Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Never Ending (Penny Auction) Story: Jungle Cents

So, as I blogged about in an earlier post, I registered with Jungle Cents and was given a free bid to get me started, this was on July 30th. I used the bid to reserve a space in a seat auction for an iPod Shuffle, which at the time was the only auction I could afford with my one bid. In my original post about Jungle Cents (also on July 30th), I noted that the seat auction for the iPod shuffle received its first bidder on July 8th. Back then I said of that original bidder, "...that person has been waiting weeks for this auction to start and only a small fraction of the seats have been sold. This isn't fair! People who buy bids to compete in these auctions expect their auction to start in a reasonable amount of time. At this rate it's going to take months before anyone can bid on that iPod!"

Now it's been over a month since the original bid was cast and 13 days since I cast mine. When I placed my bid there were 63 out of 75 seats vacant, today there were 49, and the auction can't start until all are full. In my original post I said one of the risks users face when playing penny auctions - or any "game" where money is exchanged for a product that is not received or consumed immediately - is the possibility that the company goes out of business. I don't know what Jungle Cents' financial or operational status is, and their website claims they have completed 170 auctions, but they have been very quiet since I started watching and appear to have locked-up some players' money for a very long time. I don't agree with this practice, and if I had spent money on my bid I would be complaining to customer service. If you have had an experience with Jungle Cents, good or bad, please let us know in the comments section or by email.

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