How to beat swoopo

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

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.

Example:

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. There are a few other sites like swoopo, one brand new one I’ve found that seems to be the only place where the very few users they have are getting insane prices and “beating the system” is bidfire.com. These sites are generally sketchy, but if you get in early enough you can still get pretty good deals.

2. I have created an application that will allow you to view all historical data. The software will allow you to filter appropriately to view certain patterns for auction items. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in this application.

RB.

3. Swoopo cheats.
1) they changed the rules of the game in the middle of the game. Example a closed auction is spontaneously set up after a few hours from when it begins. It this was fair, the closed auction status would be anounced before the auction on an item begins that after 50 bids or 4 hours it will be closed and that is not what they do.
2) These rules are not itemized where you can view the bidding ruloes for a beginner nor a experienced bidder, because they change at Swoopo’s whim and profit projection.
3) My communications (complaints) to their website are never answered! Never!
4)They fo make a sizeable multiple of the fair and legal price on items that they sell (see about comments for that), usually the fair trade x 10 to 100 time the naormal price before an item sells.
5) Since you must register, they have your name bank account & financiao information which I argue they uss to determine whether they will “let you win” an auction or have their robots or employees buy the item back.
6)On the Mac Computer laptop screen last nite there was a “hidden message” which appeared that all bidding would end at ten seconds after the price of \$288.000 appeared for the item. The item sold after more than 18 hours of bidding at over \$400.00!
6) This is a violation of the commerciaL code in that it constitutes “consumer fraud” by a company and since it is on the internet and international, that is a violation of Federal Law and maybe international statutes. A successful class action could be mustered for the complaintants generating recovery of losses and punitive damages as well, provded we could come up with a good attorney and solidify into a unit.

4. Swoopo Cheats.
1) They changed the rules of the game in the middle of the game. Example a closed auction is spontaneously set up after a few hours from when it begins. If this was fair, the closed auction status would be announced before the auction on an item begins, that after 50 bids or say 4 hours, it will become a closed auction limiting the bidders and that is not what they do.
2) These rules are not itemized where you can view the bidding rules neither for a beginner nor a experienced bidder, because they change at Swoopo’s whim and profit projection.
3) My communications (and complaints) to their website are never answered! Never!
4)They do make a sizeable multiple of the fair and legal price on items that they sell (see above comments for that), usually it is the market price x 10 to 100 times the normal price before an item sells.
5) Since you must register, they also have access to your personal information, name of bank account & financiao information which I argue they can use to determine whether they will “let you win” an auction or have their robots or even have employees buy the item back.
6)On the Mac Computer laptop screen last nite there was a “hidden message” which appeared under the timeflasher that all bidding would end at ten seconds after the price of \$288.000 appeared for the item. The item sold after more than 18 hours of bidding at over \$400.00!
6) This is a violation of the commercial code, in that it constitutes “consumer fraud” by a company and since it is on the internet and international, that is a violation of Federal Law and maybe international statutes as well. A successful class action could be mustered for the complainants generating recovery of losses and punitive damages as well, provded we could come up with a good attorney and solidify into a unit.
This is a German based company engaging in business on the US internet and thus must abide by US trade and commerce laws.

5. Disclaimer: I have never placed a bid on Swoopo and never will.

Swoopo doesn’t cheat. There’s absolutely no way they would risk their ingenious business model by doing something that could and would quite easily get their company sank. They don’t “let” people win – there’s just a lot of variance as to how many people will be willing to place a bid in any given 15 second interval.

The model Captain Harvard Law cooked up in this post is inherently flawed. In that model, the group will consistently on the whole make no profit when the total bidding cost plus item cost is equal to the actual value of the item. Simply put, everybody in the group will break even. However, the actual cost of an enforcement policy like that on the internet, would be huge. This is capitalism at its worst for the consumer. If you could control every bidder on Swoopo, it might work, but we all know that isn’t near possible. In short, the cost of “enforcement” (in your poorly reasoned game theory terminology) is far higher than acceptable considering the group isn’t getting any deals anyway. Only the one person who is smart enough to only bid when the specified limit is reached will profit at the rest of the groups expense.

Think of it this way, people. The value of the item never changes, no matter how much money has been wasted in bids. In a perfect market, that means the item would always still sell for its actual value. And all the money that is spent bidding to that point is a waste, and pure profit for the people at Swoopo watching and laughing. In reality, there are “hickups” in the market when nobody bids and somebody gets a steal. These are the deals the site advertises, but if you can’t predict when these will happen, it is never a smart idea to place a bid, no matter what the price.

