Monday, March 02, 2009

Who says a penny isn't worth anything anymore?

I once tried to use an online auction site to sell my incredibly rare and valuable Beatles' album, only to come away disappointed with the whole process. The bids were nowhere near what I wanted, and people were emailing me things like "It's probably a fake, how can you auction it, I'll give you $10 for that." And that came from!

That makes me uniquely qualified to comment on other auction sites.

[Editor's Note: How does that make you "uniquely qualified" to do anything, except maybe get sued for slander by Paul McCartney?]

[Author's note: I don't have an editor! How'd you get in here?]

[Editor's Note: Yoinks!]

As I was saying, uniquely qualified to comment on the new Penny Auctions website, a site that has set out to create a unique, and better, Internet auction experience.

Penny Auctions works like any other auction site, only way way better. Something goes up for auction, and then people start to bid on it.

(With me so far?)

But the price of an item can only rise by one cent at a time. So nobody can just bid up the price by some outrageous sum and scare everyone else off.

Then, Penny Auctions has figured out a way around auction-lurking -- the people who wait until 1 second left and then bid a penny more than you and get your thing. At Penny Auctions, each time there's a bid, the auction time left resets, usually from 1 to 20 minutes, so that you can come back and bid, too, and that'll reset the clock, too (the more popular an item, the longer the re-set.) They keep the bids down by charging a small fee for bidding -- so you have to pay more to bid more, making it kind of a game, too.

And look at the stuff they've got up for auction: an iPod touch, a PlayStation 3, retro candy packages (I'm bidding on all of those, so keep your hands off!)

[Editor's note: I'd bet you'd bid on those. Maybe you should diet a little!]

[Author's note: Oh, for crying out loud. Will someone lock that door?]

What's really amazing is the prices you can get those things for: $7.96 for the PlayStation 3. $13.09 for the iPod touch.

$13 bucks for an iPod touch! I can't believe it. They've got, right now, a Roomba, a MacBook, and a Nintendo Wii. The Wii is going for one cent right now; if you move quick you could get a Wii for a penny.

Penny Auctions, with your free shipping and donations to charity and the fact that your site is wildly popular after only about a week, take it from someone who's uniquely qualified...

[Author's note: glares around the room.]

uniquely qualified to say this: You have set up an amazing thing there.

[Editor's note: Yoinks!]

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