Monday, September 7, 2009

Here's an Honest Penny Auction Site

I've been using this lazy Labor Day to take inventory of all the penny auction sites out there. I want to see how many old ones are still active and how many new ones have sprung-up, at last count the field stood at 52. I'll post the full report later, but in the meantime I thought I'd share this landing page announcement from Hasteno, perhaps the last honest penny auction.

I don't know what it was about Hasteno that caused it to fail, the name and the color scheme are two obvious choices. However, if one thing is clear it's that in this industry there will have to be lots of losers. With more than 50 penny auction sites currently in existence and more starting-up all the time the market is simply too small to support all these sites. Economies of scale and credibility should allow the top few sites to dominate the industry while others fail and die out. Credibility might be the largest barrier to entry and if this is the case Swoopo should be just fine - I think the guys over at August Capital who plunged $10mm into Swoopo should breath easy - although, I really don't know what their exit strategy is. I can't imagine seeing SWPO on my Bloomberg Terminal anytime soon.

I'll post the full report later today, and FYI the Swoopo Mini auction is now at just under $4,000 with no sign of stopping anytime soon.

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