Sunday, May 26, 2013

Products Available For Auction

Barbara Sellers, Tacoma, Wash. with some auction wins from February 2012 to December 2012.

Variety of Products on Penny-Auction Sites

Which one offers best consumer bargains?

All four penny-auction sites I studied offer brand new products for auction, giving customers an opportunity to win these products for as much as 99 percent off retail price. The variety, value and actual cost of the products, however, varies greatly.

To determine which penny-auction site would give you "the most bang for your buck," we must take several different things into consideration. Things I  looked at and compared are:

  • Reliability of the company -- DealDash is the first & longest running penny-auction site in America
  • Auction products --DealDash offers the most & best variety of high-value and most popular products for auction
  • Cost of products won --DealDash always offers FREE postage/shipping & handling, no hidden fees. If there is a transaction fee, it is only one penny (lowest one offered). DealDash is also the only penny-auction site I found that locks out jumpers (new bidders) after the auction reaches a designated amount (usually $5 but sometimes as low as $1 or $2).
  • Delivery time and/or tracking of shipped items -DealDash has super-fast shipping & now provides customers with tracking information on all shipments, too
  • Buy-It-Now (BIN) option -- DealDash offers the best BIN option by far -- only one good for a full seven days (much longer than any others), so customers have more time to use it

Best Products, Bargains, Most Reliable

Drum roll please ... Of the four penny-auction sites I studied, is obviously the winner. After playing on all four penny-auction sites, I was able to win the most and best bargains on So far, I received all 300-plus auction items I won and not a single one was damaged. They arrived in a timely fashion and in perfect condition. I have absolutely 100 percent trust in the honesty, fairness and reliability of The DealDash team earned my trust and respect.

Past behavior often predicts future behavior, and that often applies to businesses as well. That's why it is a good idea to look at the history of a company. Of course, everyone has to start somewhere and a new company has no history, so sometimes consumers should take a chance. If a company already has a history because they have been in business for a while, there is far less risk involved in dealing with that company. It proves they already know how to keep customers happy or they would not still be in business.

Auction Products also wins in the variety, quality, value and number of auction products available

You can tell a lot about the reliability, strength and success of an online company by looking at the products and number of ongoing auctions the site offers. The most successful penny-auction sites will consistently offer the most high-value products in the most ongoing auctions. If you see the quality and number of high-value items start to disappear, that could indicate that the company is also starting to disappear (just struggling to survive).  Smart consumers pay attention to this so they only deal with reliable companies and do not get burned..

The variety and quality of consumer products offered for auction by penny-auction sites is constantly changing. Some grow bigger and stronger and some get smaller and weaker. Much of the success of each company is customer based -- the number of registered shoppers (loyal customers) each company is able to get and keep. That is why smart CEOs constantly stay in touch with the pulse of consumers.

Let's take a close-up look at the auction products of all four sites in this study.


1. Number of live auctions -- I counted 60 live auctions running at the same time, but only about 12 were still available to new bidders (jumpers) or people who were just starting to bid. DealDash had 10 pages of visible auctions listed, with about 60 per page. Customers are not allowed to compete with each other until the last 30 seconds, but they are allowed to place bids into the automated bidder ahead of time.
2. Examples of auction products -- DealDash offers the best and widest variety of popular products for sale, including high-value items like Apple iPods and iPads, Kindle Fire HDs, Smart Phones & iPhones, huge 3D TVs, GPS devices, digital cameras, Keurig coffee pots, power tools and much more. DealDash also auctions off a wider variety of gift cards than any other penny-auction site I can find, including a wide variety of gas station gift cards, Home Depot, Olive Garden, Applebees, Target, Subway and others. DealDash auctions off the widest selection of bid packages, too. If you want a popular product, DealDash is the place to go.
3. Winning cost of products -- DealDash is the only penny-auction site I found that often offers auction items FREE to the winners, so all they pay is a one-penny transaction fee, plus the cost of the bids it takes to win the auction. Even when DealDash does not offer the auctions FREE or 50-percent-off to the winners, many products are won at an incredibly low bargain price. To keep winning costs down, DealDash is the only penny-auction site that has a "no jumper" policy where no new bidders are allowed to join an auction after it reaches a designated cost (usually $5 but sometimes DealDash locks new bidders out after onlly $1 or $2), making it easier to win at a much lower cost.
4. Postage/shipping & handling fees -- Always shiips postage & handling FREE
5 Delivery & tracking of shipment -- Delivery is now super fast & customers can now track shipping
6. BIN -- Yes; If customers do not win an auction, they have seven full days to buy the auction item at the retail price listed and get all their bids back FREE. DealDash has the best BIN option by far. This is a wonderful option for customers who only bid on auction items they would buy, anyway.


