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November 15, 2009

Swoopo, 'The crack cocaine of auction sites' — Episode 2: It continues to confound

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You know how there are those who are really unhappy when people have a good time because whatever they're doing isn't their personal idea of what makes a good time?

Those are the people, alas, who make the laws and run the country.

Anyway.

Swoopo is an online auction site launched in the U.S. last year, with a wonderfully inventive business model which is completely legal, yet annoys the great and the good to no end.

Among its unusual auction formats, the so-called penny auction, where it costs 60 cents to make a bid one cent higher than the previous one, is the focus of the greatest controversy.

I wrote about it in a July 13, 2009 post.

The objection of those who would tell us how to live, basically, is that people who bid on Swoopo for the most part waste their money, with Swoopo making huge profits and the auction winner getting a great deal.

But I digress.

In today's New York Times Business section Richard H. Thaler, professor of economics and behavioral science at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, takes a close look at Swoopo.

He wrote, "How much danger does Swoopo pose to consumers? Your view of that may depend partly on whether you think people are playing for fun or merchandise. If they are looking for the thrill of chance, it’s hard to argue that Swoopo.com doesn’t have as much right to life as slot machines or state lotteries."

"But if people are looking for a good deal, the right comparison isn’t to gambling, but to a discount retailer. The difference between Swoopo and Best Buy is that at Swoopo you end up paying for stuff in the other guy’s shopping cart."

"It's no surprise that Swoopo has attracted controversy." Bloggers have called it 'evil,' but the company says that its winners save substantially since the winning bids are always well below the retail price of the product and that everyone else gets an exciting experience, which is worth the price of admission."

Since it's completely voluntary and it's a person's own money they're spending, why the baggies in a twist?

Because, because, because... it's stupid to bid since you have to pay each time you bid — admittedly, only one penny — whether or not you ultimately win the auction.

Last I looked, stupid wasn't illegal — if it were, this blog would've shut down on day one.

November 15, 2009 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

What is it?

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Answer here this time tomorrow.

November 15, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Go Ducks

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Last night was the first time I've seen Oregon's matte black football helmet (above) in HD: its industrial chic look is right smart amongst the sparkling metallic flake numbers sported by so many major college (and pro) teams.

Nice job, whomever designed it.

November 15, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Stress Weiner

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"Next time you feel your blood pressure start to rise, just squeeze this 5-1/2"-long foam rubber hot dog and you'll feel better in no time."

$3.50.

November 15, 2009 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Virtual Shoe Museum

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From the website:

••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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The Virtual Shoe Museum was initiated by Liza Snook in 2004. Once the idea was born, a long search began for designers, photographers and publishers connected to shoes. New friendships developed and our mailbox filled with loads of material on fantastic shoes, art and design on shoes.

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And finally, with the help of Taco Zwaanswijk of Interactive Affairs, who designed the site, and Bart van der Ploeg of Resolume, who programmed the database and created the content management system, we're live! And proud! And we're only just beginning....

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If you have any questions about the collection, or leads on shoes or designers, please let us know. Also, we're interested in your opinion on the collection and your experiences in the museum. You can contact the Virtual Shoe Museum by email: Liza@VirtualShoeMuseum.com

••••••••••••••••••••••••••

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You can search the collection by color, designer, focus, material, object type, shoe type, special usage, style or video.

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Fair warning: there goes the day.

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The photos above are from the museum's extensive online collection.

November 15, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Soldier Egg Cup & Toast Cutter

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Includes egg cup, spoon

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and toast cutter.

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£9.

[via laslentejas]

November 15, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Retro Wireless Handset — Adding Bluetooth to an old phone

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Jeff Kyzer's tutorial in the new issue (Volume 20) of Make magazine shows and tells you how to make one for yourself.

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Nifty.

November 15, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Women's wrap boot (medium brown)

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"Elastic wrap extending from the ankle;

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Velcro closure;

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100% cotton canvas upper;

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eva sole with textured bottom

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for improved traction."

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$120.

[via m,appeal]

November 15, 2009 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

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