I did not know penny auctions sites existed until I filled out an online survey that asked questions about one. To answer the questions, I became a customer on another site, but there were many things I did not like about it. That’s until I discovered DealDash.com.
I became a member on DealDash.com Feb. 8, 2012, and I have been a happy customer ever since. So far, I won over 565 auctions. The majority of my winning auctions had a retail value of $100 or less, but I won some high-valued auctions, too, including a 55-inch TV (worth $1,399) for less than $30 and a digital camera (worth $999) for a little more than $18.
At that time, I needed to give a speech in my Toastmasters International home club. My advanced speech objective was to talk about a technical product or service. I decided penny auctions would make a good speech topic if I could compare one with another, so I did a Google search. That’s how I found DealDash.com.
When I finished doing some hands-on research for my speech, I was hooked and I wanted to learn more. That is when I got the idea to do a review of penny auctions, narrow it down to four, write my own in-depth survey report and sell my report directly to the CEOs of the companies. I believed the perspective I could provide as a brand new customer would be very valuable to them. After all, I was also a retired newspaper reporter with investigative journalism experience and, therefore, I already had a trained eye for details.
My report included:
- What I liked about the penny auction site that would make me want to come back
- What I did not like about the site that would prevent me from coming back
- What I liked and did not like about the automated bidder
- What I thought of each penny auction site’s customer service
- What I liked or did not like about the ease and speed of the payment system
- What I thought of the variety of products offered and number of auctions available
- What I thought of the postage/shipping, transaction fees and speed of delivery
- What I thought of the number and cost of bid packages offered and
- My suggestions of what I thought each penny auction site could do to improve and get more customers.
When I finished writing my report, I sent out the same letter to each of the CEOs of all four penny auction sites included in my report. I offered a copy of my report in exchange for a bid package. Only one of them responded—DealDash.com. That impressed me. Because the DealDash team had an interest in my perspective as a brand new customer, I started playing exclusively on the DealDash.com site, and I continued to share more ideas with them. I knew that any company that listened to its customers was definitely on the right track and they would only get better and grow bigger because of it.
Four of the best features already in place on DealDash.com when I first became a customer included: The Buy-It-Now option, free shipping and handling, the user-friendly automated bidder—Bid Buddy and credit received for time on the clock to earn free bids.
The BIN option is perhaps the most creative feature that made DealDash.com stand out from the others. This feature gives customers who do not win an auction the option to buy the auction item at retail to get all their bids back free. Therefore, as long as I only place bids on products I would purchase, anyway, I have nothing to lose. I know I am going to always buy gas so, win or lose, it is a sure bet to place bids on gift cards for gas stations in my area. Therefore, customers who understand how DealDash.com works and are disciplined enough to play smart can win more than they lose.
I was so excited to learn that DealDash.com offered free postage/shipping and handling. Other sites charged such high postage/shipping and transaction fees that by the time winners paid for bids, the closing price and cost of shipping, they could buy the product in a department store for less money. In an obvious attempt to compete with DealDash.com, more penny auctions are just now offering free postage/shipping and handling, but DealDash.com did it first.
Another feature I absolutely love about DealDash.com is that it has by far the most user-friendly automated bidder—BidBuddy. When I was a Newbie (new customer), I started placing single bids from the home page—big mistake! I quickly learned that double-clicking on the auction item makes a new window open, and that’s where the automated bidder is located. BidBuddy allows customers to easily and quickly add or delete as many bids as they want.
Having a user-friendly automated bidding system is very important because we live in a fast-paced, busy world, and that means I do not have to be stuck at my computer. I can place my bids in BidBuddy and let it place my bids for me while I go shopping, attend a meeting, mow the lawn, cook, clean house or work on writing my book. Of course, if I want to save as many bids as possible, it is important for me to monitor the bidding process so I can add or delete bids at the right times. With the use of today’s iPhones and other mobile devices DealDash.com customers can easily monitor an auction status at the same time we are busy performing other tasks or on the move throughout the United States.
Many other penny auction sites limit the number of bids that can be placed into its automated bidder to a maximum of 25 at a time. That barely allows customers enough time to go to the bathroom or grab a bite to eat. Another thing I do not like about other automated bidders is that it is often impossible or difficult to cancel bids because the location where they could be cancelled was hidden. By the time I found the place to cancel my bids, they were already gone. That never happens on DealDash.com because the “add” and “delete” buttons are located together in plain sight.
I also like how DealDash.com rewards its customers with an opportunity to win or earn free bids. I will not write about the many ways customers can win free bids, but only the free bids we earn whenever we are the highest bidder. The term highest bidder, however, might be a little confusing to Newbies. Perhaps it might be less confusing to say current bidder or latest bidder. Regardless, after placing a bid, all customers are entitled to 10 seconds on the clock. That is how we earn free bids, and that is why experienced customers get irritated when Newbies cut the clock and treat DealDash.com like a speed-bidding site. By cutting the clock and placing back-to-back bids, Newbies not only cheat other customers out of earning more free bids, but they foolishly waste their own bids as well. I guarantee that is not the way to win—by accident, maybe, but not with any consistency.
