Swoopo Looks to Set the Record Straight

By  |  Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Our original post on Swoopo generated a lot of interest, and a good deal of it was negative. In the interest of fairness, we invited Swoopo to give its side of the story on our pages, as well as explain parts of its business that may have caused some initial criticism.

Chris Bauman is the company’s business development manager here in the US, whose job seems now to include educating the public on the company’s auction practices. He argues that our view of online auctions has been shaped by the rise of eBay.

“It’s the biggest problem we have found,” he told Technologizer. “In a real auction, the auctioneer calls out the price, not the bidder automatically bidding the maximum amount he or she wants to pay.”

The timer for auctions works in a similar way. When somebody makes a bid, no matter how close it is to the end of the auction, the time goes up, usually by fifteen seconds. This is similar to giving people a last chance to rebid as is done by auctioneers.

Bauman said that these and other misconceptions about how Swoopo works has led the company to develop a new section of the site which would offer a “beginners auction.” Participants would be able to use this area to learn what is obviously a drastically different online auction format.

“Believe it or not, we really want more people to win,” he added, saying the company was hiring to help support more auctions over the coming months. “My job is to get people to understand it better.”

I did notice that a lot of our commenters in the original post did bring up the issue of the pay-to-bid model that Swoopo uses, and in some cases allows it to make quite a bit of money. I made sure to ask Mr. Bauman about this.

He did acknowledge that the auctions we all pointed out were correct, and that the company does make a healthy profit on some of them. But overall, Swoopo claims it is currently losing money on about 70 percent of auctions.

Bauman says the most common items it can’t cover usually are items such as DVDs, watches, and flat screen televisions. However, other items through the pay-to-bid system allow it to profit, and thus stay afloat.

Appropriately using a baseball analogy (it is the playoffs), he said “Some look like a home run, but those cover when we strike out.”

On the company’s performance in the US market, Bauman could not give specific user numbers, although said that the site went from practically nothing at launch about three weeks ago to 20,000 site visits per day, about half of them coming from returning users.

That’s not too bad, although we must also consider that Swoopo has siginficantly ramped up its advertising efforts: in fact, the company’s ads have even begun to appear more frequently here on Technologizer.

(I wonder if that may be a direct effort by Swoopo to combat what it may have seen as negative coverage, but i do digress.)

Before we parted, Mr. Bauman was sure to point out that the site is for real. “It’s not a scam,” he said in response to Swoopo’s critics. “We are incredibly legit. You control your outcome.”

 
146 Comments


Read more: ,

142 Comments For This Post

  1. Dan Knight Says:

    There’s something terribly wrong when Swoopo is selling $80 cash and someone paid over $105 for it – that’s insane!

    As far as I can tell, they also charge $1 per bid, start auctions at 15¢, and increment by 15¢. Thus an item that closes at $15 is also bringing in $100 in bid fees. This may not be illegal, but it’s certainy a scam.

  2. Get Yo Facts Straight Says:

    There not selling $80 cash for the final price of the bid, it’s a 100% off auction.

    Which means the bidder does not pay “ANYTHING”, “ZERO”, “ZILCH”…..
    (The bidder does pay $1/bid thou, bad for an addict. 20 bids = $20)

    Anyways Swoopo gets it money from how many people bid on that auction, or any auction at $1/bid. So if your bidding on that free $80, then at $105 (winning auction price) at .15 increments means that item was bid on 700 times = $700 – ($80) = $620 profit. Great buisness model. Thats how they can afford to lose auctions horibly. Can you win cheaply?????

  3. Thomsky Says:

    MONEY!! Thats it! This site puts even money for auction to woo greedy and naive bidders- but what’s on my mind is, that with a bid buttler bidding on behalf of someone from Swoopo the site itself can keep the auction (read: charging bidders for bids) alive as long as it wants and looses nothing! This system is open for manipulation by the site manager(s)! By offering money for “free” it says: Go on, bid and bid and bid! At the end a bidder, whom no one knows will win- can u be sure its not the Swoopo itself? After the auction was kept going on for long enough make good profit it either lets someone to “win” or, if there is no bidder left, wins it ITSELF, therefore not only now loosing anything! And w “winner” is declared, baiting even more people into this scam.
    And if I am right, it really cost them nothing, once they pocketed the money from bidders and winning their own merchandise they put it on auction again, and again and shave all naive bidders off!

  4. MC D Says:

    I may get the “aha” feeling when I finally win something on this site but I have to say my initial reaction is not too good.

    Seems multiple names win most things and I’m sure they get the item for a good price and then resell on eBay, craigslist etc which means there are full time auctioneers on the site. I know the co. will say Bid Butler alleviates that but it doesn’t.

    Seeing PS3′s sell for over $300 means the company is making 4-5x the price of the PS3 due to the $1=15c increments plus the final auction price.

    Plus the confusing (or model altering if your the website) start up means a number of useless bids (yet they each cost $1) from newbies!

    As I say if I have that aha moment and get a great deal I’ll let you know until then I’m sure we’ll see a huge influx of new users as it gets buzz about a “ps3 for $29″. The more users that come in in the hope of gaining bargains the even more chance the masses will move to the next “big thing” leaving Swoopo.com pretty redundant as the bizz will quickly be replaced with a “cant win there” mentality.

  5. marcg Says:

    Yeah. I watched the site all night. You don’t know if the company is taking the wins. Just look at the long ‘bidding history’ list. Every name on there is a buck for the company. If they eventually win the merchandise, the entire thing is profit for them with no merch cost.

    Seems unlikely this isn’t a scam. It would be too easy for them to scam the system. And if it isn’t a scam now, it could easily (and undetectably) turn into one if the going gets rough for them.

    And the point made by the last poster is just too spot on: they seem to be making their money from the bids of confused new users who don’t understand what is happening. So even if it is technically legit, they are taking advantage of a system they purposely don’t explain to the new user.

    Just try to use the ‘Help’ section to understand how the site works.

    You have to ‘google’ to figure it out. And half the google links are Swoopo’s PR flacks doing internet damage control. They seem to be spending thousands of dollars writing articles and doing interviews with tech blogs to make themselves look legit. For fifty bucks they could explain the process in the sites own “Help” section.

    This things a scam.

  6. Mick Says:

    What are the odds that Swoopo doesn’t have a room set up with employees who just drive bidding for these auction items?

    You get 2 actual customers who drop 100 bids ($100) each on a TV, then one swoopo employee with an unlimited number of bids who actually ends up “winning” the item.

    There isn’t nearly enough transparency for this thing to be legit in my opinion.

  7. Scam??I think not... Says:

    I have only two things to say to everyone here… The website is not a scam, I happen to be one of swoopo’s winners of an auction and yes, I did receive my item. I can tell you that it’s not scam or a joke at all. I went on the site for the first time and won. Secondly, for all the people out there that judge a book by it’s cover, I suggest you check it out for yourself because I was a new user and won something first try. I’m tired of all people that are falsettos to this site. If you want to know, check it out first hand and actually try something. As the saying goes “It never hurts to try” and if you want to complain and not try to even understand… “You can’t get blood from a stone”.

  8. Jerry Summers Says:

    Swoopo is a defenite scam. Check out this 300 bid card that I watched goto $576.75. I watched bidding continually go higher and higher for 45 minutes. Why would anyone pay $576.75 for a $300.00 bid card they can purchase anytime from swoopo for $300.00.
    http://www.swoopo.com/auction/300-freebids-voucher/112354.html

    If people still think it is for real after seeing this then they need to stay on swoopo and give them all their money cause their too stupid to even possess money. By the way there was a TOM TOM 930 GPS that went for $23 and a Sony Playstation 3 for $83 at the same time people were fighting for this 300 bid card.

  9. Paul Says:

    @ Jerry Summers:

    The reason you don’t understand why people are bidding $576 for a voucher for 300 bids is because you’re not understanding the different types of auctions. I joined and watched items before I bid or even bought bids to see how this works before I spend money on bids. The auction on question is a “100% off” auction. That means the bidding can go up to any price and the winner only pays only for the bids he used to win and, if applicable, shipping.

  10. J Says:

    The best solution to this type of website would be to get enough of people (millions?) to not bid on an item, and allow one person to bid on and win the product. This would kill the website’s profit, and everyone could take a turn winning and item for $1.
    I know this would never work, because people are greedy and would never work together on such a solution.

  11. John Says:

    It is quite apparent that most of the comments I have read so far are from those who did not research Swoopo very well. Depending on the type of auction the terms change. A good link to checkout is http://www.swoopo.com/help.html#help_index_45. It goes over some of the terminology used in these auctions. I have been watching and like most, I have my concerns. The biggest being whether there is any bonafide winners. On the plus side, the business model is rather ingenious and you can see easily how they can afford to give bids, money or items away at rock bottom prices due to the amount of profit they can make on other items. They should be making enough money legitimately that there would be no need to scam but that does not mean they aren’t. I just think that would be foolish. It appears to be a bit of a cross between auction, gambling and brokering. Since they make money for every $0.15 increment on the bid you can see how if the bid was $50.00 could be worth $333 to them but whoever wins the bid could make out great and get a $100 plus item for much lower. The only thing he winner lost was how many bids they invested in the bid. And with Fixed price and 100% off auctions it gets better since if you win one of these you get it for the fixed price or free, you just lose what money you invested in bids regardless of the final bid. that’s how you can see an auction for $80 cash go for more than $80 but still be a good deal for the winner as the cash auctions are always 100% off auctions which mean if you win you pay nothing but what you invested in bids to win. Great concept because in most cases the website gets more money than they are losing and they more than make up on the ones they lose money on. So if anyone can get any proof that a regular non-employee of Swoop has won, that would help or if an accredited website has researched and shows this to be legit, I’d love to try it. Until then I will watch for anyone to actually have proof that it is fraud or legit.

  12. David Says:

    Swoopo is legit. Can say this as I have participated and won in their auctions and have received their products (most of which come from Amazon). They charge for bids and win big on some items and lose big on others – you control your own destiny. Initially I purchased 300 bids for $200 and quickly used them up only to purchase another 300 bids and finally won with about 100 bids left. I then spent about a day watching how the bids and bidding went and then purchased 750 bids for $500 and won quite a few items. Note, you can only win 10 items in a month – you are blocked from bidding till after 30 days to let other people win. Having won 5 items, I spent another $500 for 750 bids and won another 5 items and have 305 bids left till next month. I have about $2200 invested ($400 was my initial donation and $400 in purchases) and have 3 high end watches, 2 Laptops, Sony ipod touch, and a couple movies. Retail value is close to $5K (so it has a street value of say $3K). So for me, it is legit – you just have to use your bids wisely. My best was a ipod Touch for just under $100. Like most things, be smart. There are great deals out there and if your emotional and bid silly – you can quickly waste your money. Not a scam and not gambling.

  13. auctionengine Says:

    anyway everyone can decide, wants play or not

  14. Eugene Says:

    From a bit of my research … I think they are a fraud ….
    Here is the example..

    http://www.swoopo.com/auction/sony-vaio-vgn-fw140e-16-4-core2duo-vista/104131.html

    http://www.swoopo.co.uk/auction/acer-aspire-8920g-18-4-core-2-duo-notebo/104131.html

    notice that the bidders have the same names and the prices are identical … the only difference one is UK site one is US site and the currency is different :)

  15. LaLaLand Says:

    Yeah, that really looks like something is wrong. How greedy they can be. They make enough to at least “try” to be honest.

  16. Philosophiæ Doctor Says:

    Swoopo is not an auction site with a gimmick, it is a gambling site with an auction-like gimmick. For $1, you are purchasing a ticket that allows you to win the item for the given price if nobody else purchases another $1 ticket for the same item in a given time frame. Since the price goes up only nominally with the purchase of each $1 ticket, you are essentially gambling that nobody else wants to take the same bet as you.

