Monday, November 17, 2008

The Internet -- Creating hobbies you never would have imagined.

So I found a new hobby online.

There's this site called It's a type of eBay bidding monster. There's a ton of these right? Why is this one a "hobby"?

The site, Swoopo, buys all of the merchandise themselves and puts it up for bid. They don't put a reserve on it, and it starts at about $1. There is a long timer on each of these, but as is the usual on eBay, no one bids until it's down to about 10 seconds. Well, every time you bid, it brings the timer back up 15 seconds. Well, that's not so bad right? You just have to keep sharpshooting someone until they finally give up.

It gets better. The price on the bid doesn't go up a certain amount that YOU put in that you want to bid up to. It goes up incrementally 15 cents each time. So when you bid, you've only increased the bid by 15 cents, keeping the bids low for a long period of time, and the bid sniping on your toes for what could end up being hours.

So, still sounds like a good idea, right? Here's the catch: they sell you the BIDS. That's right, every time you hit the bid button, you've said goodbye to $1. A DOLLAR A BID. Or a little less if you buy the bidpacks (I imagine, I didn't register to find out). So now, you REALLY feel like you have to win cause you've already bid 15 times on something that is steadily becoming NOT as much of a deal. Can you believe how much this site is making? Someone that buys an item that's worth $120 for only $31 ... If it starts at $1, then that's 200 bids. Swoopo makes $231 on the $120 item. The person that wins the item .. well, they came away with a steal (or maybe not!) and the rest of them are screwed. This is gambling in a big way.

The reason I call it a hobby is because it's awesome to watch. It's not old-school like eBay. You don't have to pound the F5 key and hope that you're going to keep getting updated. It's all put together in nice javascript so that you can watch the timers and see the price updated real time so that you can see the sniping action.

Also, there's a program that they provide called "BidButler" that you can set up to bid a certain amount of times at a certain price for a certain increment, etc etc. The thing just bids automatically for you on whatever you set with the criteria. This thing is making them TONS of money. If two people have the BidButler going, then you can sometimes see 40-50 bids made instantly, shooting the price up a couple bucks and elongating the time for about 10 minutes or so. Then no one bids for about oh, ALL of that time except 15 seconds, and then the sniping happens again.

So what makes this so interesting? Following it until the big win happens. Then it shows you all the stats, INCLUDING how many bids the winner made and what their savings are. There are different kinds of auctions too, that just keep the bidding going forever. One is the 100% off auction, where if you win, you just don't pay for it. So how are you going to quit bidding since you can win a $1000 item for NOTHING except your dollar bids? If you were that lucky guy that hit it once at the end and grabbed it, the item costs you $1! And that's what keeps it going.

I just watched one where they sold a "vacuuming robot". It was a "Fixed Price" auction where they tell you the price and that's what you pay if you win. Very much akin to the 100% auctions. The retail price was $449.99, and the fixed price was $35. The "price" on the auction went up to $990 or so before the winner was finally announced. This guy was not at the computer, and it was obvious because his BidButler was just bidding like crazy. It showed his $35 price for the item and his 3,188 bids. That's right. He just bought this $500 piece of crap for $3,223. I like how Swoopo makes no bones about making you feel stupid. It finishes off by showing "Total Savings!: 0%" I laughed and laughed and laughed. Oh man. So entertaining.

I hope he doesn't off himself or something when he finds out. I can see this kinda ruining your life so easily without even being at the computer, but I can't help watching the train wreck.

Oh, gotta go. I've been watching this Nintendo DS auction since it was $8, and it's peaking $93 right now. *grabs popcorn*

Update: It finished. Retail price: $129.99. Winning bid: $122.85. # of bids: 26. Shipping: $12.90. Total Savings: You guessed it. 0%.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

On the "To Do" list for the day after the election:

- Begin crafting large decorative "I told you so" banners for a year from now.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Day two of the radio jingle compo

So, today, Mark Frenkle (of Frenkle and Frenkle) joined Ben and Skin in the studio to cut the 15 entries down to 3. As well documented in the last mp3, my song DEFINITELY would not win, and it didn't. But Mark Frenkle was more than impressed by how awesome it was (and by awesome I mean, do these people not realize I spent about an hour throwing this patheticness together?). The clip says it all.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My radio debut

So, there's this talk radio station in Dallas (Live 105.3), and they've got a couple new guys for the mid day show. They've also had this one advertisement on for as long as I can remember for "The Dogs", a lawyer duo (Frenkle and Frenkle) that pretty much take care of you if you're in a car wreck that isn't your fault, or in a divorce, or what have you.

This midday show (Ben and Skin) put together a competition to create a new "The Dogs" jingle. I of course took about 2 hours out of my day to throw something really stupid together and sent it in. It didn't matter how bad it was, they would play part of it and then decide if it made it as a finalist (which really wasn't much of a deal seeing as how 15 of 30 entries are finalists). But mine somehow found their good graces in the 2nd half when they decided to start being a lot less lenient. Mostly this just made me laugh.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Biten, bruised, cut...

...scraped, tired, swollen, blistered, calloused, and burnt.

Fantastic weekend.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


So I'm trying to finish some stuffins up today because I'm flying out to Toronto this evening. And as far as "finishing stuff up" goes, I don't really give a flying poop about these things once 3pm shows up. I'M COMING MARLIN!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Aruba bound ...

Yep. End of August.

Next is Jamaica, then ooh, I wanna take ya.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

From the "lowly musician"

A WIP I put together last evening. (Work-In-Progress)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

This one is for Ben.

I'm not TOO sure he even reads my blog.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The new list -- excess inventory with the Travel Network