On penny auction websites, consumers participate in a game where the winner receives the opportunity to purchase a product for pennies on the dollar and discounts of over 90% are often advertised and recorded. Losers, on the other hand, may easily spend hundreds of dollars and walk away with nothing. For penny auction websites, profit margins over 300% on a single auction are not uncommon. Critics call penny auctions gambling. Proponents call penny auctions entertainment shopping. Either way, this emerging form of ecommerce represents a fascinating area for academic research.
Robinson, S. G., Giebelhausen, M. D., & Cotte, J. (2013). Shopping, gambling or shambling? Penny auctions [Electronic version]. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, School of Hospitality Administration site: http://scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/articles/269