zacronos writes: A new online auction website called Swoopo.com has figured out a better way to part fools from their money. According to Mark Gimein at thebigmoney.com, Swoopo.com 'fiendishly plays on every irrational impulse buyers have to draw them in to what might be the crack cocaine of online shopping sites'. Unlike eBay, Swoopo.com owns the items being sold via auction. The final prices themselves look like great deals, for example a MacBook Pro for $35.86. The catch is that every bid costs $.60, and in a standard auction each bid can only raise the price by $.12, though in a 'penny auction' the raise is a mere $.01. The result is that Swoopo.com makes far more money on bid fees than on the purchase price of the item, making their auctions behave in some ways more like lotteries, while keeping the addictive properties of each. The article has a full analysis.