The only way you could beat the Swoopo system would be to find a way to induce hickups where nobody bids. Maybe get 4 buddies to all bid on the same item and agree to a coordinated “stop”, leaving other competitors caught unprepared to bid, and allowing the cohorts to actually succeed. I’m sure this is against the Swoopo policies. Such market manipulation is generally discouraged.

In short, go to eBay, and stop wining. Your complaints only reflect your own stupidity.

6. It is so amazing how people cannot see the such OBVIOUS gimmick of Swoopo. How can you tell if the bidder is not one of them? And you have to pay money every time you bid. To me it is just waste of money and time. If I pay money, I should get merchandise like in ebay. Swoopo is worse than gambling my friend, stay away!

7. In response to…

Montana,

How would you know what’s going on with the plans by upper management that run the company? You do social marketing.
You are not going to have any clue of what is going on behind closed doors with those writing the checks.
Plain and simple. You are probably hired to work for them and not with them. That is just the reality of it.

Bill

Hello all, nice to “meet” you. My name is Montana and I work for Swoopo.com (in the US.) I manage their social media. I know many of you out there are skeptical of Swoopo, but it truly is a legit site; in the words of Hammer, “2 Legit 2 Quit!” Yes, we charge per bid, so we can cover the cost to provide our bidders with top-of-the-line products (products under warranty, I might add.)

I can guarantee Swoopo.com DOES NOT pay people inside the company to bid on products. If people didn’t win on our site, we wouldn’t have a business.

If you are having a hard time using Bid Butler, I suggest reading the information under our Help menu. Bid Butler is listed under Bidding (found on the left hand side.)

Our site has full disclosure. We are not trying to blindside anyone.

We, here at Swoopo, appreciate your opinion, and if you’d like to see more of our company, become a our fan on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @Swoopo or http://www.twitter.com/swoopo.

Thank you all.
Best,
~MT

8. While I disagree with many claiming swoopo is scam I am no fan of it. The concept is simple is more like a game a gambling one. You know the rules before you begin purchasing bid and spending them so you know their is a chance (a big one) that you may loose just like going to a bingo or something. But if you win you get a good price. Now they had something new if you loose and want to buy the item all the bids you placed are applied to the price. So if you bid 400 bids (\$240) on a \$600 and loose you have 2 choices. One write off those \$240 as a lost. Or spent \$360 more to get the item. I had give up on swoopo for now but I still believe is no scam.

9. Actually while I do not feel that swoopo is a scam their claim that the site operates closer to the rules of a ‘live auction’ than ebay.com for example is in fact false. Let me explain as if one were to attend an auction where an item worth say \$1000 with a guide price and previous sale price of \$200 were being offered at \$1 to start the bids and then the offers in .10 cent increments reached \$10 should one increase ones bid to \$100 then with such frantic activity at the lower level almost all interest would be cleaned out. Extending this one would then have two further bids ready at 200 and 400 for those with any remaining interest.
Swoop makes its business model work by ensuring that the item never really sells or is picked up by a dubious at best ‘winner’ as when analyzing the sales data over a period of time I notices that their item numbers for similar items do not increment, in other words the items assuming they exist are offered for sale multiple times under the guise of the ‘winner’ offering the goods back to the house for resale.
To ensure fairplay I would ensure that a third party have access to the serial numbers of items sold to ensure that the goods did actually leave the house system and were not simply a roulette wheel that doesnt stop while the house continues to take bids on the outcome.
So to claim that swoopo is more like a real auction than ebay is stretching the truth somewhat or admitting that the ‘bidbutler’ application doesnt function for example if I plug the values of 100, 200 and 400 into the system then there is not logical way that the item could sell at under 400 unless it were to me, actually this is not the case as the condition where this could happen is two fold. Firstly the item never reaches the target I have set and simply resets the auction which is where the recycled item numbers issue arises (shoddy programming at best I have to say to get caught that way and I do have the various numbers I used for this analysis). Secondly the item could stall anywhere and as the bidbutler application is sidelined by the sites programming rule that only allows increments of say .10 cent and as bidbutler is magnitudes away from that without a sufficient supply of ammunition ‘bids’ to move the price to the target then bidbutler is effectively nothing more than an automatic buyers limit. The third way to loose it that this could all be a scam of course however the first two are far more profitable to swoopo as in fact they are possible to perpetuate as demand for \$200 plasma TV’s, \$20 ipods, or \$300 Apple Macs it would seem is almost infinite.
So in summary the earlier postings are absolutely correct in that this is an auction of sorts however unlike the ebay model or the conventional live model in this paradigm swoopo controls buy, sell and market with no transparency at all, legal but barely and only until somebody enforces an audit of their time and sales data at which point the model will evolve in a way that a ponzi scheme collapses upon a real transparent audit, as even the early winners never see their trades only their profits and that combination of human nature and greed often sees them re invest.
That subtle fissure between human nature, greed, and common sense is where the conman makes his living…caveat emptor

