Coupon and discount websites are multiplying throughout the web, and many consumer advocates are growing concerned about the prevalence of dishonest offers aimed at unwitting buyers. One bargain site named has earned some negative reviews from both the BBB and consumers, who have complained about a supposed BidHere scam. Before you risk your money, learn what the BBB and FTC are saying about penny auctions.

The Federal Trade Commission

Recently, the FTC issued a scathing report aimed at warning consumers away from penny auctions. Although the federal agency didn't specifically mention Bid Here by name, it clearly isn't a fan of the company's auction model. According to the FTC, because bidders are required to risk money to participate in any one auction, the vast majority lose money. On the other hand, because the auctioneers profit each time a user loses, many former customers have accused them of using dishonest methods to prevent bidders from succeeding.

What Bid Here Reviews Say

A quick online search turns up review after review complaining about a supposed BidHere scam, with many accusing the site of using automated bots to prolong auctions and elbow out human bidders. While there's no direct evidence that uses this strategy, the FTC warns that numerous penny auctions do use this technique to increase their profits.

The Better Business Bureau

In 2011, the BBB published its annual list of common scams, and penny auctions ranked in the top ten. Although the BBB didn't mention BidHere by name, it's clear the organization doesn't think much of the company. Currently, the BBB has saddled with a C rating, and the company is not accredited with the organization.

What Consumers Should Know

Although these auction sites may offer risk-seeking shoppers a form of online entertainment, they aren't ideal for consumers searching for consistent discounts. If you choose to try one of these websites out, you'd be well-advised to follow the FTC's recommendation to slow down and read each company's user manual and terms of service before purchasing any bid packs.