This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

This Penny Auction Site Could Actually Snag You a Deal

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Penny-auction Web sites get a bad rap, and for good reason. The sites often advertise the potential to score pricey consumer electronics at a deep discount -- think iPads for $80, for instance -- but the downside is that unlike a traditional auction, you have to pay every time you bid. So while there is indeed a chance a lucky winner will be able to outlast the competition and get a very cheap iPad or other merchandise, there are also going to be a lot of losers who shelled out cash and got nothing in return. It's a business model that has sparked allegations of deceptive marketing and complaints to the Better Business Bureau.

But a new site, You Never Lose, introduces the concept to gift cards, and does it in a way that removes one of the more problematic aspects of penny auctions: the potential for financial loss. Rather than paying a small fee for every bid, you instead use points, which are earned by buying a gift card at its face value. So you can buy a $25 Sears (SHLD) gift card through the site for the full $25, and in addition to getting the gift card (shipped for free) you'll also get 25 points, which can be used on any auction to win another gift card. If you burn through all 25 points but still lose all your auctions, you're still getting a $25 gift card for face value. (Note that the site doesn't accept credit cards -- you have to pay through PayPal.)

A new auction site gives you the chance to get massive discounts on gift cards, with no risk of financial loss.

If you win, though, you can win big. I watched as a bidding war between two users ended with one going home with a $50 ExxonMobil (XOM) gift card for just 11 cents (each bid costs a point, and raises the price by a penny). The company set me up with some free points to try out this site, which I used to bid on a $10 Amazon (AMZN) gift card. After burning four points on the auction, I decided to drop out so I could go to lunch, and the winner was crowned shortly thereafter at a bid of 19 cents.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs