Swoopo's auction for a new 2009 Mini Cooper convertible with a street price of $24,550 ended minutes ago at a fraction of that price. The winning bidder, CaCO3, won with 2655 bids and will pay a total price (bids + ending auction price) of $5,532.96 + a $550 delivery charge.
32,828 bids were cast in the auction which started last Wednesday and stretched across Labor Day weekend. If Swoopo collected full revenue from each bid (they didn't) their take from bids would be just under $20,000 which when added to the final selling price of $3939.36 brings them pretty close to price of the car. While we don't know what Swoopo's purchase price of this car was we have no reason to believe they bought at a substantial discount, meaning they almost certainty lost money on this item.
I originally guessed the car would sell for around $18,000, which to me allowed for the winner to take a small margin that I perceived as sufficient compensation for the risks and efforts involved in acquiring the car. Boy was I wrong. Now Swoopo has a bit of a dilemma, do they put another car up because people saw what a great deal it is or do they never mention this day again? I expect we won't be seeing another car on Swoopo anytime soon.