Sedo Replied To My Email After 8 Days & Thinks We Were In Some Kind Of Partnership!

Finally Sedo and Christoph Holler, Sedo’s Marketing & PR Manager, got 5 minutes to send me an email telling me they don’t like me. I knew that (and I don’t care as I don’t like them too) but I wanted to hear it from them.

And I wasn’t ACTUALLY waiting for Sedo to tell me they stopped sending the lists. I got the message loud and clear when I didn’t receive 2 of the weekly lists. I just wanted to hear how they are going to say it.

Christoph began by saying that he had a busy week and that was because he didn’t respond to me. Huh? What does a PR manager do that is more important that to try and protect the image of the company he works for? He certainly had time to go into his mailing list and remove my email address from the domain name sales weekly list.

He thought I was unfair that I only waited 8 days for a simple email saying “you are getting no more lists” while he had the time to go into his mailing list and remove my email. Of course he only replied AFTER I posted that he had not replied to my email.

He didn’t reply to any of the really important issues like the falling Sedo numbers in terms of domain names sold and the several of my and reader’s complaints. But he did managed to find one (1) report that was below $1m in sales in the past year. Yes one. I guess it took him a lot of time to do that. That was his defense on why Sedo seems to be “stuck” on $1m in sales week after week and (almost) never below that mark for almost 2 years now. They have a few better weeks but never a bad week. hmmm…

Exactly because Sedo is a private company they can publish any numbers they want, produce 1/3 of the claimed amount sold in their list and no one can question or confirm their numbers. Ever!

Sedo also tried to convince me that loosing the middle of the market (as they indirectly admitted) is part of their strategy to strengthen the (low-end) buy-it-now sales. Well done Sedo. You succeeded.

Christoph, after making some insignificant comments on what Sedo believes in and some non-specific PR plans for the future he told me that their list now only provides sales above $2,000 without of course explaining why.

Sedo also thinks they are doing a lot of work but they not that good to communicating that. And that comes from the Marketing & PR Manager. No Sedo, you are not listening to your customers. Customers don’t need PR. They need actions. And you are late 5 years from doing ANY action.

Sedo thinks that me and Sedo were in some kind of partnership by providing me this weekly list. This is plain crazy.

[…] doesn’t make it feel like a partnership we want to pursue much further. A partner wouldn‘t complain about receiving our sales list proactively by saying „Seriously a report with only 59 domains?“ or even „So is Sedo slowly dying? Some will say it is already dead“ and „I don’t feel sorry for Sedo“. […] […] So again, this makes us lean more towards ending this partnership and yes, actually stopping to send the weekly sales list to you.[…]

Let me be clear on something, Sedo:

We were never partners on anything. Ever. You were providing me these lists so you could get some free exposure. I was doing YOU a favor. You should have thanked me for that while it lasted.

Finally and contrary to what Sedo thinks these Sedo stories made me no money. All I want is for domain name investors to see companies for what they are. That is why I blog. The ads I have on the blog do not even cover my time and expenses.

Interested in learning more about Sedo? Here are the latest articles:

Is Sedo Slowly Dying?

Sedo: Number Of Sold Domains Is On A Steady Decline Since 2010 (Down 38,7%)

Sedo Cuts Me Off Completely! (Will Not Even Reply To My Emails)

And some older ones with more coming soon:

Sedo Refuses To Help Me With My Legal Battle With Alibaba (Still waiting for a reply from their lawyer after 9 months. More on this next week.)

Is Sedo Oblivious? Sedo’s review of the 2012 domain year

Sedo’s legal liability – Sedo’s control panel parking optimization bug

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

46 comments

  1. Always appreciate your articles Konsta. Sort of validates my thoughts on Sedo.

  2. If I could sit you guys down at a table with a bottle of Jack Daniels Whiskey, I would have you guys hugging, kissing and saying, “I love you bro!”

  3. That the reason why all the negotiations have to be in the hot spring -bark naked- so we got nothing to hide

  4. I had a friendly chat with Christian Voss (Director of Marketing for Sedo) last week. I had the opportunity to explain to him why for so many reasons is so important that Sedo improves his online exposure on domaining related sites (his business is online, not offline). First, he started rehashing the same excuses but at the end, I had the feeling it’s something he will going to consider seriously. I am expecting a confirmation email, but after so much years silent on domaining media, that will be a great thing. For example, I am tired to say marketplaces not even promote their client domains when they are in auction and that nobody proves me it’s false.