    Let’s say winning saves you $200 on a product at the current nominal price. You should bet only if there is a 1 in 200 chance that nobody else will take the substantially the same bet in the next interval. This is very hard to judge, but is quantifiable based on the current nominal price of the item. (If the nominal price is more than V/2 times the bid increment, where V is the value of winning, in the absence of other information about betting trends it is certainly a poor bet. In the example of winning a $200 savings, if the nominal price is more than 100 times the bid increment, it is certainly a poor bet. It is likely a poor bet if the nominal price is anything like that much.) The value of your bet has VERY little to do with the stated price of the item (which will most likely be quite low) and ALMOST EVERYTHING to do with the likelihood that someone else will take the same bet. (I say almost everything because the dynamics of the game change slightly as the nominal price increases, but only with the relatively slow change in nominal price compared to the $1 bids.)

    This is a form of gambling, and the mathematics bear that assessment out.

    Attorneys General are welcome to contact me for technical assistance in assessing whether the Swoopo game is an illegal lottery in their state. I have no personal interest in this matter other than the academic question of whether this is a form of gambling. I am both an academic with advanced training in statistical methods and a recreational gambler with verifiable winnings at the poker table.

    Please contact me at the following anonymized e-mail address:
    [email protected]

  17. You Know Says:

    Honestly, it’s only a matter of time before this site is shut-down. When you go to sign-up, it already has a good 5-7 states that will not let you participate. The thing is, nobody knows about this site yet. Wait until they do… it will be gone. Be patient. I hope they throw these people in jail.

  18. waynoworld Says:

    I’m a new Swoopo user, and I admit to getting carried away on some of the auctions. However, I have won 2 different things (free bids – which were given back to me as the winner, in addition to the ‘free bids’ I won .. and a wii video game which cost me under $16 in total (including the bids I made, using a $15 ‘welcome’ coupon.)

    These experiences lead me to believe the site is legit.

    Now things may change.

    I placed bids on a ’100%’ auction for an Apple laptop, Auction ID: 118535. This is an auction where there is NO CHARGE for the item – the only cost to the winner is for the bids.

    In this auction, I was outbid (came in ‘second’) by someone using the Bid Butler feature. If you look at the auction, it’ll show the winner placed 3226 purchased bids and used 42 free bids. Quite an investment for a laptop.

    http://www.swoopo.com/auction/apple-macbook-mb466ll-a-13-3-inch-laptop/118535.html

    Today, I received an email from ‘Telebid’ using a Yahoo mail account stating the following:

    ====
    Apple MacBook MB466B/A 13.3-Inch Laptop I am very sorry for disturbing you ! I need to sell it because the winning bidder was unable to purchase it. Just reply at this message with your best offer if you are still interested to buy it. Thank You !
    ====

    Remember .. this was a 100% auction – and I’m being given an opportunity to purchase this laptop that I didn’t win due to the winner’s ‘inability to pay for it”?

    If this email did originate from Swoopo, this raises several concerns regarding the rigging of the bidding via created customers.

    If this email did not originate from Swoopo, A MUCH GREATER CONCERN is the exposure of my personal information to a 3rd party.

    I’ve sent this information to Swoopo and have yet to receive an answer (only been one day – so I’m trying to be patient here).

    If this is a ‘legit’ email due to the ‘discovery’ that the winner was not ‘playing by the rules’, I would expect Swoopo to refund all bids for this item (due to the inappropriate participation of the winner) — and ‘hopefully’ award the item to the second place bidder (which, of course, is me ;-)

    I look forward to any comments from Chris Bauman.

  19. Mike Powers Says:

    @Eugene:

    That’s a good find, but look at the auction number on both. It’s the same because it’s the same auction. Take this example:

    http://www.swoopo.co.uk/auction/wii-nintendo-console-wii-sports/119650.html
    http://www.swoopo.com/auction/wii-nintendo-console-wii-sports/119650.html

    Same item, except in the UK its at half the number because their currency is worth twice as much as ours. Their bids go up by 0.07 and ours by 0.15

    In your case it was a penny auction, so the price goes up by 0.01 no matter what. Since in the UK each 0.01 is worth 2 cents, the final price is twice as much there, so it makes sense that the laptop they are bidding off is worth twice as much (even though most of the money is spent in the bids). It’s kinda funny though that two people are bidding on two different things.

  20. Dave Says:

    Hi Mike,

    Nice reply. It’s a good case that you point out. I have heard that there are some differences in shipping too; one case, a person did not receive the specific product they were bidding on. I do not believe that on Swoopo it ever indicates that different countries are bidding on different products. I believe it is a worldwide auction, and everyone is bidding in the same house.

    Just my two pennies, and I hope it helps. Also, I think you have a great point about the Euro vs the Dollar. It’s all relative to the currency that’s being paid, so in reality, it all works out the same for Swoopo, so why would they care where their money comes from? They still get the same exchange rate as us.

    Well, if you guys are looking for some more help in the Swoopo auctions I recently put an eBook out on my website (shameless plus, http://www.beatswoopo.com ) Feel free to check it out and please do not hesitate to email me at [email protected] or [email protected]

    Cheers and good luck bidding!

    -Dave

  21. Kerrie Says:

    Now that’s a scam charging people 19.99 for tips on how to win on swoopo.

  22. John Says:

    Mike Powers, i would believe Eugene’s links were the same auction if it was in fact the same auction. Take a look at the product being sold in them. One is a Sony laptop, the other is an Acer. Looks like a scam to me.

  23. Kerri Says:

    Does anyone know of a auction site that sells cheap laptops that are not scams? Am looking for one for kids… Thanks

  24. slantedeye Says:

    To me, SWOOPO is nothing more than a betting site with the last one win the product. I am surprise that so far nobody take any action on this, especially online getting is illegal here in the US, at least that is my understanding anyway. First, you buy the token to bet on the product and along the way if you win then good you pay for that price (hope that you still come out ahead) if not you loose all your token and timie to buy some more.

  25. williamhhh Says:

    So I just won a network router worth 130 usd. as i just started yesterday, it took me 33 bids to finally win something, total. the trick, yes, there is a trick. it only took me 3 bids to actually win the router itself. i’ll give you a hint: see what others are doing.

    so i spent in total: on bids: 20+50== 70. (router is 9.95sh+ 1.95final price) = net amt 82 USD on a 130 router.
    not bad for my second day right? thank God. I thought I wouldn’t get anything back.

    now when i get it in the mail i’ll let y’all know. best of luck

    will

  26. Liam Says:

    Reply to what Eugene Says: I never noticed that. Both items prices on Swoopo look exactly the same apart from the ticketola though. Will go and have another look, site does look very fancy.

  27. Liam Says:

    A post on the other thread read ‘It’s JUST like playing slot machines’ wll i couldnt agree more its about getting the tickets before someone bids on the ticketola however i dont like the bidbutler though on swoopo

  28. MaddyDaddy Says:

    Swoopo is gambling. federal law read that if you make a wager, and risk losing all, or even a portion of that bet, without winning something, its gambling!!!

    Untill swoopo gets shut down, theyare still raking in the cash. So what is one to do?? USA has strict intenet gaming laws, and yet…these people can still buy bids,a dn play..through paypal. I suggest a move on paypal, and stop them from being able to accept the money, untill they cahnge it. I also researched the site, and clone sites. Thers an autobidder program in there..meaning if the set price they want to at least sell for( making the set amount of money from bids placed)..the autobidder will place bids, and keep the clock going….This is why you would see a bidder sometimes placing well more bids on one item, than its even worth!!!! Its their auto bidder…. Thers upto 200 different users created, to attempt you from figuring out the identity of the fake users. This info cam from the programmer of the site, that made the clone…..

    whats legal about that? Nothing!!

  29. MaddyDaddy Says:

    this is another forum that i have read through. VERY INTERESTING>>>I WAS RIGHT!!!!

    He writes:
    “I used to work for the company, and I was recently fired for letting a couple of friends of mine win bids. I was paid to keep auctions “alive” in order to improve profitability. Save your money people.”
    This was posted within the last few days..

  30. Bon Says:

    It shows all these recently ended bids with these amazing discounts… but how do we know they are even real? I see a username and a price with no indication a real auction took place and a real person won it. Seems fishy to me.

  31. Gmaniewing 4 bd wars at te same time Says:

    I have only been on the site a few days. I am rather intelligent and figured out, they should stay legit on the selling side because they are raking in the bucks. Watched a TV bidding, Cost of TV even at retail is 1300, they made over 9000 in bids. How could they not want to sell things to people. What I did notice and bothered me, I watched 4 bids at the same time and noticed that the same people were autobidding on all the items, now how can that becoincidence. I believe they do drive up the bids, The rest….who knows. But I want one of those $100 TV’s!!!

  32. williamhhh Says:

    So all, I promised to keep you updated on my progress. Previously, I won a network router on my second day of trying, after about 70 dollars spent on bids (this was before they changed bid prices). Pretty good so far, so I played some more. Yes, think of this site as a card game.
    Anyways, about a week after that and another 100 dollars, I won another thing, a watch.

    Took about a week to process, but sure enough, I got my two packages in the mail, via 2nd day airmail from UPS. And the watch is amazing!!!

    So just be careful and know yourself, your limits, your push buttons; otherwise this is no better than the lottery,.

  33. QuadMonz Says:

    Hm, i found something similar to swoopo, look at http://biddingmadness.com . Their auctions are quicker than swoopos. Is it scam or what?

  34. QuadMonz Says:

    Also i will spread the word, there will be more of them, auctions like swoopo, i previously mentioned the biddingmadness.com, so far i didn’t find more but try out the google search “+wanted +swoopo.com +clone” and you see :(

  35. williamhhh Says:

    Hi all,

    So this is my third update. But I mostly want to caution against people who are indeed throwing their money, period.

    Watching an auction for 1000 dollars, I just saw someone bid 910 bids in one swipe. One swipe. Incredible, and its still going!
    That means the previous person had put about 910 bids, meaning in short, it took 1 second to go through 1820 bids!!!!!!
    1820 * 0.75USD a bit =1365 dollars SPENT in a flat second!!!

    So I just wanted to say, be very careful. Use only disposable income.

  36. lincolnred Says:

    hi williamhhh
    could you please explain when is it time for the last bid on one item, i tried to place bids on the last second, just to be over bid again and again, when or how do you win?????
    thanks

  37. justMe Says:

    It’s a smart scam but it should be listed on some sort of gamblers anonymous list.

    For those of you just tuning in, I’ve read thru a number of posts here and don’t let anyone convince you that winning has any sort of science the way it does on ebay.

    Someone compared Swoopo to a traditional ‘live’ auction in that people can bid eachother up and the auctioneer adds time. What they didn’t say is that in traditional auctions you aren’t charged for placing your bid.

    Swoopo makes more than the item cost back in $.75 bids while gamblers continually try to keep the auction afloat. Often times, they’ll invest so much that they feel they need to see things through.

    Sadly, the auction end itself is complete chance. You simply need to hope that no bid butlers are still active and that someone else isn’t going to bump things up yet again. (and don’t think you can ever win with a single bid (for that I’d prefer spending the extra $.25 for a real lotto ticket).

    Also, if the lowest price threshold isn’t reached for your bidbutler it never gets triggered to begin with, so don’t think you can set this guy and walk away. That’s an outright lie (unless you’re butlering like 50-60 bids).

    Comments anyone?

  38. Jeremy Says:

    Wow! I can’t believe this stuff. OK, let’s do the math for just one second. You can go on the website right now and see any number of auctions for a laptop that’s going for 50-100 bucks. But these things are penny auctions. And the “bid packs” now are selling bids for $.75 a piece. So, .75*5000-10000= $3750-7000!!!!!!!! Because for each penny that the item is raised, the company makes 75 cents. Freakin’ genius. I should make a site like this and charge 60 cents a bid. I’d make a fortune!

