Everybody knows this and people are saying so for years now. Go Daddy Auctions have countless problems and it all started with the initial system design. A design that hasn;t been updated for years. Nobody likes the system and most people have stopped using Go Daddy auctions. Except maybe for the occasional newbies, that eventually learn their lesson, some experienced domain investors buying a domain name here and there and of course the infamous shill bidders.
Some of the suggestions I have to improve the system only apply to expired domain auctions but some apply to both expired auctions and domain name auctions started by the domain owners.
So here are 13 ways that Go Daddy Auctions and the The Domain Name Aftermarket can be improved:
- Move all expired domain name auctions 10-15 days later: Domain name owners still have the same time to renew their domains as they have now.
- Stop allowing domain name owners to renew domains after the auctions have ended: With no 1 and no 2 everybody is happy. Bidding confidence and auction reliability are improved. People bidding are sure to get their domains if they win the auction and they don’t have to deal with messy and delayed refunds when an owner renews. And of course owners have the same time to renew domains. Win-Win.
- Add a bidder reputation system: Go Daddy has refused to add a bidder alias but either that or a reputation system (or better both) is required to build some missing trust to the system.
- Make the opening bid $10 plus domain renewal price: All major domain name auction houses include a year of registration. Renewals should be set at at the wholesale price for every TLD. I don’t want to be looking around for a GoDaddy coupon so I don’t pay for a $15 renewal for a .com. And especially with the New gTLD expirations coming soon, I don’t want any surprises with premium renewals after the auctions have ended.
- Make a credit card bidder verification mandatory: Sorry but paypal is not enough. Anyone can make 100 disposable Go Daddy accounts using 100 Paypal accounts with $5 in each one and make shill bids all year around. Go Daddy has all sorts of hidden fees and it doesn’t have a fee on unpaid auctions.
- Add additional levels of verification depending on the auction price: I think that people bidding “millions” should at least provide some sort of identification.
- Make expired auctions last 3 days: 10 days are a waste of everybody’s time. Most bidding is done in the last few hours anyway.
- Require a minimum $10 bidder commitment before the auction start and then make the auction private: most shill bidders or people messing around with no intention of paying don’t plan ahead and don’t make 3-day arrangements! They simply log in and start bidding with no repercussions.
- Allow sellers to list New gTLD domains for sale and auctions: Yes, you read that right. Currently Go Daddy does not accept New gTLDs to be listed in its system for sale.
- Make auction results available again after auctions end: Removing auction results from accounts was a bad idea that only helps shill bidders hiding their activity. I think that most people were having a problem with blogs reporting daily auction sales because some lazy, and I am being kind here, people were using the lists to contact the previous owner and make them an offer lower from the auction result to buy the domain. But No 2 will solve all this.
- Create an auction support team and bring back email support: Go Daddy has thousands of auctions every day and hundreds of bidders. People need to talk to support people that know about auctions and not about renewing domains. And removing email support was the worst idea I have heard of in the past few years in the whole internet. BRING IT BACK!
- Allow winning bidders more than 2-3 days to pay for an auction: I know that this seems strange but bear with me. A few years back I won an auction for $5,000. My credit cards have a $2,500 daily limit so I asked Go Daddy support if I could pay by a wire transfer and if they could hold the domain after day 3. They said yes and yes. I send the wire transfer and it arrived on day 4. I am in Greece and wire transfers to the US usually take this amount of time. I then realized that the domain was gone and I was stuck with a $5,000 credit that couldn’t be refunded. It took me months to spend this credit and needless to say it was the last time I made a bid higher than $2,500 at Go Daddy.
- Be more flexible: See 12. I realized later that the person I talked to at support didn’t have the authority to hold the domain for more than 3 days. The worst thing is that I believe that not even Paul Nicks could circumvent this rigid Go Daddy auction system. The auction system is automated and can not be stopped. NEVER!
Do you have more suggestions? I bet you do. Please write a comment so that Go Daddy can listen to what you have to say. I will sure be talking to Paul Nicks at NamesCon 2015.