10. Why do you need to “beat” swoopo ?

Why do you need to beat and outlaw things other people WANT to do ?

Who are you to say what it should be for them ??

You God, or What ??

11. Swoopo isn’t an outright scam. I have won some auctions and have had some of the lower dollar value items delivered.

It probably IS a Ponzi scheme. My TV is past due and their customer service won’t reply to inquiries about this. It appears they need to sell more bids to buy the items previously won.

Their shipping times will death spiral until they go out of business and the latest winners will get NOTHING!

They need to either take possession of items before auctioning them off or post a bond in the amount of won items. To do anything else is purely fraudulent. How can you sell something you don’t own?

Explain this one Swoopo employees. I am a big fan of your site and want you to succeed. There is no excuse to not ship in a timely manner and this will be your undoing if not rectified!

12. There is no way of knowing if bids are made internally to keep you bidding. Each of the items are being “auctioned” on each of the sites, therefore the time theory does not apply. Also you really have to have no commitments to win here as you dont know when the “auction” will finish.

The only sensible strategy is not to bid on an item until the last few seconds of the original “auction” time. Why anyone would bid before this is unknown to me.

I was looking at this site as a way of “buying” certain items, and have decided that there are far too many ways to run a scam, and that makes me suspicious. When a door is left open, someone is bound to walk through.

Someone is always offering a good genuine deal on the internet, I recently bought a £180 pound product for £115 including p&p by googling around.

13. There are many sites like swoopo now and many do actually have shill bidders, developers even sell swoopo clone scripts with autobidding robots in the backend to illegal shill real bidders. it’s pretty much criminal in my book, I recommend checking out the penny auction watchdog http://www.pennyauctionwatch.com to learn more about shoddy practices and to save your money from scams.

14. I have to thank you all for this forum. I stumbled across this “fascinating” site and I couldn’t put my finger on it until I read about the way these guys make money. BRILLIANT! These guys should really get the accolades they deserve for finding a way of making hundreds of percent profit on items sold. At first, I couldn’t understand it, albeit I had this indelible apprehension about spending ).60\$ per bid when my bids were only going to raise the auction by 0.12\$, or 0.06\$ etc. , that just seemed like a scam to me. Also, the clock resetting triggered some pertinent questions in my mind about the actual feasibility of winning at an auction. I am impressed at their genius though, and I’m sure everyone would feel the same if they thought of it first. I think it should be up to everyone individually if they want to participate in auction form or not. I don’t believe they are doing anything illegal.

15. Where’s the scam? They have come up with a BRILLIANT way to make money! After reading a lot of blogs and websites claiming Swoopo is a scam, I’ve realized one thing: a lot of the people making the noise have bid on an item and ended up not winning the auction.

Sure, Swoopo stands to make thousands of dollars on a digital camera they paid below retail for. However, if you’re the lucky bidder to win the auction and you’re able to purchase that camera at 50% off the retail value, GREAT! Just keep in mind that winning an auction is EXTREMELY HARD due to the fact that people LOVE bargains. Therefore there will be a lot of people bidding on the same inexpensive camera you are.

Why does everyone keep breaking down how much Swoopo is making? Do you go to a food store and complain that they’re making too much on milk???

16. I agree with ArgyJr. When you buy a greeting card at any store for \$2.99, you don’t care that the store only paid .08 cents for that card. Whether you know the markup or not, there’s not much you can do about it except shop around for a better price. That’s what Swoopo will offer, is a better price for a product. They do make a ton of money off people, but successful businesses do just that. It’s an interesting model, but something I will avoid. Maybe someone will create an auction site something like eBay, but allow the seller to capture some of the bidding fees. That would be a successful business model.

