Friday, December 28, 2012

Can you trust Deal Dash?

Deal Dash, a penny auction website established in 2009, now has more than a million registered users, according to Wikipedia. That fact, in itself, says a lot.

"When that many people beat a path to your door, you must be doing something right — and probably a whole range of things that are right," I said to myself. But just to confirm my conclusion, I checked some of the user reviews.

Sure enough, these are overwhelmingly positive. Remarks like "The customer service . . . is the best I have ever come across," and "The most fun and trustworthy online pay-to-bid auction site!" are common.

I would suggest, however, that the prospective bidder do a little homework. "Don't just jump in and play," one satisfied reviewer writes. It's good advice, as the greatest success always comes to those who keep a cool head and a steady hand.

As a first step, look for Barbara Sellers' review of Deal Dash at Squidoo, where she shares all her "winning strategies" and reveals "the biggest mistake that new bidders make".

You should also visit Deal Dash's Tumblr site, which reveals its impressive scorecard: "High overall ratings on penny auction review sites; a large Facebook following (the third-largest following of all entertainment auction sites); the McAfee Secure Trustmark; VeriSign approval, and a high Better Business Bureau rating."

  • Read my previous post on Deal Dash — "Deal Dash surges in the social media" — here.

  • Doomsday averted . . . or did I miss something?

    "The 2012 phenomenon was a range of [Mayan] eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or transformative events would occur around 21 December 2012," says Wikipedia. Well, I can't say that much happened around that time in New Zealand, though Wellington had its hottest Christmas Day since 1934. The cartoon, by Malcolm Evans, is from the Manawatu Standard of December 26, 2012. The little Conquistador at the bottom of the picture is saying, "We should go and decimate them".

    Tuesday, December 25, 2012

    Capture POD brings the party to life

    A celebration must be more than memorable. It must be memorable for all the right reasons, and leave a photographic record that constantly rekindles the good times.

    A Capture Pod stands ready
    to be custom wrapped.
    That's where comes in, with its revolutionary digital photo booth (see left). Forget about the awkward, utilitarian structures of the past, which made having your picture taken an intimidating experience. This rental booth, which has a rounded, customizable exterior, will bring your event to life, as it records both lighthearted and serious moments in either color or classic black-and-white prints.

    As Capture POD™ says, "the Pod is always ready to party". But as it also points out, the word "party" encompasses weddings (for which the Pod was originally designed), Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, quinceaneras, birthday parties, holiday parties, family reunions, school reunions, corporate events, media events, celebrity events, product launches, fundraisers, proms, dances, and trade shows. All can be made more enjoyable and lastingly significant by the presence of a Pod.

    Each rental package includes unlimited prints for you and your guests, a photo scrapbook, an onsite attendant, a real-time slideshow on an LCD screen, an online gallery, custom-designed graphics, a choice of background color, a DVD of all the images, and a set-up, breakdown and delivery service. Everything is included in the hourly rate you pay. But depending on your location, there may be a delivery charge.

    Capture POD's corporate clients include Reebok, McDonald's and Disney, which understand the importance of providing a customized "marketing machine" at their events, says Carlos Pacheco, co-creator and co-owner of the business. "We’re also the manufacturers of the Capture POD, so we can create the booths to look like a baseball, a tiki hut, or anything that the client wants."

    Capture POD has a number of rental locations throughout the U.S., and invites prospective clients to view the Pod at the company's headquarters in Miami, FL.

    NOTE: Readers in Australasia should note that there is also a location in Melbourne, which can be contacted at Phone: 0422.205.609 and Email: amy[at]

    Monday, December 24, 2012

    Santa meets the children of the poor

    "I'd like breakfast!" says the little boy on Santa's knee. A modest request, and surely one that could be met even by poor parents. One wonders how much money these parents spend on alcohol, cigarettes, Lotto tickets, and entertainment. One should also remember that, in New Zealand, it is usually possible to grow some food in one's garden, and to keep a few chickens for eggs. The cartoon, by Malcolm Evans, is from the Manawatu Standard of December 11, 2012.

    Free flights to Australia

    There was a bit of a ruckus in New Zealand this month, when Social Development Minister Paula Bennett revealed that at least 20 social welfare beneficiaries had received taxpayer money — specifically, a Transition to Work grant — to travel to Australia after finding work there. The cartoon, by Malcolm Evans, is from the Manawatu Standard of December 8, 2012.

    Saturday, December 22, 2012

    Deal Dash surges in the social media

    Is there anything more satisfying than a "Sold" sign?

    The deal has been done, and both parties are happy. The seller has got rid of some superfluous stuff that was occupying valuable shelf space, and the buyer has acquired a real bargain.

    Nowhere is this more true than at Deal Dash — "the fair and honest alternative to penny auctions", which we introduced to our readers on November 17. (See the earlier post here.)

    Since then, Deal Dash has been making its mark in the social media, including Pinterest, where members can tell everyone about their "favorite wins". And after you have snapped up a few bargains, you will want to tell the whole world about your success, too.

    Gardeners 'switched on' the wrong way

    This cartoon, which appeared in the Manawatu Standard on December 7, 2012, refers to the case in which the owner of the nationwide chain of Switched On Gardener stores was found guilty of supplying equipment for cultivating cannabis but acquitted of being part of an organised crime ring. The newspaper headline — "Switched On Gardeners guilty" — causes great mirth in the plush premises of the Big Booze & Baccy Club. The little man in the bottom right-hand corner comments, "They must have been smoking something".

    Saturday, December 1, 2012

    Red Carpet takes eyes off serious issues

    As the red carpet is rolled out for the premiere of The Hobbit in Wellington, all other issues, such as child abuse, the environment and globalization, are eclipsed. The cartoon, by Malcolm Evans, is from the Manawatu Standard of November 29, 2012.