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Author Topic: Swoopo - A New Take on Online Auctions, or a Scam?  (Read 16433 times)

Deozaan

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Swoopo - A New Take on Online Auctions, or a Scam?
« on: November 02, 2008, 01:28:46 PM »
For what is probably the first time in my life, I just saw an ad banner that interested me enough to find out more information about the product being advertised. The "product" is called Swoopo, and it is an online auction site unlike any other I've seen before.

From staring at it for the past 10 minutes trying to understand how it works, this is my observation:

Auctions have a continuous countdown timer to when the auction will end. However, this is actually the part that is vastly different from traditional auction websites. The timers are relatively short, and are based on the current bid for the item. So for instance, I'm looking at a Nintendo Wii that is currently going for $0.60. That's right. 60 cents. And the countdown timer appears to be 30 minutes until the end of the auction.

But here's the thing: Each time someone bids, it resets the timer. And actually, someone just bid on the Wii, and now it is going for $0.75 and the timer is now 15 minutes until the end of the auction. And it continues like this. As the bid increases, the time on the countdown timer decreases, until some of the auctions are down to 10 or 15 seconds for each bid.

And to prevent an auction lasting forever, there is a final ending time for the auction. This Wii auction is scheduled to end, at the latest, on December 2nd, if people keep bidding until then.

Swoopo Bids.png

So it actually sounded fun and unique enough that I decided to sign up and try it out. And that's when I learned about the one "feature" that, to me, makes it sound too much like a scam than a real auction site.

You see, in order to place any bid on any item, you need to pay $1 for each bid. (Basically, you buy bids in advance.) That, to me, brings up too many questions about whether these other bidders are even real people, or just auto-bots made by Swoopo to artificially inflate the bid price and make you pay another $1 to bid again.

I can tell by some strange English sentences on the site that it's based in a foreign country. (Looks like Germany, after some research.) Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. It's just a side-effect of being inundated with spam that I'm always a little wary of professional looking sites with strange English translations.

Looks too much like a scam when their main source of revenue is to have people buy lots of bids instead of buying lots of products. Too much of a conflict of interests for it to seem ethical to me. I suggest you take a look at it if you want to just see what I'm talking about, but don't say I didn't warn you if you try to buy something and end up paying more on your bids than what you actually paid for the item.

In conclusion: Avoid it! :down: :down:


P.S. They also operate under http://www.swoopo.co.uk, http://www.swoopo.de, http://www.swoopo.es, and http://www.swoopo.at

« Last Edit: November 02, 2008, 01:56:50 PM by Deozaan »

jgpaiva

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Re: Swoopo - A New Take on Online Auctions, or a Scam?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2008, 01:45:37 PM »
Here's a bit more info on swoopo. Apparently it isn't exactly a scam, but it also isn't "a great deal".
It's more a matter of luck. The items are posted by swoopo themselves, and they get the money for the item in the 1$ commision of the biddings.

So, someone get a bargain, but a lot of other people have wasted money trying to get it, and swoopo is the one that always wins :)

Sounds like playing a casino game: you MAY win something, but the casino will ALWAYS end up getting more than you!

Deozaan

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Re: Swoopo - A New Take on Online Auctions, or a Scam?
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2008, 02:03:38 PM »
Well, according to at least one comment from that article, it is indeed a scam:

It’s a scam. Plain and simple.

Log in to swoopo.com and look look at the laptops. Then in another browser window go to swoopo.co.uk and look at the laptops. The swoopo gangsters sell a $1200 laptop and a £1200 laptop (which are totally different models and specifications) on each site but they combine the bids. For example see:

http://www.swoopo.co...o-notebo/104120.html

and

http://www.swoopo.co...uo-vista/104120.html

This is TOTALLY FRAUDULENT - AND CRIMINAL!!!

How these guys get away with this is beyond me. I might as well be bidding on an Andy Warhol in NYC and someone else standing in London bidding on a Corvette and the bids being combined.

This site needs shut down, and the german guy that’s running is locked up.

