Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Penny Auctions have been a fairly quiet affair for the past year. When Swoopo entered the US market last September, the media barely noticed. This spring as new penny auction sites started cropping up all over the web, with dozens to date, few in the media took note. This is part of the reason why we founded Penny Auction Insider. Then, this summer, journalists started to write. There were articles in the San Jose Mercury Times, Washington Post, New York Times, a local ABC station in Philadelphia and on many blogs. Now that the cat is out of the bag, the rest of the media appear eager to follow the story. Last week, the Economist had an overview of penny auctions and earlier this week there were articles on Motley Fool and in Time magazine. I expect an AP or other wire-source story soon that will be syndicated by many more news outlets (if one hasn't already appeared, let me know in the comments if it has).
However, it should be noted that the vast majority of the articles published in the mainstream news are real snoozers for people already... knowledgeable about the world of penny auctions. We at Penny Auction Insider will continue to follow how the media covers the industry, however, will spare readers from summaries of articles that are themselves summaries of the penny auction industry. If you read this blog you are well aware that Swoopo is the biggest site and was first to market, and launched in Germany before coming to the US, I'm yawning , and you know full well that some people get good deals while others lose money, and the games are viewed as deceiving by some because they pit people against each other and some spend more than they realize, exc. exc.
What is most interesting about these recent penny auction articles (most feature Swoopo and mention others in passing) is that there are articles about penny auctions. What will this do for the industry? I think it will allow penny auctions to move closer to the center from the fringes, I think more people will check them out and I think society will become more polarized with some people loving the excitement of playing the games and some people hating them. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the penny auction industry is a small fraction of the size of the big e-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay and has lots of room to grow. In July, eBay had 10 times the traffic on Swoopo.