Calgary teen creates ‘remix of eBay’ auction site, shoots for stars

DustinHe’s just graduated from high school. And while his friends will be handing in their resumes at KFC and Home Depot, he’s looking to hit seven digits before he starts university in the fall. And that’s only the beginning for this ambitious teen, who quips that “a million doesn’t get you that far anyway.”

His name is Dustin Miller , and he’s the founder of SwiftBidder, a creative new auction website that the high school graduate describes as a ‘remix of eBay.’

The site functions rather uniquely: each item begins at $0, and all bids raise the price of an item by just a single cent. And the items can be fancy, from iPhones to laptops. What this means is that bidders have a shot and buying a Macbook for six dollars. To make it even more interesting, each bid extends an auction time by 10 seconds, creating a frantic, strategic race for the item.

The catch? Every bid costs money—about 70 cents Canadian and up. So if you ended up bidding 10 times on an item and end up losing the auction, you’re out seven dollars regardless. But it’s the risk that a rapidly growing number of users are willing to take for a shot at insanely reduced item costs. It’s high-risk for both Dustin and the bidders.

Dustin is the only member of the ‘company’ right now, but already has aspirations for office space and a team of employees. They may be delayed by his getting an education, but at least he’s going in for the right major: business.


Fresh-faced and nasal-voiced, this teen may not strike you as the entrepreneurial type. But in his video for CityTV Calgary, Dustin seems perfectly comfortable one-manning this emerging internet sensation, and appears stoic as to the cash flow he’s about to receive. If he can keep his cool and focus on the business, not the quick cash, eBay execs may just be holding a meeting soon on how the heck to foil that meddling teen and his new-fangled auction site.