BBB verified penny auction website for $99

I keep seeing online ads claiming I can buy an iPad for $80. When I click the link, I end up on some sort of auction website that says I need to buy bids. How does it work?

You’ve found a penny auction. The concept is quickly gaining popularity. While the site claims to offer the opportunity to win quality merchandise at low prices, the Better Business Bureau warns that purchasing bids only provides you the right to bid on an item; it does not guarantee any product in return.

Penny auctions are gaining in popularity, but the online commerce is generating a number of complaints from consumers who feel they've been taken, according to the Better Business Bureau.

Unlike traditional online auction sites like eBay, penny-auction sites entice participants with the possibility of winning popular electronics, housewares and other merchandise for a fraction of their value. But there's a catch: Participants must pay simply to bid, with no guarantee of winning.

The sites sell "packets" of bids for prices that typically range up to a dollar per bid, depending on the site.

If someone buys 100 bids at a dollar each, that person is out $100 regardless of whether he or she is ever a successful bidder.

Whenever somebody else places a bid, the end of the auction is extended by 15 seconds, which gives other bidders a chance to keep bidding and extend the action for hours.

Dana Badgerow, president of the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota, recently conducted her own "secret shopping investigation" on a company called Grabswag and found herself taken for $99 before placing a single bid.

Badgerow responded to an offer for 10 "absolutely free" bids for new customers. Grabswag.com advertises frequently through Facebook pop-up ads and falsely claims BBB accreditation, the BBB said.

Badgerow discovered the site required a credit card number and other personal information in order to receive the "absolutely free" bids. Shortly after signing up, Grabswag billed her for a $99 "starter pack."

"The company's terms and conditions did not disclose any charge upfront, which is a huge concern," Badgerow said. "What's also concerning is that in some Internet browsers the terms and privacy policy do not open or allow the reader to scroll past the first paragraph. People have no way of knowing what they're getting into."

Badgerow eventually got a refund, but only after employees at the company's Philippines call center tried to talk her into various compromise deals.

The BBB offers some tips to consumers considering bidding in a penny auction.

• Educate yourself by watching several auctions before bidding.

• Don't accept free offers that require a credit card.

• Pay for winning bids with a credit card whenever possible because if you don't receive the merchandise you can challenge the charges.

• Be suspicious if you click on a website's BBB accreditation logo and you aren't directed to the company's profile on the BBB's website.


2011 MLB Team Preview: Toronto Blue Jays

Just like the Baltimore Orioles, the Blue Jays suffer from AL East syndrome.
The Toronto Blue Jays haven’t seen the postseason since 1993.
The AL East Division was tough enough when it housed the two best teams in baseball, the Red Sox and Yankees. Then, in the last few seasons, the Tampa Bay Rays jumped onto the elite list, which made baseball life in Toronto only harder.

What is so frustrating is that the Blue Jays would have made the playoffs many times if they played in any other division.
In 2010, the Blue Jays won 85 games, and in four of the last five seasons prior, have won 80+ games. That amount of W’s has been enough to make the playoffs many times and even clinch a division title outside of the AL East.

For the Blue Jays, even with their major league-leading home run total of 257 from last season, heading into 2011 things look to be the same…
Anything is possible.
Blue Jays fans blamed missing the postseason on unfortunate circumstances for a darn good team, until the Rays proved that theory wrong. 
The Positives

With the sad departure of skipper Cito Gaston, the Jays hired Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell, which was a great move. The Jays have a young pitching staff with a lot of potential and could flourish under Farrell’s guidance.

Trading ace Roy Halladay prior to last season was not a popular move, but the starters finished with an ERA of 4.30, which topped the Yankees' 4.35 ERA.

Led by Rickey Romero, who looks to replace the traded Shaun Marcum, the starters have the potential to make Toronto a 2011 surprise story. Romero finished last season with a 14-9 record and an ERA of 3.73. Three other youngsters in Brandon Marrow, Brett Cecil and Kyle Drabek will follow Romero.

