How One DealDasher’s Humble Beginnings Changed How They Shop
How starting to play DealDash became a great way to shop and save.
Strangely enough, my love for the TV show Law and Order: Special Victims Unit started my obsession with our beloved DealDash. I use TiVo every day to record the TV programs that I like to watch, and then I usually fast forward right through the commercials. Sometimes instead of fast forwarding I will get up to get a drink, and on one of those occasions I sat back down on my couch, and on TV was the DealDash commercial. I very briefly said “Hunh, that’s interesting, I’ll check that out later.” then I was back into the world of Law and Order, and by the time it was over I had forgotten about the DealDash commercial.
This same thing happened again and again over the next week – there was a Law and Order marathon on, and I had TiVo set to record them all. I fast forwarded through that DealDash commercial more times than I can remember, but at some point the stars aligned again, and I was just sitting down with a fresh Diet Coke set to get back to my show, and when the DealDash commercial came on again I actually paused TiVo and took my phone out and looked up DealDash online. I was intrigued, so I sent myself a quick email to check it out later when I was on my computer. I didn’t know then, but there is actually a DealDash app for your phone! You can find auctions, bid, buy bids, and just about everything you can do on the regular website. Here is where you can download the app for your Android phone: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dealdash&hl=en
And check it out I did. I didn’t buy any bids at that point, I just watched the auctions, fascinated. I didn’t see anyone getting huge wins that the people on the commercial got, but I saw people winning smaller items like DVDs and gift cards for just a few dollars. I scrolled through all of the upcoming auctions, and looked at the “average selling prices” on them – here’s a hint for those of you that don’t know – to see the average selling price of an item, all you have to do is log out of your account, navigate to the auction, and when you are on the auction but not signed into the site is when you can see that next to the item it will show the average selling price.
I was skeptical at first, just like half of new DealDashers are. The other half of new DealDashers, of course, are over eager, buy a 200 bid pack, find an iPad auction, stomp all over everyone’s bids using up their 200 bids, and are angry and confused when they don’t win, then write a nasty review online calling DealDash a scam. I wish that all of those people who write negative reviews would give DealDash a second chance. I think the key to understanding how the auctions really work is by doing more watching than bidding. Check out the other bidders, see if they are the kind of person who will usually go til the end or just throw a few bids in and walk away.
I am a person who loves to do research, so instead of signing up right away, I read everything that I could on the DealDash site itself, then I started searching the internet for articles about penny auctions. Most of them, sadly, were negative. I read through hundreds of bad reviews about penny auction sites including DealDash, and the common theme seemed to be that people just didn’t understand how they worked before they got started, and wasted their initial bid pack before they figured out how the site worked. I however remembered reading on DealDash that if you were unsatisfied you could get your money back from your first bid pack. Here is the exact statement, taken from the DealDash help files:
No Questions Asked 100% Money Back Guarantee
Bidders on DealDash are entitled to a No Questions Asked 100% Money Back Guarantee on their first Bid Pack purchase. Should a bidder be unsatisfied with the service for any reason, they are entitled to get their entire first Bid Pack purchase fully refunded. Simply email [email protected] within 90 days and request for the refund. The refund will be credited back to you in 7 days. The refund will be granted regardless of if you have won or lost auctions, or whether you have bids left on your account or not. Only 1 refund per person.
You can read more here: http://www.dealdash.com/terms-of-use
I still wasn’t quite convinced, so I watched a few of the videos available on YouTube that related to DealDash. There aren’t as many available as you might think – DealDash has more than TWO MILLION registered users, according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DealDash) so you would think that there would be more videos available! I have decided to correct that situation, myself, but more on that later.
After all of my research I hemmed and hawed for a few more weeks, occasionally coming back to the site to check out what auctions were available, and checking out the “Winners” tab to see what kind of deals people were getting. The Winners tab is still one of my favorite things to look at, you can check it at any time right here: http://www.dealdash.com/winners Eventually I took the plunge and bought a small bid pack and jumped right into the bidding.
I had a victory almost immediately on the beginner $10 Wal*Mart gift card for only 5 bids! I was thinking “Wow, this is so easy! I’m going for something big!” And as much as I hate to admit this, it went horribly! As prepared as I was, I still didn’t fully understand the Bid Buddy, so I didn’t use it. I completely messed things up- I was bidding after every single bidder, I didn’t realize that the other people were using Bid Buddy so I was truly wasting my bids.
Please take my advice, and read up on the Bid Buddy here: http://www.dealdash.com/tactics-and-tips
It will save you a lot of bids when you learn how to properly set your Bid Buddy. I spent 140 bids and lost. I think that I might have actually won, except my internet had a minor “blip” and as I was pressing the bid button it didn’t register, and I lost to the other bidder. If I had been using the Bid Buddy and had loaded up my bids beforehand that wouldn’t have happened. I literally cried. That 140 bids was part of the first bid pack that I had bought, at the full price of 60 per bid, so that 140 bids represented…well…more than I want to think about right now. After that experience I thought “Well, I won’t be doing that again, I am going to use up the rest of these bids that I bought and chalk this up to a bad experience that I won’t repeat.”
