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The app in action

When it comes to electronics in this city, one day you’re in, the next day you’re out.

The solution? A brand-new app called FOBO, which allows you to upgrade fast by buying and selling gadgets in a live auction that lasts 97 minutes.

Here’s how it works if you’re in the market for, say, a new iPad: After creating a basic account, you select the type of item you’d like to purchase (FitBits, Mac computers and Bose SoundDocks abound). You’ll get push notifications indicating when a new gadget has been posted, along with its original value and current starting price (generally determined by the going rate on eBay). You can ask the owner questions and make bids over the next hour and a half, at which point the auction ends and the winner arranges a mutually convenient place and time to pick up the item. Your credit card is charged after you confirm that your loot is in good condition.

On the selling side, you create a post for, say, an old model of the Garmin Forerunner, including a description and pictures, and it gets priced. Here’s the true genius: If no one takes the bait, FOBO will take it off your hands at the initial listing amount.

Just a few of the crazy deals we spotted: an Apple Cinema Display screen for $475 (originally $1,799) and an iPod Shuffle for $17 (originally $75).

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