An Atlanta-based penny auction website founded by an Emory University graduate has been shut down after an investigation by the Georgia Office of Consumer Protection.

The agency found that failed to fulfill orders placed for products on its website. The company had also faced complaints from customers who claimed their credit cards were charged without consent.

Wavee has agreed to close up shop and pay $202,210.20 in consumer restitution as well as a civil penalty of $35,000 and $15,000 in administrative expenses.

On its website, Wavee has posted a notice explaining that “many challenges” forced the company out of business.

Wavee, which billed its website as venue for “entertainment shopping,” sold electronics, gift cards and other merchandise in online auctions. Bidders were drawn in by the chance of winning items for 70-90 percent off the retail price.

In order to bid, customers had to purchase bundles of credits. Each credit cost about 60 cents and was good for one bid. Auctions started at zero and increased in one-cent increments until the allotted time elapsed or one bidder was left standing for 20 seconds with no challengers.

Wavee will also pay $50,000 to a state fund set aside for refunding consumers who unintentionally bought bid credits on the site. 

The startup founded by Hong Kong-born Jacky Lai was named one of the top 10 innovative technology companies by the Technology Association of Georgia in 2010.

The company started in Atlantic Station and later moved into space at the Advanced Technology Development Center, an incubator at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

For more information about the company, see GlobalAtlanta’s initial coverage:

Atlanta Online Auction Startup Has Global Ambitions

To request a claim form for restitution, call (404) 651-8600 or 800-869-1123 from outside metro Atlanta.

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...