Damn! Damn, damn!

The Most Evil, Yet Genius Website EVAR!

I don’t know how I hadn’t heard of this. Thanks Eric.

What is it? It’s a bidding site, like eBay, yet sooo much more evil/genius.

Instead of bidding with a price that you specify, you instead place a bid and the site auto-increments the asking price for you by a pre-designated amount. The catch: The site charges you $0.75 for each bid you make.  AND the remaining auction time *increases* every time a bid is placed. This results in perpetual (nearly) income for the site operators as people duke it out.

Here’s a completed auction:

This was a “Penny auction” meaning the starting bid is $0.01 and each additional bid only increments the price by $0.01. From here, you can infer how much money swoopo raked in. The final bid price was $165.96, and since each bid increments the price by 1 cent, 16,595 bids were placed. 16,595 * $0.75 = holy shit $12,446.25. Total genius! So they sold a laptop that cost them at most $1800 and made $12,446.25. Of course, the winning bidder got a decent deal, taking it away for $165.96 + $453.75 (he had placed 605 bids). Some people have won $1200 laptops for $180.

But here’s an example of what can go wrong if you let your gambling emotions take over:

This guy won the final bid price for that Nintendo DS for $82.80, but he placed 178 bids to get there ($133.50). The DS is listed as being worth $129.99. He lost out.

So the masses lose out, and the winner and swoop win. It works so well for them, they can even auction money because profit is almost guaranteed:

How long before the government comes crashing in because they’re not getting a slice of the pie?  I’d say 6-12 months. Any bets? I’ll only charge $0.25 for the right to place a bet.

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