DealDash is a penny auction site where users have to pay money for each bid they place. This means you’re spending money regardless of winning.
Some people call this system a scam. And they are correct, but often for incorrect reasons. There are many shady practices I’ve uncovered in this article that make Deal Dash seem completely not legit. Most of the people on Deal Dash are gambling addicts who spend all of their free time bidding, often losing huge amounts of money in the process.
I’ll go through how exactly: DealDash.com works, what the products are, how the most active users make the most of their bids, and how a very few established players have gamed the system to, in essence, get unlimited free bids. These are secrets not commonly known, and aren’t shared anywhere other than right here on LetsGoBidding.com, the only place to get completely free Deal Dash statistics showing it is a scam.
How They Bring You In
You’ve seen the commercials. You can win that high end electronics device for mere dollars! Over 90% off retail prices!
Obviously this sounds too good to be true, and if it were true it would be a terrible business model. Yet they have been going strong since 2009.
A website that has to put “Fair & Honest” in its own title is already a little suspect. Let’s dive in to see if DealDash is as legitimate as their claim.
The Fine Print
We can see that the retail price, used for comparison, is the “Buy It Now” price. This is very important and we’ll come back to it later.
The end price includes two factors: The price of the item it was bid up to, and the cost of each bid spent on the auction. Since bids aren’t free, there really is no upper limit to how much money someone can inadvertently spend on an auction. Even the people who don’t win end up losing money. This makes it different from what you would expect from a typical auction.
Here’s another interesting statistic. 54% of auction winners save 90% off Buy It Now Prices or more. Is DealDash really giving away over half of their items at a 90% discount?
No, They’re not.
The Buy It Now Price is Extremely Overinflated
The best way to check for good deals is to find how much the item sold for on Ebay.com. Whatever products are selling for (not being listed as) on Ebay is the fair market value of that item. Since many items on DealDash can also be bought on Ebay it’s easy to see how much real people are actually paying for them.
A dinnerware set significantly overpriced on Dealdash.
Another example where DealDash is claiming a jacket is worth 25-times more than what it sold for on Ebay.
These aren’t cherry-picked. You’ll see a steep overvaluation of nearly every item. There’s a reason DealDash gets away with this. They can point to each of these product’s exorbitantly high retail price because:
80% of all Products listed on DealDash were made by companies associated with DealDash
You’ve probably never heard of Galton Voysey, but you’ve definitely seen their products while browsing through DealDash.com. You can find a complete takedown of the company and its relationship to Dealdash. In summary, The founder of DealDash is also the chairman of Galton Voysey. Almost all of the products they make are manufactured in China and sold exclusively for Dealdash.com.
It’s difficult to determine what all the DealDash products are, because they are designed not to be publicly associated with each other. I believe the following is at least a partial list of brands made in house and specifically marketed to be used by DealDash.
- Wilson & Miller
- New Haven
- The Barrel Shack
- Ashlynn Avenue
- Cate & Chloe
- Émilie & Théo
- Far East Collection
- Wilcott Weaves
- Crossford Furniture Co.
- Robert Matthew
- J. W. Krogman
- Joshua Steinberg
- Millstrand Co.
- Burkfield Stonewall
This doesn’t mean they are bad products, only that you know nothing about them; Which makes it difficult to tell what they are worth.
DealDash has complete control over the Buy It Now price
Deal Dash’s main claim to being “Fair and Honest” is that you can get your bids returned for free, if you buy the item at full Buy It Now price.
Is this really fair when DealDash can arbitrarily make the Buy It Now price whatever they like? If anyone tries to sue them, they can point to these real products with real prices (that they control) to claim that the system is fair. If you don’t win, you can buy the product at retail value and get your bids back. Except the retail value is so much more than the item is worth.
I don’t have statistics to back up how many people actually do use the Buy It Now feature, but it can’t be many. In most cases you would be spending multiple times more money than the product is worth. This is unfair to those who place bids but lose an auction, but is it even possible to win?
