DealDash.com is an online penny auction website where you pay a small fee to bid on products. These items start at extremely low prices—you're bidding to buy the product at lower than retail price. However, many people leave the site disappointed and wondering if DealDash is legit or a scam.
The 'live auction' prices only rise by 1c per bid. However, there are many bidders on popular items, and prices can increase quickly (with auctions lasting several days). As a result, DealDash makes 10-13c in revenue for each 1c that the bid rises. (It costs around 60c to place a single bid at full price.)
Auctions must have only one winner (the highest bidder) and multiple losers who miss out. However, it's important to note that not all online auctions are created equally—DealDash is not like eBay. On DealDash, you pay for every bid you place, while it's free to place a bid on eBay—you spend money on DealDash even if you don't win an auction.
This can greatly upset people and has been called an 'illegal lottery' in lawsuits, but DealDash continues to operate and entertain millions of users per year.
With DealDash you are paying to bid to win an auction, and paying to bid, even if you lose. This is different to eBay where it’s free to place a bid and you only pay if you win the auction.
The company claims to change the world of online auctions, allowing users to secure great, name-brand luxury items for only a fraction of the retail price. The DealDash advertisements feature huge discounts of up to 90%. However, many may coin this site as too good to be true.
The company promotes itself as a fair and honest bidding site. However, some see it as more of an illegal gambling site than a pure auction site, as it's common to lose money chasing a deal.
It is important to note that at the time of publishing, the site does have decent review scores from users, for example:
- Facebook: 4.2 out of 5 from 3251 people (May 2021)
- Better Business Bureau: 4.11 stars out of 5 from 149 reviews (May 2021)
How DealDash Works
During a DealDash auction, there's a 10-second timer that resets whenever a new bid is made (each bid increases the price of the item). When the timer runs out, the last bidder wins the item. The winning bidder must purchase the item at the same price that concluded the bidding war.
If you lose an auction, DealDash gives you the option to buy the item you were bidding on for the retail price. They will return the bids you made on the item if you do. However, if you choose not to purchase at the 'buy it now' price, you lose your bids (and the money you spent on the bids).
To bid, you must purchase bid credits. Each single bid credit costs 60c at full price (sold in packages)—you're essentially paying for the thrill of the chase.
- Auctions start at $0 for an item and increase by 1c from each bidder.
- Auctions extend with every bid, extending the timer by 10 seconds.
- Every bid costs the bidder money, and the last bidder wins, paying for the item at that price.
Costs Can Add Up
If you end up winning an iPad for $400 after placing 100 bids (at the current sale price of $0.13/bid), your actual cost is $413 (100x$0.13). If you've done this multiple times and missed out, your total cost can really add up.
What's the DealDash "Scam"?
There are three simple reasons why DealDash.com has been wrapped up in controversy, ranging from refund requests to illegal lottery accusations.
- Paying to bid: By paying to bid and having to bid many times for any chance of success, some users lose a lot of money. For example, Grant Pstikyan says he spent $5,923 buying 44,250 bids on DealDash's website in November and December 2016. He says he spent still more money on the bids themselves but lost most of the auctions.
- Non-genuine items: DealDash has also been accused of passing off generic items as luxury with unrealistic list prices to induce competition around a perceived deal.
- Inflated prices: DealDash has been accused of inflating prices on items to make the 'deal' price look like more of a deal.
Losing Your Money
When using DealDash, there's a chance you could lose all your money. As such, DealDash was accused of running an illegal gambling site. DealDash refuted these claims by saying every bidder has the option to choose when they want to quit.
Another controversy surrounding DealDash was the claim that the site used false advertising to trick users into bidding for products. In television commercials and its informational video, DealDash claims they provide customers with name-brand products such as Playstation, Sony, and Apple. However, in 2017, a class-action lawsuit claimed the company delivered generic, off-brand items that were nowhere near the price advertised on the DealDash website.
According to the United States District Court of Minnesota, the defendant voluntarily dismissed the case in this lawsuit. No further information has been posted about these claims.
How Does DealDash Make Money?
In a previous interview, DealDash said that half of its revenue is made from what users pay in bids. The other half of revenue comes from items sold at full price through the 'buy it now' process.
DealDash Does Have Better Business Bureau Accreditation
DealDash is still accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) (with an A+ rating), despite various claims that it's an illegal gambling site, scamming consumers with low-quality products.
Although they have an impressive rating on the BBB website, it might be due to their 100% money-back guarantee. In addition, the BBB doesn't evaluate a company based on its product or service. Instead, they rate companies based on how they interact with and help their customers, so this isn't necessarily a rating on DealDash's business model or practices.
An overwhelming number of people claimed DealDash charged their account on the BBB website simply because they downloaded the app or made an account.
Others have made claims that DealDash operated on a bait-and-switch method. They claim the company enticed users with luxury, name-brand items, convincing them to purchase or pay the upfront fee. Then, they never auctioned off the expensive things they advertised.
So...Is DealDash a Scam or Not?
Technically, DealDash isn't a scam, as it does operate as a fair auction website where some people will get a great deal. However, there are many caveats that readers need to be aware of:
- Trial by fire: It's unlikely that you will get close to paying the advertised $23.13 for a new iPad on your first attempt.
- You will get burned: When you sign up and buy some bids, it is easy to waste them. You will feel like the site has burned you.
- It is gambling: If you are genuinely shopping for deals, you are gambling on the chance of a deal with DealDash.
- You might like it: If you want to risk and play games against others, you might really like DealDash.
We would typically advise against sites like DealDash.com, as you need to be very lucky to be in the right place at the right time to score anything like the advertised deals.
Anyone thinking of trying DealDash should beware that it's incredibly high risk. While there's a chance for a big payout, the odds are it won't happen to you. This is, of course, unless you have unlimited resources to buy bids and endless amounts of time to watch the clock.