DealDash is an online penny auction site that has been in business since 2009, offering a wide variety of products, including kitchenware, electronics, tools, and even cars. It’s a small business with less than 100 employees but has more than 2.5 million visitors to the site each year. They are the first penny auction business to offer its services online via a website and an app.
The auctions operate based on a pay-to-participate model, so you must first purchase their bid packs before you can join an auction and start bidding. When you start bidding on an item (using your bid pack credits), each bid raises the item's price by one cent. Every time someone places a new bid, a ten-second timer starts—a new bidder must place a bid within that time, or the last bidder wins the auction.
The company’s main differentiator from other penny auction sites is its “Buy It Now” option. If you lose an auction, you can buy the item you were bidding on for retail price, and you’ll receive a refund for the bids you spent on the auction. In a typical penny auction or pay-to-participate auction, one winner gets the item, and everyone else loses the money they spent bidding.
How is DealDash Different from eBay?
eBay, an online auction site, differs from DealDash in that you don’t have to pay to bid on items, and you have a “Buy It Now” option (at a set price) on select items. In addition, with eBay, you also buy products from individual sellers/retailers, whereas DealDash lists its own products.
By giving you the option to purchase the item you were bidding on and get your bid credits back, DealDash increases the chances that you’ll return for another auction. In addition, the prices they offer for items at the end of the auction are supposed to be discounted. However, many users have found similar items on Amazon for cheaper.
DealDash’s marketing techniques have changed drastically over the years. Previously, the company would boast about the name-brand products they sold, emphasizing the great deal customers receive. Now, the language is more heavily focused on how DealDash is a form of entertainment where it’s still possible to get good deals.
This change in branding may have something to do with the lawsuit filed in 2017 that claimed DealDash inflated the original prices of items up for auction. Although they boasted about selling name-brand items at heavily discounted prices, many of their brands weren’t well known.
For example, one of the most commonly seen brands on DealDash is Bolvaint. This brand offers items like handbags, watches, and clothing. While the brand appears to be very high class and elegant, their website has virtually no information about the company, and the address is a virtual office space. As a result, many people believe Bolvaint is a fraudulent company with the sole purpose of appearing as a luxury brand so its products can be sold as “discounted” by DealDash. Additionally, the founder of DealDash, William Wolfram, is a chairman of the company that owns Bolvaint.
If you’re looking for a reliable site that’ll guarantee you the best price for a quality or designer item, then DealDash may not be the best option. Although the site is a legitimate auction site, many have questioned whether DealDash is a scam.
Unlike other brands, the most commons scams you will encounter as a DealDash user are not conducted by scammers but by the company itself. These include:
There are thousands of online reviews from various websites regarding DealDash—many of them negative. Most complaints involve DealDash charging them without their permission after signing up for an account. Customers stated that they entered their payment information to complete their profile but didn’t authorize any purchases. Those who used the app also claimed they didn’t approve any purchases and all they did was download the app.
Online auction fraud happens when a person or company falsely advertises products for sale on their website or fails to deliver the products you have purchased. Online reviews have accused DealDash of doing both of these things.
DealDash claims they get their product from liquidated companies or overstock. While that may be partly true, they fail to mention that many of the luxury brands they include on the website are owned by the same people who own DealDash. This is misleading because you’re led to believe you’re getting a deal on the product in the auction.
Furthermore, DealDash asserts they get a good deal on products from buying in bulk. In reality, they’re providing their own products, setting their own prices, and deciding how much to discount it.
Additionally, many DealDash customers claim never to have received their products, even after waiting months.
DealDash auctions can last for days. Users have accused DealDash of bidding on their products to drive up the auction price and keep people bidding to ensure they make a product.
The suspicion arose from users noticing:
To counter these claims, DealDash recently (within the last couple of years) provided a new tool called the BidBuddy, which automatically bids for you and allows you to set parameters, such as the maximum amount you want to spend.
Lastly are the claims DealDash uses a bait and switch model to lure you into their website and get you to purchase bid packs. One DealDash user describes how items they were interested in, like electronics, were always listed as “out of stock” or “coming soon.” They felt like they were constantly checking the website, but nothing new was ever posted, and the available auctions were for items they didn’t need.
This may also be why DealDash offers so many auctions for bid packs. Instead of selling actual products, they can make a more significant profit by auctioning off the chance to participate in more auctions.
If you’re unsure about a website or business, trust your gut and don’t give them any of your personal or banking information. You should always do some research about a company before you give them your information. It can also be beneficial to know if they’ve ever been involved in selling their customers' personal information or if they have a track record of getting hacked.
Companies like DealDash will intentionally leave out critical information on their websites, so you have to participate if you want to see how it works—that’s a huge red flag. In addition, their tactics of luring people in with promises of expensive and popular items and then only having bid packs or unnecessary items available for auction is scammer behavior. If you want an item, your best bet is to go out and buy it rather than spend hours, or possibly days, attempting to get the item and having to spend money even if you don’t win it.
Some people would compare DealDash to gambling. In both instances, you are trying to win a large prize for a small amount of money. DealDash is an intelligent company, so they aren’t going to be giving their products away for such a low price without a catch. Be smarter than the business and don’t fall for their false promises because it's the only way to guarantee you won’t lose your money.
DealDash states they’re always listening to their customers and trying to improve the quality of their auctions. For example, some customers were upset that the older users had more opportunities to get free bids, which frequently led to an advantage when winning the auction. As a result, DealDash now provides all customers with the chance to receive free bids.
Although DealDash does receive many complaints about how they run their auctions, they offer a 100% money-back guarantee on your first order of bid packs within 90 days of purchase. They’ll even allow you to keep any leftover bids still in your account as well as any product you won from an auction. They provide this refund policy because they understand that not everyone will enjoy their auction style, but they want people to at least try it risk-free.
There are numerous ways to protect yourself from other possible scams, such as:
However, the most effective way to protect yourself is to be smart and not listen to every commercial, ad, email, or text message offering a great deal. Advertisements and communication from scammers are made to be convincing, so don’t take what they say at face value and always question why their offer seems too good to be true.
Browse our guides to learn more about scams targeting DealDash and its users. Learn how to protect yourself from these scams and keep your information and money safe.
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