Domain Auctions – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Domain auctions are something the great majority of domainers participate in frequently. Many domain names that are expiring can be back ordered and won at subsequent auctions at places like Namejet, Snapnames and others. There are domain name auctions ending almost every minute at auction houses like GoDaddy, Sedo, Bido, Flippa, EBAY and many others. There are exciting domain name auctions that take place live at domain conferences like T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Some people like the thrill of being in an auction, whether it be live or just on-line, constantly refreshing the screen as the auction winds down to determine if they are the winner. Many domainers get involved in auctions, but some really have no intention on winning the name. They just want to participate, perhaps to have some insight into the final result. Lately, there are many great names that appear in domain auctions all of the time, making it a real exciting part of being in the domain name business at this time. However, like anything, there are some good things, some bad things and some down right ugly things associated with domain name auctions, depending on whether your a buyer or seller, and they are discussed here from my point of view.

domain auctions

Domain Auctions – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

GoDaddy recently changed their auction rules by extending the time added to the ending of each auction, anytime there is a bidder in the last 5 minutes of the auction. They have been operating for quite some time with just a two minute time extension and then recently changed it to 10 minutes. Within 24 hours of making that change, due to an outpouring of complaints, they changed it to 5 minutes, where is currently stands now. Many auction houses do this, in hopes of driving up the bidding and perhaps e-mailing those that have been outbid with a warning so that they can revisit and perhaps provide a higher bid. Flippa adds an entire hour each time there is a bid within the last hour. Most buyers hate the time extensions for several reasons. Some domainers like to “snipe” names, providing a last second bid in hopes of winning the name, while not drawing attention to the name. Time extensions really don’t allow for “sniping” in its purest form. Domain buyers are also busy people and time extensions only eat more time that a domainer could be spending on many other things. If they like the name, they need to be active in the auction and if someone else likes it too, you can have a bidding war that can go on for hours. I find it crazy when those that know how the extensions work still wait until the trickling seconds to provide another bid, only wasting valuable time! Like most, as a buyer of domain names, I hate the time extensions for domain name auction bidding. On the other hand, as a seller of domain names, time extensions are awesome, especially when there is a bidding war for your name. Time extensions allow you some time to really hype up the ongoing bidding war by using social media, like Facebook or Twitter. Like I said earlier, many like the thrill of an auction and bidding wars provide the perception of demand, although it’s not really a perception, it’s realty at that point.

Not every auction platform has time extensions. A great example is EBAY. I have sniped many items from EBAY sellers by bidding at the last seconds, but also lost many items to somebody else doing the same thing. The majority of auction houses do have incremental bidding, which means that each bid are provided in certain pre-defined increments, so that someone is not constantly outbid by a penny. If they really want the item, they need to be willing to up the bid to at least next increment, which is always set before the auction begins. My favorite domain name auction feature is proxy bidding, which allows you to place the maximum amount you are willing to bid for a given domain name. The auction platform will then enter a bid on your behalf against other bidders in the smallest required increment and up to your set maximum amount. It is a great feature, especially for a part time domainer like me, because it let’s me do my day job and not have to closely follow the domain auctions as they are happening. I know what I’m willing to pay and I set that amount. If I get the name, I know I got a deal and know I can sell the name for a higher price. While its my favorite feature, I kick myself often, as I’ve lost many domain names by somebody winning the name for one bidding increment above my maximum bid. I always seem to grind my teeth when it happens, but one should always set limits and stick with your guns in the end. I don’t know about you, but I’m in this to make some money. If you watch any of the auction hunter shows out there, they all operate the same way. That’s why they are successful and have their own show! I wonder who will have the first reality domaining show?

domain auctions

A controversial point among domainers with domain name marketplaces like SEDO, and others is that once a seller receives an offer on their domain name, they have the option to kick it into public domain auctions, where the bidders offered price is utilized as the reserve price for the domain auctions. After reading several threads on the subject within domain forums, it is apparent that some domainers really despise this practice. On the other hand, there are many sellers who love the idea, as it provides a chance to get the name into a public auction, where there are many more eyes and possibilities for a higher priced sale. A seller does need to be comfortable with the initial offer, however, because the auction results in a sale for at least that initially offered amount.