    Seriously, though, these people are crooks who really should face legal action. I understand “caveat emptor” and all, but I consider myself a pretty smart cookie, and it took me half an hour to figure out the scam they were running. But, I think people are right by saying that as soon as the Government figures out what this is, they won’t be in business. But hell, they’ll already be rich!!! Who cares! I want to sell a $1500 laptop for $7000 too! But they don’t tell you that, do they?

    In a real auction, you don’t PAY MONEY FOR BIDDING people! I know, that some people have gotten lucky and won a couple of things for decent prices, but listen to William’s post from Nov. 28. And I quote “thank God. I thought I wouldn’t get anything back.” Spoken like a true compulsive gambler. I know… it takes one to know one!

    Later people! Stay away from this site!!!!!!!!!

  39. GORT1951 Says:

    I too did not think much of the Swoopo format. I bought $37 worth of bids and then watched the process for several days before I bid. This morning around 2am using bid-bulter I won a PS3 80 Gig system for $86.10. I received this in the winning email:

    “Congratulations: you have won an auction!
    User ID: XXXXXXX
    Auction name: Sony PlayStation 3 80 GB
    Auction end date: 2008-12-31 07:45:13

    Auction endprice: USD86.10
    Coupons: USD0.00
    Electronic Waste recycling Fee:
    Delivery cost: USD12.90
    Sales Tax: ()

    ——————————————
    Final price USD99.00″

    I would say that I was just lucky and I doubt it’s something I could repeat easily again. My spin on Swoopo is it more like a lottery than an auction. It was fun to play, but I could see how one could get VERY addicted! It’s different and fun but the cost of bids adds up fast and you will need to be lucky to win!

  40. Jordan Win Swoopo Brighton Says:

    I have won 8 auctions in the last 2 months on swoopo.com. I love it. It is the most fun I have had online … ever. It is an adrenilin rush, and not a site for the risk averse. I am a mom with 2 kids, so money is precious, but there are deals to be had on Swoopo.

    My last win was a Wii MarioKart for under $3 and I only used 2 bids! It can be done. You need a plan, a strategy. And you need to stick to it.

    I have spent 100′s of hours researching the wins, testing strategies at great expense ;) and winning some too. What I get most upset about is the people who spend too much on something. I have written an e-book http://www.winswoopo.com to try help people understand Swoopo better and become winners! Maybe it can help you too?

  41. schultzy54 Says:

    If any of you have ever been to a live auction, estate, car, etc; you would know that Swoopo works the same way. Highest bidder wins and each bid extends the auction, just like a live auction! Make sure you check out the various types of auctions; fixed price, penny auctions, nail biter auctions etc. I think most of you with the “scam” thinking have not checked it out 100%. Is the company making money? Of course! Why would anyone set up a site like this not wanting to make money!

  42. Mattb4rd Says:

    Looks like gambling. Smells like gambling. Must be gambling.

  43. aScrewedOverBidder Says:

    I bought the lowest number of bids, 25 I think. I watched a coupleof auctions. I read the help section of the website. I waited for an auction to get down to 4 seconds before placing a bid. then hundreds of bids came in and the time went up to 2 hours. Now how the hell am I supposed to win it….everytime someone bids more time is added. I’m sure that if you win they will send you your prize. but how do you win without paying for it with bids. macbook penny auction 155.31 = 15531 * 0.75 = 11648.25. they can afford to send you a stupid laptop….how much did you spend though 5000 in bids? or did you get lucky….yeah right. its a legit scam…for the time being…stop going to this shitty website and together we can take those f bags down.

  44. alan Says:

    I just stumbled on to a swoopo-like page http://www.bidonetwo.com has any of you been there or know something about it?

  45. Jackng Says:

    I just went on the BBB and they have the corporate address in Sacramento, even though the website says it’s located in Cupertino. Another fishy thing, is you can’t get a refund on the bids you bought.
    Too many questions has yet to be answered.
    As for the fun? How many people have the time to sit there and click on the “Bid” button? If that’s fun for ya, may I suggest you get a life?

  46. Jackng Says:

    Another thing. This feels like a controlled environment. YOu can’t make any comments or give any feedbacks on the site itself. You have to go on site or blogs like this one to give your own feedback. If it was so legit, why can you have your say in this “legit” site?
    Btw, BBB grade for this business is “C”, there isn’t much info about it.

  47. janey Says:

    IN REF TO;Mike Powers Says:
    November 18th, 2008 at 5:37 pm
    @Eugene:

    “That’s a good find, but look at the auction number on both. It’s the same because it’s the same auction. Take this example:

    http://www.swoopo.co.uk/auction/wii-nintendo-console-wii-sports/119650.html
    http://www.swoopo.com/auction/wii-nintendo-console-wii-sports/119650.html

    Same item, except in the UK its at half the number because their currency is worth twice as much as ours. Their bids go up by 0.07 and ours by 0.15

    In your case it was a penny auction, so the price goes up by 0.01 no matter what. Since in the UK each 0.01 is worth 2 cents, the final price is twice as much there, so it makes sense that the laptop they are bidding off is worth twice as much (even though most of the money is spent in the bids). It’s kinda funny though that two people are bidding on two different things.”

    its the same auction. it just depends on the coutry setting. go up to the top right hand corner and click on the flag that you want to display. i can be bidding in USD and someone in the UK is going to see my bid but displayed in their currency. but tis the same auction>

  48. Jean Ockert Says:

    January 19.2009. I registered on SWOOPO and wanted to buy some bid credits at $0.75. The next page, where I am supposed to enter ALL my credit card info, is UNSECURE!!!!!!!! As always, let the buyer beware. I asked SWOOPO to cancel my membership

  49. aaron Says:

    What a frikin scam. I along with 25 of my classmates decided to “invest” in 30 bids each as part of a project for our ethics class. Needless to say, none of us won anything. If you do the math for the auctions, you can figure how this “company” can afford to sell items at such a low price. I hope this so called auction site gets what it deserves…and don’t believe all the planted reviews by their employees.

  50. Michael Says:

    This website is actually illegal to start up in the United States. It is what we call a raffle, which is only legal if conducted by a non profit organization which will donate 90% of the proceeds to charity. Raffles that are set to make 100% profit are illegal in the U.S. It is also considered gambling and I hope they dont process credit card payments in California. This could put them and their California customers at risk for legal action. The loop hole that swoopo has found is that they were started out of the country. The site is probably opporated out of the coutry, allowing them to opporate online in the U.S. It is fun along with it’s little clone pennycave, but I refuse to sink any money into the site without any promise of something for my money.

  51. Dave Says:

    You all act like Swoopo is the DEVIL and its totally illegal.

    How about the plumer who charges extra to the old lady who has no idea? How about Zavvi in the UK not honouring their customers gift vouchers that have already been paid for!?
    How about the guy walking around in Ibiza with a box full of fake rolexs trying to make money for crime?

    You jealous sausages! It makes big money, so what? That’s called good business.

    Dont even talk about it being gambiling, go read the rules and actually use the brain your supposed to have. It CLEARLY comes under gaming. As soon as your competing against other people who actually change the outcome, its not gambling or a lottery.

    Strategy can be used to win auctions, end of story.

  52. AaronAaron Says:

    There is no way they are loosing money… An LCD recently went for $66.06. So that was 6,606 bids, each cost 75cents, do the math, that’s $4954.50 that was made on the bidding alone. Then you add the price tag, $66.06 and you have a grand total of $5020.56! Thats how much SWOOPO made off of that auction alone. Loosing money my ass…

  53. Dan Says:

    Hi there.

    I’m a digital marketeer from the UK
    I have read the posts here & across a lot of other sites.

    Summary is as follows:

    Consensus that site is a legal scam
    Very few legit winners have come forward
    A lot of suspicious auctions (2 different laptops with the same bid history)
    Comments on this and other auctions that conceivably could have been made by either employees or digital pr agencies. (This is breaking the law)
    Targeted online ads on forums
    Strange emails sent to narrow losers
    Signup page is not a secure site

    I used a digital measurement tool & the number of users on site does not match the volume of auction activity – this indicates that there may be automated schill bidding by the auctioneers

    STAY AWAY!

  54. Joe C Says:

    It has the potential to be scammed if they were to be risky enough to place bids on their own auctions. But the concept in itself, is not a scam its just very clever and lucrative for them. It does have something of a gambling/lottery aspect to it. Because if there are 3000 bidders on an item (you are always just one of those 3000 away from winning). I believe that real people are winning and actually paying low prices. I also believe that people with gambling problems or people caught up in the action get carried away. I am looking at the site now and see a $200 ipod that closed at $180 but the winning bidder spent another $200 on bidding! So they got a $200 ipod for $380.

    Its very much if not somewhat identical (aside from its “never ending” aspect), like a “Chinese Auction”.

    If you do the math on some it is really incredible. I am looking at a 42″ tv with penny increments, its up to $230 right now. That means 23k bids, that means swoopo will make at least $17k on the bids alone.

  55. CFB Says:

    It is clear how they make money. The 300 bid card is worth $300 in real bidding money. Let’s say it sales for $150.15 This results in Swoopo getting $1000 in bid money and the $150.15 sale for a total of $1,150.15. So their net gain is $1,150.15 – $300 (if it is all used) = $850.15
    WOW, would that be great if we all could sale a item worth $300 and make $850.15
    Of course you may get that one in a thousand or more chance to win something, but remember Swoopo gets $6.67 Plus $1 bid or $7.67 for each dollar bid. So they could sell you items at 87% what THEY paid for it and break even. Just think how much money they make when it is 60% off retail price!

    Is Swoopo a charity organization? This would be great for charities!
    I think the name is great Swoopo, in one fail swoop they have all your money!

    I can see how this could be addictive chasing the $30 iPod or the $300 52″ LCD….

    My advice is do the rational thing and walk away from a bad investment, if not you will throw more money in, sending good money after bad.

  56. Dougie Says:

    HI ALL!!!!!!!!!
    IT”S ME!!!!!!!!!!!
    THE AGITATOR IS AN ALLIGATOR!!!!!!!!!
    I WILL CHOMP YOU!!!!!!!!!

  57. urldude Says:

    You have to checkout Bidkong.com they are new but they seem to be better . They actually give there clients reward points when they buy bids packs which you can use in a rewards store. They said in a newsletter that they will have a bunch of giftcards from a varity of places in the rewards store. They will be opening soon and they are going to auction off a whole entertainment system. When i signed up to there site I signed up to there newsletter and this is what it said.

  58. Downy Says:

    Well, $37.50 was my limit on this site. Has anyone noticed there are no discerning features of an auction? They appear to have no unique number for each auction. At least I could not find one.

    Also, the counter ran smoothly until I bought my bids, then they became kind of jerky. In fact, I bid on an auction at 2 seconds, but it ignored my bid and the auction ended without me. :( I also saw people’s (supposedly people) bids com in at 00:00:01 when my timer had gone down to only 00:00:08. So I suspect the timers on all computers are not synchronized.

    Scam? Well, let’s face it…you only make money,in our system, by taking advantage of people with a weakness for what you have to offer them. This site is very clever! They make money no matter what. LOTS of it!

    Gee, what a shame that honest auction, eBay, ruined our perception of what an auction should be. I think someone will get Swoopo closed down. Lottery, gambling, or just scam, something definately does NOT seem right here, and after leaving the site, it does feel like leaving the casino when you’ve just made your donation. Guess I’m just used to eBay, and will stick with it! I’m $37.50 wiser!

  59. Phren Lee Says:

    Remember for every $1 that the item is selling for, $75 was spent in bids. So …. if a $1500 laptop sells for $300 (sounds like a deal!). In actuality a total of $300*75 = $22500 was spent in bids. Still sounds like a deal? Something really unbalanced here. I hope someone balances it out…. The model does take advantage of uninformed consumers looking at the current sell price.

