We all love a bargain and the explosion in online shopping has totally revolutionised how consumers go about landing the best deals.
Shoppers have never had so much choice when it comes to how and where they shop, with the entire world now at their fingertips. But so much choice can make it hard to know where the best deals can really be found.
As eCommerce has exploded so has the potential for customers to find incredible prices. Fierce competition from online companies has meant traditional retailers have had to up their game to attract new customers as well. The result? More choices at a lower cost than ever before.
To help you find the biggest bargains around, here we take a look at how regular online shopping sites and shopping in-store compare to newer and more innovative ways of shopping, like online auctions and penny auction sites.
Where to Look for the Best Deals?
Online shopping has evolved to become so much more than just an e-version of your local mall. Online auctions and penny auctions are changing the way people shop, adding an element of excitement, while at the same time allowing for previously unheard of prices on brand-name items.
With so many companies claiming to offer the absolute best price around, it can be hard to know where to look to find the best deals.
Savvy bargain hunters are now going beyond their local mall or regular online stores to find more innovative ways of getting the most bang for their buck.
And we’re not talking about 10% off here. We are talking about those crazy offers where shoppers can find high-quality products from well-known brands at almost too-good-to-be-true prices.
Free Auctions and Online Marketplaces
Online auction sites are often one of the first place bargain hunters look when wanting to buy quality products going cheap.
eBay is the best known free auction site. But there are thousands out there, all offering you the chance to find well-known brands as well as second-hand goods and one-off collector’s items.
Local online marketplaces such as those on Facebook can also be a good place to grab a bargain. But be careful though. As anyone can sell on these platforms, you might not always get the product or quality you were expecting.
There is almost no retail product available in the world today that hasn’t found its way onto online auction platforms.
Often the starting price is low. So if demand isn’t high, you can walk away with the product you want at a well-below retail price. Keep your cool though — you don’t want to, “win”, a bidding war where the price has been bid up to above what you could find in a regular store.
If you don’t mind something a little less than new, online marketplaces and auction sites are a treasure trove for used goods.
Many products available have been rarely used and are in very-near-new condition at a fraction of the cost of buying them new.
If you are looking for a real steal, bidding on a pre-loved item can definitely be the way to go.
Too Good to be True?
One obvious downside of buying secondhand goods online is that you never really know the quality you are going to get.
Plus, when you are buying second hand, there is often no warranty or consumer protection. So while you can find some really low prices, there is a risk that your item won’t be quite what you expected.
You also have to consider shipping and other fees. It’s often up to the seller to set shipping fees on online auction marketplaces, so they tend to vary.
Currency conversion and international transaction fees can also bite, so make sure you check these first when using auction sites.
A 60% off designer bag can suddenly not seem so cheap once expensive overseas delivery and transaction fees are added.
But on the flip side, there is nothing like the feeling of placing that winning bid on something that you really want and getting it at a fantastic price.
Of course, luck and timing play their part. But if you take the time to look, online auction sites and local online marketplaces can be the place to land an amazing deal that you just won’t find at a regular store.
Penny Auction Sites
Before we discuss how you can get the best deals on penny auctions sites, let’s first examine the difference between penny auctions and regular online auctions.
Penny Auctions vs. Regular Online Auctions.
Like with most online auctions, the item simply goes to the highest bidder. Penny auctions, however, work on a pay-to-participate model. That is, bids need to be purchased before bidding on an item.
Items are initially listed for an extremely low price — we are talking pennies here, with an online timer controlling the bidding rounds. Every time a bid is made the price goes up by $0.01 and 5–10 seconds is added to the countdown timer.
If no new bids are placed once the clock runs out, the last person to bid has the opportunity to purchase the item at an insanely discounted price.
But what’s similar about penny auctions and regular auction sites is that you can get eyebrow-raising prices while also experiencing the thrill of it all.
The thrill of getting an unbelievable price on an expensive item you’ve had your eye on really does add a layer of excitement that you just don’t find from regular shopping.
Upping the fun factor even further, the perhaps longest-running pay-to-participate auction site DealDash offers features like Mystery Auctions where the item is only revealed five minutes before bidding begins.
How to Get the Best Deals on Penny Auction Sites.
You’ve probably seen penny auction sites offering online shoppers almost too-good-to-be-true prices on a huge variety of brand-name goods. From electronics to sports gear, these auction sites regularly offer products at over 80% off the retail price.
