In the following article I provide a review of DealDash, whether it’s a scam, the pros and cons of using DealDash and also some tips on how to maximize wins.
What is DealDash
DealDash is a Penny Auction website where you bid a set amount each time with the hope of being the last bidder and winning the auction. DealDash is one of the oldest running penny auction sites and was founded in 2009, by William Wolfram and has over 4 million registered users on their site. It has a wide variety of everyday items and in a full range of values from $10 to $14,000 and every price in between.
DealDash is very different to online auction sites like eBay where you only pay if you win the auction. With DealDash and other online penny sites – also known as Bidding Fee Auctions – you pay out money for each bid, even if you don’t win.
All auctions start out at nothing and every time a bid is placed the item will increase by a cent. The timer is then reset every time someone places a new bid. This can go on for many hours. When there are no more bids placed the last individual to place a bid wins the auction.
Is DealDash a Scam and How Does it Work?
Well sort of… However, it’s not an illegal scam because there’s no fraud involved. It’s more a scam in the sense that people have unrealistic expectations and don’t understand that in order for DealDash to make money, the average bidder has to spend more overall then it would cost them to purchase the product at retail price.
Whereas eBay is more of an auction, DealDash functions more like a lottery. While some skill is involved, it relies more on persistence and luck. This is because there’s no guarantee you will win. Also because it’s more like gambling than an actual auction it can be addictive, and you can end up losing a lot of money in the process.
Before bidding you have to purchase a Bid pack. DealDash operates as a pay to play model so before you can take part in an auction you need to buy bids. As soon as you have bids in your account you can start bidding.
Bid packs come in various sizes, such as 200 bids. Each time you place a bid, one bid is removed from your bid balance. When you run out of bids, you can either buy more bids, or use the “Buy it Now” option to get your bids back from an auction!
To get more bids and bid on the items up for auction you first have to purchase them. The bids that you purchase are priced between $0.12 and $0.60 each.
Although you spend 12 to 60 cents for each auction bid, the auction price of the item you’re trying to win only goes up by 1 cent. This means you will pay less for the item than you would otherwise pay if you purchased the same product at retail price.
However, this also means the amount you spend on trying to win the auction is often more than the final price of the product, assuming you even win the auction.
So let’s say you’re bidding on a product worth $100…
other people are going to be bidding on that same product until the item reaches say $10 and someone wins it. For example, lets say each bid costs $0.60. This will result in DealDash receiving 1,000 x 0.60 = $600 over the lifetime of that auction. That is $600 plus the $10 of the person that won the auction.
When the item falls below 10 seconds if anyone bids during that time period the timer will get reset back up to 10 seconds. It just goes on and on until the last person that bids is the one that wins. There’s often a lot of time and persistence you have to put in before you have a chance of winning an auction and there’s no guarantee you will win.
The auctions can run for hours and even days if they’re expensive products like a car. In that time, if you are bidding for an expensive product you will rack up several hundred, even thousands of dollars and that doesn’t even include the final auction price for the product.
Once you’ve won the auction just follow the simple checkout process by giving your shipping info and paying the winning bid amount. The item will be processed and shipped within a couple of days.
If you didn’t win you can still purchase the item with the “Buy it Now” feature. By clicking the “Buy it Now” feature they subtract the value of the bids you placed from the value price of the item, leaving only the difference to pay.
DealDash makes more money than they lose from the products they buy and sell on their auction. This is why I consider penny auction sites a scam. However it’s a clever scam because it isn’t obvious.
The following provides both the Pros and Cons of DealDash but also of Penny Auctions in general:
Buy it Now: If you don’t win an auction you can use the “Buy it Now” feature. By clicking the “Buy it Now” feature you can get back all the bid credits you spent.
Bidbuddy: Unlike other penny auction sites that force you to sit around and wait for the bidding to end, DealDash offers Bidbuddy. You can specify the amount of bids you want bid buddy to place for you as well as the maximum bid price and Bidbuddy will do the rest.
Customer Service: The Customer service is great and reviews from others show that DealDash provides quick responses to questions, they’re professional and willing to fix any problems you may be having.
Locked Auction: It’s a way of limiting competition for a particular auction. After a certain amount of time has passed bidders are locked out and are unable to participate in the auction. However those who are left in can continue to participate in the auction. This keeps the auctions fair because the people who invest the time and money will be the ones most likely to win.
