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Author Topic: NANY 2010 FINAL RELEASE: SwoopoSpy  (Read 5689 times)
wraith808
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« on: December 31, 2009, 02:09:55 PM »

NANY 2010 Entry Information

Application Name SwoopoSpy
Version 1.00
Short Description Spy on your Swoopo Auctions
Supported OSes Windows XP and Vista tested
Web PageMy Software
Download LinkDirect Download
System Requirements
  • .NET 2.0 Framework
  • Internet Explorer 6+
Version History
  • 0.85 Initial Pre-Release Version
  • 1.00 Final Release Version - Added Help, Ability to vertically resize, and About box.
Author wraith808
Screencast


Description
I don't know if anyone else has gotten involved in the penny auction craze, but I have- especially on Swoopo.  I've purchased things for insane prices- even given the price of the bids!  One problem I had was keeping track of several auctions at once.  That's what this program does!

Features
SwoopoSpy lets you add an auction to a spy pane, and keep all of your auctions in front of you in one window.  A pretty simple application once you get down to it.

Planned Features
Because I just started a new job, and just moved interstate, I didn't get to implement all of the features that I had planned- I barely got this done on time!  But there are several other features that I want to implement, including:
  • Auction Type (penny, .02, etc)
  • Visual notification of time going to less than a minute.
  • Visual notification of custom events, i.e. auction becoming closed, price hitting a certain point
  • Notification of the number of bids you've used
  • Notification of profit margin
  • E-mail, text balloon, and/or audio notification when a certain threshold is reached
  • The ability to minimize to the tray notification area

Screencast
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A50sSav1zXQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A50sSav1zXQ</a>

Screenshots




Usage
Installation
Make sure you have .NET 3.5 and IE installed.  Extract the files to a folder and run it.

Using the Application
Go to Swoopo in your favorite browser.  Find the auction that you want to follow.  Copy the URL and paste it into SwoopoSpy, and click add.  Profit!

Note that auctions take a while to load because of error checking that the program does against the URL.  If you want to speed up loading auctions, you can un-check the "Check URLs" setting in the status bar.  A lot of error checking is done before time, so your results if you enter an incorrect URL may crash the program...

Uninstallation
Delete the folder that you extracted the files to.

Known Issues
Behind proxies (at work for instance) there are sometimes script errors when loading the auction.  You can safely ok these.  I'm not sure why proxies make the page load differently in the WebBrowser control. (If someone has an inkling, I'd appreciate the tip!)
« Last Edit: January 01, 2010, 09:03:46 PM by Perry Mowbray » Logged

CWuestefeld
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2009, 02:33:26 PM »

This looks like good work, but you might want to consider:

Quote
In short, swoopo is about as close to pure, distilled evil in a business plan as I've ever seen. -- From Coding Horror

Quote
I have to admit to a certain admiration of this sick scheme. It's brilliant. It probably isn't even illegal, and probably can't be made illegal easily. And with the outrageous return-on-investment the company makes on their product, it's going to be impossible to dry up the pool of marks enough to put them entirely out of business. -- http://www.jerf.org/iri/post/2888

Quote
Here's a case of someone who bought a Wii console system for a bid price of $183.60, but along the way had to place 427 bids, thus paying $320.25 for the privilege of then spending an additional $183.60 to actually buy the product. Even at the top-dollar resale value listed for the product of $249.99, that's a net overspend. And you can find a new Wii system for a lot less than $249.99 with minimal searching. -- http://notapottedplant.bl...t-and-evil-and-gives.html
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wraith808
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2009, 03:05:12 PM »

That's a matter of the person bidding, not the scheme.  I'm going to put a link to it in the about box, but a friend of mine coded a site http://www.operationeagleeye.com.  It's free- you can give donations- and it's well worth it.  It aggregates the data from completed auctions, and you can see that a *lot* of people make out pretty good, but a lot of people lose money also.  But it's all in why you're bidding, and understanding the process.  Of the sites, Swoopo is best IMO because your bids are a rebate against the item.  So if I spend $75 on bids on an item that's $90 and lose it, I can then purchase it for $15.  The point is when you get to that magical ratio of price/2 spent in bids, you're better off losing it, then paying the extra.  So the other part becomes don't bid on items you can't afford, and bid on items that you'd want, even if you had to spend full price.

A couple of real-life examples to let you see what I'm talking about.

1.  I wanted a printer.  The printer I wanted was $129 on amazon, but I saw it on Swoopo.  The price on the printer was $99.  I bid on it until the amount I spent in bids on the printer was $85.  If I had *won*, I would have had to spend the $85 in bids, plus the $40 that the price was up to- a losing proposition.  But I intentionally lost, and spent the extra $15 to get the printer.  Still cheaper than Amazon, and I had what I wanted.

2. My son wanted the Tony Hawk game.  I spent $45 on bids up front.  I was willing to spend a bit more on bids because I wanted to get it, and the price they were selling for was full retail.  But it ended up I didn't have to, because I got it for 11 bids, and $11 (estimated).  So for $11 + $45, I purchased a $119 game.  And it got even better, because with the bids that I had left over, I also won DJ Hero (which I wanted for myself) for approx $9, and Tekken 6 (which I wanted) for $4.44.  So for $45 + $11 + $9 + $4.44 ($69.44 for those keeping count), I purchased about $280 worth of product.

It's people that go in wanting get rich schemes or not understanding the system or getting caught up in the bidding that lose out IMO...  you have to approach it with a reasoned head, as with anything else.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 03:27:21 PM by wraith808 » Logged

CWuestefeld
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2009, 03:17:30 PM »

a friend of mine coded a site http://www.operationeagleeye.com.  It's free- you can give donations

Can you check that URL? My DNS here isn't resolving it.
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wraith808
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"In my dreams, I always do it right."

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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2009, 03:22:56 PM »

He's having some DNS issues Sad  Try http://67.187.5.115/EagleEyeWebsite.  Hopefully the other will be available soon...
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mouser
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2009, 11:28:13 PM »

Regardless of whether you use swoopo, it's a kind of neat tool  thumbs up
Is it supposed to remember the auctions between restarts of the program? that would be a nice feature?
Click Options button or About button dont seem to have any effect.
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wraith808
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2010, 04:55:54 PM »

The final release is posted.  The changes I was able to make were to add the about box, add help (in deference to those who think Swoopo is the most evil thing, I have put a disclaimer and a bit about penny auctions in the help), Create a logo, and changed the dialog to be sizeable vertically.  I'll be adding more... if anyone has any other suggestions, let me know!
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