Easy Beginner Auctions
After you make a new account on Deal Dash, you will get additional auctions on the main page that other regular users will not see. Mostly they’re Beanies or gift cards. There’s nothing specifically labeling them as beginner auctions. The only way to tell is if:
A. The auction ends with zero bids placed. (This almost never happens)
B. Copy the url of the auction to an incognito browser. If it’s a beginner auction it will redirect you to the home page listing of all auctions.
There’s no time limit here, you’ll keep getting the same items over and over again every couple minutes so wait until you see something you like. A better strategy would be to get whatever has the highest Buy It Now price, but I’ll explain that later.
Just remember, this will be the only easy win you will ever find on Deal Dash. It’s designed to sucker you in, make you think you’re good at Deal Dash. The truth is, the game was rigged from the start.
The Same People on DealDash Keep Winning
If you’re already active on Deal Dash, you’ve probably noticed a trend where the same people are winning every auction. You’ve certainly seen the name UncleTan before. This is because the same handful of people are winning most of the auctions.
The top 1% of winners win 60% of all auctions. If you’re bidding against one of these professional auction bidders, you’re going to lose. Their reputation is what makes them so successful. Few people even try to bid against them. They will throw down thousands of bids exceeding an item’s value just so you will never try to challenge them again.
This is a recent example where UncleTan won an auction by bidding over 8000 times on an inexpensive laptop. If we assume each bid costs $0.12 (which is a reasonable price for bids), UncleTan used over $1000 worth of bids to win a single $479 item. He may do this on any auction. You would be foolish to bid against him.
You might be wondering about the people who are winning thousands of auctions, what are they doing with their winnings? The answer is critical to how Deal Dash works, and it isn’t what you expect.
Selling Cheap Deal Dash Winnings on Ebay
I have heard the theory that there is a cabal of elite Deal Dash users winning all the auctions so that they can resell the items on Ebay for profit. There are a few problems with this theory.
First, if this was a feasible strategy, wouldn’t it make more sense for DealDash to skip the middle man and sell all their in-house products directly on ebay? One problem, as we’ve already shown, is that items consistently sell on Ebay for a small fraction of what DealDash says they are worth.
While we do see exclusive DealDash products being sold on ebay, we can easily check the scale at which this is happening. On this site I have records of every auction won on Dealdash.com. I can take a popular Deal-Dash-Only item such as the Volsen Atom Cordless Vacuum and compare how many times it has been auctioned off on DealDash and how many times it has sold on Ebay in the past 3 months.
My statistics show this vacuum cleaner has been won 440 times on DealDash the past 3 months. During the same period, it has been sold on ebay twice.
The volume of DealDash exclusive items being re-sold on ebay is nowhere near high enough to explain what all these consistent winners are doing with their thousands of wins.
We’ll take a closer look at one of the most eye-brow-raising products being sold on DealDash to get a better picture(or should I say painting?) of what is really going on.
The Far East Collection of Paintings
In DealDash’s own words, this is how the Far East Collection describes itself:
All their paintings are conveniently anonymous, but trust them, these are works of arts worth thousands of dollars! Odder still, they aren’t anonymous. All of them are signed, often by the same artist.
Their facebook page is completely empty, except it has over 1000 likes! Also their website has been Suspended for some time, but even looking at it on the wayback machine, there was never anything on it. Yet still, somehow, an endless stream of anonymous paintings are making their way onto Dealdash.
It gets even weirder.
Look at the statistics for any of the Far East Collection paintings on the letsgobidding.com website. You will see that the same painting has been auctioned and won dozens of times before.
Too add another dimension to this, I was able to find this exact same painting listed on ebay, which has been sitting unsold for months. At the same time the very same painting was being auctioned on DealDash.
If you look at the details I’ve collected on this site, it seems the same paintings get auctioned off every 4-5 days. Unlike other auctions, there is no list of previous winners or any indication that this item has been won before on DealDash!
I suppose it’s not technically illegal If DealDash has a factory of people making the same painting over and over again. Although, is a retail price in the thousands really right for this type of artwork?
This is an interesting view into the sketchy business practices surrounding Deal Dash, but it still doesn’t explain what all the winners are doing with their spoils. I don’t have much proof, but I have a pretty good theory.