At that point I didn’t blame DealDash at all, I knew that it was my own fault that I had wasted so much money and I didn’t want to do it again. I was so disappointed with myself, I just hadn’t done enough research to really understand how everything worked. It was at that point that I took a closer look at the Bid Buddy, and I figured since I just wanted to get rid of the rest of my bids and didn’t really care if I won or lost, I would just put some bids into the Bid Buddy on a few different auctions and if I won Great! And if I lost, well, I didn’t really expect to win anyway, after the disappointing experience that I just had.
Well, I won 🙂 On that very same day I won a gift card to Dunkin Donuts and a gift card to Amazon.com using the Bid Buddy. I have used the Bid Buddy almost exclusively ever since. The only time I bid manually is to throw in a bid here and there, and to stomp people back after they have stomped me. I very much advise everyone to use the Bid Buddy. You have so much of a better chance if winning if you do.
After I figured out Bid Buddy, and figured out that if I was in over my head that I could Buy It Now and get all of my bids back I started bidding on things that I could afford, and things that I would find useful if I needed to use Buy It now. A lot of people say in their bios that they are “In in to win it, will BIN” or “Don’t bother bidding if you don’t want to BIN.” I don’t have anything in my bio like that, but it’s the truth for me.
If I throw out more than 25-50 bids on something less than $100 I am definitely going to BIN, It only makes good financial sense to me, since I only bid on lower value items. If you were look into my bid history, WINs, and BINs, you would see that I have bid almost exclusively on items under $100. $100 is my comfort level of BINning. I have thrown in some bids on some of the bid packs once in a while, but even then the biggest bid pack that I have ever won was 150. Honestly, the only reason I can imagine myself bidding on one of the $200+ auctions is if something expensive in my house needed replacing, like my laptop, iPad, Wii, etc.
DealDash is only fun for me when I know that I am not going to be losing any money, or spending any money that I wouldn’t already be spending normally, like on clothes washing detergent. One of my favorite things to bid on is Bed, Bath, and Beyond gift cards. Unfortunately they are another bidder’s favorite, also, so I have to make sure that she has hit her limit of 6 before I even bother to throw a single bid onto an auction that features Bed, Bath, and Beyond gift cards of any denomination. If you are interested in knowing how to find out that information, there are two ways to do it.
The easy way is to go here: http://www.dealdash.com/dashboard-users-on-limit and pay 1 bid to see the list of “Who’s on their Limit.” The other way is more time consuming but it can be done quite easily if you are familiar with a particular bidder’s favorite genre of auction.
For example, in the case above, I would go to the current auction for a Bed, Bath, and Beyond gift card, and then wait to see if this particular lady bids. When she bids you can see how many of her 6 spots she has filled, and if she only has 1 spot left I would go ahead and find the next Bed, Bath, and Beyond gift card and load up my Bid Buddy, since I know that she is going to win the current one, and won’t be able to bid on the next one. And of course, if she doesn’t show up to a Bed, Bath, and Beyond gift card auction in the beginning, I assume that she has already filled up her 6 spots and won’t be bidding today. Of course, she may prove me wrong one day and show up in the middle of an auction, but so far this technique has worked for me.
Of course, if the person you are interested in bids on many different genres of auctions, this technique won’t work, and you are better off just paying the 1 bid to see who’s on their limit. It’s a small price to pay for some valuable information. It can save you bids if you are familiar with some of the names that just DON’T quit. There are some DealDashers that seem to bid way over and above the retail price of an item, and I still haven’t figured out why someone would do that. I understand a small math miscalculation of a few dollars, but there have been a few auctions that I have seen for gift cards that go significantly over the face value of the card, and if you add in the fact that some people have been bidding for hours just doesn’t make sense to me.
I have won many wonderful things on DealDash, some of my favorites include my Spa Sonic face brushes. I have actually won 3 of them, 2 purple and 1 pink. I am a registered esthetician so I go through a lot of facial products. It’s so nice to be able to get them at a huge discount. Some of my other favorites include a $100 Children’s Place gift card that I won for only 74 bids and $5.90!!! That’s about a total of $16 for $100! I was amazed at that WIN. Another great WIN for me was my Shark Pet Perfect dustbuster. I won that for just 10 bids and $.95! It’s always a great feeling to win something you need for less than $1.
One of my favorite times on DealDash is when they do an “Auction Blast,” where they put up 200 or 300 items at a time. It’s really a great time to get the best deals- There is WAY less competition because usually there are multiples of the same items up for bid at the same time, especially bid packs. I have seen 40 and even 60 bids won for 1 bid! I have never been that lucky, but I have won some great things for 1 bid, like a The Jungle Book DVD and a Speck iGuy case for my iPad. I find auction blast time to be really fun and exciting. The only time that auction blast makes me sad is if I have already filled my 6 slots for the week!
So that is the story of how I got started with DealDash. I mentioned earlier that I was disappointed that DealDash had so few videos on YouTube, so I have started a mission to change that. From now on, anytime I get a good DealDash haul from UPS (as in more than 1 item!) I am making a point of making a video showing the product and how many bids that I used on it. I have made it my own personal mission to show how an average DealDasher who plays every week can get a lot of really nice items for not that much money. Thanks for listening to my story. If you are interested in seeing my newest DealDash YouTube video you can find it here:
Good luck and happy bidding everyone!
By Dawn Xu