Another good and bad point about auctions, depending on if you are a buyer or a seller, are the reserves, which we’ve touched upon already. A seller can set a reserve price for their name at most auction houses, thereby insuring that they will get what they want for the domain name (at a minimum), assuming there are bidders for the name. Most auction houses charge an additional fee for setting a reserve and sometimes the fee is dependent on the reserve amount set.

Having participated in many many auctions over the years for a variety of different things, it is very apparent that the most ugly side of auctions is the non-paying high bidder. Nothing is more annoying that a high bidder backing out of the deal and not paying for what they have won, other than a seller not sending the merchandise because they feel the auction did not command enough money from the winning bidder. I’ve experienced both and neither will get you in a good mood. It is a real waste of time for the seller and/or buyer and is always a real loser for the auction house. The domaining industry is a small world and what comes around goes around. As such, think twice before backing out of a deal, whether a buyer or a seller, as your reputation will be tarnished and you’ll have a harder time getting deals done. Many domain forums and blogs have name and Shame posts, whether deadbeat buyers and sellers are called out and identified. You’ll never see me on these lists and I better not see yu either!

Thanks for checking out some of the good, the bad and the ugly associated with domain name auctions!

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domain auctions

Domain Auctions – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Domain Auctions – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
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Now there is a New “Escrow Integration” tab in “Settings”, which allows BIN buyers self-check out prior to interacting with a broker. As a seller, you can set fees, select who pays fees for BIN names and let buyers initiate transactions including brokers in “accept offer” transactions. This will make closings much faster for your buyers and is yet another improvement in the fastest growing Domain Name parking and sales platform. As an added benefit, With each improvement comes more publicity, which will only increase the exposure of the platform, allowing you and I to sell more names.

I recently wrote a post about the ins and outs of the and platform, so if you are looking to get your domain names there, it is worth a read and may save you some time. What I really didn’t do in that article was give my opinion of the platform, not that my opinion means much. I mean I’m a newbie with little experience and I really haven’t utilized other similar platforms to their fullest potential, so I have little to compare to. I can say, however, that I have received many more offers and inquiries through the and platform in the last 4 months, than I have with all of the other large popular platforms from which I have tried selling domain names over the last year.

Regarding the parking side of things, there really is no comparison. In my very first week, I made more parking revenue than I had with another large and popular parking outfit in over 6 months. In fact, I have since had several domain names that have earned more revenue in one day than all my names combined for one quarter at the other parking lot.

The benefits of increased parking revenue, combined with domain name sales management at your fingertips, through use of the Domain Sales app for the I-phone, are some of the best reasons why I like and recommend the platform. Additionally, with this being the second released improvement to the platform in only the first four months, it is obvious that this tool will only be tweaked to perfection. Let’s face it, if you make money from it, Frank’s making more money from it!

Newbie Domaining – Six Months In

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Newbie Domaining

Well, after being inspired by Nadia @DomainSushi this past week, regarding her recent post commemorating her lessons learned after two years into newbie domaining, I looked at the calendar and realized that this week marks six months for me, and that I should do the same. Not sure if anyone will read this, since it’s pretty much my first attempt at a blog post of any sorts. Anyway, I feel like I have learned a lot in a short amount of time and that I should share some of that information, as that’s how I got it in the first place.

newbie domaining

For me, it started one night in February, when I realized that I had turned into a complete zombie, by coming home after work every night and playing crazy X-Box games that my kids had got for Christmas. I decided I needed to do something more productive with my time and I instead went on-line to do some surfing. While I had heard of GoDaddy, I never bothered to visit the site to see what they were all about. Once I did, like most folks that have helped make GoDaddy so successful, I jumped in head first without even knowing the least bit about anything I was doing, and had never even heard of the word domaining. Would I jump into a lake if I couldn’t swim? Probably not, but the allure of making money clouded my judgement.

