14 June 2012
Penny auctions burst onto the scene a few years ago and seemed to explode in daily traffic and announcements of new site openings. Lately it appears that less new sites are opening each week and a look at traffic stats for many of the popular sites for penny auction traffic show a clear decline. Does this mean that people are losing interest in this competative shopping style, or have their habits just changed?
The pioneer penny auction forum, PennyAuctionWatch™ welcomed 49,000 monthly visitors in July of 2011, but only saw a little over 10,000 in the month of April 2012 according to Compete.com. Popular penny auction site Beezid.com dropped from over 700,000 visitors in July of 2011 to just above 200,000 in April of 2012. These dropping traffic trends seem to repeat on nearly every penny auction related site that we reviewed using Compete's traffic numbers.
So, where has all of the penny auction traffic gone? Well at least one site has figured out the answer to this question. Quibids.com has exploded with new growth, while many other penny auction related sites have vanished. Quibids.com is seeing more than 6 million visitors per month, up from the 4 million that visited Quibids.com in July of 2011.
Quibids.com has also just announced that they are in the running for the 2012 Stevies Award for the fastest growing tech company employing up to 2,500 people. How does Quibids do it many wonder? Is it the 170,000 plus fans of the site on Facebook, their Quibids blog which is updated nearly everyday, or is it the multitude of products offered in their continuous auction offerings? We're willing to bet its all of that combined with a very effective advertising plan and marketing budget. Nearly every Google search for penny auction related terms will always reveal a Quibids sponsored link on the page. Clearly they are dedicated to a constant advertising plan that is certainly paying dividends in daily traffic to the site.
So what about the penny auction "satelite" sites, such as PennyAuctionWatch™, PennyBurners, PennyAuctionList and even PennyAuctionHelp? Why is the penny auction traffic to these sites falling so clearly? Our answer is Facebook. What once was discussed in open forum sites has now moved into the unmoderated, unrestricted world of social sharing where every second penny auction bidders are posting about auction wins, auctions of interest and tales of defeat. The problem, from our perspective, with this constant stream of social chatter is that there is no lingering information from which interested parties can find useful information about the penny auction industry. Penny auction bidders who merely post on Facebook indicating their bad experience with a penny auction site will likely not be seen two months from now when someone is looking to join that particular penny auction site.
How do perspective penny auction owners find information on the best penny auction scripts, hosting, auction styles and products when there are no searchable discussions for them to review before jumping into the fire?
Where will new penny auction bidders find real discussions and reviews about penny auction sites they are considering?
How do we balance the desire for instant chat with the need for well thought out posts containing useful information?
Is the penny auction industry in a decline, or just in transition?
Good questions all, only time will provide us with the answers!
Feel free to stop by the penny auction forum and share your thoughts!