Webconsuls Blog

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Swoopo Electronic Auction Website with a twist

Would you pay money to place a bid? We are all familiar with Ebay for online auctioning websites which work the traditional way. You place a bid, and the winner pays and takes the item. Swoopo works a little different.

Here is how Swoopo works. The price you see is not the actual price you pay. It's simply for cosmetics and attraction such as an Apple iPhone for $15.00. Each bid placed goes up from a penny to 20 cents. Each bid also costs $.75 to place. After placing the bid, the timer on the auction will jump up by 5, 10, 15, or 20 seconds. Its genious how the concept works for the business because there will only be one winner and those that did not win, looks like they gave their money for donation to the company. The person that won, probably paid a fraction of the cost of the item itself. The winner probably did not pay just $15.00 for the ipod, instead he probably had about 50-100 bids or so placed and a dollar for each bid. So in the end, the winner probably paid less than $125 + shipping and handling which is still a third of the cost of the phone.

It's quite interesting how it works and to win, I assume takes strategy for when to bid at the right time ot win with the lowest bids placed, saving you money.

What do you think about this site and would you use it?
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  1. Interesting idea.

    Why would you bid except in the last seconds? If you bid early then someone tops you and you are out the 75 cents.

  2. Well that's the thing, you have 10 seconds remaining and lets say 10 people place a bid. Now the auction will have over a minute remaining. The time will increase each time someone bids.

  3. I think you have to be very lucky to come out ahead and many people must be losing money. I would not bid.

    Recently they sold a 50 bid voucher for $1.98. It was a penny auction so the bid amounts went up at one penny increments. The voucher gives you 50 bids, so at 75 cents each it is worth $37.50. Therefore somebody (in this case username of Kelaaa) got a great deal.

    Except there were 198 bids at 75 cents each, or a total of $148.50 was spent to buy or try to buy this voucher. So while Kelaaa got a great deal (unless Kelaaa did a lot of bidding) but as a group people spent about $150 to buy $37.50 worth of vouchers.

    A Wii console just sold for $170.15. You can buy one in the stores for about $250. It took 1134 bids or $850.50 worth of bids to get to the final price. So over $1000 was spent to get a $250 Wii console.

    It would seem that perhaps one strategy would be to see what an item sold far in previous auctions and then not bid until the bid price approached it. Of course, it may never and you would lose a good deal or you might run into someone who bids it up and up well past your price point, in which case you lose your bid money.

    I wish I had thought of the idea. The people making out here are the sellers.

  4. First, some full disclosure: I am an employee of a Swoopo competitor, www.pricerip.com.

    The Swoopo model takes the well-known auction model and inverts it. PriceDrip stays true to the auction model that we're all used to except it IS a pay-per-bid. Instead of bidding the price up, it's more of a "secret bid" where no one knows the current highest bid. All you know is how far you are away from the current price; you can be assured that you'll constantly get closer because the current price is always falling.

    Check it out.


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