The Penny Auction Industry

The Penny Auction Industry 1


This question was made most famous and memorable by Number 6 (played by Patrick McGoohan) in the television series The Prisoner inputting this question into a computer, causing the computer to self-destruct from its inability to answer this imponderable question. We are reminded of this by “The Penny Auction Industry” infographic. It states that the final price “is always significantly lower than the regular retail price of the item”. Why sell it via penny auctions then? It is true that, other than homes and collectibles, used items are always considered as a lesser value than newer items, and the costs reflect that. However, why not sell the items via Amazon, Ebay, garage sales or flea markets?


What items are being sold? Presumably not collectibles (see previous section) because the sellers would be losing an enormous potential for gain. We surmise that they could very well be junk or garbage items, or fraudulent transactions, as they would otherwise be sold on reputable sites such as Amazon and Ebay.


This refers to the map provided by the infographic. The countries of Australia and India are shaded but they do not include any participating websites. The country of South Africa is not shaded but does have a participant (Smokoo). We have no explanation for this curiosity.


This is perhaps the $64,000 question (back when $64,000 was a lot of money). BidCactus is another provider of penny auctions. However, its Alexa ranking is extremely high, indicating that no one visits the site.

Likes: A perhaps lesser-known topic that is quite interesting.

Dislikes: Greatly described infographic, nothing to dislike.

The Penny Auction Industry 2


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