Now, the interesting thing about this is that they use the same number value for both auctions. The US site uses US Dollars and the UK site uses British Pounds. But both sites use the same number. And last time I checked, $1200 is about half as much as £1200. So not only are they scamming by merging the bids for two auctions, but they're also ripping off people who pay with currencies that have higher monetary values.

« Last Edit: November 02, 2008, 02:40:59 PM by Deozaan »

jgpaiva

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Re: Swoopo - A New Take on Online Auctions, or a Scam?
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2008, 02:11:38 PM »
Deozaan: read a few comments bellow that one, someone from swoopo shows that the screenshot has been tampered.
I don't know who to trust, but I sure won't put my money in there :)

Deozaan

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Re: Swoopo - A New Take on Online Auctions, or a Scam?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2008, 02:12:58 PM »
jgpaiva: Those are not screenshots. Those are actual pages on the real websites. Check out the links for yourself.


jgpaiva

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Re: Swoopo - A New Take on Online Auctions, or a Scam?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2008, 02:34:16 PM »
Oh, sorry, I didn't read your post correctly, I thought you meant the other post a few bellow that one.

You're right: something fishy is going on there, the same  user getting 2 items on different sites with the same bidding, at the same time.. I'd go for what you said: there are false bidders by swoopo.

Jimdoria

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Re: Swoopo - A New Take on Online Auctions, or a Scam?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2008, 09:32:27 AM »
Just looking at the middle item in the screenshot tells me this is a scam.

Bidding on cash? That's just absurd. Why would you bid on cash? Why would anyone auction off cash? All by itself, this item shows this site up as a come-on for suckers.

This reminds me of those games you find on the midway at carnivals and places like Coney Island. The fabulous prizes are prominently displayed to whet your appetite, but getting hold of them is never as simple (or cheap) as it seems.

(And what's with the "100% off" banner? Are they saying this cash used to be worth $80,000? Or that you can win it by bidding $0.00? Neither makes any sense.)
- Jimdoria ~@>@

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who divide everybody into two kinds of people, and those who don't.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2008, 09:36:21 AM by Jimdoria »

4wd

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Re: Swoopo - A New Take on Online Auctions, or a Scam?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2008, 01:49:01 AM »
(And what's with the "100% off" banner? Are they saying this cash used to be worth $80,000? Or that you can win it by bidding $0.00? Neither makes any sense.)

 :huh: 100% off of anything is always going to be nothing, so I'm not quite sure where you got $80,000 from.

My guess is that the "100% off" applies to it's initial starting price which was $0.00

Reading the page that jgpaiva pointed to, as is said by the current last comment on that page, the only way to win on Swoopo is to win blocks of Free Bids and then use those to collect more and more.  Then use all those free bids to win what you want, constantly topping up by winning more blocks of free bids.

mwb1100

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Re: Swoopo - A New Take on Online Auctions, or a Scam?
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2009, 06:27:57 PM »
It's a total scam. As Jeff Atwood says, "swoopo is about as close to pure, distilled evil in a business plan as I've ever seen".

Deozaan

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Re: Swoopo - A New Take on Online Auctions, or a Scam?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2009, 06:45:53 PM »
It's a total scam. As Jeff Atwood says, "swoopo is about as close to pure, distilled evil in a business plan as I've ever seen".

That's the same conclusion I came to last November. And I believe we have a spammer who resurrected a 5 month thread to post about a similarly evil business plan in rockybid.

« Last Edit: March 26, 2009, 06:47:36 PM by Deozaan »

scancode

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Re: Swoopo - A New Take on Online Auctions, or a Scam?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2009, 06:55:17 PM »
It’s a scam. Plain and simple.
http://www.swoopo.co...o-notebo/104120.html
http://www.swoopo.co...uo-vista/104120.html

Both laptops were won by the same individual!

also: h**p://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=15569.msg156964#msg156964 looks spamish! offending post removed
« Last Edit: March 26, 2009, 06:59:07 PM by scancode »

Deozaan

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Re: Swoopo - A New Take on Online Auctions, or a Scam?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2009, 06:59:45 PM »
Well, since I started the thread, I guess I'll end it to prevent spammers from resurrecting it again later with links to similar scams.

Swoopo is a scam! Avoid it and sites like it!

Thread locked.