How to beat swoopo

Swoopo has invented a new auction business. Different from Ebay, Swoopo is with the following features:swoopo

  1. Bidding on Swoopo auctions starts at 15c, with no reserve prices.
  2. The price goes up by 15c with each bid placed.
  3. If a bid gets placed in the final moments, the auction is extended automatically by up to 20 seconds.
  4. Each bid placed on an auction costs $0.75.

As some netizens commented , this new way of auction is “manipulating game theory to tap stupidity, the greatest resource on this planet.”  Think about a tiny deal–if you buy something worth 20$ with a successful bid of 15$, there have to be 100 bids, which equal to 75$. The bidders including yourself collectively have paid Swoopo $15+75=90$. Any item worth 150$ or more will bring Swoopo 750$ net profit. The auction is very much like a casino machine gamble. Only in Swoopo’s design, human beings form the machine. And because of human stupidity, Swoopo is going to run just like a machine, with the result and profit very predictable.

Swoopo calls it “entertainment auction”–this is disgusting. Swoopo makes bidders reveal their stupidity, watches, and mocks them while money piles up on its account.

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Now, how do we beat swoopo?

Since the design of swoopo is based on the assumption that human beings collectively will act in a stupid way, we can beat swoopo if we somehow reshape our collective action in swoopo auction.

Here is how we do it:

Outside of swoopo, bidders have to form their own association–Association of Swoopo Bidders (ASB)–make some decisions based on simple calculations, and enforce the decision.


One item is posted on Swoopo, and its value is 225$. The Association of Swoopo Bidders (ASB) figures that if the item worth 225$, the highest bid should not exceed 37.5$. (Just follow this formula: highest bid=value/6)  THe ASB then makes a dicision that no member should bid more than 37.5$.

Then ASB will enforce the rule, meaning for any rule-breaker bid more than 150$, the rule-breaker’s name will be published on the ASB website immediately, and at the same time ASB will appoint its enforcement force (some members with free bids provided by ASB) to bid against the rule-breaker, who therefore will not be able to get the item or pay substantially more than the price the rule-breaker wanted.  The enforcement force will continue to punish the rule-breaker in the future auctions ruthlessly until the rule-breaker apologizes and convinces ASB nothing against rule will happen again.

–Note the point is whoever places the first bid above 37.5$ will NEVER get the item. In addition, the rule-breaker bidder will not get anything in the future.

Consequently, rule-breakers will be prevented from unnecessarily bidding high, and all members of ASB will have a fair chance of getting cheap goods.

111 thoughts on “How to beat swoopo

  1. Just got beat in a bid on a 64 gig itouch by a character named “Morningdance”. Apparently he also placed 1,339 bids to wine a Nikon D camera in December,82 bids to win Windows 7 in February, 76 bids to win a PSP in europe in December, and 23 for another 75 bids. Either this guy is a swoopo addict or a bot used to drive the price up.

    I don’t know about you but I only used Swoopo because I thought it was legit and also a great way to get a product for cheap. I did the math and this is a scam. Using us to make money on products. I’m just going to save up the 309 dollars it costs to buy the used itouch online. I wish I had saved my 45 dollars though. I would only need 260 dollars to buy it. Instead I’m down 45 and have no itouch still. We need to get the word out.

  2. And how exactly do you plan to get every single member of swoopo to join asb? IMHO, i think swoopo is a great idea, but maybe i’m just saying that because i invested in it!

  3. Swoopo’s not a scam! The only thing that upsets me about Swoopo is that I didn’t come up with this idea first! Whomever designed this website is a genius! Swoopo preys on idiots…. and they deserve it! I have absolutely no sympathy for all these morons who cry about how they got “used” or “cheated” out of their money. Keep it up Swoopo! Getting rich off of people’s stupidity…. I love it!

    So, you want to stop or “beat” Swoopo? There is ONE simple answer: DON’T USE IT!

  4. Points I agree with, yes it is a scam if you think you’re getting something really cheap – you have to spend a lot of money in bids or just get lucky to win. If the company wanted to be fair they could offer the item to multiple winners once the item reached a certain price…do they really need to make 10X the retail price of a $1500 item? To the poster who says it’s like pull tabs, you’re so far from the truth it’s a ridiculous comparison. Lets say tickets are $1 each and the winner gets $200. Also, lets assume $1000 worth of tickets have already been sold. Every single ticket sold is the winner, until the next ticket is bought, then we have a new winner. The seller is already at $800 profit before expenses, there are several individuals who have bought $300 or more worth of tickets and are going to keep buying them to win $200. How would you not consider this a scam? The value of the prize never goes up, only the cost.

