As an active bidder on NameJet since 2007, I’ve converted many such acquisitions into sizable sales. My strategy of holding long pays off; the auctions can run into the low thousands but the expected ROI crosses the five digit threshold when they are sold.
One thing I am peculiar about, is auction transparency.
I gave up on eBay years ago, after the obvious shill bids that occurred and the tendency of sellers to not honor their listing prices. I believe, that the last time I bought domains on eBay was more than 7 years ago.
In a similar fashion, the SnapNames scandal with “Hank Alvarez” resulted in receiving a four figure rebate, once Oversee announced what had happened. I regularly bid on SnapNames and Pool.com.
Having seen a list of 80 domains being auctioned on SnapNames & Moniker currently, I could not help but notice how almost all of the domains are parked at Frank Schilling’s Internet Traffic outfit.
The platform provides a contact form, through which one can communicate with the registrant and place an offer.
So how is this system going to work, when the domains are in a 3 day auction on SnapNames? I asked John Mauriello of Moniker, who was kind enough to respond on DNForum to my inquiry, by stating:
[...] sometimes buyers navigate to the domain name not even intentionally circumventing the auction, however the seller per the exclusive agreement has been forwarding all inquiries to Monikers brokerage team, and every buyer has entered the offer/bid into the auction so far. We asked them to remove those links, but they are not contractually required to do so so long as they continue forwarding any and all inquiries to our brokerage team. As I said anyone can contact the seller to make an offer through the whois record, or contacting Dotster directly also …none of that changes the Exclusive agreement with the seller to forward those inquiries to the moniker Brokerage team.
The problem I have with this method, is that it’s not happening in real time. When I participate in an auction, I want to make sure that all the other bidders are in front of their keyboards and that their bids are placed in person, not by a proxy operator at SnapNames, assuming that offers might come in through the parked domains.
What would happen if a sizable offer came through the contact form, seconds before an auction ended? In theory, such an offer would be acceptable, but would the seller honor a lower bid that was active in the SnapNames platform at the time?
Such lack of transparency is a turnoff for me; while the domains listed at SnapNames contain some very appealing ones, unfortunately I will not be participating.