October 16th, 2010 | Published in Penny Auction Sites
BuyLowAuctions.com is another auction website to recently have gained popularity on the internet. Buy Low Auctions is a penny auction site, which is a type of online auction site that advertises customers’ ability to win popular, expensive items at incredibly low prices.
The reason their items appear to be won for such low prices, is that on a penny auction website, bids can only be made in values of one cent at a time. The truth is, however, that each one cent bid costs the bidder 53 cents on BuyLowAuctions.com, so the winner prices are often not as low as they seem.
Buy Low Auctions, however, differs from traditional penny auction sites in a couple different ways. First of all, they have only one package of bids available for purchase, and that is 300 bids for $159.00. This is a steep price for people to pay who are new to the penny auction game. Many other sites allow you to buy initial bid packages for much cheaper.
But, Buy Low Auctions guarantees that no item will sell for more than $20.00, and if it does, the website will cover the cost of the additional bids placed by the winner.
Also, Buy Low Auctions is different than other penny auction sites in that there is no fixed time in between bids. Whereas most sites have a standard 10 second time frame in between bids, BuyLowAuctions.com simply says that every time a bid is placed, another 20 seconds is added to the clock of the auction. This indicates that auctions could, theoretically, go on forever, until the last person is standing.
So is BuyLowAuctions.com a Scam?
Of all the penny auction websites I’ve reviewed, Buy Low Auctions probably makes me the most uncomfortable. There are far too many problems with the way they conduct their business.
First of all, having only bid package to purchase is irritating. But on top of that, in their Terms & Conditions they clearly state that after you have won an item, you must then personally contact them and give them permission to charge your credit card for the price of your winning bid and shipping and handling, and if this isn’t done in 10 days of winning, you forfeit your item.
Does this mean that they will let you bid past your package of bids, and therefore you must cover the cost of bids that you placed in order to win? Or does it mean that you must pay the final bid price in addition to paying for the bids that “won” you the item? This is confusing, and foreshadows a lot of problems.
Secondly, they also say in their Terms & Conditions that in addition to having a set time frame, each auction has a minimum number of bids that must be placed before Buy Low Auctions considers the auction closed. So, even if you should be the winner of an auction, since you placed the last bid before the close of an auction, BuyLowAuctions.com will simply extend the auction time as much as they want until their minimum bids has been placed.
In addition to just being frustrating and unprofessional, this is also BuyLowAuctions.com admitting to forcing price raises on you. Last time I checked, that meant it was no longer an auction.
Finally, the worst issue with Buy Low Auctions is this statement in their Terms & Conditions: “In most cases the product brands specified are the product brands shipped. All advertised specifications of that product will be met. Should an item be unavailable at the time of auction closing, BuyLow Auctions may substitute a gift card of equivalent value for an applicable retail store.”
Essentially this translates into the fact that Buy Low Auctions is hosting auctions for items they don’t actually possess. You may be bidding on a Canon camera and get a Sony instead. Or you may just receive a gift card to Best Buy to go buy your own Canon camera.
As far as I’m concerned, I would stay far, far away from BuyLowAuctions.com. If what they are doing isn’t illegal, it is at least not in your best interest to participate in it.
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