  60. Ray Brunacini Sr Says:

    Just registered today (2/9/09), bought bids, started bidding against the
    second clock, then it ran out and started all over. Finally noticed that
    bidding would end on March 14th PST (no time given). Suggest that new
    “blood” read all the pitfalls before they subscribe. This 81 year old
    DID learn a new trick !!!!!! (sadly)

  61. Alex Says:

    Hmm…I’ve been watching this bid for about half an hour, it went from 10 seconds to 5 minutes and 100$ to 140$…. Maybe the website is legit but chances of actually winning anything are very close to 0, unless you’re ready to drop something close to what the item is worth anyway.

  62. Swoopo Ex-executive Says:

    Hi there, I am an ex-marketing executive hired by Swoopo and left the company last month. I just want to let everyone know that there are indeed legit winners on the site, albeit very few. But be warned that you will be battling bots and paid employees to win these goods. Swoopo has kept these measures in place to maximize profits. The owners are VERY savvy entrepreneurs with business degrees and have made a science on capitalizing on peoples weaknesses. Be warned! That is all I can say.

  63. Will Jones Says:

    The only thing that appears rigged is the bid butler (BB). There is nothing wrong with Swoopo. It is a great concept, dummies bid up the price while paying for the right to bid up front. If we all could play together well we could game the system. Now to the bid butler.

    The bid butler appears to be rigged to drive up the bid. I’ve watched 20 auctions over 4 days and kept a spreadsheet of when the bid butler posted bids. The bid butler always appears to post in the last 4 secs and after several people bid. If two people are bidding then the BB waits until under 3 secs. This occurred every time I watched it. I watched an auction go down from 2 min to 3 sec then a bid butler that had been running and only had a few bids placed, kicked in. Now someone could have changed their bid butler settings, but this seemed to be the pattern. I have been looking for software that would let me record the information to play back. It really happens too fast sometimes for me to type the data in. But there is no doubt that the bid butler is manipulating the play.

  64. greguva Says:

    Stay away from Swoopo!! I bid on a Canon camera a few weeks ago on Swoopo. As it was getting late, I created a BidButler (a device to place bids automatically for you up to a specified number of bids and a specified price). I authorized 200 bids, at 1 cent ber bid. My BidButler promptly bid all of the bids that I authorized, PLUS ANOTHER 20 BIDS! Not only that, but the bid price on the camera went up only about $1.80 – since the BidButler bid 220 times for me, the bid price should have gone up at least by $4.40 (my 220 bids plus the bids from the person(s) against whom I was ostensibly bidding). Not realizing what had happened, I authorized another 100 bids. This time, it used up all of 100 bids almost instantaneously, but the bid price went up only 1 cent.

    When I reported what had happened to Swoopo customer service (a misnomer if ever there was one), they basically said that everything went just peachy and it was too bad that I didn’t win.

    I don’t know if there is a deliberate attempt to defraud customers, or if their bidding algorithm is just seriously flawed, but I would not spend your hard-earned money on Swoopo.

  65. sleepfish Says:

    I recently registered an account with Swoopo and before I bought any bids I thought I should get some more info about it. After reading many reviews, I do NOT like this. There is now way to know if you are losing to an “employed” virtual bidder or bidbutler designed by Swoopo itself. Also, after reading so many negative comments by others here, it seems fishy to me there are a few so-called winners that have snuck into the comments page by none other than…Swoopo itself! People hired to do so (because Swoopo can afford to do this kind of thing) to show that lightning can strike anytime. I do admit that this kind of thing is ingenius, this is a money making scheme that preys on the uninformed and desperate, a Sucker scam! I don’t believe there are real winners on this auction. Also, have you noticed how many “Strategy” gudes are for sale?…by Swoopo? Another method to their madness? If there was indeed a legit method for this someone would post it for free simply for the hits and to beat down an incredibly fraudulent auction such as this.

  66. sleepfish Says:

    Another thing that irritated me is that if the price keeps being driven up by bid-butler, then wouldn’t every auction end on the date it says? So curiously I wanted to find an auction “ending soonest” and there isn’t any. I think it would be logical as a bidder to wait until that date to see what the current bid is and then make a bid if indeed it does end when it says it will end no later than such and such date. Part of the scam it seems is making you believe that the clock DOES strike zero before the “end date” and that you have a chance at a great deal. Thank God there are people who have actually bid and unfortunately lost a lot of money before I did and made comments about it before I fell prey to it myself. Please people consider many of the comments here and do not participate in this scam! Ii will be shut down if people will just use their heads, Swoopo is counting on you NOT using your head and then they “swoop” in and take your money because you let them.

  67. Matt Says:

    I think the jury is still out on the site. Yes, there’s more than a passing chance that they’re controlling the site and the bids required to win. The price of a bid is now 75c instead of $1, but the site is still up and going. This post is months after the initial entry and from what I’ve seen on the most recent bidding, they’re all won at a MINIMUM of 40% discount from the SRP (suggested retail price). The vast majority of those are 80% plus. The trick is to bid on items when there’s minimal activity from other users — in the middle of the night. Spain, the UK, and Germany are all 5+ hours ahead of Eastern Std. time, so it looks to me like the best time to bid would be from 1-3 am EST. Many of the auctions that closed in that timeframe were at a 90% savings. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that it IS a form of gambling, but as long as you recognize that, aren’t an addict, and are responsible, there’s not really much issue.

  68. michael Says:

    Okay I’m going with Scam and morally bankrupt. As an tech start-up founder I can just hear the team behind Swoo poo laughing as they explain their model to potential investors.

    I was snagged by their ads. Okay.. I paid 22 dollars (the minimum bid package) I was looking at a penny auction for a 40″ Sony LCD TV. the MSRP was around 1900.00 U.S. The bid page showed the same model having recently gone for 393.00. I did the math and while not my strongest skill, I calculated that to reach 393.00 in .01 increments required 39,300 bids at .75 per bid. The end result is one lucky bidder gets a TV for a few bids of .75 but Swoopo just collected 29,475.00 for a 1900.00 TV that they actually paid about less than a 1000.00 for (street price of said model)

    Like a ponzi scheme it requires a lot of losers for a few winners at the top. Yes it’s opt in but it’s so deceptive.

    So I’m going with scam and throwing in morally bankrupt as an extra condemnation of this site and it’s proprietors.

    They could sink lower and actually auction off discontinued, refurbished or open box items, to make even more money. with the deceptive ads, bargain hunters would hardly be deterred.

  69. mike Says:

    I also noticed on the “auctions ” that had the same winner for 2 auctions one in the USA and 1 in Australia that even the bidding history was identical ! ! This indeed stinks of fraud. Aas far as those who clain they are winners ? I wonder why they do not even attempt to prove it with their info or a photo of the shipping paperwork ? Everyone today has a scanner right ? Gee I could clain I got my big screen tv too yet I have never even registered a bid! I believe it is one of the old axiums that apply here , ie. “If it sounds too good to be true it probably IS” as well as Cavet emptor ( hope I got that right ?) if not and I butchered the spelling what it means is ” let the buyer bware”! ! ! I do believe there is at least a measure of protection from VISA and maybe Master card and even Paypall as per their fraud info seems to say but better check here? If Swpoopo is defrauding people here in the US it should watch themselves because these things have gone on so long and often now the courts are handing out very long prision sentences for this stuff these days , as one judge put it recently ” as a whole ( meaning Judges) we are NOT AMUSED” …. If anyone anywhere has won a big screen TV for more than 60% off retail price just send me a clear scanned copy of the packing reciept and I will be happy to retract my post here in writting …. [email protected] Mike

  70. JeffF Says:

    After reading all the whining complaints about Swoopo let me interject some logic. Of course it’s in some ways a rip off but only to the people that are stupid enough to buy huge blocks of bidding dollars. Tell the person who just got a 61 inch Samsung TV for $89.00 it’s a rip off. The key to making Swoopo worthwhile is to be at the computer all the time and just place a few bids when it starts to get to a price point that will work. You’ll lose some and once in a while win one. The real scam is using the auto bidder because it just keep jacking up the price and ultimately you probably do not win unless you are willing to risk a lot of money. That’s why their website tryies to convice you to use that auto bodding process. THEY MAKE MONEY. Does anyone think they are in it for the fun?

  71. Andrew Beisel Says:

    I went to the site to see if I could get a Nintendo Wii. It made me sad to see that the site fakes timed Ebay style auctions. The scam is making you pay per bid then making you bid over and over. It was obvious in 20 seconds it was a scam. Now they post a defense and troll the forum. It’s sad and laughable. I could see how the site could cause addiction and poverty to self indulgent people. The owners of the site should be fined and jailed. The site ought to have a set time for the auctions, or make bidding free and not .75 a bid. Or a one time fee per item of a low amount. Stop scamming people by bringing them to your site with promises of new items lower than retail and then screwing them over by making money for yourselves while destroying the lives of others. Thanks for wasting my time viewing your scam site.

  72. Lloyd Llewellyn Says:

    There’s a sucker born every minute. While this site isn’t a scam, it does take advantage of people who don’t know any better. There certainly aren’t any deals to be made. In a real auction, you don’t pay for a bid and pay to extend the auction deadline. What a sham. That’s like me paying for the opportunity to buy a coke at the convenience store, when I could have just bought it outright. And buying money? What the *&(* is up with that???

  73. Lucrezia Says:

    I found Swoopo.com on the web and decided to give it a try. I paid $.75 for each bid purchased and won nothing!
    The problem I find is:
    #1 the Bid Butler is a joke. I asked bid Butler to use 10 of my bids from $15.25 to $25.25.
    Bid Butler took it upon itself to use my entire 10 bids for less than a dollar worth. I have read nowhere ,on their site, that bids could not be spaced out as much as the bidder desired.
    The other thing that annoyed me was the fact that the timer never seems to run out. You get close to 1 second to ending of the bid and 15 more seconds pop up. Further more, if the bid is at a certain price they will ad 5/10/15/20/30 minutes or more.
    If I were you I would not sign up or use swoopo. You might want to try a much more reputable online auction company like ebay!

  74. KevinL Says:

    It is not a scam. It is simple. You don’t bid unless you are serious about buying the product. Then it is a waiting game before you bid. I wouldn’t bid on anything until I had studied maybe 100 bids to get an idea of when the best time to get in on a certain type of product is. I have seen people buy a laptop for less than $100 on there. It can be a great deal if you know how to play it. I have not used it yet personally. I will not until I feel comfortable about bid timing. If you can’t get pretty accurate at that, then you are going to throw money away like a lottery.

  75. timbuck4 Says:

    I figured I would chime in on this. I see nothing wrong with Swoopo’s auction site as long as they don’t have employees or bots inflating the bid amount. It kills me when I here people say that “they need to be shut down or get the government to investigate them because it’s a scam). Yet these same people play scratch offs as well as the lottery. Take your local scratch off game for example that has a top prize of $50,000. Someone wins the top prize a couple of weeks later but the state still sells the scratch offs showing that people can still win the top prize even though it’s not possible. What you’re saying is it’s good for the government but not good for a private company.

  76. sreddy Says:

    This reeks of a scam – if you check the high-ticket items that have been won, all of them have been gained through the use of a Bid Butler. There’s no way to win using solo bids, which indicates some kid of bot at work.They’ll let the lower-end items pass for believability sake, but the high ticket and penny auction items are where the real bread and butter is made. Avoid this site at all costs.

  77. germane Says:

    is swoopo a scum? dunno, but it doesn’t seem legit either. All the “allegedly” winners tell us the same story:

    you can win too! (yes, you can)

    Don’t judge it till you try it (haha, right, give us your money, you might not get a TV but you’ll purchase the right to cry scum, and we still have your money $-))

    All the losers are just that: losers and gamblers (but since you don’t think of yourself as a loser or a gambler, you think you might have a real chance)

    They’ve never lost money on swoopo (they might win their first auction or their second, maybe their third, but they never complain about losing money, did you ever find mad winners, the ones who pay 400$-bids for a 300$ item? Are they too ashamed to blog? There are only two types of swoopo-customers: the happy winners and the unhappy losers, nothing in between)

    It is all about the strategy. If you don’t win, then you don’t have the right strategy (you loser, go get a strategy, or a life..)