17. i see swoopo allows people to bid more times than allowed. you are allowed to win so many items in a specific color category. color is always by the auction number. so a red auction you are allowed 2 wins in 28 days. but alas i find albundy12 with 2 wins in the electronics area ( tv’s , computers, etc.) in 5 days and yet he is still bidding on cameras etc. so i emailed swoopo and complained will wait to see what they say about this. here are the auctions won and the current one he is bidding on
220444 won asus computer 18.4 ” on 9/22/2009
221691 won 40″ samsung tv on 9/26/2009

221710 currently bidding on nikon d5000 camera 9/27/2009

perhaps i am wrong on this and is my opinion and not saying fraud but something is wrong look for yourself. people need to complain if they bid on items and people allready used there wins in a category. complain to the attorny generals office in the united states and whatever organization covers consumers in there country

18. I think you guys are all dumb…swoop is most definitely not some scheme or gimmick…its gambling wrapped up in a whole new package. If swoopo is wrong then so should the lottery be and any casino. Yes you pay money to get something that is generally really expensive super cheap….this is the inverse of going to the casino which would be that you pay money to get a lot of money…and then what would you do if you won a lot of money? ..probably go buy something that is real pricey like a nice plasma tv. The point is that this is a new way of gambling.

19. I was reading these comments, saying to myself “These people are just upset because Swoopo is making so much money. Get over it!” I have been bidding on Swoopo for a while now, though never won anything, but never thought anything of it.

But then I read the comment about them releasing the Swoop It Now on the Austrian and German sites. So I got curious. I went to Swoopo.de and Swoopo.co.uk, and what do I see? My name, listed on an auction on each of those sites. Well, okay. It’s international. Everyone is bidding on it, right? No. What I was bidding on was a gaming computer. Only, it was completely different on each site. On the US site, I was fighting for an Acer Aspire
Predator G7710. On the DE site I was winning an Acer Predator G7200 Defender. And on the UK site, I was in the lead for a HP XW4600 Workstation. Another FRAUDULENT thing I noticed is the fact that there was NO DIFFERENCE between the price in Euros, Pounds, and US Dollars.

This is absolutely a fraud. It’s ridiculous!

20. @Corey – The reason you’re seeing different items on the different sites is because certain items available in the US are not as readily available in the UK, or in Germany, or Australia. They list a comparable item (generally, and in price). This is not fraud.

Also, the “Swoop it Now” feature IS available on the US site. I know this because I’ve used it a few times now. It’s not available for all items (they removed the option from gold auctions), but it’s there for most.

Swoopo is a risk…not a scam.

21. My friend told me about Swoopo today. I checked it out. Thought about it not very hard or very long and concluded that it’s an online pull tab game. The only difference is that there is no regulation or transparency as to whether or not that \$500 dollar winner is really still in the fish bowl. Think about it, each bid is a pull tab, and holds the promise of the big cash prize. The price of the pull tab is small, relative to the prize that could be won, and so psychologically it makes sense to the relatively feeble minded and easy to manipulate human that they might just get a “great deal.” As soon as you combine low price of entry with the promise of great deal, presto, the masses flock to part with their money like, well, fools. And, people have been making money off of fools for centuries.

So I say kudos to swopo! I mean seriously, does any one really need any of the crap they are selling anyway?

If there is any downside, I personally would rather see all that money go to a more noble cause or charity, but let’s face it, it’s just entertainment. Afterall, you could just spend your money at the county fair trying to win a velvet elvis. But then, you’d have to get off the couch…

22. @Lucas – Regarding the Swoop It Now, I’m aware that it’s available now in the US. This blog was done before it was, however, and a comment from back then is what got me curious.

Anyway, the computers are not at all comparable. “The Predator gaming PC from Acer offers extraordinary performance within an expressive, robotic-like exterior. Inside this monster gamer you will find an Intel Core i7 940 2.93GHz processor with Hyperthreading for a whopping 8 CORES of processing, and 6GB of DDR3 PC8500 triple channel memory (expandable to 12GB). This monster is driven by Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit.There is plenty of storage space with the 1TB hard drive.”

The computer on .de has Phenom™ X4 9750 Quad-Core at 2.4GHz, 4 gigs of ram, 640gb hard drive.