1. Number of live auctions --Counting only auctions that were on the last 30 seconds, I counted 12 live auctions, but could see 35 auctions listed on two pages.
2. Examples of auction products --I saw one Samsung Galaxy tablet, one Kindle Fire, one iPod and one TV, some $150 and $50 gift cards, and some power tools,  but most of the auction products are low-end in value. It is fairly easy to win bid packages for $15 to $60 but what good are the bids if there are so few auction products worth bidding on (which are very difficult to win).
3. Winning cost of products -- Appears to be rather high. To keep some of the winning costs down, and guarantee a bargain price to winners, Beezid puts a "price freeze" on a limited number of auctions. Beezid also has put into place the most stringent win limits I have ever seen, designated with different colored padlock icons. This should have a huge impact on how easy  it is for everyone to win, however, that was not my experience. Although I found it easy to win bid packages, I was not able to win anything of real value with those bids.
4. Postage/shipping & handling fees -- Beezid offers FREE postage/shipping on specified auctions only, designated (marked) with a truck icon and/or free shipping during special events for a limited time only. Otherwise, a high delivery fee is added to the winning price of the auction. For example, I won a pedometer for 2 cents and BeeZid added a delivery price of $6.99. My 2 cent win ended up costing me $7.01.
5 Delivery & tracking of shipment -- Delivery appears to be a little slow. I see no way customers can track shipment without contacting someone on the support team.
6. BIN--Yes, customers can get all their bids back by choosing to buy the auction item at the retail price, but the BIN option on this site is only good for 24-hours.


1. Number of live auctions -- Counting only auctions that were on the last 30 seconds, I counted only 5 on the home page and I could see only 12 auctions listed, so to me, looking at the home page, it appeared to be a very small online company. I received an email response to a question I sent to the BidCactus support team, however, saying they ship out between 1,500 to 1,700 products per week.
2. Examples of auction products -- Featured item was a Nintendo 3DS X. I also saw 1 Apple iPad 16 GB w'/Retina Display WiFi (retail $499), 1 Sony 32-inch Brava HDTV (retail $397.99) and $100 American Express gift card.
3. Winning cost of products --BidCactus reports that the last $50 Sears card went for only 32 cents, the last $100 Amazon gift card sold for $5.40 and the last $100 American Express gift card sold for $8.43. However, I just saw another American Express gift card at $17 and it had not yet sold. Nonetheless, it appears products on BidCactus sell at a fairly low cost to the winners.
4. Postage/shipping & handling fees -- Varies, depending on where the products are shipped. BidCactus listed postage/shipping & handling fees for the winner of the Nintendo 3DS X for contental U.S. as $11.90 or Alaska/Hawaii as $21.90 and Canada as $48.90. Those fees appears to be a little high.
5 Delivery & tracking of shipment -- Because I was not able to win anything on this site recently, I do not know how fast delivery is now, but a year ago, delivery was very fast. I see no way for customers to track auctions won other than to contact a member of the site's support team. I saw a note on the site that said if customers do not receive items won within 15 days, they should contact the support staff to check on it for them.
6. BIN -- Only some of the designated auctions offer the BIN option, and it is only good for one-hour after the auction closes. It also works differently. If the customer chooses to purchase the auction item within one hour after the auction closes, the value of the bids used to win the auction will be deducted from the retail cost. Instead of getting bids back, customers using $10 worth of bids in an auction for a $25 gift card, would be able to purchawse the card for $15. The value of the bids used is deducted from the retail cost of the auction item. BIN can only be used once per auction.


