I was fascinated to discover the auction hybrid site swoopo.com (previously known as telebid.com). It's a strange combination of eBay, woot, and slot machine. Here's how it works:Yes, it's ridiculously stupid to play their game, but people also lose tons of money in Vegas and in state-run lotteries and no one is outraged.
* You purchase bids in pre-packaged blocks of at least 30. Each bid costs you 75 cents, with no volume discount.
* Each bid raises the purchase price by 15 cents and increases the auction time by 15 seconds.
* Once the auction ends, you pay the final price.
I just watched an 8GB Apple iPod Touch sell on swoopo for $187.65. The final price means a total of 1,251 bids were placed for this item, costing bidders a grand total of $938.25.
So that $229 item ultimately sold for $1,125.90.