Monthly Archives: January 2014

DealDash Universe

Anatomy Of An Auction

DealDash Universe

The word anatomy is defined as “the study of the body plan of animals” so you may be wondering why I’ve chosen to use it to describe an auction.

The reason is that I view an auction as a “living” thing.  Each auction has it’s own individual “personality” based upon the various bidders involved.  Every auction is unique, but watch enough auctions and you will notice that most auctions follow a certain pattern.

When an auction begins, it typically goes through a stage which is a bit like throwing a piece of raw meat into a cage filled with hungry lions.

Bidding is usually quite frantic as people seem to be trying to establish their dominance.  During this stage there is often a lot of “bid stomping” and a general lack of civility.  To give you an idea just how wild this stage can be, I’ve actually gone into auctions with my BidBuddy set before the auction began and had the $5.00 limit reached before even one of my bids was placed. I’m not sure if people are intimidated with all of this aggressive behavior, but auctions do sometimes end during this stage.  Mostly auctions that end during this stage end because there are very few bidders involved. Obviously, bidders who are lucky enough to win during this stage are BIG winners.

Eventually, an auction settles down and most if not all bids are placed by BidBuddies.

This stage is the realm of a particular type of bidder known as the “power bidder”. The power bidder’s one objective is to win the auction by simply outspending the competition. Power bidders have no problem blowing through vast amounts of bids to take home the prize, and most of them have a “win at any cost” mentality.  One of the best bios I’ve seen on DealDash read “When I grow up, I want to be a power bidder”.  I got a big laugh when I read this since I’m quite certain it was said with tongue-in-cheek.  Now hopefully I’m not going to offend too many of you, but power bidders are not to be confused with intelligent bidders. There really isn’t much thought or strategy involved with loading up the BidBuddy with hundreds of bids and letting it run from beginning to end. Believe it or not, there are actually people who feel that bidders who are willing to “go the distance” by bidding continuously from beginning to end are somehow “entitled” to win. This idea is absurd! That may be how it works in a standard auction, but penny auctions are an entirely different animal.  For the most part, bidders during this stage accomplish only one thing, they earn DealDash a lot of money. Many auctions do end during this stage, but the “winners” often realize little if any savings. In fact, power bidders often bid beyond the point where the cost of their bids plus the auction price equals the retail price of the item. I don’t understand what it is they hope to accomplish by bidding so foolishly other than to scare people away from bidding against them again. Considering DealDash has more than 2 million members, it could take quite a while to scare them all off. Another indication that bidders during this stage are not concerned with wasting bids is the fact that they often bid against more than two other bidders. In my opinion, this is a complete waste of bids! What are the chances that two bidders will suddenly drop out simultaneously? Yes, it does occasionally happen, but is it really worth wasting hundreds of precious bids to protect against this happening? If you said yes, you need to remember there will be more other auctions. It’s not uncommon to see as many as five, six, or even more bidders throwing away bids accomplishing nothing more than jacking up the price of the item. There’s really no good reason to bid during this stage.

Now, if you think about it, penny auctions are really not about what price the item sells for.

I believe this idea is so important that it’s worth saying again. Penny auctions are not about what price the item sells for. To prove my point, let’s look at the $300.00 iPad Mini 16GB. The average selling price is currently $70.83. Who wouldn’t buy this item for $70.83? Anyone would buy it, but you don’t get this price unless you are the bidder who places the final bid. Penny auctions are all about one thing – placing the final bid. In the case of the iPad Mini 16GB, it’s about placing the final bid without spending more than $229.17 worth of bids. Nobody understands this better than bidders known as “jump bidders” or “bid jumpers” or simply “jumpers”. We’ll use the term “jumpers” since DealDash uses the term “No Jumper” to refer to the practice of jumping into the auction late in the bidding. The term “bid jumper” can be confusing because it is often also used for bidders who bid before allowing the clock to run out. I like to call these bidders “bid stompers” instead. That aside, jumpers are perhaps the most despised bidders, but in my opinion, this is very unfair. As Robin points out in the article “In Defense Of Bid Jumpers” this is a legitimate bidding strategy, and actually requires the bidder to do their homework. I agree completely, and have a lot of respect for bidders who are able to use this strategy successfully. I’m sure I probably lost a few readers with that statement, so my thanks to those of you who are still here. People like to accuse jumpers of “stealing” auctions. This argument is simply ridiculous. Nobody OWNS anything until the final bid is placed. The fact is that winning auctions in this final stage requires more skill than at any other time in the auction. If you’re like me and see no reason to bid against more than two other bidders, you too could end up being called a “jumper”. 