There are a number of strategies you can employ to attempt to score even greater deals. For example, simply brushing up on a few tips and tricks on DealDash to develop your own bidding strategy can score you some of the best deals online.
Plus, DealDash has a BidBuddy offering in which an automated system places a bid for you — so you can win an auction in your sleep. With BidBuddy, plenty of users are scoring top-quality items at an absolute fraction of the retail price, sometimes as low as a few dollars.
So when it comes to finding the best deals online for brand-name and high-quality products, penny auction sites are hard to pass up. A glimpse at the winner’s page on DealDash reveals items sold for a couple of dollars, if not less.
So What’s the Catch?
Well, on any bidding-oriented site, there is always the possibility you won’t “win” the auction you bid on. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll walk away empty handed.
Some sites like DealDash offer a Buy-It-Now option just in case you end up “losing” an auction or don’t have time to partake in the bidding. With buy-it-now, the item is all yours and any bids you placed on the auction get refunded back into your account.
So if you see an absolute must-have item up for auction that you can’t bear to miss out on, you can always buy it instantly no matter what on DealDash.
“Buying it now” won’t be the way you’ll find a truly one-off, incredible price. But it is handy if you come across something that you just can’t risk letting go. Plus as an added benefit, you’ll get your used bids back to use on other auctions.
These auction sites also have occasional special promotions where you can even get free bids.
While lacking the thrill-factor offered by auction sites, online stores can still be a great place to find the best deals and a world of savings. Amazon dominates this market, with almost anything you can think of available on their platform.
Their online review system has made comparing products and prices a breeze. No more driving or walking all over town trying to find the cheapest price on something. Instead, you can shop around in your pajamas, curled up on your couch at home.
Most big brands also have an online presence today. This has allowed shoppers the choice of millions of items from every corner of the globe that aren’t available in local stores.
With eCommerce sites and online stores, you can now instantly buy a designer piece from the other side of the world right from your phone on your coffee break at work!
You still need to do your research though — often prices online are comparable to regular retails stores, with shipping fees thrown in on top.
So while many online stores are unrivalled for convenience, they aren’t automatically cheaper than picking up what you want at your local mall.
Yes, you can make a good deal even more of a steal online by looking for “Best Price Guarantee” programs, discounts and coupons using sites like Honey, for example. But this requires you to do the legwork to get the price of the product you want lowered even further.
To compete with the rise in online shopping, retailers with physical locations are lowering prices now more than ever to entice consumers.
For the most part, the best deals around are going to be found online. BUT you can still get lucky and find super cheap prices in-store, especially when there are sales going on.
And let’s be honest, sometimes what we need just can’t wait. It’s no good finding an amazing deal on that perfect outfit online if you need it tonight and it won’t arrive for three days.
So while the boom in online stores and auction sites has forever changed retail, it’s great to know brick-and-mortar (B&M) stores are still there for those last-minute purchases.
Plus, sometimes you can even negotiate if you want a lower price and know where to look (and who to ask) when shopping in-store.
Clever bargain hunters know that the ticket price isn’t necessarily the price they’ll wind up paying. Sometimes simply asking can be enough to get 15% or more knocked off, saving customers big dollars off those big-ticket purchases.
Out of all these shopping methods though, in-store shopping is probably the most time consuming way to find what you are looking for. Not only does finding the best deal still involve price comparison research, you then need to physically go to the store to purchase your item.
And with time there and back as well as finding parking and walking from store to store, it can be a big chunk of your day! That said, many shoppers enjoy the experience of being able to physically see and touch an item before making a final decision on whether to buy.
Verdict on Getting the Most for Your Money?
There have never been more ways to find incredible prices on almost any and every product imaginable with companies both on and offline finding increasingly innovative ways to vie for your business.
Amazing offers can now be regularly found at retail and eCommerce stores with discount coupons and regular sales lowering prices even further. But if you want to find a well-below-retail-offer, regular and penny auction sites can be hard to beat.
With auction sites, it can really depend on the demand for the item you are looking at. If the price starts low and you dial your bidding strategy, it might just be yours at an incredible price.
All in all, penny auction sites like DealDash require some patience and strategy. But the offers that can be found on DealDash can make it worth a look if you are on a mission to land an eye-popping online bargain and the absolute best deals that you won’t find anywhere else.
The article is published by DealDash.