    We, who don’t like swoopo, are only jealous (and bad people, and too stupid to win, by the way)

    And the list goes on..

    They are all about “blame the losers, not swoopo”, well, if swoopo is as legit as they say, why do you have to pay to bid? and why do you have to buy bid-groups? isn’t it stupid to pay for extra bid-time and to make items more expensive (yes, you’re paying twice for an item that might not be yours after all)? and why the hell are those “winners” trying to convince potencial competitors to bid too? the more bidders the less likelihood of winning.. it doesn’t make sense, unless they actually want bidders, not winners.. but i’m sure there are legit winnerst, they all work at swoopo ;)

  78. DZ Says:

    Has anyone checked the Facebook page for Swoopo?

    I’m not one to get into this, but I’m sure someone might be able to get a little info by digging into that a bit.

  79. LaLaLand Says:

    Why to bid on Swoopo? There are other websites where you can much better deals because there are not many people bidding.

  80. Chris Says:

    I’ve been watching this site for a couple of days now. It’s very interesting. I am in shock at the people throwing their money away, but hey… it is gambling. I might throw $20 in and see if I can hit the lotto too.
    The site creators are geniuses. This could all be done out of someone’s house too.
    Here are 2 awesome examples of how great this site is…
    1. A $1000 Apple Gift Card currently going for $52.18. This auction is on 0.01 increments. 5218 bids x 0.75 price per bid = $3913.50… AND IT’S STILL GOING!!
    2. They actually auctioning off bid packs. People are bidding on a 300 bid pack that costs $225. A recent winner got the bid pack for $64.97. This was another penny increment auction. They freaking made over $4,800 on a $225 valued pack of bids.
    You know who the winners are… the creators of this site. Ingenious! I want to marry them and have their children.

  81. rg Says:

    Actually, I was curious and spoke today to several parties in US Government. They were completely unaware of the site.

    There are several issues. For example, someones credit card or paypal payment fails. Are charges (credits) to all participants refunded?

    One poster noted that how does the bidder know that someone isnt artificially rising bids or that it may in fact be completely automated. That would amount to felony fraud. I was told no employee of a mechanism such as this would be allowed to “bid”.

    The parties I spoke with stated this is somewhat akin to a raffle, with a spin. Raffles require the party doing the raffle be licensed. But, are random draw. One party noted that Swoopo was buying items from Amazon and auctioning them, Amazon I spoke with. They are looking into it, if that is in fact the case Swoopo will face a lawsuit that they cannot win and will result is enormous damages, it would be considered anti-trust / Anti-compeititive business practice and consumer fraud. All felonies.

    With that said… In the USA and Europe laws do exist to protect against these types of formats. A reseller (Swoopo) is entitled to what is deemed fair profit for resale of retail merchandise and in many cases only if authorized as a retailer/reseller of the OEM (original equipment manufacturer). I very much doubt any of the electronics retailers have granted them authorization on this sales venue. That means Nintendo, every single one of them can go after Swoopo legally.

    Essentially many issues. According to one party I spoke with any item where a consumer has bid, and the winner’s card/payment failed. Every other party who bid MUST be refunded and that the site MUST show and ALLOW communications between bidders, just as eBay has an internal ability for you to click a link and ask a question.

    You could spend say $150 in bid tokens and yet the winners card failed. So… Now the company is the recipient of all that money, all those bids and never even shipping a thing.

    Anyways… With that said… I was told that every party in the USA that has issue with Swoopo or are curious as to legality should contact their state attorney generals, file a service request with the US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and since the company is in Germany/Europe that the people should also contact the US Embassy in said county.

    What was cleary stated to me:

    1. This is not an auction site even though they brand it that way. Thats strike #1 and consumer fraud.

    2. That people who have had considerable money “gambled” (that was the quote) on the site should file complaints with the entities I noted above.

    3. (From a non-governmental entity)… Let eBay management know, let your bank card company know and let Amazon know. eBay will take out after this not only due to market issues but due to the transparency of the software system which they have been hit with past. PayPal is an eBay owned company and can reserve the right to take part in the service. Visa/MC are probably completely unaware as well. Amazon told me that they would like to hear from people who have spent considerable amounts of money on tokens that are near or exceed the price offered at say Amazon.com or other retailers.

    Lastly, I was told by my State AG that people with doubts should also communicate those issues and concerns to their congressional representitives.

    The company is going to be looked into but all of your inputs are needed.

    I showed them some of the “auctions” (not) and they were just shocked. 7114 tokens at .75 for a $200 item in retail. One gentleman in Washington DC I showed this to (a subordinate to my local congressman) said it may well fall under some forms of racketeering and breaking public trust laws as to consumer protection. That even if the proprieters are overseas they’d see extradition to the USA should what “he suspects” is happening is happening.

    So… for those who are in doubt, the above is the information and parties to pursue.

  82. jem60632 Says:

    I’m so stupid for joining these Swoopo website! I felt so bad.

  83. Mandy Says:

    Here’s my problem with this site… I just watched 2 laptop auctions. When I started watching they each only had about 20 seconds left. Typically the bidders would let it get down to about 6 or 7 seconds & then bid again, adding another 15 seconds to the clock. I continued watching for about 2 minutes… & I noticed that the one auction was getting pretty low. 7 seconds, then 6, then 5, 4, 3, 2… “wow”, I thought, “am I going to watch someone take a brand new Mac laptop for $14.92 within the first 5 minutes of being on this site!?” Suddenly, right when it got to the 2 second mark, the auction jumped ONLY A PENNY as it had been this whole time & wham! 25 minutes was added to the auction. What!? 25 minutes?! Seems pretty odd to me that right before the bidder was about to win, it suddenly jumps 25 minutes instead of 15 seconds. I think I’d be pretty angry if I were that bidder. Perhaps I just witnessed a glitch, but either way…that’s pretty frustrating, especially when you’re paying for every bid you make.

  84. Metoo.. Says:

    I was bidding on a laptop, entered a bid with one second on the clock, 15 seconds was added to the auction, clock counted down, was on 1 again for a full second, and I was outbid! The winner won with 2 bids. Watch those auctions, the clock stops, the site “fails”. Scam, you betcha!

  85. Steve Says:

    For one moment set aside the many good, albeit redundant points about the site arguing scam, legal aspects, gambling similarities, or internal bid manipulations. For the moment, consider integrity. Not that of the website’s profiteers, but that of the informed customers still trying the win on the site. I came across this site while shopping for a netbook, not while playing on-line poker. The marketing strategy of this site is geared to the would-be savvy shoppers. Keep in mind that the entire site set up for newbies maybe even as apposed to happy returning customers. This suggests that the majority of the customers bidding on the site, could be there to get a good deal. So then ask yourself this. If you believe that the site is legit, and once you understand the mathematics behind the site’s business plan as outlined in so many example given in this post, and assuming that you can indeed just buy the soccer mom’s $27.00 how to guide and be winning bets by the end of the day, is it even right to do so? If the main appeal of the website is shoppers trying to get a deal, and many are simply drawn in by the site’s clever presentation, then when you “Swoopo” in and steal the bid with your smart soccer-mom technique getting that $1,000.00 item for $399.90, you are undermining the $1,998.75 in hard earned dollars already invested by the would be savvy shoppers on the site. In this economic climate more and more people are scouring the Internet looking to stretch their dollars further, and at this point even you have a guaranteed win for your own profit this is at great expense to the suckers of the site. Even if you win, you loose! You loose little more of what Integrity you had. I hope the site gets shut down and those profiting from it locked up, but in the mean time acknowledge that if you think that you are going to win big deals on the site that you are the tool used to deal the final blow to those who are foolish enough to drive the bid up to where you want it. You in fact become the scam artist!!

    Rg, thanks for the reassuring post that someone is actually doing something about this!

  86. theprosumer Says:

    I personally don’t believe this site will last. In our country it is common for government to make laws to protect consumers from themselves. In this case, we probably need protection from ourselves.

    Swoopo can never stop people from not bidding wisely. As the stories mount about overpaying for products and not understanding their auction system, their is more likely to be a public outcry from a portion of its users that will eventually catch the ear of a lawmaker who will make it impossible for this type of site to exist lawfully.

    When online gambling began to ruin so many lives, lawmakers passed a law making it illegal to use a credit card to collect gambling bets online. Of course that forced gambling sites to close shop as there was no way to collect payment. I see the same thing happening here, once the site gets big enough and the outcry builds from people who, became addicted or just didn’t understand what they were getting into.

  87. TheTruth Says:

    The basic truth about the older auction format is that is was developed to extract the highest dollar amount from the crowd. This format has been used since the days of cattle drives on the frontier of this country. The so called auction format was never designed to benefit the buyer, it was an advantage to the sellers. The auctioneers were paid either a fee or a percentage or both because they were expert in using the physcological methods in this format to raise the selling amount.

    Consider the simple point of view of just how silly is it for anyone to develope a business that benefits the consumer. This would never work with a capatalist business model. The idea is to capatizle over the buyer not to benefit the buyer. What Swoopo has achieved here is comendable. They have transposed the old auction format that is anti-buyer into a digital world. I have to respect the shrewedness of the hunter and if people fall for this than all I can say is I have pity for the hunted.

  88. TheTruth Says:

    One more thing to consider. Due to the concept being used in the math ratio offsets. This system is technically illegal. I will explain why. The Federal and State governments have laws that forbid a person or organization from operation was is considered a numbers game. This was done to prevent origanized crime syndicates from operating a numbers game. For those of you that remember those from a time long gone you know what I mean. Shortly after the federal and state governments began to introduce what we know today as the lottery. Basically they forced the syndicates out and took over the business as the government saw the money potential there. But that’s a different story.

    Since Swoopo is using a system that is similar in concept to a permutable betting game or in actuality a auction version of a lottery. They will eventually be shut down once the right people in government realize what is going on. I suggest you get out of it sooner that later or stay out to begin with.

  89. Song Li Says:

    I randomly got this website from somewhere else and i was stunned with the price. Like a 42incd lcd for less than $100. Then i registered an account and i was about going to bid. Then it require bid power (which is cost like 75cent per bid. 50bid power is sell for $37.5.

    Of course i didn’t fall to this SCAM. OMG they even have penny bid. Which a crappy 42inch LCD TV($1,299.99) sell as 1 penny. Now the auction goes like 110.62, that is like 11062 bid which times 75cent for each bid equal to $8298.75. That is like 600% profit.

  90. Sloopy Says:

    What does Chris Bauman has to say about these 2 auctions

    2 Different products in 2
    Different countries
    But same auction id. Both won by the same guy for the same equivalent price. See, the bidders are also the same.

    http://www.swoopo.co.uk/auction/sony-vct-r100-lightweight-tripod/167468.html

    http://www.swoopo.com/auction/digital-concepts-tr-60n-camera-tripod/167468.html

  91. Sloopy Says:

    Here’s hard proof I had collected in just 2 days
    http://loopyweb.blogspot.com/2009_04_01_archive.html

  92. Making Money on Swoopo Says:

    Not only might there be shill bidding involved, which I believe is also a Federal offense, but the game of chance elements of their auctions makes it illegal regardless of the attempt to clothe it in legitimacy by having a sort of auction format bidding on (alleged) real items.
    I would no more want to be caught bidding or even registering on this site than I would want to be caught in some basement casino where a 300lb guy named Guido is the doorman. (sorry Guidos).
    What I want to bid on is the job of undercover informant to see what’s really going on and bring these guys down so they get perp walked on local and national TV.
    The bigger scam is the payment processor(s), and other sites who continue to rake in cash from both legitimate and illegitimate transactions and sales!