  5. Thank you for posting this article. This gives the non ASB bidders an edge. I can see this happening… The ASB bidders fight it out to get the price to a certain point, and once the price point beyond which the ASB bidders can’t bid, all or most of my competition goes away…

    Here’s my strategy. Wait til the price hits the point beyond which ASB bidders won’t bid. Then place 1 bid 🙂 I make this sound too easy. But the idea behind building the ASB is only going to work if most or all people are ASB members. The more members that join the ASB the better chances for ASB to be a success (it’s obviously not going to succeed with 5 members). Now look at the flip side, the more members that join the ASB, the smaller my competition gest as a non-ASB guy.

    Which side do you wanna be on?

  6. OK, Swoopo Swoopoed through my insides and nabbed me for $350, Plus a $139 for a Visa card worth $100, an over priced DSi and a Nook. Tried several times to win an auction. I would see the .56 cent Kindle etc. but ever auction I tried, things always went crazy and the product was bid up way high. I decided to try something and see if I could win. I went after a $100 visa gift card, which I did not win, even after bidding up $135.00 in bids and the final closing price was $98.52, which if this was a real user, ended up loosing money. In reality, it was good I didn’t win, otherwise I would have lost even more. I used the buy it now option, so I recovered $100 minus the $4.90 shipping, so I didn’t loose as bad. This auction and the others I have tried really make me confident that Swoopo sponspored bots exits (based on the complete stupidity of the bidders) and drive prices up or make everyone who was trying loose, swoopo wins double. Are there real winners? maybe, anyone have proof? how about a screen shot of your auction wins? otherwise don’t waste your money thinking you are going to get a Mac Book Pro for $12.00 If you are looking to purchase an item and Swoopo has it, and the price is reasonable, try bidding on it to save something. When you reach the point of, I shot $400 in bids for the $499 Kindle with a current auction price of $50, swoopo out and buy the stupid thing with your bid rebate, no money lost, you likely had a crap load of stress for the past few hours.

    Strategy: Yeah, here it is, two things, bidbutler wins 95% of the time, dopes try to wait it out wishing that someone else steps in to one up the bid butler, you go to click and bam, auction OVER!@ If you want to win, be prepared to click at 5 seconds or blow bids to flush out the bid butler so you can take the spot. Smart bidders know it’s a waste of your bids to try and flush out the butler so you can take the spot. My advice, do the 5 second click, and periodically book a butler for 2 bids to see if one is active. Also be prepared to spend hours waiting the auction out, that means tell the wife, kids, dog etc. to take off. Don’t drink anything and ensure you use the bathroom before starting. You could be lucky and it ends in 30 seconds at $.93 cents for a Mac Book Pro

    Sucker born every minute and never underestimate the stupidity of the public.

  7. I don’t see why this is a scam at all… It’s nothing more than a raffle repurposed on the web with a bit more risk involved. You are really just jealous you didn’t come up with the idea sooner. People innately respond to incentives and the guys at Swoopo are providing plenty of incentive for you to respond. I’ve never worked for Swoopo but I know if I did I would have all the time and money in the world to argue with you fools on how brilliant this idea is. Good luck!

  8. It’s similar to lottery – when a bunch of bidders contribute to the prize money. I don’t see a crowd of anti-lotto associations formed to defeat gov-t run schemas or London bookies. And the odd of winning is much higher than in lotto.

  9. This is nothing short of a scam, wake the hell up people. I’m watching a Garmin 885T GPS which is at 25.15 right now, that means so far at that price, 2532 bids x’s $0.60 = $1519.20 will be the money collected for the GPS buy the seller. Holy crap Batman that is a pretty expensive GPS and the bidding just never seems to end it gets to 1 second and them suddenly there is another 10 seconds added, this is insane, seriously people wake the hell up!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is at $25.94 and still going, unbelievable that people are this stupid.

  10. First time on Swoopo and I was taken for a good chunk of change believing that “buy it now” was in place. Oops.. guess not. Now that the weeping is done what’s the next step?

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