The Jays had the most home runs, including 46 more than the Red Sox. Jose Bautista led that charge, as he was accountable for 54 of the 257 total. He also had 124 RBIs last season.
Bautista should have a big year, as the 30-year-old is a free agent at the end of 2011, and players know the better the play, the bigger the contract. 

Joining Bautista is rookie Travis Snider, who displayed power in the minors. Moving Bautista to third base frees up  the outfield for Snider to move in full-time.

Also, the Jays were the slowest team in baseball, finishing 2010 with a pathetic 58 steals. Signing Rajai Davis, who stole 92 bases for the Oakland A’s over the last two seasons, is a huge improvement. Look for Davis’ RBIs and total runs to jump because of the massive power bats behind him in the lineup.

The future of the Blue Jays looks very promising, as their outlook has changed under second-year GM Alex Anthopoulos. Instead of trying to compete with the "win now" attitude of their peers, Anthopoulos is putting the money into acquiring top young talent by adding scouts all over; in California alone, the team has five.
This attention to detail seems to be right on track so far.

If Anthopoulos’ reorganization of priorities keeps up at this pace, the Jays will get in the playoffs again, just not yet.
The idea is to get in not just for one season, but for many to come. 
The Negatives
Fact is, winning 85 games is meaningless when you play in the AL East.

After years of the Blue Jays being lead by false hope, they seem to finally have come to grips with this fact. It has lead to major frustrations for both fans and players.

The team with the most power couldn’t seem to do much else at the plate. The Jays' on-base-percentage was a pathetic .312, third lowest in the AL. Even with all the home runs, the Jays need to improve on their 732 RBIs, which was almost 100 less than the league-leading Yankees.

The Jays will have to make up for the 71 total home runs hit by Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay and John Buck, who will not be back in 2011. It’s a lot of pressure on Bautista to have another 54 home run season, an achievement that is hard to do in the first place, mind you repeat.

In reality, the Jays might look different heading into 2011, but it is doubtful to be the year when Toronto finally gets to see a postseason berth again.

My advice is to keep one eye on the Blue Jays, because it is a franchise going somewhere very soon.

Also, Blue Jays fans have to give the team something to play for; an empty Rogers Centre all season long is unacceptable.
The Jays had great fans in the 90’s, so time to come on back because in sports, you need fans to keep you going.
Players To Watch
Second baseman Aaron Hill and first baseman Adam Lind both had horrible 2010 numbers.
This duo has to get back to 2009 form in order for the team to avoid finishing last in the AL East. Hill and Lind both took home Silver Sluggers in 2009, combining for 71 home runs and 222 RBIs. Considering Lind is 27 and Hill is 28 years old, they can easily reproduce those numbers. It will soften the blow of losing Wells and Co. during the offseason.
The two infielders will make or break the Jays' season by either putting them in the mix, or turning it into just another average year for Toronto.


Cardinals offense versus the Packers defense

Over the very last two times I have in contrast and matched-up the Cardinals offense versus the Packers defense, as properly as being the Cardinals defense versus the Packers offense. To this point the borders must go on the way in which to the Packers jersey due to the facts that of Brett Favre and the facts that this video game is within eco-friendly Bay. whilst the Cardinals ought to become able to pass versus the Packers, they apparently be to become at the rear of in just about every other aspect within of the game. That said, special Teams can and should perform a major intent in tomorrow's game.

Kickoffs / Kick ReturnsWe'll commence far from using the Packers who experienced Koren Robison returning kicks, but because of his suspension needed to visit with Vernard Morency. Morency turned out to (so far) be considered a somewhat much better option than Robinson who was only averaging 21 yards per kick return. while not much better, Morency is averaging 24.5 yards per kick return. The Cardinals and Neil Rackers allow 23.7 yards per return.Hopefully J.J.

Arrington will as a final point separate one this Sunday, but it is unlikely. next a tremendous 1 week very last 1 week by Washington's Rock Cartwright, Arrington no lengthier prospects the NFL in come back yardage. He also lowered his yards per come back common to 22.5 with a bad video game versus the Raiders. Dave Rayner and the Packers protection team are enabling an common of 20.3 yards per return, so the Cardinals should find out themselves starting deep in his or her territory often.