And of course, the piece of crap on .co.uk: “This HP desktop features a 64-bit 3.16Ghz Intel processor, 2GB RAM, 500GB Hard Drive & Windows Vista Business”

Regardless of how it may look, or how they may spin it, these computers are not at ALL comparable. Nor are they the same. I am getting my bids beaten by someone bidding on a DIFFERENT ITEM.

24. I completely agree with DrReaper. I’ve been watching swoopo for a while now, and admit I’ve bought a few bid packages, and lost most of the bids, with no items won. BUT, what how did I bid? What did I bid on? I spent them on “impulse” items, e.g. a ps3 for £3.50 – “oh that’s cheap, I’ll bid on it”. I didn’t research what I was bidding on at all, and ended up wasting my bids.

“Swoop (buy) it now” is now available in the UK too, and this is what is the important part of this site to the customer – ONLY BID IF YOU INTEND TO GO ALL THE WAY AND BUY THE ITEM”!!!!!! Really cannot stress that enough. Don’t get drawn into the £100 bid + 500 bids spent scenario unless you really want the item! Otherwise you will lose, and lose BIG.

Example, I want to buy a macbook pro, retails at around £820 from most online shops, £900 from apple store. On swoopo, it’s £899 to swoop it, which is more than most online shops, however, lets work out what the cost to buy that in bids is – £900 = 1800 bids (50p a bid), £250 buys 560 bids (3 packages = 1680 bids, for £750, 120 bids = ~£50), price for 1800 bids = £800 if you use them all and Swoop it now.

Total price = £800 plus delivery, for an £820-£900 item, well you haven’t lost anything, but potentially could get the item for £100, £200, hell even spending 1000 bids on it (£500) would be a HUGE saving on the item.

Bottom line, the people that lose out are those that don’t really want an item, and are looking for cheap deals. My advice to anyone reading this is, do your research first. Only bid on items you actually are willing to BUY at full swoop it now price, and only enter bidding late on (e.g. don’t start at £0.00 for a £1000 computer, it’ll easily go for £50 at least, and you’d have wasted all your bids).

25. LOL, I just found this swoopo page, and thought for a second, so good, it cant be true and so the point is simple that it isnt true! I wont waste my time to spend per bid 60cents i.e. if one needs about 200bids to even have a slight chance to win something, if at all. Because I am still searching for the blogs of people who actually BOUGHT something from them for a very low price (including bidding costs)!

BUT the idea of swoopo is pretty good, give people a toy and the illusion to get something cheap, whilst each bid costs them money. Its based on the stupidity of people and there must be a lot around of that type of species!

Conclusion: IF that is not fraud, NOTHING is! Just that legally most likely nothing cant be done about it!

26. I should have done some research before wasting my \$24.00 on a scam. I signed on swoopo yesterday and had lost three bids before it dawned on me that I was doing something stupid. I used the bidbutler, but the stupid thing put all my 10 bids in at once and at the wrong time. It’s a fraud!

27. Interesting idea but greed does tend to get the best of us and it shows on Swoopo. The only way for prices to come down are for other sites to create similar ideas and charge less per bid than Swoopo does. You would think that eventually the cost per bid would get very close to the price increment as more and more sites try to emulate the Swoopo game.

28. Hello All, I was searching for some gold to buy and was searching the net. Up came this ad from Swoopo, (whom I never heard of before) It advertised a ounce of gold that sold on the auction site for around \$33.00. So I decided to go to the site, I read all the rules and agreed to them, after seeing the other auction end at \$33.00, I thought, Oh well thats not that much. So I took a chance on it. I come to find out that the auction I was bidding on was actually taking all my money. I purchased bid pack one after the other to stay in the auction. I wound up spending \$600.00 in bid packs and got nothing. I stayed with the auction and bidding every chance I could, from the beginning to almost the end. I had to go to work the next day and had to get to bed, I couldn’ stay with it, so I set the 50 max bid buttler and wouldn’t you know it. The auction ended as soon as it took all of my bids. I feel betrayed and my stomach is hurting so much, as \$600.00 is a paycheck. yes, I was stupid, I should have quit long ago before letting it get so high, but I thought I have actually invested alot of money in this I can’t let it go and I just continued to purchase more bid packs to stay in the auction. I have learned my lesson and WILL never do this again. I’m sticking to EBay!!! Where I get something for my money…..I just wished I would of checked this out before doing it to see what other people have to say about it. STAY AWAY!