Nobody is Buying Anything
Let’s put aside the theory that DealDash has a bunch of fake accounts that bid up auctions and prevent you from winning. DealDash isn’t scamming you that obviously. They don’t need to do that because their own users will do it for them.
Every time you win an auction, you can either buy the item at the auction price, or return the item and get a number (typically the Buy It Now price) of bids in return.
My theory is that all of the frequent bidders, including UncleTan, are exchanging wins for bids on just about every auction as a means to increase their pool of bids. For free.
To make this theory work, we would have to see that the top bidders are able to consistently win auctions with fewer bids than the Buy It Now price. If they won an auction while using less bids than the Buy It Now Price then they could exchange that win for more bids which would net them even more bids than they started out with!
For example, if someone won one of the Far East Collections paintings with 1000 bids, and the painting had a Buy It Now price of $2000. That win could be exchanged for 2000 bids. It would double the bids and cost nothing.
And it’s true! Look at the statistics, there are many big players who are winning auctions with fewer than the Buy It Now price number of bids. As of this writing, UncleTan has a system where he can get back 132% of all bids he places. He’s not even the best at this trick.
I think this theory makes the most sense, how else can these players put down thousands of bids on items they couldn’t want, have no use for, and aren’t re-selling on Ebay? It’s because they don’t want the item, they want the bids. It’s a never ending cycle of farming bids so they never have to pay for their own. During this time, DealDash is profiting off the 99% of users who can’t see what’s really happening.
The DealDash.com Economy
I’ve gone through multiple facets of how Deal Dash works in this article, and they all fit together into the overall profit model of DealDash. It’s based on 5 core principles.
- The majority of the Products auctioned on DealDash are made cheaply by in-house companies who are designed to have their products auctioned on DealDash.
- Since DealDash controls the retail pricing of these products they can market them as “luxury” items worth an excessive amount. This leads to elevated Buy It Now prices.
- Smart users take advantage of the high Buy It Now prices to win auctions below that threshold so that they can exchange them to increase their bid pool.
- Everyone else who may actually be interested in buying the products has to compete with users (with nearly unlimited free bids) who are bidding only to increase their bids.
- Buying the item at Retail price to get your bids returned is a sham. The products are worth nowhere near their Buy It Now prices and nobody does or should use that feature. People who lose auctions lose all their bids and that goes directly into DealDash’s profits.
Put it all together and the average DealDash user will find themselves out of a lot of money with nothing but a beginner auction beanie to show for it.
Is there anything that can be done?
DealDash has tried to remedy this somewhat with their No Exchange auctions. I don’t see those any more, and I wouldn’t expect them to keep it up. Take away the exchange for bids option and the whole profit system falls apart. It might also reveal the secret that their most active users are exchanging instead of buying.
There’s really only one way to win.
How to be a Shark on Deal Dash
If you can’t beat them, join them. Learn from the big players on how they are able to win auction after auction with the least amount of bids. You can go through each of the auctions they participate in and how they won. Learn which auctions have the best return, which other users to avoid, and when to admit defeat. Even the best don’t win every time.
All the statistics and tools you need to win are right here on LetsGoBidding.com. It’s completely, and always will be free.
Go ahead, sign up, buy your first bid pack, use one bid to buy the highest Buy It Now priced item you can get from a beginner auction. Then exchange it for more bids. Keep using your bids to win more auctions you can exchange for more bids. Soon you’ll have enough bids pooled up that you can try to get one of the serious items: A new Iphone, or even a car. But more likely you will lose out on every auction to other players doing the same thing, and they’ve already got a lot more bids than you.
Most people who have only seen the commercial won’t know all this. For them, Deal Dash is one big scam and they’re going to lose everything they put in. But if you use these tips, you might be able to waste a huge amount of time to get a slightly reduced price consumer good that you don’t need. Deal Dash may not be illegal, but it’s definitely a scam. It’s shady capitalism that only the few and resourceful can take advantage of.
Don’t bother signing up, you will only lose in the end.
*I have never signed up for Deal Dash and have never given them any money or received any money from them.