For years now, we’ve seen penny auction websites compare themselves to ebay. The general marketing message behind this comparison says this: “If you like ebay, you’ll penny auctions”.

Quibids Ebay Comparison

Quibids ebay Comparison

Above, we see a sample comparison which uses in marketing promotions. In the promo, Quibids explains to consumers that their auctions:

  1. Ship faster: Generally, ebay is not know for quick shipping because ebay does ship most product, consumer sellers do.
  2. Are always brand new: We’re pretty sure this is always true.
  3. Are guaranteed to sell: Probably not completely true as some products may go unclaimed and this didn’t technically sell.

While the ebay comparison is not completely inaccurate, it is completely misleading. Let’s go ahead and put together a penny auction and ebay comparision.

Penny Auctions vs Ebay

Auction Feature Penny Auctions ebay
Shipping?  Sometimes fast, sometimes slow, sometimes expensive and sometimes free. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow, sometimes expensive and sometimes free.
New Products?  Always Sometimes
Guaranteed to Sell? Usually Usually
Risky Risky depending on the penny auction website and your willingness to purchase the item if you lose. Low Risk
Guarantees Manufacturer only Manufacturer or none at all
Pay to bid? Almost always (except is free penny auctions) Never
Reputation Generally, penny auctions lack a good impression with the public due to marketing tactics. Generally okay, plenty of bad apples on ebay.
Overall A fun way to shop as long as you intend to purchase a product and want to go for a great deal. A fun way to shop and want to get a pretty good deal with lower risk.

What are your thoughts? Is it reasonable to compare penny auctions to ebay or does this comparison make no sense? (comment below)