1. Number of live auctions -- Counting only auctions that are down to the last 30 seconds, ZBiddy has about 9 to 12 live auctions running at the same time. However, ZBiddy has about 5 pages (25 auctions per page) listed, and they allow customers to place bids several hours ahead of time. I have seen bidders get into a bidding war on ZBiddy several hours before the auction even got down to the last 30 seconds. By that time, those two bidders had already forced the auction price to go so high that I no longer wanted to place a bid in that auction.
2. Examples of auction products -- Just recently, ZBiddy appears to be making a comeback by offering more high-value products again like an  iPad w/Retina display Wi-Fi 16 GB (retail $499), an 8GB Kindle Fire tablet (retail $159 and a few Apple ipods and a Dyson Multi Floor Upright vacuum (retails $399.89). ZBiddy used to offer a lot more gift cards and high-tech Apple products, Nintendo Wiis, TVs, iPods & iPads. Now they offer more low-end items like magazines and $25 e-gift cards (+50 bids) that I think are a rip-off because you have to order a certain dollar value of food to even use those restaurant cards. Products I like on the site are: the fake Princess Diana ring, the Best Buy gift cards and the weight-loss products that Dr. Oz promotes -- Rasberry Keytones, Green Coffee Bean extracts and the African Mango.
3. Winning cost of products -- Usuallly high because most customers have lots of low-cost bids. To keep winning costs down, ZBiddy now places a preset "cap" price on a few preselected auctions. The winning cost will never go above the "cap" price for the auction, but the bidding continues. For example, ZBiddy set a "cap" of $29 on an Apple iPod Touch 16GB 4th Generation + 100 bids, which retails for $319. Added to that is a $4.99 postage, so the winner would pay $43.99 (in addition to the cost of bids used to win it). ZBiddy placed a cap of $69 on a Samsung 40-inch 3D Smart TV that retails for $1,499. Added on to that is a $19.99 shipping K& handling fee, so the winner would pay a total of $88.99 (plus the cost of the bids it takes to win it).
4. Postage/shipping & handling fees -- Always adds fairly high postage/shipping & handling fees, and does nothing to lower postage & handling fees when it would make sense to do so.  For example, within a few days, I won 10 bottles of weight-loss products from the same company -- Rasberry Keytones, Green
"Coffee Beans and African Mango -- and I was charged $5.95 postage/shipping & handling fees for each of the 10 bottles. Because all of those bottles could be shipped together in one box, why should I have to pay such a high shipping & handling fee for each and every one?
5 Delivery & tracking of shipment -- Delivery is ok, but a little slow. I see no way to track shipments, other than to contact the support team. ZBiddy offers a "Live Chat" but they are often off-line and I have never been able to receive any "live" help by using that service yet.
6. BIN -- Yes, but the Buy-It-Now option is only good for two hours, so I've never used it. One or two hours is not enough time for most customers to react.

If you look at the variety and total cost of winning products, you can clearly see that is the "leader of the pack."  DealDash is setting a higher standard and doing more to keep customers happy than all of the other penny-auction sites I studied and actually tried. The more I check out other penny-auction sites, the more I appreciate what is doing. Of course, nobody can win all of the auctions they enter, all of the time.  Sometimes I get into losing streaks, too, especially if I leave my computer and get distracted doing other things. Whenever I get serious about winning a good bargain, however, I am going directly to  I am so happy I found them!

In my next blog, I am going to compare timing/pace and automated bidders.

Visit me here: Barbara Sellers


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