  93. MethuselahsChild Says:

    Pity for the *buyers*? What buyers do, they do of their own free will – no one is forcing them to participate. The information on how their system works is there on the site; one only has to read and understand it. If one does NOT understand it, and still chooses to participate, then it is the fault of the buyer for failure at due diligence.

    And many WILL make that poor choice; they do it on eBay every day. Each time I ‘shop’ eBay for an item, I put all the candidates in my ‘watch’ list, and do exactly that – even those that are ‘buy it now’. Last month, I watched a certain specific part # drum for my laser printer be auctioned repeatedly in the $80.00+ price range; some OEM, some NIB, some knock-offs, but all went over $80. Several exceeded $100 with shipping charges.

    During the entire time, an eBAY dealer store (2k+ feedback, 99.8%) offered the very same drum, mfg. by/for Brother, NIB, with free shipping, at a buy it now price of $39.98. He had several in stock – but sold not a one. Would you claim that the OTHER sellers are ripping off the buyers, because they allowed them to continue upping their bids? Get real. If the information is there, and people choose not to avail themselves of it, it is no ones fault but their own. We need to stop making stupidity profitable in this country and start making it painful as nature intended.

  94. DownyZ Says:

    Boy what a cynic! I’ve bought a lot of stuff on eBay and at good prices. Everything I’ve received has been what was advertised, because I check the feedback on anyone from whom I purchase. Now Swoopo is very different, and I (for one) will be glad when they get shut down. I got them from a web site I frequent, and when I found out what they were about (at a $37.50 loss), I told them. They no longer advertise Swoopo.

    I’ve watched these posts over the weeks. Yes, they’ve capatalized on the system. Yes, they’re making money hand over fist. But they’re not honest, just greedy. Maybe they never heard of karma. They can laugh all the way to the bank, but sooner or later they’ll pay for their greed. Not my problem anymore. I’m through with them. “Fool me once…” and all that. No longer an issue for me, but I wish people would stop falling for their line of B.S..

  95. Manisaun Says:

    It saddens me to see yet another website making an illegal fortune off the greed and desires for more that have permeated our society. Anyone desperate enough to BUY the right to bid on an item should not be surprised that the item is not won by them, or by a real person. These people have been reported to the AG of the US, and I hope to see them go to jail.

  96. David Clark Says:

    This is a scam and a license to print money. I side with all the people who posted their experience or observations. Like all scams the criminals will post puff reviews but the numbers just don’t add up to anything but scam.

    I’m sure it was dreamed up in Africa.

  97. rich masterson Says:

    Would a system like this be useful in reducing the exce3ss real estate inventory in the U.S. Should there be real estate Swoopo to help the current fiscal crisis.

  98. rich masterson Says:

    If swoop is a scam there must be modifications to the model that could satisfy all the constituents.

  99. jb Says:

    90% of the posts here are done by frustrated Ebay merchants that are losing money now. The rest is by a few kids that copycat other posts.
    It is a legal site, it is not a scam and it is not gambling, just a business that makes good money and all the Ebay gang envy them.

  100. Skinn Says:

    Check bbb.org, their rating is an F. That should be your answer. Credit cards being charged multiple times, no refunds issued, this site needs to be taken down, what a bunch of terds!

  101. DownyZ Says:

    jb you are so full of it! I doubt Swoopo has affected anyone at eBay. The idea is rediculous! It is clearly a scam. I think jb works for them!

    And whomever it was that said the idea must have been cooked up in Africa…what a statement! Someone was very clever in the ways of the world who cooked up this idea. They’re making enough money that if they got sued it probably wouldn’t put a dent in their bank account! They’re no dummies, but neither are they humanitarians. Maybe it’s a Taliban scam!

    Swoopo is a bad idea for someone who wants a good deal, and I predict someone is working on shutting them down. I know I won’t bother with their site, nor this commentary longer. Enough is enough. Best of luck if you’re not smart enough to just let them be at this point.

  102. Marlone Says:

    First time I saw that website I started thinking in the “legal” implications (I’m a lawyer), and after a lot of thinking, This website can’t be considered gambling because in gambling winning doesn’t depends on you is just “luck” but here you can bid a lot till you win something. That’s not the ideal situation because you can spend lots lots lots of money in something that is worth less than the money you invested…

    And I really saw something strange in Swoopo, and lot of you people commented it before, it’s like the same people is always bidding and most of those spend more money than the money the product actually worths… weird??? or suspicious!

    Swoopo is not the only website like this… i also found this one http://www.bidoo.us any opinions?

  103. Paul Says:

    Total scam. Just because there are anecdotal “winners” out there doesn’t mean the company lets the bidding play out with no intervention. This could all be a computer system that allows “wins” based on how much someone has invested already. Or as has been said, the company employees can just bid for free as much as they want, until they ultimately “win.” This scam can generate endless amounts of cash, and all they have to do is let a few people win here and there. There’s ZERO real transparency here.

  104. Nail Swoopo Says:

    Okay, I heard about Swoopo a month ago. I am a scientist – wanted to check how this works. I got into this by buying two 50 bids.
    My Final Conclusion is : Its SCAM / CHEATING. We can NAIL them down. All of us have been only complaining all the time. If there are some Legal Attorneys out there, they may find some thing to Sue them forever and CLOSE this SHOP.

    Here is why they are cheating and here is how it is very easy to write such a Program: The World is shrinking to BOXED world – a WORLD restricted to PC. When the PC World is shown on a BIG screen it becomes a VIRTUAL world.

    Swoopo’s Algorithm is based on – some thing like Creating a Virtual Hotel and how to convince the customer/user/us/human that the Virtual Hotel is a REAL Hotel. On Average a human will believe if he can see around couple of other humans. If the program can create few HUMANBOTS, the HUMAN is trapped psychologically. This is exactly what they are doing in Swoopo.

    They have ONLY THREE types of HUMANBOTS – SingleBid robots, BidButler Robots and Fresh Bidder robot. The advantage of Virtual World is :
    a) It can Replicated according to the Programmer’s Whims and Fancies.
    b) Every thing is an Object in the Virtual World.
    c) Every Object Parameter can be altered to our benefit.

    So, SingleBid robots, BidButler robots and Fresh Bidder can be controlled, created, altered at will by SWOOPO’s Technical Head – the Algorithm Fella.

    With these HumanBots SWOOPO creates a live environment for a HUMAN/us. Creates a sense of Competition, Fight and frustration – Basically its Simulating the Real World where the HUMAN gets trapped to his/her emotional aspects and SUCKED/EXTRACT our BUCKs.

    If you see the rules are simple:
    a) First timer should WIN.
    b) Second timer should Loose. (Introduce Humanbots and frustrate the User – which 95% psychologically, instigates the HUMAN to buy and get addicted).
    c) and we can go on – after all its just replicating the objects, changing the parameters randomly and the past of the HUMAN BIDDER.

    The Simple Way to nail them down is: Ask for the Records where we have LOST our BIDDING and go and check for the LEGALITY/REALITY of ALL the BIDDERs in that BID.

    I have made a PPT of all the users in my BIDDING. I bet they are NOT REAL and are HUMANBOTS.

    That could be one reason why their Servers are in Germany NOT in US. They can TWEAK every thing and any thing. However some information may not be changed, I suppose.

    IT’s NOT GOOD to EXPLOIT (in what ever form). We can create a Fair and Really Entertaining Shopping which Swoopo Claims but, at the least, they are NOT CLEAN. PERIOD.

    If needed we can Nail them down – an Attorney can help us get back some compensation for our Frustration and Exploitation.

    Thank you,
    [email protected]

  105. don Says:

    Yea, there may be a few lucky winners, I only saw one post here, but it is very obvious to even the monkey in the corner that this site is not legit. It is like saying Exxon is not greedy for racking up billions in profit for one quarter.

    Hello, anyone who would manipulate people in this way is not morally correct and is greedy and will fail in the long run. Sooner or later someone will emerge from the shadows and tell all about the inner sanctum. I liken it to the story about the millions stolen from online poker players. Not far from being the same thing.

    At present, no one knows but a few who work from them how much is stolen from customers. Stolen, both legitimately by manipulating poor unsuspecting consumers, and stolen as in bring in the FEDS.

    I would not even trust a company like this to even have my info. They need to rework their auction model and come clean. They need total transparency. Try to find something about their books or taxes etc.

    Some island somewhere. lol…

    Don’t be stupid people……

  106. bee Says:

    If anyone has made it this far down the comments then bravo. Anyways I just wanted to post my experience with Swoopo. It isn’t something I perceive to be a scam, it truly is just a different way of bidding on things. I tried it out, but I couldn’t quite figure out a winning strategy since you can’t just wait until people are done bidding to put in a final bid, nor can you put in a maximum amount you want to bid without spending money on the bids themselves.

    After I decided it wasn’t for me, I contacted their support, who were incredibly nice, asking for a refund on the remaining amount on my account, and they were happy to oblige. Any site with good customer service that is happy to refund (unused) money is fine by me.

  107. fairy Says:

    have to admit i used to be skeptical of a company that could sell a laptop for £15. However, having analized the principles swoopo use i came to the conclusion that at increments of $0.5 per bid they make a profit even at such a low price, so that should be all right I suppose.
    actually i even came across the resembling site, that is likely to be younger than swoopo. As far as guessed that is why their price for a bid is even lower – just $0.05.
    Has anybody participated in auctions on luckberry.com?
    i’d like to know whether everything is ok with them…

  108. genius Says:

    Swoopo is a pretty genius idea imo as far as a business model! Get people to pay for every bid, continually increasing auction times with each bid as well the shear competitive nature of people in general really helps drive their revenues.

    As for Luckberry.. it seems to be reliable. I’ve tried it several times, they have suchlike rules and offer decent items..
    their young age turns out to be pre-eminence in this case. the fewer participants bid, the more chances of winning everybody has! close reasoning, isn’t it?;-)
    i succeeded in winning lcd 65′ for eur 107 and saved eur 300, so i’m mightily pleased!! soon i gonna spend the left bids trying to win xbox for my son ;-) i’m more determined than ever!

    ps. by the way no problems with delivery occured

  109. Swoopo Scammed Says:

    I found that the bid never closes. The auction time ends and then begins again and again and again. The auction continues and you bid and bid and bid again. Each bid costs $0.75US. You can’t win but Swoopo certainly does. I wonder if one is bidding against other bidders or against the house, Swoopo itself.

  110. Rambunction Says:

    If you want to win at Swoopo, you should check out Swoopo Spider (http://swoopo.rambunction.com). Swoopo Spider collects and analyzes the data you need to win.

  111. bidder jayne Says:

    i dont know why ppl still stick on to their points n behaving like little kids… I accept the following facts

    –its a wonderful business idea to generate revenue..
    As many pointed out, winner might pay only 10 $ for a 300$ worth item, but the company might collect around 1000$ in total from bids.. thats huge profit… Idea is cool.. BUT THIS IS NOT UTILIZED FOR CHARITY.

    -ok we leave that, we forgive them… but how can we forgive for the next thing

    – there a many swoopo bots (automated programs, which can be called robots) playing with several different names..just to keep the auction live and to EXPLOIT THE HUMANS IN A PSYCOLOGICAL WAY. u feel like u r winning, and at the last moment bot will put the bid.. now u’ll place ur bid again… this war ‘ll go on for long

    – there are employees in this company who are paid just for auction life.. 80% OF THE AUCTIONS ARE WON BY BOTS… we just see a name… COMPANY GETS TO KEEP THE MONEY, AND THE ITEM.. THEY ‘LL PUT THE ITEM FOR AUCTION AGAIN…we fools ‘ll believe its a new stuff..

    pls stay away..

  112. bobSmith Says:

    Ok, here is another person to add to the list of fooled by swoopo.com. Here is what has happened to me personally:

    -you will never win the high priced items like lcd tv’s. the “bot” bidbuttler will prematurely end the auction even if you bid with a couple of seconds left. the time will not go back up after your bid and the “bot” bidbuttler will have won.