Experienced bidders double click on the auction item, open a new window and place our bids into BidBuddy, the automated bidder. Bids are safe there because they do not get used until they are needed. Sadly, when Newbies cast single bids from the home page and never let the clock run down, they do not even know other bidders are there—until they run out of bids. Then what happens? Surprise! That is when the real competition begins between the bidders who know what they are doing.
Here’s how it works: Let’s say three shoppers placed bids into BidBuddy. One placed 25 bids, one placed 99 bids and one placed 150 bids. BidBuddy will take turns placing one bid for each player until they run out. Customers with the fewest number of bids placed in BidBuddy will be eliminated first. The customer with 151 bids will have the last bid and win the auction—unless one of the other players adds more bids or other inactive bidders reenter the auction again. The only customers allowed to reenter the auction, however, are those who placed at least one bid before the auction price reached $5. That feature eliminates some of the competition and makes it easier for more customers to win.
Throughout the bidding process, whenever your user name appears, the green line on the bottom right of your screen will move to the right. As soon as that green line moves all the way to the other end of the line, click on it, collect your free bids and then you will move up to the next level. The higher the level, the longer it takes for the green line to get full, but when it does, the more bids the customer gets to collect. Now that I am on Level 46, the next time the green line moves all the way to the right, I will collect 680 free bids.
The ideal goal of any successful DealDash.com customer, of course, is to purchase bids for the lowest price possible and win as many auctions as possible for as little as possible. Because the best sale price for bids is 14 cents each, that is when I will usually buy all my bids.
Another way to lower the cost of bids is to win bid packages. Sometimes, I get lucky and win, but more often than not, I lose more bids than I win. That is probably the biggest mistake I make, but if I see bid packages going for an extra low amount of money, I might risk it. If you are a Newbie, however, you would probably be better off using all of your bids to put on actual merchandise instead.
Over the last few years, DealDash.com has continued to add even more features. One feature customers really like is locking out new bidders after the auction price reaches $5. This feature limits the competition and makes it easier to win at a lower closing cost. The site also offers some super-fantastic specials, like “free to the winner” and “50 percent off to the winner” auctions.
The more you study the DealDash.com site and learn how to use all of the tools available, the more auctions you will win. If I am on my “A Game” (serious about winning an auction), some things I do to improve my chances of winning are:
- First, I place least one bid before the auction price reaches $5 so I do not get locked out. If that auction never closes for less than $5 I usually wait until it gets close to the $5 before I place any bids. If most of the bidders are Newbies placing single bids from the home page, however, I sometimes place more than one bid into BidBuddy at the early part of the auction. Why? If Newbies are randomly placing single bids and experienced bidders are only placing one bid near the beginning of the auction (saving the bulk of their bids for later), I could be the only one with more than one bid in the automated bidder. If so, a break between single bids could occur. If that happens, it would improve my chances of winning before the auction reaches its usual closing price. I love it when that happens!
- I check to see who else placed bids in the auction. It is very important to know who the other players are and how they bid. I have a list of about 71 bidders I try to avoid because I know from watching them that they are rich or crazy or both. Therefore, I would be wasting my bids by competing in the same auctions with them. If I see one of those screen names in the same auction, I cancel my bids and wait until I see that auction again.
- I check to see who has already reached their weekly limit or is getting close to their win limit for the week. Customers who already won six auctions worth less than $200 or three auctions worth $200 or more can no longer win any more auctions for the week. It only costs one bid to get the list of everyone who has already reached their maximum. If a power bidder only has one more auction to win, I might let that bidder win one auction to eliminate them from competing in another one.
- I check to see if the auction item I want is limited to one-per-household. If so, I look at the list of bidders who have already won the auction. I also look at the average winning cost and look for winning patterns. Some auctions that closed for an extra high cost the last time it was won will sometimes go for less money the next time, vice versa. That does not always happen, but I often see patterns that are predictable.
Most questions about how DealDash.com works are answered at the bottom of the home page, where the support team posts a variety of helpful hints. The DealDash.com blog at www.DealDashBlog.com is also a wonderful resource. Here you’ll find successful bidders share information, bidding tips and winning strategies on the site to help new customers become winners, too. DealDash.com has excellent customer service, and team members are always happy to answer questions and help new customers learn how the site works.
The DealDash.com Community Service team does an exceptionally good job of continually providing new information and the latest bidding strategies to anyone who wants to learn how to play smart and improve their chances of winning. Even experienced and highly successful customers can and do make bidding mistakes. No one can ever know too much because the customers are constantly changing, technology is changing and this penny auction site is changing right along with it. Chances are, however, the more you learn how to play smart, the more auctions you will win.
The DealDash.com team has never been afraid to try new innovative ideas that no penny auctions have ever tried before. DealDash.com set itself apart from other penny auction sites from the start by building a new and different foundation that other sites are now beginning to copy. That’s why I was happy to participate in the first DealDash.com TV commercial, and that is also why DealDash.com is the only penny auction site I recommend to my family members and friends.
I truly believe DealDash.com is the best penny auction site online and I believe they will continue to be a leader in the industry for a long time to come.
Written by Barbara Sellers