Quibids.com & Swoopo in Canada: How it Works, How They Can Do It, Why To Not Use Swoopo



2013 update: Swoopo is closed. But quibids.com is largely the same (and operated today)   

Swoopo launched in Canada around a month ago, and my mom's cousin just showed me the service.

It's a lot like Ebay and a raffle mashed together. 

Take the bidding of Ebay and the losers-put-in-money-and-get-nothing aspect of a raffle, and you get Swoopo. 

The company makes a good chunk of money off each item, though the winning "bidder" often gets a good deal. The non-winning bidders, aka the losers, end up spending a lot of money and getting nothing out of it.

How Swoopo Works (and makes their money selling things so "cheap")

The company itself, Swoopo, seems to sell the items, so you don't have to worry about sketchy sellers, except possibly Swoopo. They've been in this business for a while in Europe, so they're not particularly fly-by-night. I'll assume that they do ship out won items promptly. I'm not sure where they source their stuff, or ship their stuff from. 

Each bid must be purchased, and costs 65 cents. You prepay for blocks of bids. But each bid will only raise the price of an item by X cents, usually 6 cents, but sometimes just 1 cent or 2 cents. The items also start at that price. 

In other words, you can't bid $50 right off the bat and spend just 65 cents.  They do have a "BidButler" that will automatically bid on your behalf, but these still cost 65 cents each. 

So, if an item sells for $60, and it's a "6 cent" auction, that means that there were exactly  1000 bids (well, 999 actually). So, the total cost of all of these bids were $650 (1000 bids * 65 cents each). An item that sells for $120 means that $1300 was spent on bids. 

In this scenario, an indvidual may have made just that final bid (spending 65 cents) and $60 for a $$$ item. But Swoopo got a total revenue of $650 from all of the loser "bidders". 

Under NO circumstances should you compare the final prices for the same item when one was a "2 cent" auction and the other was a "6 cent" auction. The "2 cent" auction had 3x as many bids and therefore 3 times as much money spent on bids. You simply can't compare the final prices. 

I'll just bid at the last second then!

Well, not so fast, the auction automatically gets extended whenever there's a new bid at the last moments, so Swoopo can really wring people out. 

So, whoever "wins" the item generally fares pretty well as long as they didn't submit too many bids themselves, but everyone else lost huge (no return on many $$$ bids). You can only come ahead yourself if you keep "winning" items at reasonable prices after accounting for all of your losses.

If two (or more) people have the same product in mind, things can get very ugly for the buyer. 

Swoopo is smart too, if they lose money on an item, you just won't see that item listed anymore, or they'll list them more infrequently. They seem to do very well with Blackberries and iPhones, so you see plenty of those listed. 

Interestingly, their server for their Canadian operations is in Germany (where the company was founded), so there might be some time-advantages if someone in Europe wrote some careful scripts, but unlikely. 

If you really want to go on this site (which I don't recommend), you're like to do better if you bid on late night or early morning auctions, since there are less people bidding that could cause you to lose money. 

My Advice? Go with Ebay (or Craigslist) rather than playing this raffle.  Raffles, like Swoopo are designed to take in more money than the item being sold, like a lottery. On average, you'll lose, unless you just happen to know the impossible: when other people will stop bidding and you can snipe the item. 

Buy Silver Bar

I am impressed with this site,thanks for sharing your post.........!

swoopo winner

I personally have won a ton of items off swoopo. in about 3 days i won over 5000 dollars worth of stuff from tv, gold bar, ps3 and 24 silver bars. i love it but now there website is down and i have over 1000 bids in my account. i hope they don't steal it lol

SWOOPO can rip you off EVEN MORE

I had won some small items on swoopo and had been a fan UNTIL just recently...

In the past, if auction# 325191 is for a wireless mouse, then you're competing against other bidder for the mouse ONLY. If you're the highest bidder when the clock gets to zero, you win the wireless mouse for that price.

Recently Swoopo has changed the way they operate.

Let say for auction# 325217, this item is for a "Targus Wireless Laser Laptop Mouse", worth about 59.99.

BUT auction# 325217 is also for "Super Mario (Wii)", "Rome Canvas Print" and a "16gig SD card".

What does that mean? Well, if you're bidding on the wireless mouse, thinking that some one else isn't interested in it so less competition, well... if someone else is bidding for the 16gig SD card, that bid is against your bid... And if you have another bidder bidding on the Super Mario game for their kids... that bid goes against you.

In the end the winner of auction# 325217 will win either the:
16gig SD card OR
wireless mouse OR
canvas print OR
the super mario game for the Wii.

This does generate a nice profit for Swoopo, but makes it much much harder for the bidder to win.

I have 600 bids left with swoopo, after all 600 bids are exhaused, I don't think I'll ever buy another bidpack from them again... I don't agree with their new schemes.

If you enjoy bidding, stick with ebay, that's where I'm heading after all 600 bids are gone.

Solutions

We are in the middle of bringing a new auction to life, and after reading the negative posts we have decided to invite all who have been disappointed to send any and all suggestions to socialnetworkmarketing@hotmail.com( subject "PENNYHELP"). We are dedicated to bring the fun without the disappointment and "lost" deliveries.

thanks for posting helpful

thanks for posting helpful coments

Swoopo phone numbers

I have several Swoop phone numbers - they owe me also for 2 months now - nothing to date but what I would consider false lies
From what I figure, they do not use a land based phone - all numbers are personal cell phones
I also have some direct email contacts

why dont you share your knowledge

share these numbers whats wrong with you

Swoop

Hi,

would you be able to send me some the info that you have regarding Swoop? The phone numbers and the emails? I'd like to contact them but couldn' find any info.....

