Is DealDash the Real Deal? What You Should Know About the Auction Website

A man looks excited with his white laptop on his lap. The man has an armful of tattoos and is smiling with his hands clasped together.
Getty Images

You’ve probably seen the commercials for DealDash, a website where you can seemingly walk away with an expensive television or laptop for only a few dollars. But is DealDash legit, or is DealDash a scam looking to steal your hard-earned money?

We’ll take a closer look at whether DealDash auctions are legit, plus provide a few tips on using the service. While we can’t promise you’ll walk away with an auction deal of a lifetime, there may be some savings available on the popular penny auction website.

If you’re looking for great auction deals, check out our guide to GovDeals, a surplus auction site.

What Is DealDash?

DealDash is a legitimate website that allows visitors to bid on various items, from electronics to clothing, winning them at less than the retail price. DealDash is not a scam attempting to cheat you out of your cash, but it is essential to understand the actual cost of bidding and winning items on the site.

Penny auctions operate by offering up products and allowing individuals to bid on them, increasing the sale price by a single cent each time. When a bid is placed, the auction timer is also increased by a set amount of time.

Once the timer expires due to no more bids, the product is sold for the final auction price to the final bidder (aka the winning bidder). However, in most scenarios, any bids you place will cost you a set amount of money, and you won’t receive the money spent on bids if you lose the auction.

Using a website like DealDash can occasionally net you solid deals, but we wouldn’t rely on it for discounts as the actual cost can be higher than first anticipated. Using a penny auction can be fun, but bidders can quickly lose themselves and their money if not careful.

How to Bid in a DealDash Auction

If you want to try a penny auction website, DealDash is as good as any option. Head to DealDash’s website and sign into an account by clicking the login button in the top right corner of the screen.

If you don’t already have a DealDash account, click on the Create Account button to get started. You can also choose to sign in with Facebook. Once signed in for the first time, you’ll be offered a deal on discounted bids.

We were offered 200 bids for $30 (15 cents each) in our testing. The sign-up deal you receive may vary, and DealDash notes that bids can cost up to 20 cents each. One positive is that any bids you place with your first bid pack will be refunded if you don’t win.

Once you have purchased a set of bids, you can begin browsing the site and looking for items that interest you. Any products purchased on DealDash are new and include the original manufacturer warranty, so you can buy with confidence. Once you find an item, click on it to go to the bidding page.

You’ll see an option to spend one of your bids to increase the item price by 1 cent and increase the amount of time remaining for the auction. If you are the winning bidder when the timer runs out, you’ll be eligible to purchase the item at the final bid value.

Items you win will be shipped to you at no additional cost (there are no shipping and handling fees). If you don’t win an auction item, you can purchase the product for a “Buy It Now” price (typically around the retail price), and DealDash will refund any bids you placed.

DealDash Tips and Tricks

You can win a few good deals on DealDash, but you can also quickly lose your shirt. Using penny auction websites is fun but could be compared to gambling, so you should keep a close eye on how much money you spend on bids.

If you have decided that DealDash is worth your time and don’t mind playing the penny auction game, we have a few tips and tricks to help you out.

  • Focus your attention on low-priced items. As you may expect, winning an iPad or a smartphone at a low price can be a challenge. If you stick to less expensive items, you are more likely to have a shot at winning the auction.
  • Be patient and don’t bid right away. While it might be tempting to bid when a product is extremely cheap, you’ll likely be throwing your bids away. Wait until items have increased in value a bit before throwing in your bids.
  • But don’t wait too long. DealDash won’t allow new bidders to join an auction once the price has risen past $5. If you see an auction you want to participate in, place an early bid so you can take part later on.
  • Use the BidBuddy feature. Instead of bidding right away, you can book a BidBuddy. You specify the max amount of bids you wish to place, then BidBuddy will automatically bid for you at the last second.
  • Experiment with different times. Try bidding during different times of the day (and night) to find when the bidding is less competitive. After all, you won’t have much competition if all the bidders are asleep.
  • Buy bids when they are on sale. DealDash commonly has sales, offering bids at discounted rates. Try to wait and make a bid pack purchase when they are on sale. DealDash will also occasionally offer free bids to its users.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why Is DealDash So Cheap?

DealDash appears cheap initially, but the site isn’t as generous as it first seems. DealDash is a penny auction site where each bid costs you money, and you don’t receive that money back even if you are not the auction winner.

Do You Get Your Money Back if You Lose a Bid on DealDash?

If you place a bid on an auction but lose the auction, you do not get your money back. One exception to this rule is on the first bid pack purchase you make upon signing up for the site. Your first bid pack purchase is refunded if you do not win. Also, if you don’t win an auction, you can purchase that item for the “Buy It Now” price, and DealDash will refund any bids you placed.

Does DealDash Charge a Monthly Fee?

No, DealDash does not charge a monthly fee to use its website. The primary price involved when using DealDash is the cost of purchasing bids.

Is DealDash a Scam?

DealDash is not a scam; it is a legitimate website with online auctions (as the company says, it is an honest bidding site). DealDash has been in operation since 2009 and has a Trustpilot score of 4.5 out of 5 from over 3,000 users.

Michael Archambault is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder specializing in technology.