Swoopo.com, the inventor of penny auctions, invited us to visit their Mountain View, CA offices to get a behind-the-scenes look at how they run Swoopo US. Swoopo is primarily headquarted in Munich with a team of close to 40, but all of the items for the US are located in a warehouse in central California. Customer service, product sourcing, and marketing for the US is done here. We took a few pictures for you and while there this Wednesday we spoke with Swoopo’s CEO, Frank Han.
We spoke with Frank about Swoopo and got his insight on the penny auction industry. We’ll post the video of our conversation soon. In the meantime, here are a few good points Frank made:
“We’re in the Gold Rush Stage and there’s a bit of Naivety”
Frank tells us that he’s waiting for the time that consumers will exercise more judgment and just say no to the questionable penny auction sites.
Swoopo, being the first penny auction site, is unique to the Internet and Frank tells us that there are some elements of things that can be great but he knows that there are problems:
1. Bad operators – people who are just ripping off penny auction bidders
2. How can people feel good about playing penny auctions even if they don’t win. He tells us that there’s innovation that will happen to make the game more interesting to people even if they don’t win. Swoopo is working on solving the answers to the questions that puzzle people about penny auctions and he doesn’t think the way the industry is now will continue, especially probidders dominating the auctions.
The best advice Frank can give bidders is to watch, don’t just buy a small bid pack & sprinkle a few bids. Get educated. Swoopo has published an official guide with valuable tips to bidding on Swoopo.
“The scam penny auction sites are bad for everyone, the industry, consumers, the people trying to build legitimate businesses, there’s no reason why penny auctions can’t be fun, enjoyable, fair, open & transparent.”
His advice to people looking to start a penny auction:
“Let me assure all the people out there looking to start a penny auction, it is not as easy as you think it is.” There are many who have tried and failed, it’s not so easy. And there is advantage to having capital, a business plan & knowing what you’re getting into vs. answering a Tweet with someone saying they have a Swoopo Clone.”
Swoopo a Part of The e-Commerce 2.0 Revolution is Working to Make the Consumer Happy from Beginning to End
“I like to think about Swoopo as being apart of this e-commerce 2.0 revolution that includes Woot, the Gilt Groupe, Groupon & LivingSocial, I think that penny auctions fall into this next generation, not your mother’s Amazon. It’s a different way to interact with products, services and deals. I think that we and other companies have done a pretty good job of getting through the first generation of penny auctions and, now the company that really figures out how to make the customer happy from beginning to end will really get somewhere great and I think it’s going to be us.”
Overall Frank is excited for the future of Swoopo and penny auctions and we are too. We’d like to thank him and the rest of the Swoopo team for letting us visit! Thanks Swoopo!
Discuss this in our Penny Auction Forum!
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