MACBOOK

I've had the sam experience as it seems that their e-mail is just a computer generated reply. I've waited over 2 weeks for my laptop. Mind you, I ended buying it since I over extended my bids close to the purchase price. I ended up paying for it full amount plus some.
Very unhappy and thinking of reporting this to BBB.
Anyone thinking about Swoopo, don't bother.

Did you ever end up getting

Did you ever end up getting your camera?

swoopo customer lack-of-service

You'll hear elsewhere about how the system works and it can certainly be profitable for them which will lead to many copycat sites soon. The system isn't evil or a scam (I'm hoping as you'll find out) and yes, there are some idiots who have spent more in bids than the cost of the item! It's rare, but true.

In my case, I was looking to get a new camera when I found swoopo and saw that there was an auction for the same camera. I checked the closed auctions to get an idea of how much it went for previously, whether it was a 'bidbutler' or single bid that won, the time of day, etc. I also watched a couple of auctions before taking my chances for the first time. In the end, I was very fortunate to win and for a good price as well. I paid for it immediately and then went looking for accessories from other sites that I'd need (filter, batteries, memory) and ordered them over the next week or so.

During the 2nd week following the auction, I began to receive some of the camera accessories I'd ordered the week before, but still no camera.

The time to expect delivery of the camera was 7 to 14 days and after 14 I tried contacting swoopo to find out what had happened. I first went to their help page to search the FAQs and a way to contact them. They had an email address that I used where I explained how I'd won an auction, etc. and not long after sending it I received the automated reply from their site. I think it was 2 or 3 days later when 'JT' from support got back to me and I was a little surprised at what he'd said. Here's the bulk of it:
" Sorry for the late respond, you should have received your items already. Please
let me know if you haven't, I will obtain the tracking number for you."

When I read it, a few thoughts immediately came to mind. First, if I'm contacting you about not having received the camera after the 14 days, why 'ASK' if I want a tracking number? Don't you think I'd like it? Why not include it in your response so I can check it if the camera is still missing? Then again, why not check it yourself before getting back to me to see what was happening with it? Why do we have to go through another lengthly round of emails to get the tracking number and in a worst-case scenerio have to get back to JT again to say it's still not here? If I was JT, I'd be a bit more proactive by checking for myself and getting an answer for the customer so they know what's going on and whata to expect. But, that's me. Still, I don't mind waiting a bit longer if I know it's really on the way. I'm not trying to be a problem child, just doing some business.

So, I replied to JT's email immediately asking for the tracking number and letting him know the camera was still missing. This was Aug 27th 2009 and yesterday, Sept 1 2009, I went to the web-form again to follow up on my email to JT. I'd given them full 3 working days to do so and as I write this a day later at the end of the next work day I still haven't received a response. How backlogged are they? Is JT on vacation or gone back to school or something?

As part of a Plan B, I also informed them of a 48 hour deadline in which to receive a response (non-automated hopefully) after which I would file with small claims court for the camera. All I want is the camera and I'm willing to bend over backwards if need be but don't abuse the situation and leave me hanging. A simple email is all you need to do at this point after all.

I've also started to fill out a small claims form and I have to supply a phone number for swoopo along with their Pacific Centre address in Vancouver. After hours of searching I still hadn't found any phone directory listing for swoopo or swoopo entertainment shopping inc or any variation of the name in Vancouver. So now I'll wait until Thursday at the latest (72 hours) and then travel from Vancouver Island to Vancouver to knock on their door to ask for their phone number in person. Seems kind of stupid to have to do that but what other option is there?

You won't have a problem giving them your money or spending your bids. Assuming you never win, you'll only have the disappointment of wasting your money. If you do win, hopefully you'll have no problem! My issue is only of dealing with the support department and getting more than a one way response that does nothing to solve my problem.

Good luck to you and wish me some good luck since I seem to need it! I'll try to remember to follow up on what comes out of this.

Failed Delivery of a won Camera

Hey there "Swoopo Customer lack-of-service"
As I read your post I feel like you wrote my story. I won an auction on August 14 and have sent many emails with regards to the where and when of delivery.
I have only received the automated response with regards to that email. I have given them until today Sept. 4th to respond before I go to the "appropriate authorities", which I guess will lead me to the small claims court also.
If you do find out their phone number would you please pass it along to me. Although like you I just want the camera!!!
email me at dynogirlbc@yahoo.ca.
Cheers

Try hunting them down through their domain registration

http://www.networksolutions.com/whois-search/swoopo.ca

Domain name: swoopo.ca
Domain status: EXIST
Domain number: 2450034
Approval date: 2008/08/28
Renewal date: 2010/08/28
Updated date: 2009/02/24

Registrar:
Name: Webnames.ca Inc.
Number: 70

Registrant:
Name: Stuart Hoegner
Number: 2685567

Administrative contact:
Name: Stuart Hoegner
Job Title:
Postal address: 3329A Yonge St
Toronto ON M4N 2L9 Canada
Phone: 1 416 5450001
Fax: 1 416 5451233
Email: cctld@knipp.de

Technical contact:
Name: netplace Telematic Hostmaster
Job Title:
Postal address: netplace Telematic GmbH
Marsstr. 26
Muenchen 80335 Germany
Phone: 011 49 89 5518050
Fax: 011 49 89 55180524
Email: registry@netplace.de

Other Options....

While sites like swoopo ARE difficult to win on and can be very frustrating (I know, I've tried) There ARE other sites out there that are younger with less competition and a much better chance at success. Sites like bidcactus.com and bidfire.com(my current fav) are much more fun because they have less competition and therefore have a much higher rate of success for people like me! (I've won a nintendo wii and a couple other things) Plus it's more fun than buying a raffle ticket!

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