It all started on Cyber Monday. I’ve been curious about this site called DealDash, it’s a penny auction site. The way it works is that you buy a bid pack, for example you buy a 180 bid pack for $108. Next, you go to the auctions and bid some of your 180 bids on an item or more. Finally, you either win or lose, if you lose you can buy the item at the regular price and get your bids back. The price every time someone bids goes up by 1 cent and the clock restarts at another 30, 20, or 10 seconds whenever someone bids again. Generally, those that do win, do get a low price. Here is my synopsis/review of my experience, my analysis and research, overpriced items and why some of the bidder are ‘not smart’ (to put it lightly)
My experience as a beginner began on Cyber Monday. I bought 200 and something bids for $36…which was a cyber Monday deal, not a normal deal. I started by bidding on some items, then I bid on small things and won 4 times including a gift card. Though I won the bids, I ended up exchanging the items for more bids, so I have no experience on how long it takes items to be received. I did see mix reviews of this online though. I’ve read some people have faster shipping with the Buy-It-Now option but make take longer to receive item it you win it via auction.
I really needed a camera so I focused my other bids on a camera. I bid on like 10 or more cameras. Interestingly, some cameras will win at like $1.45 and the same cameras normally worth $249 will bid all the way up to $33. I find this extremely odd, I’m not saying the site is rigged, but that’s why I decided to bid on multiple cameras instead of focusing on one or two. I kind of started to use it more of an experiment after a while once I realized how a few would bid.
The main issue is the “Bid Buddy” feature. Penny Auction sites are all about lucky and hope anyways right? You’re hoping no one else bids after you bid and you’re lucky if you win. However, unless you buy a 800+ bids or if you have no life and unless are stuck in the house all day and/or a lonely unfulfilled stay at home mom, your chances of winning are extremely low. And if you’re on the east coast and have a life, you’re most likely to lose to those on the west coast. The “Bid Buddy” features makes your luck even worse. Bid Buddy lets you place automatic bids for when you’re away from the computer. Which is fine, during my research, other penny auctions sites have this as well. However, I’ve noticed some other penny auction sites also set a limit as to how much you can auto bid. Therefore, if you have a 4000 bid pack, you can place 1000 auto bid and walk away from the computer. Eventually you’re going to win.
Another issue is that in order to increase your chances of winning, you have to already have a lot of money in which you can just purchased the item without bidding. Here are the current prices as of today, and remember that I wasn’t stupid enough to buy bids for this much.
So as you can see, the prices are ridiculous. Granted, other penny auctions aren’t cheap however, they do have smaller bid pack options. So you basically have to have a lot of money for a lot of bids. To dive more into my experiment of bidding on this site, I downloaded an auction software called “Bidfellow”. It’s an awesome software if you do decide to become an experienced penny auction person. It tells you at what second someone bids and how many bids a person makes. That’s how I came to conclusion that the Bid Buddy feature and buying a ton of bids is how you really get what you want. I was bidding for a few cameras and noticed that the people who won usually auto bid 400. Again, this is not always the case, but it was always the case for the 10+ digital camera auctions I was monitoring. And usually those most likely to win items are only winning gift cards and small ticket items.
Another thing I noticed is that the website sort of misleads. Granted, it’s true that those winning the auction gets the items for less…but how less? Here is a typical image I see when I visited the camera and computer sections of the website.
I shouldn’t even have to explain when doesn’t make sense here and how they chose to promote items that “won” at a low price. Lets look further at those cameras that won.
These cameras were won at varying times of the day, typically during the time when theres already a lot of people bidding on items on dealdash. How did these ‘people’ get the cameras so fast? And how were so few people seen bidding on the item? It doesn’t even make sense or seem logical that these cameras really went that cheap. They’re blatantly promoting items that were “sold” for less to make people think it’s just THAT easy and that it’s possible that you too can be lucky enough to win a camera for 49 cents.
So here’s why it’s more likely that you’ll lose to someone with a bunch of bids. And here’s why they’re idiots. I’ll use the example of one lady who bid over 400 bids for a camera that only costs $200 by the way, the same Canon PowerShot camera that only goes for $119 online including shipping and tax on the Canon website, and in 2012 we should all realize that usually manufacture websites charge more than other sites, which only charge $99 including shipping and tax for this same camera. And to use an example on this site. One of my favorite sites BuyDig.com sells the Pentax blue crushproof/waterproof camera for $219 and as of this time you can buy it on eBay for $248 and this site is selling it for $359!!!?!
So lets say that person bought bid over 400 times bought the 800 bid pack for $240. That’s 30 cents a bid. That’s $0.30 x 400 = $120. BUT WAIT! On top of that, the person has to pay over $44 (the bidding for this item went on for 1 and half days, I stopped tracking after a while. Therefore, I don’t know how much higher the price went up), to give this loser the benefit of the doubt on their motivation behind their bidding, DealDash had a 50% off any won auction so really this person would only pay around $22. So that’s $142…oh wait, $1 shipping, so that $143 on an item you can get online for $99. And this is using the calculations factoring in that the 800 bid pack is sold at promotion cost and not the regular cost of $480.
Oh and what about the people who only bid 200 and lost the auction? They can buy the camera via the website and get their points back. Lets see how the math here adds up. Lets be nice and say they only bought the 180 bid pack for the half off price of $54. That’s $0.30 x 100 = $30. BUT you lose the auction, now have to pay $200 for the camera that typically cost $99 elsewhere online. Even with getting your bids back and making back the cost of the bids, your total expenditure is $170….for a camera that only cost $99 online……
I’m not saying the site is bad and I’m still under the impression that it is possible to win items, I just think it’s geared towards people who have time to be on the computer all day or buy the expensive bid packs. Also, I do love capitalism and have no problem with them making a profit. I support making money, I’m just that type of jerk off that always needs to point out how dumb people are. Common sense must prevail. I am happy that I had this experience. Though I only won 4 items for my promotional 200 something bids for $36…all of the four items I won, though not grande, at least they were worth more than $36 that I spent to have what turned out to be a very educational sociological (or may be psychological) experiment. Bye, toodles!!