    -transaction falsification: they will charge your credit card additional charges besides the “bid packages” that you purchase.

    Isn’t that enough to lock these people down?

  113. Bart Simpson Says:

    Have researched Swoopo pretty extensively, and there is no question that this site is simply doing what others in different industries have done for the past several years. They are preying on the “greedy nature” of people, which is precisely why our economy is in the situation it is in today. It is no different than the real estate fiasco, the banking fiasco, or the car company fiasco. They are just packaging it differently and charging accordingly. I must admit that the concept is pretty ingenious, but it is also blatantly dishonest. It just seems that very few people can define that term, let alone decipher the economic principles involved in the bidding wars. It amazes me how idiotic some people really are to even think that this site is losing money, as Mr. Bauman states. Be reasonable people. If that were the case, they would be bankrupt and out of business, unless of course they get Uncle Sam to bail them out, which at this point is entirely possible. By the way, I heard that Bill Gates is selling all his Microsoft stock for $1, using the same model as Swoopo. The only difference is that he’s using $1 million increments. I believe the site was slickoo. com, or maybe it was stickoo.com. Good luck with your bidding.

  114. Josh Says:

    Swoopo are such liars. “Losing money on 70% of auctions” Maybe. But what about when they sell a laptop for $6,000 in bids. Why else would they have auctions that only raise the bid by $0.02, and limit how many auctions you can win?

  115. MarioMark Says:

    Swoopo is very legitimate I have now won apple laptop and PS3 that just delivered to me on Friday. Now however I think swoopo has a little gambling moment in it, but then again you can get carried away in the last 5 minutes of auction in eBay too and swoopo auction is exactly like last 5 minutes of eBay auction. Second I don’t understand people who are complaining here, their rules are explained in plain English that anyone should be able to understand (and my first language is Spanish).
    Also swoopo users globally bid on same items which is why some auctions can go on for such long time, if you not ready to lose your bids then just don’t play. If you are smart enough you can actually win items there.

  116. Jeff Hansen Says:

    I HAVE READ ALL OF THE RECENT (GOOD AND BAD) COMMENTS ABOUT SWOOPO. LET ME GIVE EVERYONE A POINT TO PONDER. IF ONE DAY SWOOPO SAID OK! WE WILL NO LONGER LIST OUR OWN ITEMS FOR SALE, FROM NOW ON, ANYONE WHO WISHES TO LIST THEIR OWN ITEMS FOR SALE MAY DO SO, YOU CAN KEEP ALL OF THE PROFITS YOU MAKE USING THE SWOOPO BIDDING METHOD, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS PAY SWOOPO A LISTING AND FINAL VALUE FEE JUST LIKE EBAY CHARGES.

    I CAN’T HELP BUT WONDER HOW MANY OF YOU WOULD SUDDENLY BE LISTING YOUR OWN ITEMS FOR SALE WITH THE HOPE OF PULLING IN THE SAME KIND OF PROFITS ON YOUR ITEM THAT YOU SAY SWOOPO IS PULLING IN?

    IT FOLLOWS THEN, THAT FOR THOSE IN FAVOR OF THE SWOOPO METHOD WOULD JUMP AT THE CHANCE. IT ALSO FOLLOWS, THAT FOR THOSE WHO ARE PRESENTLY AGAINST THE SWOOPO METHOD, WOULD ALSO SEE A CLEAR ROAD TO MAKE A PROFIT ON ANY ITEM THEY LIST ON SWOOPO.

    METHINKS IN THE LATTER CASE, THERE WILL BE DOUBLE STANDARDS FLYING ALL OVER THE PLACE AND THE NAYSAYERS WILL SUDDENLY BE SAYING SOMETHING LIKE, ” YOU KNOW SOMETHING, SWOOPO IS NOT SUCH A BAD DEAL AFTER ALL. LOL.

    IT APPEARS TO ME THAT THE OVERALL MENTALITY IS, IF IT IS NEW AND HAS NEVER BEEN THOUGHT OF OR DONE BEFORE THEN IT HAS TO BE CROOKED, THAT TYPE OF MENTALITY IS A CLEAR DEMONSTRATION OF IDIOCY AT ITS BEST.

    WHOEVER IT WAS WHO ORIGINATED THE SWOOPO CONCEPT, MOST DEFINITELY HAS THE MILLIONAIRS MENTALITY, THOSE OF YOU WHO CRITICIZE THE CONCEPT ARE DEMONSTRATING THAT THEY ARE ECONOMIC ILLITERATES, AT LEAST UNTIL THEY WOULD BE ALLOWED TO LIST THEIR OWN ITEMS FOR SALE, THEN THEY WOULD SUDDENLY BECOME FINANCIAL WIZARDS, LOL (SARCASM INTENDED).

    COME NOW YOU GUY’S, BE HONEST AND FAIR, TELL IT LIKE IT REALLY IS, YOU KNOW THAT WHAT I HAVE JUST SAID IS TRUE AND WOULD HAPPEN IN A HEART BEAT, WHEN YOU BAD MOUTH SWOOPO. YOU ARE OPENING YOUR MOUTHS JUST TO CHANGE FEET, IF SWOOPO GAVE EVERYONE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LIST THEIR OWN PRODUCTS YOU WOULD JUMP AT THE CHANCE.

    NOW BE NICE PEOPLE, RESPOND TO MY POST AND ADMIT THAT WHAT I HAVE SAID
    IS TRUE, PUT THE SENSE OF FAIR PLAY BACK INTO YOUR LIVES AND START THINKING OF HOW YOU CAN MAKE A BUCK INSTEAD IF COMING DOWN HARD ON THOSE WHO ARE AT LEAST TRYING TO MAKE A BETTER LIFE FOR THEMSELVES.

    IF YOU ARE STILL AGAINST IT THEN SIMPLY STAY AWAY, THEN NO HARM DONE.

  117. Brian Says:

    Swoopo is very popular because it has been around for a while… What you have to do is find younger sites like bidfire.com … as you can see, the same few winners are really cleaning up. Also the auctions go up by $.05 instead of $.01. So they aren’t raking in the same ridiculous profits swoopo is

  118. RichSmith Says:

    This is a fascinating trend / site. I have no reason to think Swoopo is a scam, although suspect they suffer from the customer service issues mnay new companies do; anyone remember ebay’s customer services a few years ago??
    Nor do I have any reason to suspect deliberate fraud – but from the various complaints on this and other sites, some glitches do seem to have been suffered.

    Yes, I am jealous of their idea.
    No, I’m not too worried about ‘protecting bidders from themselves’. All the time I see people bidding for items on ebay for more than they can be bought brand new ! I do think companies can and should be audited to ensure no fraud and to ensure fair competition in the market. Clean operators in this area will have nothing to fear from third party auditing of their operations, and will keep out incompetent or fraudulent operators.

    Sadly the world is full of stupid consumers; these include people who drink too much alcohol, smoke cigarettes, gamble, don’t exercise enough and are too full of themselves to add usefully to society. We’re all in this category from time to time, and we enjoy taking part even when we know its not really good for us.
    Alcohol and other companies sell us a dream and millions fall for it; doesn’t mean it is a ‘scam’ or truly fraudulent.

    There is a wealth of comment and info on swoopo and similar sites out there – including data and software on how best to bid. Just like on ebay, there are good and bad times to be bidding or trying to sell.

    I like the comments from TheTruth above. My implication is that even assuming Swoopo itself is legitimate (and with serious backing from mainstream investors in April who would’t they be) there will be other conmen out there starting sites which really ARE a pure con. Not clear to me if this will need new legislation – or just application of consumer protection laws. Con artist plumbers and builders abound despite existing laws…and authorities need to track these down just the same.

    JeffHansen – a lot of truth there.

    Swoopo’s presumably large profits per auction will come down as competition increases, and as bidders get smarter or stay away if they don’t win often enough.

    Will watch this with interest.

  119. oblivious Says:

    and I quote “You control your outcome.” which is ABSOLUTELY TRUE.

    What wasn’t stated is that you do that by NOT PLAYING.

    Swoopo is an excessively clever version of bait and switch.
    The bait is the price.
    The switch is the clock.

    When I checked it, there was an incredible offer
    “HP Pavilion HDX18-1020US 18.4″ Laptop (Vista)”
    for about $28
    and it just kept getting bumped by two cents
    each time the clock approached zero.
    I’ve seen enough auto bidding software running on eBay to recognize that game immediately.

    Common sense says no one sells a brand new working laptop for $28 regardless of how nice they are,
    even if your first mandatory task is to strip Vista off of it.

    And, I believe Ed Oswald is correct…
    the Swoopo game is in ripping people off for the bid money
    as in “Swoopo!”,
    your money is gone.

    As for Bauman, he’s a liar, plain and simple, or, what we used to call a hornswoggler.

    Regardless of how AUTHENTIC he claims his site is,
    Auction Houses do not charge for each bid,
    but rather, they take their commission from the successful sales.

  120. iFocus Says:

    Looks to me that most of the posts I read are idiots. In parts of the world they’re also known as “Haters” I don’t see you all complaining that Microsoft charges $400 for Office products that cost $3 to reproduce? A company has all the right to make as big or little profit as they desire. After all, they’re not reaching in your pocket for your cash, people are throwing at them! Geez, wake up people! If people did not sign up and willfully give money for their bid a company like Swoopo wouldn’t be in business. So it’s fair to say that if you don’t like it, get the heck out! Simple as that!!!!!!!!

    How do you “Rip Off” people who are knowingly and willingly giving money for each bid? Can you explain how that’s a “Rip Off”?????? That’s like going to the store and buying a gallon of milk, handing your money to the cashier then walking outside and screaming you got robbed!

    Idiots!!!

  121. said aghaipour Says:

    It looks to me ingenius business,but they have full control of who will be the winner, this part make it scam, specialy with the bid butler,its mean as long as any bid butler involve inthe auction you will not have any chance to win,now immagin what happen if more than one bid butler involve during the auction?this is not an auction,not a gambling site,this is pure legitimate scam mney making business.

  122. said aghaipour Says:

    This is an ingenius business,that have full control of who will be the winner in any given moment,specialy with bid butler,no one have any chance to win as long as bid butler involve in the auction,now imagin what happen if more than one bid butler are involve during the auction???
    I thing this is not an auction,is not gambling site,is a legitimate scam pure money making business.

  123. matt Says:

    @rg:

    I would like to comment on the list of supposed illegalities in rg’s ridiculous post. I am not going to address Swoopo’s business practices other than to say that (a) look legal, and (b) are bad for the vast majority of ‘bidders’.

    rg said:

    >>>One poster noted that how does the bidder know that someone isnt artificially rising bids or that it may in fact be completely automated. That would amount to felony fraud. I was told no employee of a mechanism such as this would be allowed to “bid”.<<>>The parties I spoke with stated this is somewhat akin to a raffle, with a spin. Raffles require the party doing the raffle be licensed. But, are random draw.<<>> One party noted that Swoopo was buying items from Amazon and auctioning them, Amazon I spoke with. They are looking into it, if that is in fact the case Swoopo will face a lawsuit that they cannot win and will result is enormous damages, it would be considered anti-trust / Anti-compeititive business practice and consumer fraud. All felonies.<<>>With that said… In the USA and Europe laws do exist to protect against these types of formats.<<>> A reseller (Swoopo) is entitled to what is deemed fair profit for resale of retail merchandise and in many cases only if authorized as a retailer/reseller of the OEM (original equipment manufacturer). I very much doubt any of the electronics retailers have granted them authorization on this sales venue. That means Nintendo, every single one of them can go after Swoopo legally.<<>>Essentially many issues. According to one party I spoke with any item where a consumer has bid, and the winner’s card/payment failed. Every other party who bid MUST be refunded<<>> and that the site MUST show and ALLOW communications between bidders, just as eBay has an internal ability for you to click a link and ask a question.<<>>You could spend say $150 in bid tokens and yet the winners card failed. So… Now the company is the recipient of all that money, all those bids and never even shipping a thing.<<>>Anyways… With that said… I was told that every party in the USA that has issue with Swoopo or are curious as to legality should contact their state attorney generals, file a service request with the US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and since the company is in Germany/Europe that the people should also contact the US Embassy in said county.<<<

    In order for an attorney general to do anything about this, it has to be made illegal. It has not been made illegal (and as stated before, it's not random so it's not gambling).