To sum up, most auctions involve three distinct stages, one requires luck to win, one requires money, and one requires skill.

Luck and money are something you either have or you don’t, but skill is something we can all have if we’re willing to work at it. I wish you much success.

slow down

4 Smart Bidding Tips For Beginners

slow down

You joined Deal Dash, bought bids and are ready to go, Whoa…wait a minute.

Have you bid before? If not here are four Deal Dash bidding tips to keep in mind.

Bidding Tip Number One: Watch Before Bidding

Watch a few auctions before you join in the bidding. See how different bidders play, when they bid, how frequent they bid. You will need to figure out your own strategy once you start however watching the auctions before bidding is important.

Bidding Tip Number Two: Start Bidding On Small Items First

I would suggest you start with a small value item, like a gift card. Search the gift card category for a card you could use and bookmark it. The item will then show up on both your home page and under bookmarked auctions on your Dashboard.

Bidding Tip Number Three: Determine Your Total Costs

Be sure to determine how many bids and how much cash you are willing to spend, without going over the retail cost of the item before you start bidding. Remember your bids cost money too. Your cost for an item is not just the final sales price it is the combined cost of your bids used and the final sales price. This is important to keep in mind when Deal Dash offers “50% off” or “Free deals”. That is when bidders seem to go wild with using more bids then they might have otherwise.

Bidding Tip Number Four: Let The Frenzy Die Down

When the bidding starts, enter 1 bid and then watch what is going on. At the beginning of any auction there will likely be a lot of bids entered in rapid order, you need to let the frenzy die down a little. When there are 3 or 4 individuals bidding in sequence consider joining in. Just keep in mind what you determined the most you will spend on bids and cash. Try not to get caught up in the craziness of bidding as that will get you in trouble and you will spend more money both in bids and cash.

Finally, read other articles about bidding tips and strategies. You may find many of the same times overlap and are repeated over and over – this is for a reason. One article you may like is on the site DealDashTips.com called A Simple Exercise To Find The Perfect Auction

base jumping

In Defense Of Bid Jumpers

base jumping

Nobody likes the “Bid Jumper!!” GEEZ…

This poor soul gets beat up and called out in other Bidder Bios all the time!! I have even seen those that say that these Jumpers are breaking the rules!! While in reality this is not true!! Many say they swoop in at the last moment to “steal” the win from those who were bidding from the start. Others think that they are bid wasters or that they just drive up the cost of the ending price. Ehhh… again, not necessarily true.

First lets define a “Bid Jumper!”
In my mind there are at least two types…

The first bids ferociously right from the beginning. This person is not concerned about the bid clock and is certainly not concerned with your frustration with this style of bidding strategy. In actuality this is what they are hoping for. They want to intimidate the other bidders or “jump” others bid clock time in order to get all others to drop out! This is a viable and legitimate strategy and regardless of what others think… it does work. Especially if you do your homework on the bidders you are up against. You should, as in all cases, be prepared to Buy it Now! You may not make any friends, but is that what we are playing for? No, we play to win!

The second type of “Bid Jumper” swoops in at the end of the auction and watches for the auction to get down to two bidders. This person put in one or two bids at the beginning of the auction but doesn’t participate throughout the auction until what they believe to be the final moments of the auction. They will jump in after they see a couple people going toe-to-toe for awhile and then all of a sudden they will swoop in. They have paid attention to how many bidders have entered the auction and the amount of bids used by all participating. They have carefully noted who is in the auction and what style of bidding they use. They watch to see if they are bidding against “Die Hard” Bidders (those who wont give up on an auction no matter what, oblivious to how many bids they have spent or even worse, someone who just must win at all costs – here’s a good article about winning at all costs and what we can learn). A lot of times the auction will go at a higher price, but no matter, because they have only spent a fraction of the bids the others have. Again, they have paid attention to how many bids the others have spent. So out of all of the strategies, this may be the most calculated of them all. This person has done their homework, they HAVE been watching the auction all along and studying it (they have chosen to stay anonomous intentionally!) You may not like their methods, but you have to admit it is a sound and viable strategy and above all, it is NOT against DealDash rules! So don’t yell at them, don’t get frustrated. Learn about the tactic and use it to your advantage!

bidding mistakes

Critical Mistakes People Make When It Comes To Bidding In Auctions

bidding mistakes

Since joining DealDash back in August 2013, I’ve made more than my fair share of mistakes. Hopefully I can help you avoid making some of the same mistakes I’ve made.  Why, you may be asking, would I be interested in helping you avoid making mistakes.  Great question!  Most of the mistakes we make result in something nobody wants – HIGHER PRICES!