29. The AIS idea is flawed and may I say, it shows the stupidity (idealism) of humans has no limits. Anyways, here is why the idea is flawed, say I am a bidder on swoopo and I know about the AIS. Also, let’s assume that it is only AIS people and me bidding on an item. Then I can beat the AIS group, trying to beat swoopo by outbidding the AIS only on their LAST bid, at which point the AIS gives up their \$ and I win the auction with a single bid. To achieve this I should monitor all the auctions which have a price close to the give-up point of AIS.

30. On some items Swoopo will up the time on a popular item, in the last 2 minutes or so to 20 minutes or more A pure scam!

31. Swoopo and all other similar sites are ILLEGAL. When I first saw this site, I studied it for a while. I mean at first glance it seems very clever and legit, only making money off the greed of people. However there are a couple of things swoopo does that bothers people and some others that makes this site illegal. The first thing is time limit. Swoopo claims to be an auction site but its not. If you go to an actual auction, there is no extended time, there is only a time alotted and thats it. Ten seconds to go, the auctioneer never says, ok wait everybody let me go to the next town and find out if anybody wants to get in on this, or let me call my friends in mojave to find out if they want to bid. So why isn’t there a time limit on swoopo? Furthermore, in equivalent to what swoopo is doing, after the auctioneer decides to keep everybody waiting while he goes to another town to find bidders, he actually offers the product to the new bidders at a staggering discount or low price. Thats like filling a room with 100 bidders, bidding on a product of \$100 then turning around and offering it to another person for \$10. Thats not the definition of an auction, its illegal. So the question is how did something worth \$100 suddenly become \$10? If you were a retailer, you can do this, but not if you are an auction.
In swoopo’s defense they will say, well people were paying to bid. However they is a difference between paying to bid and actually bidding, two different things. Here is where swoopo starts to actually become a gambling site. In an auction, everything is equal, each bidder has the same chance as every other to win an item, not the same for swoopo sites, where a new bidder can come in and spend considerably less to get the same item. This makes swoopo sites a Gambling site. The reason why swoopo is actually a fraud is because they advertised as an auction site, not a gambling site, which is very strong grounds for lawsuits, no where on the site does it say anything about gambling, and consistently claims to be an auction. I’m not a lawyer but if I were one Id take down this site faster than people loose money there. My advice to anyone who lost money to these sites is to find a good lawyer and file suit.

32. You are an idiot. Those people bid on Swoopo, a brilliant site, out of their own free will. The way to “beat” Swoopo? Just don’t buy bids. If you want to gamble, do it, and know that you may get a great deal or you may get nothing. No “ASB” would ever work or be worth the effort.

33. scam: a dishonest scheme; a fraud.

Swoopo is not a scam because it is not dishonest. They tell you exactly how the process works in the giant link to the video tour. Those people are retarded if they buy bids before understanding how it works. It is not Swoopo’s job to watch out for retards. People need to be personally responsible for how they spend their money. Leave Swoopo alone to operate its business.

34. @Wierdo Swoopo changed their system whereby you can now buy the item if you lose the auction with the money they spent on bids deducted. This probably means that you’ll find more and more people sticking with the auction who were already going to by the product anyway and so keep in the auction. Pit two of these types of people and you’ll get stupid figures like this. There are a few rules like this one that skew the outcomes. Another is that the person who came second gets all their bids back. It just causes biddings to stay in longer.

35. even if swoopo is not considered a “scam” people should not be “playing” as no one wins in this scenario except swoopo. all the comments listed here prove that point in one way or another. i am one person who won’t be duped into losing money.

36. some website

are complete fraud. They place their insiders to bid and at the end their people win with

the Genuine members losing. Having some pity on genuine members they let them win some cheap

items like Wii remote controller, Gift cards, etc
Also, I visited at http://www.pennyauctioninfo.com and there too I found the reviews about

various website. yesterday, their site was down for some maintenance but now, its up.

37. I have a group of three people and we all bid on the same thing. we all put in \$33.33 and spent it on the things we want but we do it on the same product so we are guaranteed to win.

38. As with all new services, educating consumers and arming them with appropriate expectations is key. Much of the criticism penny auctions receive stems from the fact that few people win and everyone expects to get a great deal without much effort. Noone can fault the auction sites for channeling these human needs. It’s called business. It is up to consumers to educate themselves by doing their homework, such as checking out review sites like http://www.pennyauctionguide.com. It’s just like everything in life: luck favors the prepared.

