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We recently interviewed PennyWizard.com, a penny auction website committed to helping American and Canadian bidders score great deals on their favorite items.
As you can see from the interview transcript below, Penny Wizard is deeply invested in the day to day operations of their business. With affordable bids ($.50 each) and a Buy it Now Option, Penny Wizard’s magic is hard to resist.
Here is the interview transcript:
Tell us a bit about Penny Wizard.
When did you launch, and what led you to develop a penny auction website?
Penny Wizard is an entertainment penny auction site looking to provide a fun, safe, affordable, and reliable way for people to take advantage of everyday savings on everyday items. We also conduct feature auctions of must have electronics (iPods, tablets, Dr. Dre Beats, gaming consoles, Barbie etc.). Penny Wizard started in 2011 but didn’t launch until April of 2012. We wanted to do our homework in researching and learning about this “underground” industry (at least it was to us at the time) on penny auctions. During the research process we saw that not everyone could play in the auctions, or rather wanted to because if you weren’t a power bidder you wouldn’t survive so where was the fun in that? We also saw the dissatisfaction in the people paying for their bids and items and having to wait weeks or longer to get their wins. When you go to the store you pay for the item you leave with it so why wouldn’t the same apply with penny auctions? We also learned that more and more people were doing their shopping on line and more and more people were becoming frustrated with e-bay so why not give them something that fulfilled all of the things that the majority of the people were looking for. Hence Penny Wizard!
As a penny auction owner, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced so far?
Oh goodness we could go on about this for hours if not days.
Repeat success – what we mean by that is you could put auctions up on Monday and they do GREAT you could try to recreate that magic by putting those same auctions up on Thursday and they FLOP. We have lost many hours of sleep trying to figure out – what is it that these bidders want?
Industry credibility – we know that we are legitimate business people trying to make a living in maybe an unconventional way. We also know that there are many bidders with a bad taste in their mouth about penny auctions in general. Being one of the new sites we were already going in with people thinking “they are a scam” so we knew that we needed to overcome that and earn their trust. Just when we think we have someone doesn’t believe that it was possible for them to lose an auction and they SCREAM – YOU CHEATED! The sad and frustrating part is that many of them don’t say anything to you they just go about telling everyone their version of the story and why other bidders shouldn’t be on your site. Or even worse they threaten that they will tell everyone via the forums until you give them something so in their mind they didn’t get beat.
Technology – At least 90% if not more of your sites success is the technology capabilities of your site. The SCRIPT! If you have an unstable script/site people aren’t going to feel secure enough to spend their money. We always look at things as being the consumer. As much as we tested the site before officially launching we learned a lot fast when the site was being used by real people in real time during real auctions. We are constantly updating, improving, and spending more money to increase the level of our technology/script. We just launched our newly redesigned and upgraded site in November.
I noticed that bids are 50 cents each at Penny Wizard. Are you currently offering any special promotions or offers for new bidders?
Currently, we don’t have any special promotions. We believe that with our bids being priced so affordable the bidders are getting more for their money. We offer 10 FREE bids when you sign up, plus you get 3 more if you “like” our Facebook Page, and you get 3 more if you follow us on Twitter. We are in the process of creating something for first time buyer bid packs though and hope to launch that if not this month by the new year.
What types of items do you auction most often?
We run auctions seven days a week (less on the weekends) and as registered users increase we will continue to add in auctions. Most often you will see a variety of gift cards, your choice gift cards auctions, PayPal auctions and we always have at least one if not more feature auctions which is some type of electronics for that week. Again, we want to provide everyday items but we don’t really know what bidders want so gift cards allows them to decide what they want.
Is there a feature of Penny Wizard that sets you apart from other penny auctions?
There are many that we feel really set us apart and we are actually in the works of adding some amazing new twists to our auctions (we don’t want to reveal too much because other site owners borrower ideas very quickly) lol. However, here is what we know sets us apart –
We are one of the newer sites and yet we still decided to offer BIN to our bidders on almost all of our auctions. We are one of the only sites that provide you with a contact name, number, and email address. You will get a live person if you call during business hours. You never have to worry about getting your items or waiting weeks on end for it to show up. For the most part your items are delivered within 24/48 hours or normal shipping times. You are provided with a tracking number when needed. If there is a delay in an item from a vendor we contact the people and ask them do they want to wait or what can we send them in place of – we just don’t send something that we think is compatible. Again, because Penny Wizard wants to be one of the best penny auction sites we offer a completely FREE game to play and we set up promo auctions for everyone to play with the free bids won in the game.
What advice would you give to bidders who are new to your site?
Decide for yourself! We ask that people come to our site, engage with the site, and decide for themselves. We have people who do win things with just one bid and we fulfill EVERY auction that is paid for no matter what. If they are a new bidder all together try out the rookie auctions, they aren’t the same value amounts but it will help you learn our site. Every site although the same in concept is different in their own way so people need to learn that for them. We also ask that they do learn the features of the site before they start bidding. If they have questions to please email or call so we can clear them up before.
Is there anything else you would like to share with those reading this interview?
Penny Wizard is a family owned and operated site that is trying to create a successful business while providing a site that people will enjoy. We ask that people show loyalty to a site without always looking for something in return. We know that the industry does have crooks and scam artists but what industry doesn’t? We always look for feedback from our customers good or bad. We also want to thank all of those bidders who are always loyal to us, those that gave and continue to give us invaluable feedback, and to other sites for being supportive and protective of one another in an industry where fraud can cost you your business.
Also, until those people who make false and slanderous comments about sites have taken the risk of opening and running a penny auction don’t think that a site is making oodles of money if an auction closes at what would be consider above retail that doesn’t mean we can retire. You don’t know how many of the bids included are full price bids or how many people have opted to use the BIN feature. Just like we are a new site there are such things as new bidders who might be trying to build their reputation or who just might be trying to save a couple of bucks in a fun way.
Penny Wizard hopes that you will come and try us out again if there are things you are looking for that you don’t see let us know we are always open to suggestions. We want to give you the opportunity to say what we believe to be true – PENNY WIZARD IS ONE OF THE BEST PENNY AUCTION SITES!