SellMoo: Penny auction bliss

The world is full of people who are stuck in the past.  The Flat Earth Society, for example, thinks the world is not a spherical orb.  There are also legends of Japanese soldiers holed up in mountains still awaiting a mainland Allied invasion.  And, in this day and age, there are still people who pay full price for stuff.  People who walk into a retail store or retailers’ Web sites and get gouged.  These people, like their anachronistic brethen, need to wise up and embrace sites like Sellmoo, a penny auction site, where you can get really cool stuff for super-cheap. Pennies, even.

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Hop on the home page and you’ll see what I mean.  You’ll see that bidding for featured products start at, you guessed it, a cent.  When I hopped on, I saw an Apple iPod shuffle, starting at $0.03 (it’s retail value was $79.99.)  Seven hours remained in the auction, and the suspense was killing me.  I clicked on the product, and was taken to a page with additional info (see below), including bid history, payment information, and the ever-clicking clock.  Jeeze, I thought: bid ten cents for an iPod shuffle – what’s the harm?

So I registered.  I quickly learned there were some nice perks: registration is free, and new users get three free bids.  SellMoo also provides seven bid packages at a flat rate: 20 bids for $10 up to 1,500 bids for $750.  A middle-of-the-road packge – the BigPack Medium: 100 bids at $50 – probably pays for itself relatively quickly.  Upon activating my account, I rolled up to the My Bids page.  It was here where I will naturally track my bids.  There are other nifty things within this page as well, including Watched Auctions, My BuyNow List, and the SellMoo newsletter.

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I also checked out the Community page.  It was here I could comment on video games, handbags (love ’em), and other products.  There was also a Forum page where I could discuss SellMoo gossip and suggest products.  Also, now that I was registered in logged in, all I had to do was click on the green “Place Bid” button to place my bid.  Then just sit back and watch the iPods flow like wine.

A couple of quick suggestions.

  • Since both the Community and Forum pages involve end user feedback and discussion, perhaps they could be consolidated.  Specifically, take the two forums from the Forum page – General and Product Suggestions – and drop them in Community.  Just a thought.
  • I was intrigued by certain things within the My Bids page, such as the AutoBidder.  I imagined a mechanism in which I’d automatically bid on certain types of products within a certain price range.  It’d be nice to have some Web copy to that effect on this page, plus instructions on how to set it up.
  • Where is Sellmoo, the Sellmoo cow mascot?  Perhaps I’m in an animal-centric frame of mind – we did just profile RecipeChimp, after all – but it’d be cool to have a mascot or something to brand – pun intended – the site.

All in all, I found Sellmoo to actually have a far more intuitive feel than other auction sites like eBay.  The bidding-at-a-penny concept is especially cool because it appeals to our inate sense of thrift – as anyone whose seen the popularity of the penny slots at a casino can attest.  It’s low-risk bidding, and the potential reward is fantastic.  If anything, it’s better than gambling.  I mean, you sit at the slots all day, and walk away with what, four bucks?  A few watered-down gin and tonics?  Some Tom Jones revue?  No thanks.