This post is about something I heard about through Facebook.
We all know there are pieces, very collectible pieces, of Lulu that we know we’re never going to buy because we can’t afford or can’t justify paying $400 for Quiet Striped Tribal Sea Wheeze Davies. Enter DIPS.
Facebook Dips are magical, wondrous places where unicorns are won and lost at the random.org-ing of a number.
Here are the basics:
First someone has a special item, that they think other people want as well, but it’s pricey and possibly difficult to find an individual buyer for such an expensive item.
The person who has the item Posts a DIP after interest is established through a process called “fishing.” Fishing is in place to reduce/ prevent crowding of the Facebook page. If enough people like a photo in the “fishing” album, the poster of the photo is notified by an admin that their item has been approved and they may post their DIP to the page.
A basic idea of what the poster would write in their post is:
Status of the DIP: OPEN (It will be edited to “closed” once all spots are sold)
Description of Item: Name/ Color/ Size of item
Condition: For information on how to describe the condition of your item, please see my post about that.
Spots: List the number of spots, or “entries” that you want to sell in your DIP
Price per spot: List the amount of money you would like to earn per entry. The currency of pricing should also be listed. Many DIPs charge $5, $10, or $15 per spot. Pricing caps also exist, depending on the group. For example, if the cap is set at $900, you can’t sell fifty $20 spots ($1,000 worth of spots).
Location: The location from where you will be shipping the item.
Payment Instructions such as “send all money via PayPal as Friends and Family”
List Shipping charges, most DIPs include shipping, depending on the rules of the Facebook group.
PARTICIPATING IN DIPs
Below all the information about the listing and instructions to potential entrants will be a list of numbers equaling the total number of spots available, with space left beside to write the name of the person who purchased that spot. In the example shown below, if there are 5 spots available, the numbers 1 through 5 will be written, and the names of the people who purchased a spot will be written. In most DIPs, you can choose which number you want. In other DIPs, random number assignment is required.
1. Mandy Miller
2. Sandy Sadler
3. Erica Erickson
4. Erica Erickson
5. Taylor Tomlinson
Let’s say that they each paid $20 for their spot and they’re Dipping for a pair of Star Runner Pullover. That means that the seller believes that their pullover, plus the cost of shipping (if shipping is included), is worth $100. The seller gets $100, and 5 people get a chance to purchase or “win” a Star Runner Pullover for only $20, rather than paying the $100 the seller believes it is worth. Even if it’s not exactly worth $100, $20 is still a great deal!
But wait a minute! Erica Erickson’s name is written in spots 3 and 4! Yes, that’s because, in my imaginary game, she chose to purchase two spots, paying the Dipper $40 in total, rather than $20, like the others. Depending on the rules of the Dip, potential winners can purchase as many spots as they like.
Once all spots are sold, the DIP is marked by the poster as “closed” and people are now required to pay for their spots. Most DIP posters require that the money be sent via PayPal as “Friends and Family.”
Once all spots are sold, and everyone pays for their spot, it is time for everyone’s favorite part: The Draw!!!
The person who posted the DIP will tag an admin and inform them that everyone has paid for their spot and it is time for the draw. The admin will go to a random number generator and videotape the live drawing of the number. The winner is announced when the video is posted on the Facebook thread.
There you have it! DIPs explained. These rules, by the way, are by no means exhaustive. Due to the lottery-style, another thing that is mentioned in the rules of the Facebook Dipping groups, is that Dipping is against Facebook and PayPal terms of service. Here is a post regarding DIPs that I found useful. If there are other important rules not mentioned above, or you notice something incorrect, please feel free to inform me in the comments below, so I have a chance to add it to this post.