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Wichita businessman Bill Long to start Boosta Bid penny auction later this month

WICHITA — Have you heard of a penny auction?

Wichita businessman Bill Long hadn't until six months ago, but now he's starting one called Boosta Bid.

"It's a new way to shop," Long says. "I actually stumbled across it on the Internet myself."

At the time, Long says there were about 25 of the auctions online. He says there are more now.

Long, who has four Motor Mouth Wireless stores and three All Out Detox Shops, was looking for some low-priced iPhones and found some through penny auctions.

"I figured it was too good to be true. There had to be some sort of scam to it."

He had some computer-savvy friends check into it, and they came across the programming to be able to do one themselves.

"Ultimately, what it is is it's a great way to get high-priced items at a low price."

Customers purchase bids ahead of time. For instance, 100 chances to bid might cost $60.

"At that point, you can bid up to 100 times on any items you want," Long says.

All bids are in one-penny increments.

"That is why it's called a penny auction."

There's also a buy-it-now option.

"If you've spent enough on bids that it just makes sense to buy it, then the cost of the bids you've used will go toward the purchase price," Long says.