If you’re a fan of online gambling masquerading as an auction, you’ll have to turn away from Swoopo and instead use one of its dozens of clones. The penny-auction leader filed for bankruptcy last week, and the site has been down due to “technical issues” for over a week. Will it be back? No one knows, and no one at Swoopo is answering support e-mails or any other contact.
We often receive e-mails from readers wondering whether this or that penny auction site is an awesome way to kill time and get cheap iPads, or a scam. Back in 2009, we looked at Swoopo, and penny auction sites have proliferated since then. The sites differ somewhat, but the business model is always the same, with users placing prepaid bids, and the auction site collecting far more from all of the bids than the retail value of the item. It’s like a very lucrative, for-profit raffle.
Just in case that headline doesn’t make it clear: we do not recommend you try Swoopo, because you do not want to experience retail crack. Stay far, far away from Swoopo. Swoopo will feed into every gambling and spending impulse buried in the irrational parts of your brain, and suck up your money. There’s a reason the site describes itself as “entertainment shopping.”