Penny Game AuctionsPenny Game Auctions is, as the name implies, a penny-auction website for board games. Penny auctions, if you’re not familiar with term, are a type of auction where participants pay for the privilege of bidding (in the case of Penny Game Auctions, 39-45¢ per bid, with volume discounts). Each bid raises the clearing price by a fixed amount, typically 1¢, and extends the auction by a short amount of time (in this case, 15 seconds).

Rising only a penny-at-a-time, the closing prices on products in penny-auctions can seem quite low, while the true cost must factor in the bidding fees applicable even to the losers. Many penny-auction sites have also come under fire for other deceptive practices, such as shill bidding.

Penny Game Auctions acknowledges that the business model is “widely known to be shady” but explains that it avoids the major problems in two ways. First, the full cost of bids used in an auction can be applied at any time during the auction, or for 6 hours afterwards, toward the purchase of the same game at a discount to MSRP. Second, the identity of all bidders is known because participants must register with their BoardGameGeek IDs.