Consumer Reports Says Online Penny Auctions Are A Bad Deal

YONKERS, N.Y., Oct. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The discounts offered on online penny-auction sites might be tempting, but a new Consumer Reports investigation reveals that for all the people who click their way to an amazing deal, most end up spending a lot of cash only to end up empty handed.

Encouraged by TV and Web ads promising as much as 95 percent off of retail, swarms of people are signing up for the piece of auction action at sites like Bidcactus, Bid Rivals, HappyBidDay and QuiBids. These sites hawk items like an $1,800 high-definition television for $73 or a $15 store gift card for 28 cents.

But actually winning a big-ticket item for pennies on the dollar from one of these sites can take an extraordinary amount of effort and is hardly a given.

“You could get a bargain, but generally, you stand a very small chance of winning the amazing deal they advertised,” said Tony Giorgianni, associate editor, Consumer Reports. “For everyone who gets an amazing deal, many others spend a lot of money only to be disappointed.

The full story, Penny-Auction Sites Offer the Thrill of the Bid,” will be available at

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