scams in the traditional sense, but their formulas give you statistics, their programs request users to pay before entering sales, and their results are a far cry from reputable user-friendly contemporaries like eBay. In many ways penny auctions formulate themselves similarly to gambling, and just like in gambling, the house often, if not always, wins, and the rules are set up as such. Unlike eBay, which allows users to upload their items at their risk, and deal with other people directly and indirectly, through status-leading votes that ultimately give each and every seller a distinct reputation, penny auctions rely on countdown clocks and massive bids to keep users involved and excited at the prospect of offering for a fifty dollar bargain–without realizing that each bid costs them money, taking away from the bargain and misleadingly costing the user too much money and too much time.

Penny auctions have their uses, but for users seeking out an eBay substitute–don’t be fooled. There are clearly defined differences between penny auctions and sites like eBay to be found in their functions and their preliminaries. To begin with, eBay is a free service. It typically costs the user next to nothing to bid on items, and the interface doesn’t encourage flippant side-spending on engagements and bids. Websites like eBay have more oversight than current penny auctions, lending the auctions an appealing but misleading ‘wild west’ reputation that is not a reputation at all, but a charming title for bidding sites that are not governed, are not checked and are not otherwise reputable. Penny auctions spring up throughout the internet like weeds, and while none of this is intended to be an insult to the potential of penny auctions, there is a frank reality to these alternatives that is highly unreliable against competition from eBay.

The most obvious way to differentiate penny auctions from eBay is to pay mind to the URL code, but that’s not what this article is about. This article is about informing you about the differences between penny auctions and eBay to improve your web surfing knowledge. Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for a day, but show a man how to fish – when ‘fishing’ online is as common as browsing–and he will be set for life.

Use your common sense when exploring penny auctions, and understand that for every diamond in the rough, you are still picking through the rough, without the oversight of eBay. The deals can be irresistible, but users are warned and beware. Penny auctions require users to pay to bid, whereas eBay is a free service that only takes money from your pockets when you are in the act of purchasing your product.