Recently, the Better Business Bureau threw penny auctions into its annual list ranking popular rip-offs that target consumers. This raised a lot of eyebrows, considering that the BBB currently awards several of them with an 'A' rating or better. One bargain site called Deal Dash claims to offer cheap laptops and gift cards to its members; however, there are numerous complaints regarding a DealDash scam. So who should you believe; and, perhaps more importantly, why does the BBB seem to contradict itself?
How it works
Much like other penny auctions, such as MadBid and QuiBids, DealDash asks its members to purchase bidpacks which they can later use to make claims on cheap laptops, gift cards and other merchandise placed at auction. Unlike traditional auctions, bids aren't placed; they are put at risk. To clarify: members lose their bids, regardless of whether or not they win the auction, and this has led many organizations to accuse these sites of operating more like casinos than legitimate bargain websites.
Is DealDash legit?
There are a troubling amount of online reviews centered on a Deal Dash scam involving the alleged use of automated bots to keep bidders from winning. Although there's no way to know if this is true, the company doesn't use any sort of third-party monitoring program; and since it is clearly in DealDash.com's best interest for members to waste their bids, there may be legitimate reason for concern.
What about the BBB?
Although many online reviews complain about a potential DealDash scam, the BBB has awarded the site with an A- rating. At first glance, this ranking seems to contradict the organization's warning regarding penny auction sites. When comparing the organizations differing stance, it's important for consumers to understand that Deal Dash pays the BBB for accreditation; however, its payment does not guarantee a high rating. Instead, the BBB claims to base its decision on at least 16 total factors, including complaint volume and the company's response to these complaints.
Although the BBB has given DealDash.com an A- rating, it does warn consumers that penny auctions use deceptive practices that may prey on consumer ignorance. In the end, if you're looking for excitement, this site may be a fun distraction from day-to-day life; however, it should not be viewed as a legitimate way to consistently find bargains.