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DealDash.com Review (Mar. 2015 Update)

DealDash.com Review (Mar. 2015 Update)
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DealDash.com is a “penny auction” site which has existed for almost 6 years. Read our DealDash reviews from editors and readers.

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About DealDash

DealDash is a website which posts new items up for auction on which users may bid. A clock counts down to the end of the auction. Users of DealDash purchase bids for 60 cents each (although there are specials and auctions offering ways to get bids cheaper than this). Whenever a user bids on an item, one 60-cent bid is used. When a bid is placed on an item, the final price is raised by 1 cent, and the countdown clock is reset. When the clock reaches 0, the last bidder wins for the final price posted. Bidders on the auction do not get their bids back unless they want to pay full price for the item.

  • Website: DealDash.com
  • Founded: February 2009
  • Major competitors: Quibids, Happy BidDay, and BidCactus
  • Cost: Free to sign up. Bids cost $0.60 each in packs of 100 or more
  • Slogan: “The Fair and Honest Bidding Site”
  • Claims: Commercials claim “Save up to 99%”
  • Email: [email protected]

Odds of Winning

Odds of winning vary, but are generally considered to be low, especially for low-priced items or those in high-demand (such as Apple products). This means that the odds of spending money and walking away empty handed is rather high.

Buy it Now Option

DealDash claims that their “Buy it Now” option is a way to keep its service “risk free.” Buy it Now allows a bidder to purchase an item for full price within 7 days of an auction’s close if they bid on an item but did not win the auction for it. If you use this option, you will pay full price for an item and get your bids back. Paying full price, however, is not the reason users are on a website advertising items for as much as 99% off.

BidBuddy & Bots

There have been accusations for years that penny auction sites have used bots which have prevented real users from winning auctions. DealDash has incorporated a feature called BidBuddy, which allows users to bid ahead of time. This has been misunderstood by some new users to be bots. There are still unproven accusations that bots are in use on DealDash.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has even weighed in on complaints of bots by penny auction sites:

Some dishonest auction sites use bid bots, which are computer programs that automatically bid on behalf of the website. And some fraudulent sites achieve the same effect using human shills. You may be seconds away from winning an auction when another user places a bid. That keeps the clock ticking, and forces you into a bidding war to stay in first place. Though the bidder appears to be another user, it may be a shill, or a bot programmed by the website to extend the auction and keep people bidding (and spending money) as they chase the “win.”

Collusion

According to the “Terms of Use” posted on the DealDash website, collusion is forbidden and can result in a frozen account. However, it seems that it may be difficult to police “team bidding” in which several users conspire to bid together to win an item. This could also be achieve by a single user setting up multiple accounts for increased chances at winning an item.

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Mixed DealDash Reviews

Most penny auction sites have “power users” who know how to play the system and win more auctions than regular users. We have repeatedly heard advanced users state that you must understand certain bidding techniques in order to win. You’ll find glowing reviews from many of these power users who are happy with DealDash and other penny auction sites. The average new user, however, has no idea how to properly play in order to maximize chances of winning. It’s not uncommon for a newbie to burn through their first pack of bids without winning anything.

  • The model of DealDash and other penny auctions has been likened to gambling.
  • Unless you win an auction or decide to pay full price using Buy it Now, you’ll spend money without receiving anything in return.

Winning Limits

Users are now limited to winning no more than 9 auctions per week (6 valued under $200 and 3 valued over $200), which is perhaps in response to claims of power users dominating the website.

DealDash Facebook Page

DealDash’s Facebook page has an odd uniformity of positive comments from users, and is devoid of any complaints or even questions. It seems as though negative comments are moderated and removed.

Ripoff Report

Contrary to the unanimous glowing reviews on their Facebook page, you can find a wealth of complaints about DealDash at Ripoff Report. There are, as of March 2015, 81 complaints regarding the website.

Our DealDash Review

We have tried several penny auction sites over the past few years, including Swoopo, Quibids, Bid Cactus, and DealDash. To their credit, DealDash has incorporated a few ways to address some of the complaints about penny auction sites, such as the “Buy it Now” option to refund bids, winning limits, etc. The problem, however, is that DealDash is still a penny auction site. It is not only possible, but in fact commonplace, for users to sign up, spend $36 on a bid pack, and receive absolutely nothing in return because they did not win any auctions.

DealDash claims that it is backed by a 90-day guarantee. This only applies to your first bid pack purchase. Anything you may have won during that 90 days must also be returned. Anything after the first bid purchase does not have this guarantee.

Advertising

A popular commercial running in 2013 shows several DealDash winners who proudly display products they won on the site. A woman in the commercial states, “I got this $349 mixer for less than $25.” That $25 price does not include the amount she paid in bids. The fine print actually states that she bid 761 times on the item. Although it’s possible that she used some inexpensive bids to get the item, using standard 60-cent bids would have cost nearly $460 in bids alone.

The fine print states that she bid 761 times on this item.

The fine print states that she bid 761 times on this “$25” item.

History on Google Trends

The Google Trends graph below shows interest in DealDash over time. Interest appears to have peaked in August of 2013 when DealDash was heavily advertised. Subsequently, interest has declined, yet still appears to experience some peaks and valleys.

Bottom Line

If you approach DealDash more like gambling than shopping, you will probably have a better idea of what to expect. The odds of spending money and having nothing to show for it are great. For this reason, we do not recommend DealDash or any other penny auction site.

Your DealDash Reviews

Have you used DealDash? Give us your reviews in the comments below.

Updated March 3, 2015
Originally published November 2013

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