Quality products: The products won through DealDash are quality brand name products, not cheap used or refurbished products as far as I can tell.
Free Shipping: There’s Free shipping on all products and there are no hidden costs.
Free bids: You can earn Free bids by purchasing their products directly from the DealDash store
Incremental bidding: You can end up spending far more money then you plan because of the incremental bidding which costs between $0.12 and $0.60 for each bid. You should keep track of how much you’ve lost after each auction ends.
Bidders Lose on Average: DealDash has to make more money than it loses from buying and selling products. They make more money because of the incremental bidding and the fact that only one person can win any given auction, while DealDash profits from the bids spent by all of the losing participants. Consumer Reports noted that DealDash’s own terms of service tell users that they are likely to spend more than the retail cost for products and are unlikely to save money using the site.
High Buying Price: According to Consumer Reports, the “buy it now” prices can be significantly higher than the same products on Amazon.com
Difficulty: People often don’t realize how many people they’re bidding against and how much more experienced these bidders are. They will assume an auction is easier to win then it actually is.
Time Wasted: You can waste a lot of time watching and bidding on items as expensive auctions can run for hours, even days. However, unlike many penny auction sites, they offer a tool called Bidbuddy which does save you a lot of time by bidding automatically.
Pay if you don’t Win: In a normal auction if you don’t win the auction you don’t spend a dime. However, in penny auctions like DealDash you’ll still pay for the bids you’ve spent on an auction even if you don’t win.
Tips for Winning a DealDash Auction
Start Small: If you’re starting out make sure you start small and bid on items that are low cost. This way there is less risk to you.
Buy one bid pack: When you join, just buy one bid pack (this way, you’re guaranteed your money back if you don’t win.
Beginners Only: It’s very easy to win “Beginners only” auctions as they’re only for people starting out who haven’t won more than 3 items. These won’t be high priced, highly sort after products but at least it will give you some confidence and give you a feel for how it works.
Place One bid Early On: DealDash has a “no jumpers” rule which prevents people from jumping into an auction after the price has hit $5. It’s a way of limiting competition for a particular auction. This keeps the auctions fair because the people who invest the time and money will be the ones most likely to win. However, if you place just one bid early on, you can jump back into the auction after the price has hit $5 and preferably when most bidders have exhausted their bids. At that point, the auction is closed to new bidders, which narrows the playing field a bit.
One Second Rule: When bidding on an item try and find out how many people are currently bidding on an auction. To find out how many people are currently bidding on an auction, wait until the ticker reaches the 1 second mark. You’re wasting your time if there’s 4 or 5 people waiting to bid during that last second. Once the bidding war is down to two people, jump in.
Bidbuddy Bids: If there’s 2 or 3 people going at it with Bidbuddy, you should let them burn their bids out. Don’t jump in there with a bid because the room is still hot. It’s likely they’ll just outbid you with an automatic bid.
Alternatives to DealDash
Some other Penny Auction sites similar to DealDash include the following:
Beezid shut down in September 2016 after many complaints. These include chargebacks and items not being shipped.
Happy BidDay has been in business since 2010. It’s a mid-sized penny auction site that offers different types of auctions for both new and established users. Established users are given more competitive auctions for higher end products.
OrangeBidz is a fairly small penny auction site that is pretty basic with just three main auction features. Beginner auctions, Bid Free auctions and Special Events which are auctions where you can earn extra perks and prizes. Bids start at 75 cents each.
LazyBids is one of the most popular and well-known penny auction sites on the internet. LazyBids offers time reserve auctions, in which there are limits on the number of participants in a specific time range. They also provide a bid-back guarantee that save you some money should you not win a product you’re bidding on. Each bid costs 60 cents.
WellBid is international and allows users to bid in their native language and their native currency. The site is based in Cyprus and offers a range of goods from household appliances, toys, phones, and health and beauty times. You can chose a bid pack of 200 to 10,000 bids, starting at $6.50
While DealDash is not engaging in fraud, I find penny auction websites to be somewhat of a scam considering the amount of money they rake in. However I found DealDash to be pretty transparent compared to other online Penny auctions. They provide plenty of tutorials for those getting started. Plus they have great customer service. Make sure to read the tips I’ve provided above to maximize your wins. The best advice I can provide however is to only bid on the cheaper item when you first start.
Price: Various depending on what Bid Pack was purchased (.12 cents to .60 cents per bid)
Owners: William Wolfram
Overall Rank: 5 out of 10