Swoopo: It’s Like eBay Designed by Satan

Imagine for a second that you set out to come up with an online shopping site that would take advantage of everything we’ve come to know about consumer behavior to separate people from their money in as efficient a way as possible. What would you do? Well, you’d probably try to lure buyers with bargain prices. You’d pit them against one another in an auction. You’d ask them to make snap decisions without taking much time to figure out just how much money they’re spending. On top of that, you’d ask them for only very small amounts of money at any one time, letting payments of a few cents build up to hundreds of dollars. Still trying to figure out how you’d put all that together? You can relax. Someone’s already beaten you to it: the folks at Swoopo. It’s an online auction site that fiendishly plays on every irrational impulse buyers have to draw them into what might be the crack cocaine of online shopping sites.”

That’s a quote from an article on MSN Money, and it’s the best article I’ve seen yet on Swoopo. Despite my earlier success with Swoopo, and a successful cheap acquisition of a 16 GB SD card, like any gambler I rolled the dice and lost: I was bidding on a set of pots and pans, and after using 18 bids I didn’t win, so like a degenerate gambler I bought another bid pack for $27 and blew ALL of them and still lost. The most idiotic part? I kept one bid, decided to bid on something else, and when I checked the pots and pans auction, it had ended – exactly one bid after the person who outbid me. So if I had used that last bid, I might have one – or it might have gone on for another hour. Swoopo is just too problematic – avoid it.