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Mon July 13 2009 15:37:42

Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites

By: Ina Steiner

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Mark Gimein wrote a review of Swoopo in which he compared it to crack cocaine, and said it was "the most efficient, addictive way to separate people from their money." Unlike eBay, on Swoopo, you pay to bid, not to sell. Only one person can win an auction, all the other non-winning bidders get nothing, even though they paid Swoopo fees.

Gimein was writing in "The Big Money," which is Slate.com's spinoff site about business and finance. He wrote of Swoopo, "The only winning strategy is not to play in the first place."

In a follow-up article, Gimein revealed that Swoopo's Venture Capitalist said he "has been very involved in modifying the system to make it fairer and more appealing to bidders."

He goes on to write, "Hartenbaum told me that all the online criticism of Swoopo has done enough damage to the Swoopo brand that the company may change its name."

That would be a shame, because people who do a Google search on a new company name would not come across articles that break down the math or are critical of Swoopo.

A better idea would be to post all the independent articles that explain the model, including Gimein's, right on Swoopo's home page. If the VC really is "quite proud of the investment," as he told Gimein, then why not?




Comments (15) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites   Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites

by: just me

Mon Jul 13 16:24:20 2009

Never heard of them. Sounds like something that donkey hoe might like to be like.

Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites   Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites

by: Joe

Mon Jul 13 16:24:55 2009

That.
Is.
HILARIOUS.

Joe

Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites   Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites

by: Katz

Mon Jul 13 16:41:12 2009

I've just spent the past 15 minutes watching an auction on this site. This is hilarious! People are just pissing 60 cent bids like they are nothing. I watched an auction for a $15 flash drive end at about $10, but the collective fees taken in on the item were about $75!!!!!!

Hey donuthole, somebody's got an edge on you! They found the golden goose.

Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites   Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites

by: John

Mon Jul 13 17:03:46 2009

I am willing to bet this link would not last long on the discussion boards on seller central.

Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites   Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites

by: Patricia

Mon Jul 13 20:36:48 2009

I checked it out before.  Its a novel idea for auctions - let the bidders pay and pay....and they do! LOL  Proves there's still money floating around out there.  No economy problems on that site.

Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites   Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Jul 13 20:53:42 2009

Hmmmm...I think I read somewhere that a fool and his money are soon parted  --  they're all on Swoopo or whatever now.

Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites   Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites

by: Curious

Mon Jul 13 23:16:17 2009

So who keeps the $75 that bidders pissed away on a $10 closing bid item?  The site or the seller?

Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites   Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites

by: Kristoffer

Mon Jul 13 23:17:59 2009

I ran across this site several months ago and watched a gas grill I was interested in. The final winning price was way below what it was worth - by 60 plus %, so the winner got a great deal. The site ended up making a HUGE profit. I thought it was an ingenious idea. I mean, hell I throw away money every month to list on ebay, so this is just reversed for the people that don't win.

Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites   Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites

by: jeff

Tue Jul 14 08:39:07 2009

These sites are all being shut down as they verge on the side or contests, lotteries or gambeling and as a result end up being illigal. This is one of a hundred sites that pop up, run and shut down quickly- they have been around since before eBay.  How do I know this.....because I ran 6 sites that did the same.

Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites   Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites

by: Rich

Tue Jul 14 09:08:13 2009

Can the last intelligent person in America please turn out the lights?

Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites   Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites

by: Peter Leeflang / LEEFLANG ARCHIVES CORP.

Tue Jul 14 10:57:48 2009

What the critics of Swoopoo do not understand (but Swoopo does!) is that Swoopoo has revolutionized online business in a new direction.

Swoopoo is the first online commerce place to integrate Entertainment with Trading. This is where most sites, even Ebay, Amazon , Bonanzle, Etsy etc. will have to head for eventually have to head, if they want to survive.

What Swoopoo understands is that buyers seek 'added value', so they offered added value to what would normally be just an auction site. They added teh competitive element, the 'gambling' element to commerce, and bidders are prepared to pay extra for that.

The value they offer is way better than the worthless 'social network/commerce combinations' which do not offer this 'competition' but instead only waste one's valuable 'spare time' with chatting and quibbeling with amateurs who mostly have no clue what they are doing.

Swoopoo's individualist winner's ranking will win over the group-centered 'social ranking' sites like Bonanzle, Etsy etc, because in the end we all want individual objective rational acknowledgment that we are successful, not subjective irrational non performance related mob status.

Try making your own e-commerce web site entertaining within the context of your product group, and have customers pay for that if you can. It may well be your future.

Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites   Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites

by: Rich

Tue Jul 14 11:10:26 2009

Swoopoo is rumored to be merging with Kijiji and will be renamed Kijoopo.

Funny? You be the judge.

Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites   Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites

by: Shamoon Siddiqui

Tue Jul 14 13:58:43 2009

I think their model is interesting and definitely creates an entire new arena for companies to join. I'm from PriceDrip.com, which is ROUGHLY similar to Swoopo, but radically different. I wanted to get all of your thoughts on it..

Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites   Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites

by: eBuyer Feedback

Tue Jul 14 18:31:50 2009

PriceDrip looks like it is just a dutch auction (a real dutch auction, not the kind eBay made up) but the prices drop based on advertising revenue that comes in?

Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites   Swoopo Called the Crack Cocaine of Auction Sites

by: DannyB

Wed Jul 29 13:28:21 2009

Another option is to check out other sites like swoopo that haven't been around for so long that there are thousands of people trying for the same item.  One of the sites I've won on is bidfire.com.  It seems there are only a few of us winning right now, and the auction goes up by a nickle instead of a penny so you don't lose so much money getting the price to the sell point.



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