  124. matt Says:

    Moderator – please delete my post. It didn’t format correctly, lost most of my comments and I don’t feel like retyping it.

  125. TomJ Says:

    Well Swoopo is expensive for the price. I’ve turned to http://muulu.com There 50 cents per bid, as well as 30 cents per bid your second pack. 1 in 4 bids give you an extra bid so I mean seriously what does swoopo think about that?

  126. TomJ Says:

    I’m a muulu’er now. I used swoopo for awhile but now I use only http://muulu.com There ALOT cheaper, 50 cents per bid first time, 30 cents the second. Also they have TV’s, Laptops, Apple products, and other cheap items. Love that site!

  127. Matt Says:

    @TomJ: No you’re not, you’re a shill for muulu. You don’t think everyone that sees your posts will know you’re affiliated with them? Gimme a break.

  128. razor Says:

    This is bs. Swoopo does gain even though they CLAIM to lose. IN the end they earn when people keep bidding on items that sadly and usually they get money just buy people paying to bid. IN REAL auctions as they claim they are, people don’t pay to bid the pay when they win the item.
    Second thing swoopo earns money each time someone bids and the more people bid the more the time goes up and it keeps going up and up back to the original time which from what I see at bids it doesn’t go up back to two hours again so they are full of shit. Sure it doesn’t end automatically but even with it going up it doesn’t go up to half a day again. then when the hell will the bid end? NEVER that’s when. They earn just for the people using the bidbutler and whatever look at how many people bid. That adds up so please tell them to save their bullshit stories for themselves.

  129. CONCERNED Says:

    Muulu is a scam, it’s just some kid scamming don’t be victimized, find the proof on penny auction watch dot com

  130. DG Says:

    Everyone complaining about swoopo…if you don’t like it… don’t use it. The vast number of people bidding on the site alone tells you that your odds of winning an auction is very low. Yet the chance of doing so is there and that is the draw. It is very simple to see that their money is made in the bids…any 3rd grader can see and figure that out. If you are complaining about them making $8000.00 on a camera that only costs $1000.00, then start your own penny auction like many others have done. the 8k on 1k is in fact an ingenious business strategy! IF you were to win that 2k flat screen for $300.00 I’m sure you wouldn’t be complaining as loud. If I won the lottery every week it was drawn, i wouldn’t be complaining either. the fact is your odds of winning are measured by the amount of bids you have verses the amount of bids your competitor has, and in most cases hundreds of other competitors at the same time…so what makes you think you will win a fair share of auctions….that is the risk you take if you do the math prior to opening an account with them. Now on the other hand, IF they are using bots to run up bidding, as was proven in muluu/vuluu then there is a huge problem and their world will most surely come crashing down at some point. It will take someone that is on the inside to get wronged at the right time for that truth to come out if it is a fact. Simply, on a level playing field with that many players, it is in fact a powerball lottery in a sense, every “lottery” is eventually won…but how many tickets did you buy to lose? Only to see the little old man in Kentucky win it all. I agree, there should be 100% disclosure of an honest site..meaning show the cost, show the winner, show the amount that was paid and how many bids it took. Show me the names of every auction winner on a month to month basis…everyone can do the math on their own to see how much money they are making on each item…that is not the draw nor do most people bidding care how much swoopo is making as long as it is legit and they have a 100% “chance” of being the top bidder and not being outbid by a “BOT”

    In the early stages of this business, I can see losing a lot of money for penny auction sites if they are bot bringing in the bidders to their site until word gets out…however, if ran legit and items are truly being sent to REAL winners, the old “if you build it, the people will come” theory is true. At that point, if done honestly, the potential for profit for a penny auction site is unlimited. In fact, the profit is so high that one could run an auction for a TV and go to wallyworld the next day, buy it and ship it out and still make a ton of money! Their are only 3 winners in a penny auction or any auction for that matter…the one that is selling, the one that wins and the one that doesn’t play at all.

  131. swamiyar Says:

    I pity the first bidder? Why would anyone be the first bidder–to surely loose? Or that matter all the first few bidders!
    There is a great paper on the website on an approximate price range when the aution will actually end—so why bid early!

    This is a great idea for the business but a lot of customers loose (like the casinos!) ;-))

  132. ushipdude Says:

    I am a first time bidder at swoopo and I already won an ITouch; it didn’t cost me an exorbant amount of money when it was all tallied up. With regard to the bidding, I can understand how some people would be angry. I’m angry when things don’t go my way too. To be perfectly honest, after I bought bids I was pretty pieved at the format of the bidding; enough so that I won’t buy anymore bids.

    However, now I’m worried about the auction item actually being sent to me. I’ve read on a few blogs of people never getting their items.
    Of course, they do have a physical address and I have no problem filing a lawsuit in small claims court – I just hope it doesn’t come to that. Anyone out there actually receive your auction item, please let me know and put my anxiety to rest.

  133. Fred Says:

    Folks at swoopo are geniuses. They’ve managed to completely capitalize on the fact that most people are morons.

    They get folks hooked on an auction, the true cost for the item is not really apparent to the bidder at time of bidding because they’ve had to already pay for bids (discounted or not) and then the final take for Swoopo is obscured as well.

    Anytime you can sell a $1000 TV set for in excess of $4000 is just genius.

  134. Omar1962 Says:

    Funny, I can win a item for 10 bids @.65=$6.50, they had total bids of 4200 bids @.65=$2730.00 for that much profit, and everyone has a shit fit, but you take your money to the bank that pays you 1.5% interest, while they make 30-40% (global average I learned in a course)interest, plus charge you fees to use your money, and you go there everyday and give them money and pay your charges, and nobody says shit. Think about it, your just mad because you didn’t think of it. I don’t care how much they make off the item, its what it cost me on bids, if I did care care how much they made off an item, I would of killed myself by now as everyone I deal with in the public is doing the same thing, computers, cars, homes etc., everyone is doing it to you, just greaseup and go with it idiots.

  135. Ken Says:

    I am familiar enough with the math behind what Swoopo is doing to know that it is definitely gambling; although they may say it is a game of chance (same thing).

    Aside from all of the things people have already pointed out about how Swoopo can deceive the bidders (shill bidding, etc), there is something that I noticed while watching the actions.

    You have an item being bid on, say it is around $12.00. The bids have been slowing down so you think now is a good time to bid. BAM! The time gets 10 or 20 minutes added to it, although the bid amount does not jump up a corresponding amount. Since they state that 10-20 seconds are added for every bid, you would have needed 60-120 simultaneous bidders to add that much time.

    If you had that many bidders you would have seen the bid amount jump from $12.00 up to between $12.60 and $13.20. The bid didn’t change at all! Basically, Swoopo must have some automated system to add time when there aren’t enough bids and the auction hasn’t generated enough revenue for them.

    This is a total SCAM since this is NOT explained on their Help page (no matter what people have said above).

    Also, it should be noted that most of their high-tech items are “Penny” auctions; meaning that every bid (at a cost of 60 cents USD) raises the bid $0.01 USD. That means they are making 60 x the bid amount. So if an iPhone was at a bid amount of $50, they have collected $3000 just in bids!!! Just take a peek at all the Penny autions they have and multiply any of those bid amounts by 60 and you have the amount they collected in bid fees.

    Given the extortionate profit they are making I don’t believe the response they gave to the press about how they are losing money. They are making money hand-over-fist. OUR MONEY! Let the insanity stop.

    All of this is not to say that people haven’t gotten some deals, but they are doing it by using the other bidders fees to fund the items that Swoopo is listing.

  136. efSD Says:

    no they manipulate the situation but we(the people) control your outcome not ours but one of us gets lucky. its like a raffle with 50000 but only the last 50 actually had a chance.

  137. Jessica Says:

    I myself wanted to check things out. I was in the market for a Kindle DX and I thought why not watch a little while. Soooo as I watched, I saw a Kindle DX go for .87-ish and one go, just several hours later, for .54 cents. I was dumbfounded. It was torture. What should I do. I am somewhat intelligent and therefore I knew that it was all completely chance and that I could maybe win with a little luck and the right timing. So I started bidding. I spent 20 bids on one DX and it just wasnt going to happen. That auction got down to 5 seconds so many times that it went on like that for HOURS. I continued to watch AND I started to research. I have read ALL these posts and mostly what I have noticed is that the BidBot or uuhhhuhhhmmm, BidButler winners seem to have names that could be construed as a funny play on words for double meanings. Like Mask, and Chairman, butlermaster, and the list may go on. I didnt dig that deep, those are just the names that struck me as odd. Anyway, I do think that there is in house bidding going on. I dont know what will be done about it or if it will. I for one am saying, Lesson Learned.

  138. Simon Says:

    I know this was written several years ago but here is my question which has not been asked…how many bids does swoopo make themselves to save the sale from being made too far below the cost of the item.

    Does swoopo engage in this type of activity?

    the equivalent would be you pulling your name out of the fish bowl in a lottery drawing to save you from giving out the prize…

    even if they don’t win the auction they can keep bidding to extend the auction and hope it drives others to bid again

    If they’re engaging in this practice then they are breaking the law, no doubt about it

  139. James Says:

    Go through the Swoopo registration process and try to create a username containing uppercase letters but your registration username will end up only lowercase so any usernames containing any uppercase letters did not go through the normal registration process otherwise their username would only contain lowercase letters. Give it a try yourself. Try to create a username with an uppercase letter and it will convert your username to lowercase. Be suspicious if you see usernames that have any uppercase letters as they are not registered users.

  140. emmet Says:

    That's because they are the same auction. If you look at the auction IDs on both they are the same

  141. Alex Says:

    The only trick there is to swoopo is to use analytics to try to beat the system, although many people wouldn't try this method there were a bunch of people who still won items. I'm sad to see Swoopo go

  142. Penny Auctions Says:

    The apparent downfall of Swoopo is very significant for the penny auction industry as a whole. However, new sites continue to find ways to be successful, and offering a bid to buy auction seems to be one of them.

    Mr. Oswald clearly doesn't care for penny auctions, and for some understandable reasons. At the same time, paying "retail" price at a store can be considered somewhat scandalous as well, especially when you see the same item you just bought sell for $200 less a week later.

    Penny auctions that offer a bid to buy feature give consumers the chance to get something they want for less, or in the worst case scenario, pay retail.

    To learn more about sites like Swoopo, visit the Penny Auction List – http://pennyauctionlist.com

    It will be interesting to see what happens with the Swoopo branch based in the US…

4 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Swoopo Makes Some Changes, Lowers Bid Fee | Technologizer Says:

    [...] See all:&nbspNews As you saw in Harry’s earlier post, our Swoopo coverage still tops the charts as some of Technologizer’s most frequented articles. This has obviously put us on the radar of the folks at the auction site, so they have been keeping us informed of the goings on with the company. This latest round of changes aren’t all that surprising: many of them we already new about from our interview with US business chief Chris Bauman in October. [...]

  2. The Agitator » Blog Archive » Morning Links Says:

    [...] So what do you make of the Swoopo auction site? Ingenious business plan, or scam? Both? See more discussion here and here. [...]

  3. Swoopo - Legit or Scam? Says:

    [...] Swoopo Looks to Set the Record Straight. [...]

  4. Swoopo Quietly Files for Bankruptcy Says:

    [...] most highly trafficked and commented posts ever. They would later return in October to attempt to explain their side of things. The European Commission said that the company’s business plan  was following laws governing [...]

Comment on This Story