If we were to talk about all the mistakes I’ve made, we’d be here for a long time, and I know you’re anxious to get bidding so let’s just look at the three most critical mistakes.

One of the most critical mistakes is having unrealistic expectations.  This one mistake is responsible for just about every other mistake we can make.  We see someone snag an iPad Air for $37.35 and decide we’re going to do the same.  Could we be so fortunate to get a deal like this? Absolutely.  Unfortunately, we could also end up spending lots of bids and ending up with nothing.  Many people might be surprised to learn that most bidders average less than a 5% win ratio.  This means that most bidders lose more than 95 out of 100 auctions they participate in.  If we’re talking about an item like an iPad Air, our chances are even lower.  I’m not trying to discourage anyone here. I just want to make sure you take off your rose colored glasses before you start bidding.

As I mentioned, having unrealistic expectations ultimately leads to other mistakes.  The primary mistake we’re likely to make when we begin bidding and our expectations are too high is to become emotionally involved.  

Let’s just say we set our sights on that iPad Air, and say we’re looking to get it for less than $50.00.  Seems reasonable.  After all, we saw someone on a TV commercial who got one for less than $50.00 and we just personally witnessed one go for $37.35.  So, we decide to go for the next iPad Air we see.  Guess we should probably buy some bids, but how many should we buy?  We’re feeling lucky so we get 200, and start bidding.

Fast forward several hours….

Our iPad Air is currently at $53.50, we’ve exhausted our original 200 bids, bought another 200 and those are running low. The good news is we’re down to only 2 regular bidders besides us, so surely the other 2 will drop out soon.  Maybe we miscalculated a little bit, but we’re not too worried yet.  After all, even $75.00 would still be a great price for a brand new iPad Air.  And, let’s face it, we’re having some fun!!  

A little while later…

What the heck is wrong with these people?   Don’t they know this is my iPad?  One of the other bidders finally dropped out, but then some other jerk jumped in out of nowhere and started bidding.  That’s just wrong, we think (actually we shout it out loud), don’t they know how long I’ve been bidding here?  Guess what?  We’ve become emotionally involved!

I’m going to spare you the details of how our pretend auction ended up, but let’s just say it got pretty ugly.

I promised to talk about three critical mistakes, so here’s number three. As they say, I’ve saved the worst for last.  While the first two mistakes are very easy to make and can be very difficult to break, there is no reason for anyone to make the final critical mistake.  So, what is it?

People begin bidding without doing their homework.  I don’t know if you’ve seen the TV commercial where the man tells the woman about DealDash for the first time and seconds later she tells him she’s got to go start bidding.  She’d be much better off is she said she was going to go visit DealDash Reviewed, of maybe go watch a few dozen auctions instead.  The fact that you are here reading this blog puts you ahead of a majority of your competition, but don’t stop there.  For every auction you participate in, sit out 10 or 15 and just observe what happens.  While you’re watching all those auctions, you won’t be winning any of the great items available on DealDash, but you also will not be losing even a single penny, and you will learn a lot.  I can just about guarantee you will be much more successful in the auctions you do take part in.

Had our pretend bidder done their homework there’s no guarantee they would have won that new iPad Air, but they could have saved a lot of money and unnecessary frustration.

I challenge everyone reading this article to go find the average selling price of an iPad Air with Wi-Fi and 16GB in Space Gray, come back and post a comment .

dealdash listens to customers

DealDash Listens To Customers!!

dealdash listens to customers

I have been a loyal bidder on DealDash for several years and have always found DealDash to be entertaining, diversified and they have always had superior customer service!!

If you have an issue, comment, complaint or question, they are always there to listen and be quick to respond. In this particular case I made a suggestion. I happened to mention that I would love to see travel-typed prizes. This morning what did I log on to see, but a $250 American Airlines gift card up for grabs!!! Yay!! Well, I did bid, but today wasn’t my day. Congratulations to “cidoutbid” for the win at only $19.30!! Okay so I didn’t win this one… No problem!!! I did a “buy it now” and got the gift card plus my bids back!! My main point is that DealDash listens to customers! They listened to suggestions and implemented them. As with all my other dealings with the Customer Service staff, they are friendly, courteous and quick to respond. I would recommend anyone to contact DealDash Customer Service with questions, concerns, suggestions or if you just plain need help. They want to know what you think too!!

Tip for this post

If you haven’t already done so… Check out the “Help” column located at the bottom of the DealDash.com screen for MANY helpful hints which give you a better understanding of what to expect when bidding on DealDash. For an even more in depth look at DD check out the DealDash Official Blog!!!!

American Airlines Gift Card Sold on DealDash

DealDash Listens to Customers