So there is this new site on the internet called swoopo that is essentially a combination of ebay and a slot machine . It seems harmless enough to begin with, until you actually go and look at how it works. But first, lets look at some previous bids that have taken place.
If you dont want to click on that, some of the interesting things that you might see are:
Wii Fit | Nintendo WiiFit + Balance Board Original Price: 89.99 Auction Price: 80.40 Saving: 0%
Asus Eee PC 1000 10”… Original Price: 699.99 Auction Price: 338.85 Saving: 14%
You may be wondering if their math is wrong… no it isn’t, and no I did not make these numbers up, nor did I photoshop them into the picture, you can go look for yourself if you want. You may now be wondering how a 700 dollar item, sold for less than half of what it is worth gives you a 14% saving. Well, that is because of the way that their site works:
- Bidding on our auctions starts at just 15c, with no reserve prices.
- The price only goes up by 15c with each bid placed.
- If a bid gets placed in the final moments, we extend the auction by up to 20 seconds.
- There’s a small charge [75 cents] for each bid placed: this helps us offer you such amazing bargains.
Amazing bargins indeed. The problem is that they only appear to be such amazing bargins at the time, until you see how much you actually spent on an item. If each bid costs you 75 cents, they only need for there to be 933.32 bids to break even… well if they were giving the item away for free. That is generally not the case, so it is in reality an 85 cent bid, which means that they only need to get 823.5 bids to break even. Which would put the price of the item at around: 123.52. So, on the 700 dollar item they actually made quite a bit of money, 1333.11 dollars (or there abouts). The other problem with this is that every time that someone bids, the ‘auction’ gets an additional 10-20 seconds added on to its time, this gives everyone else extra time to outbid you, meaning more money for swoopo.
The only way to beat them it seems, is not to play.