Punts / Punt ReturnsJon Ryan is owning very an exceptional year for the Packers averaging 46.7 yards per punt with a net common of 34.9. He'll be punting to Troy Walters who hasn't came back a punt because of this of truth earlier within 4th quarter versus the Bears in 1 week 6. He is averaging 9.8 yards per come back which is tied for 15th within NFL.As documented, Scott Player is owning a bad year or so averaging 43.6 yards per punt but is useless very last within NFL averaging only 31.4 net yards per punt. he is also undoubtedly one of only half a dozen punters to own one obstructed this year.

He'll be punting to Charles Woodson who's middle within of the weight up in returns. He is averaging 8.8 yards per come back and will not fair catch; only one within of the season. area GoalsNeil Rackers experienced a pretty good video game very last 1 week going three for four in area goals.

He nevertheless ranks 28th within NFL producing only 66.7% of his area aims and prospects the league with half a dozen misses.For the Packers, Dave Rayner has long gone 10 of 13 for the year, with two of his misses arriving from previous fifty yards. He ranks 21st within NFL producing 76.9% of his area goals.Special Teams appear just like a push, using the Packers owning the somewhat advantage on kickoffs and kick returns. Matt Leinart knowning that Cardinals passing offense will should have a huge day.

Article From:http://gossipy-in.blogspot.com/2011/01/cardinals-offense-versus-packers.html


2011 Super Bowl Predictions and Jerseys


Kansas City Chiefs (+4000) - They are a great story and I have nothing but respect for what they have done, especially because I thought they would be lucky to win six games, but they just aren't at the caliber yet. New England looms in the second round, if they can somehow survive the Ravens, and I don't think they have a chance at Gillette.

Pittsburgh Steelers (+550) - This is a sign of how little respect I have for the NFC this year; I don't think that the Steelers can beat the Patriots, and they will have to in order to win the Super Bowl. However, they are still second on my list of Super Bowl predictions. I like their toughness, I like their experience, and I love their coaching.

Atlanta Falcons (+600) - I don't trust Matt Ryan, and I wish they had been a little better down the stretch. However, at this point they seem to be the class of the NFC, and that means they deserve to be this high. The best news is that they don't have to leave home until they go to Dallas. The bad news is that they can't play the Super Bowl at home, too.

Philadelphia Eagles (+1200) - Great story this year and all, but the way they ended the season really makes me question their toughness, and Andy Reid teams have never had an excess of toughness when it matters. I think they peaked too soon, and Michael Vick's shoulders, though much wider than I thought, aren't wide enough to carry them all the way.

New England Patriots (+170) - This one is a no-brainer. New England is playing as well as a football team can play right now, and they are ridiculously hungry -- they pummeled Miami last week in a game that was totally meaningless. They are unquestionably the team to beat, and I don't really believe that they will be beaten. If Tom Brady is as good in the playoffs as he has been in the season, then it's over. A team that never turns it over is very hard to beat.

Green Bay Packers (+1200) - Maybe I have them this high only because they were my preseason pick, and I am trying to salvage some dignity. They are playing well at the right time, though, and I like the path they would have to take to the big game. I also really like the character of their main guys, especially on defense. That kind of stuff matters at this time of year; just look at what happened last year.

Indianapolis Colts (+1600) - I haven't been high on the Colts this year, there have been just too many injuries. I am not comfortable ruling them out entirely now that they have made the playoffs, though. Manning is Manning, and he has had enough around him to get hot at the right time to make the playoffs. He's the only QB in the AFC who will absolutely not be intimidated at all by playing against Brady, and that matters.

New York Jets (+2500) - Rex Ryan is a buffoon. His quarterback is stunningly average. His team is ridiculously inconsistent. His defense is wildly overrated. Can you tell I don't like the Jets?

New Orleans Saints (+1000) - The Saints have been there, and they are just as feisty as they were last time. Two problems, though, they didn't finish as strong as I would have liked, and I don't believe they are good enough to beat the AFC this time around. My heart will be on their side, but my head says it is someone else's turn.

Chicago Bears (+1200) - I have been doubting the Bears in a big way all year, and now they have a first-round bye. I still have a world of misgivings about them. That means they will probably win it all. Maybe I should put a couple of bucks on them just in case. Or maybe not; Jay Cutler is still their QB, after all.

Baltimore Ravens (+1400) - I feel bad about having this team so low; I really, really like these Ravens. The problem is, though, that they are in the AFC. I don't think they can beat the Pats when all the chips are down, and the Steelers own them. Beating both those teams on the road would be epic. It's also close to impossible.

Seattle Seahawks (+8000) - Pete Carroll's last team has as good a shot at winning a national title this year as his current team.


With Roster Intact, Buckeyes Have Enough to Hold Off the Razorbacks

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The N.C.A.A.’s decision to delay suspensions for Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron and DeVier Posey played a major role in No. 6 Ohio State’s 31-26 victory over eighth-ranked Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl on Tuesday night.

Pryor passed for 221 yards and two touchdowns, including a 43-yarder to Posey late in the second quarter, and Herron rushed for a 9-yard score.

Pryor, Herron and Posey were among five players — along with All-Big Ten offensive tackle Mike Adams and backup defensive end Solomon Thomas — who violated N.C.A.A. rules by selling memorabilia and getting discounts on tattoos.

They will serve five-game suspensions next season if they return to the Buckeyes as they have pledged to do instead of entering the N.F.L. draft. However, they were permitted to play in the Sugar Bowl.

Ohio State (12-1) was trying to snap an 0-9 record against Southeastern Conference teams in bowl games and gain some respect for the Big Ten after a dismal performance on New Year’s Day, when the league went 0-5 — including three losses to SEC teams.

The Buckeyes led by as much as 28-10 at halftime, but after both teams exchanged 46-yard field goals in the third, the Razorbacks (10-3) cut it to 31-19 when Ryan Mallett lofted a 22-yard touchdown pass that hit Jarius Wright in stride in the end zone. Arkansas then went for 2, with D. J. Williams making a short catch and stretching the ball across the goal line while being wrapped up by Jermale Hines on the 1.

Mallett had 277 yards passing and two touchdown tosses, including one to Joe Adams, who had nine catches for 120 yards. Knile Davis rushed for 140 yards, including runs of 16 and 11 yards on Arkansas’ touchdown drive in the second quarter.

Pryor rushed for 115 yards on 15 carries and Herron had 87 yards on 24 carries.

Dane Sanzenbacher caught Pryor’s first scoring strike, making a diving, 15-yard catch for his second touchdown of the game in the second quarter.

Earlier, Sanzenbacher opened the scoring when he recovered a fumble for a touchdown after Pryor lost the ball on the Arkansas 3 during a weaving, tackle-shedding, 34-yard scramble. Two Arkansas players collided as they tried to recover and the ball squirted into the end zone.

Arkansas quickly struck back after Ohio State’s attempted surprise onside kick was recovered by the Razorbacks at their own 49. Soon after, Mallett hit Williams over the middle for an 18-yard gain to the 17, where Williams appeared to fall flat on top of linebacker Ross Homan before rising to his feet without being ruled down and scampering the rest of the way for a touchdown.

After the play was reviewed, officials ruled Williams’s wrist touched the turf, drawing boos from Arkansas fans.

One play later, though, Mallett went straight for the end zone, where Adams hauled in the scoring pass just before stumbling out of bounds.


Kings finally beat the Oilers in a shootout, 3-2

After having lost their previous five games at home to Edmonton in the format, they prevail in six rounds to give Terry Murray his 100th win as Kings coach.

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty celebrates with goaltender Jonathan Quick after he prevented the Oilers' Andrew Cogliano from scoring in a shootout to give L.A. the victory Thursday night at Staples Center. (Danny Moloshok / Reuters / December 23, 2010)

The Kings ended a peculiar streak against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night, going to the sixth round of a sudden-death shootout for a 3-2 victory that goaltender Jonathan Quick sealed with a glove save of an Andrew Cogliano shot.

The Oilers had won their previous five games against the Kings in Staples Center since Dec. 3, 2007, all in shootouts.

But when Jarret Stoll's sixth-round shot got a piece of Edmonton goalie Devan Dubnyk before dribbling over the line for a goal, and Quick snuffed Cogliano, the Kings snapped that streak and gave Terry Murray his 100th win as Kings coach.
Edmonton's Jordan Eberle and the Kings' Dustin Brown each scored goals in the first three rounds of the shootout, which ended in a 1-1 tie.

The Kings played the final 26 seconds of overtime a man down after taking a penalty for too many men on the ice, and the threesome of Rob Scuderi, Drew Doughty and Michal Handzus barely killed it off.

Quick made one nice save in the final seconds, and Edmonton's Dustin Penner was unable to get his stick on Sam Gagner's pass through the crease as time expired.

The Oilers took a 2-1 lead at the 4:25 mark of the third period when Jean-Francois Jacques re-directed a Theo Peckham shot from the blue line through traffic past Quick for his first goal of the season.

But the Kings countered 20 seconds later when Jack Johnson, who had fallen to his knees in the left faceoff circle, got up in time to take a pass from Wayne Simmonds and fire a wrist shot past Dubnyk for a 2-2 tie.

Both teams scored power-play goals in the second period, the Oilers taking a 1-0 lead on Taylor Hall's wrist shot from the left side that slipped under Quick's right pad at the 1:39 mark, and the Kings evening the score on Justin Williams' goal at the 8:31 mark.

How rare was the 11th goal of the season by Hall, the 19-year-old whiz kid of a winger who was the first overall pick in the 2010 draft?

The Kings had allowed only two power-play goals in 50 tries in their first 14 home games, a 96% penalty-kill rate that was the best home mark in the NHL, and they successfully fought off another penalty in the first.

But a hooking infraction by the Kings' Michal Handzus gave Edmonton a man-advantage at the 1:22 mark of the second, and the Oilers capitalized with Hall's shot from the left circle.

A high-sticking penalty by Edmonton's Linus Omark gave the Kings a power play at the 7:42 mark of the second.

The Kings took advantage with Williams' 13th goal, which was set up by Handzus, who took a pass from Johnson at the blue line and flicked the puck to Williams driving down the left side.

Williams shielded Ladislav Smid with his body and beat Dubnyk glove-side with a wrist shot for a 1-1 tie and his 30th point in his 33rd game this season.

Williams had 29 points in 49 games last season.

Johnson recorded his 13th power-play assist of the season, and Handzus' assist was his fourth in the last five games.

The Kings caught a break later in the period when the Oilers' Magnus Paajarvi took a pass from Penner in the crease, but Paajarvi's point-blank shot hit the post, and Quick covered up with 6:25 left in the period.

Play was a little ragged in a scoreless first period marked by incomplete passes, pucks bouncing off skates and a feisty scrap between Kings winger Kyle Clifford and Peckham, who each got a few good shots in before Peckham dragged Clifford to the ice.

It took a little more than seven minutes for Edmonton to register its first shot on goal in the game.

The Kings weren't exactly peppering the Oilers' net either, with nine shots in the period compared to six for Edmonton.

The Kings got a scare with about 31/2 minutes left in the first, when Scuderi got smacked in the face by Tom Gilbert's stick as he fell to the ice next to his net.

Scuderi crashed into the boards and was slow to get up, but he managed to skate to the Kings bench and returned to action and took his regular shifts in the second and third periods.


Are Nikki Sixx and Denise Richard Dating?

Nikki Sixx

Denise Richard

A source close to the pair told the magazine that Richards and Sixx "have been neighbors for years. They have a lot in common and are taking things slowly."

A witness who spotted them at Marmalade Cafe said, "Nikki was telling stories, and Denise was laughing."

E! Online reported that the two recently went out for coffee a couple of times, but a source told them "He is not her boyfriend."