39. Pingback: Jane Talks Tech!

40. i think that you are right , players that play at swoopo are a bunch of idiots, but YOU are too, you are saying that the humans are the machine on swoopo, im a programmer, and i did a swoopo clone and it has a bot that always doesnt let the auction ends EVEN when there is no one to bid on it!! So swoopo of course is doing the same.

41. I agree with most of the posts here, it does seem like a scam. However, you really do need to be bidding on things your actually going to buy in the end. I’ve The first time I bid on swoopo I got lucky and won a PS3 for \$78 and paid about \$40 in bids. Then I wasted another \$50 trying to win a Nintendo DSi, and failed. That was back in November 09 and they didn’t allow you to buy the item outright. Then I got stupid in December and was bidding on two things, a 41 inch LED TV and a Sony PSP. I got lucky on the PSP and picked it up for \$4.92 + 11 shipping, but lost over \$100 on the TV (which was still going strong a day later). Then I lost another Nintendo DSi auction, but I had the option of buying it for a price that included what I used in bids. I did the same thing for another PS3, and a PS3 game. I ended up buying those items outright instead of wasting my money completely. I don’t care what swoopo says about the esitmated price on the stuff they “auction”, it’s always over inflated. But, I’d just rather pay \$10 more for an item them to waste hundreds and get nothing. In the end I learned (like others have said) only bid on the items you are really going to buy and don’t even start bidding until WAY after the auction has started. Do some research on the average going rate of items you want and note what time each of them that sells for cheap. Treat swoopo like you would a casino. Trust me … you may get lucky a few times, but in the end the house always wins. They eventually will get whatever you though you were going to save and then some. Plus, it gets worse the more novice people bid on items, because they don’t know how it works.

42. If it were true that swoopo was bidding against there self for each bid that they placed they don’t collect the .75 cents. Example \$100.00 gift card will normally sell for about \$2.20 grossing a profit of 220 x \$.75 = \$165.00 + \$2.20 for a total of \$167.20 – \$100.00 they paid for the gift card .the net profit would be \$167.20 – \$100.00 or \$67.20 . If half of the bids were fake bids ( witch would be highly illegal )it then would be 110 x \$.75 = \$82.50 plus the \$1.10 for a gross of \$83.60 . Now take away the cost of the card \$83.60 – \$100.00 for a net lose of \$83.60 – \$100.00 or -\$16.40 (loss). I am not saying that they cant juggle the numbers but it is not how so many of you think . The bulk of penny auctions are run honest and do make a considerable profit. They play the odds ( witch are in there favor about 70% ) they just relie on human nature and greed.

43. Hi. Just want to tell you all that I love swoopo. No I’m not a shill but feel free to think so.

I have spent a little over \$1,500 in bids and I have won the following: 4 1.5 TB hard drives, 1 macbook pro, 1 canon camera. I sold the hard drives and the mac and I netted with a free canon SLR camera. Worked for me. Plus I still have about 900 in bonus bids I earned from buying bidpacks with coupons I got directly from Swoopo newsletters and from winning auctions. I lost a few auctions here and there but overall I came out even.

I don’t use bots and I don’t spend entire saturdays. I developed a strategy that works for me but until I’ve won enough I’m not yet ready to share. All I can say is that you have be a student of how this game works and if you’re smart you’ll figure out what works for you.

Don’t play if you don’t have disposable income. You will hurt your bank account badly by bidding w/o really thinking things though.

44. I have been watching Swoopo recently myself, and while I haven’t bid yet.. I can say that it’s extremely appealing to my human nature. The website appeals directly to the ‘something for nothing’ mentality. I don’t know that I would go so far as saying it’s outright gambling, but to ignore the high risk and low odds of winning is naive.

The main reason I wanted to post was that I had been looking at different web businesses to start, and the Swoopo model is interesting. There are many custom turn key script solutions availbale online (from \$500 and up) that basically offer identical functionality to the Swoopo.com website.

Why am I bringing this up? ** EVERY ** clone script I have seen features automated bidding bots that that allow the website owners to ensure they don’t lose money. Also even if the company doesn’t officially pay their employees to bid on the auctions, I find it unlikely that it isin’t encouraged unofficially. I’ve worked for companies that do online auctions of products on ebay, and shill bidding was common at all of them.. “unofficially” of course. God forgive me. Swoopo is something you shouldn’t get involved in, whether buying or starting a biz.