By 2:00 AM, I hand registered my first 25 names, at full price of course, and probably came close to that amount the next night too. By the third evening, however, it dawned on me that I should probably do some research and see what else was out there, and at first I was a little overwhelmed. However, as cream rises to the top, I was quick to find DNForum, which lead me to all kinds of information, and still does. By the end of that week, I had created a Twitter account and started following the people I read about, and followed who they followed. By the end of the month or so, two weeks in, I had accounts with SEDO, Afternic, NameJet, Flippa, Bodis, and others and had created about 50 different bookmarks of various blogs and lists (Rick, Frank, Morgan, Elliot, Shane, Bill, Ron, Michael Cyger, etc.). I joined DNCollege and learned how to create and monetize WordPress websites, although that is still a learning process.

Having been in business for many years, I learned many lessons that are applicable to this business too. One of the most important is to learn from others before you. There is never a need to recreate the wheel, but you need to know the wheel as a baseline before you can move forward. Therefore, shortly after joining DNForum, I posted this thread, “What is the Most Important Lesson You Have Learned Domaining?” within which a lot of great advice was posted. There’s no question, that learning the lessons within that thread as early as I did, saved me a lot of time, money and grief, and allowed me to begin the path of newbie domaining, without believing the hype, without accidentally registering names with typos like I did on the first night and without hand registering crappy names that you can’t give away, and without discounts codes, mind you.

Another early lesson learned the hard way is that there are a lot of scammers and predators out there, looking to take advantage of anybody, especially some newbie domaining. Less than a week after purchasing my first names, I got sucked into this appraisal scam and learned several valuable lessons again. Besides learning to do my homework and never get taken again, I also learned a newbie domaining lesson about patience and respect for other people’s time, when I overreacted to a seasoned domainer after not hearing back from them in less than a 24-hour period for advice about this scam, not that he even owed me a response at all. Of course he did respond and iI felt like a real ass for being such an impatient idiot.

The next lesson I learned is for to anybody out there developing websites, especially WordPress sites. As WordPress becomes more popular, it also attracts potential hackers. Make sure to do your homework on security and keep your plug-ins and themes constantly updated. If you haven’t already, add a backup system to your website immediately that e-mails you your back-up database and information. After having created a dozen websites that were actually generating some revenue, I woke up one morning to find all of them down, each of them having been hacked identically. I couldn’t even get into the admin panel and truly felt violated. Luckily, GoDaddy does daily backups that you have access to for 30-days, which allowed me to get back up and running in no time, but big lessons learned anyway!

Other important things you need to make sure you know is 1) the difference between broad, exact and phrase when using Keyword Google search; 2) if you’re selling domains, it is okay to have them posted in multiple platforms (i.e. GoDaddy, SEDO, Afternic, etc.) and use the popular forums too; and 3) combing Namejet dropping names is a great idea, as the lists posted by most out there either sometimes miss goodies or sometimes hold gems back.

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I’ve learned that while this business has it’s ups and downs, all businesses do and that will always be the case, just look at history. However, as I have learned in previous business ventures, whether things are up or down, there are always opportunities to capitalize on the situation. Like Nadia @DomainSushi expressed, be sure to set yourself some goals, so you know where you are going and can figure out how to get there!

Six months in, I’ve spent way more than I have made, although I have already had four domain names sales, which I’m told is a tremendous start and I have several websites generating revenue, including one that has already made me several hundred dollars over the summer. I’m starting to establish a decent portfolio of names and I’m already getting a lot of traffic to my domain website,, as a result of first page Google rankings for a number of keyword strings like “entertainment domain names for sale”, “health related domain names for sale”, “charity domain names for sale” and many others. Not bad for a newbie, although I owe everything to all of the people mentioned herein and numerous others who have put and continue to put good information out there! You know who you are and so do I. I really appreciate all that you do for folks like myself, and someday I’ll prove it by helping you out somehow. I look forward to that and to my next Newbie Domaining post in another six months. Thanks for reading.

Newbie Domaining

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Newbie Domaning

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