and utilize search engines for peer reviews before signing up.
With personal and financial information required to register and purchase bids on websites, thoroughly read the fine print and privacy policies to find out how information is protected and shared. Web addresses should read "https;" the "s" indicates that order pages are secure.
A penny saved is a penny earned. Don't bid frivolously. Compared to regular auction sites, penny auctions require payments each time bids are placed. Participants who continue bidding to stay in the game are paying out even when they aren't bringing items home. With penny auctions, it isn't who bids most, but who bids last.
Pinch pennies. Before bidding, set maximum bid budgets and personal spending limits. To avoid overpaying, figure out how much is actually being spent on auction items by factoring in the cost of each bid on top of the final selling price.
Don't be left penniless. Get more tips for safe bidding; read BBB's May 2011 release: