Unlock Your Luck is a new auction website that acts as an introduction for people to become better acquainted with the concept of penny auctions. Using this concept of penny auctions, Unlock Your Luck and zBiddy allow users to bid on items using “pennies” or “tokens” that are pre-purchased in bundles. If you are the winning bid for an item, you have the potential to pay a fraction of the retail cost for that item (e.g. a $499 iPad for just $36.82).

However, Unlock Your Luck is essentially just a cover site that redirects to zBiddy; in other words, when registering with Unlock Your Luck, you’ll actually be signing up for a zBiddy account. This is important because, despite the appearance otherwise, Unlock Your Luck will not be the site that you’ll use for penny auctions—it’s just a gimmick, which we’ll discuss shortly.

How Unlock Your Luck Works

Immediately after landing on the Unlock Your Luck website, you’ll automatically be awarded 25 free tokens, which will be assigned to a randomly generated username. (Side Note: Though the website claims that any unused free tokens will automatically expire, because the information is stored in your cookies, you can always return the following day and collect another 25 free coins, as long as you clear your cache beforehand and/or have not already registered an account.) Because of this, even without registering or logging in, you’re able to begin bidding. Until you register your account though, you’ll be limited on which items you can bid.

At the top of the website, you’ll see four “featured” high-end products such as iPads or televisions. However, you’ll be prevented from bidding on them, as the site claims they are “real time” listings from zBiddy. Below these “featured” items are the products that you’ll be permitted to bid on, and include items such as AMC Theatre, Starbucks, and Walmart gift cards, and much more. While the value of these cards rarely exceed $5, you may get lucky and find a higher-valued one every now and again. In addition to gift cards, you’ll also find other items such as $20 headphones or $50 magazine subscriptions.

Most items run for 58 seconds, and, as long as they’re not awarded to anyone, will immediately reset. If you decide to bid prior to time running out, simply click on the “Insert Token” icon below the item. If another user outbids you on that item, it will automatically display their username, though it’s highly unlikely this will occur. It’s important to remember that you can only be an active bidder on one item at a time, so you’ll have to wait for one auction to end prior to bidding on another.

If you are the winning bidder when the clock strikes zero, you’ll be redirected to a registration screen, where you’re led to believe that this is where you’ll pay for your product. However, as soon as you hit the Submit button, you’re again redirected. There, you’ll be requested to pay a processing and/or shipping fee for the item, which can range anywhere from a couple dollars, to $20 or more. In addition, you won’t be able to complete the checkout process unless you purchase zBiddy Bids, which cost $59 for 150 bids, $70 for 235 bids, or $99 for 315 bids, and can be processed using your MasterCard, Visa, or Discover.

What it all boils down to: This is simply a way to entice you into joining zBiddy, and the prize you just “won” is used as an introductory bonus—kind of like dangling a carrot in front of you.

Is Unlock Your Luck a Scam?

After your Unlock Your Luck prize has been claimed and your information has been registered, you will no longer have access to this account, unless you clear your browsing history and repeat the process again, as previously discussed.

So, while Unlock Your Luck does not appear to technically be a scam, the site does use some rather underhanded methods of enticing you to sign up for (and pay money to) zBiddy. zBiddy does have numerous complaints against them, such as unauthorized charges as high as $150, as well as the use of “bots” to artificially boost bidding on items, which forces users to spend additional credits to become the new highest bidder. With that said, zBiddy claims that even if you do not win, you have the opportunity to purchase the product at full retail price, after which point you’ll be credited any “lost” bids back to your account.

If you do decide to sign up for zBiddy through Unlock Your Luck, we suggest using the utmost caution. Even though Unlock Your Luck claims that you will never be charged unless you manually check out, be sure to notify your bank of each transaction, and closely monitor your credit card activity.