  5. If You don’t like them then Don’t use them…

    as simple as that…

    Not sure why so much whining… I am not event sure why I am wasting my time here, seriously.

    be productive…

  6. great info!

    yes sedos reporting weekly sales of $1 million + on a very consistent basis has always struck me as very suspicious for sure and being private corp they can release any info they like with no oversight if real or not.

    in 10 years following sedo sales and domaining itself ive never heard of such sales on such a regular basis other than sedo.

    its simply hype in an industry that’s in the wild west phase still and with so many shysters involved as in all industries what else do u expect??

    keep at em

  7. “You were providing me these lists so you could get some free exposure. I was doing YOU a favor. You should have thanked me for that while it lasted.”

    Precisely. Sedo charges a fee not to make a sale public, so these distributed sale lists are a revenue form.

    “pay a publication waiver fee of 2.5% of the sale price* to request the non-publication of the domain and sale price.”

  8. Domain Observer

    Somebody should be able to tell the truth to the public even if it may be an uncomfortable story to a certain giant. It is the responsibility of the bloggers to their readers, in particular.

  9. Konstantinos, you know I respect you and your work. I won’t even say X is wrong / right here.

    What I do think is this: There’s more to gain by re-establishing a good working relationship with Sedo than by making a stand and allowing ties to be cut off. Even if you’re right factually and in principle, even if Sedo might have bungled their handling of this negative story or let you down as a customer, what you and I and all of us ultimately want is a domain industry with better services, right?

    We’re more likely to achieve that if companies like Sedo listen to critiques from customers / observers like you or me. At this stage, I’d be concerned that Sedo will dismiss your feedback. Forever. What I’d rather have is a situation in which you and I and others can all make recommendations and be heard.

    A better domain industry includes a better Sedo. We don’t benefit if Sedo slowly dies. A few competitors might gain market share; but we, as individual domainers, need more options – more, more viable market places – rather than fewer.

    Let’s assume that you’re right in every possible sense, Konstantinos. Even so, someone at Sedo can be persuaded to listen. Concrete problems can be addressed and fixed. Channels of communication can be improved.

    If I can “mediate” between you and Sedo in a conference call, I’d be happy to do so. There’s a lot to be gained by that – mainly for Sedo, I think. We might recommend a few improvements. To be clear: Sedo hasn’t asked me to arrange that; and I have no business relationship with Sedo apart from being an ordinary seller. But I’d take the time to improve relations AND improve Sedo. Would you, Konstantinos? Genuinely, I’d try to arrange something.

    Maybe you’re reluctant. But you know I understand your position on this as well as anybody. For instance, I boycott DomainNameSales, which isn’t ideal for them or me; but it’s an unfixable problem, since their VP attempted to coerce negotiations and banned me rather than listen to my perspective as a customer. At this point, I don’t think your situation with Sedo is as extreme as that.

    If countries at war can sign peace treaties, Konstantinos, you and Sedo can resolve much smaller problems in the domain industry and help one another. Sedo is a team of people, and they can’t all be bad apples. After 5 years full time the domain industry, I’ve only met 2 people who refused to stop backstabbing me long enough to talk. Jeff Gabriel, VP at DomainNameSales is 1. The other, of course, is Shane Cultra. Knowing how much I loathe that creep, you must see how ironic it is, Konstantinos, that I largely agree with his post today about resolving problems with companies privately – even if his motive was (as it so often is) to undermine a rival blogger. At any rate, if Shane Cultra and I agree on anything ever, then there’s probably something to it.

    • Joseph, Sedo is dead to me.
      It has been since before the Alibaba case.
      Many many incidents including one of their brokers f****ing me over $1000 even though we had a deal.
      I could write a book: 100 ways to be f***ed by Sedo.

      I have wasted 10 years giving my advice to Sedo. They have listened to NOTHING.

      Whether you or me like it or not Sedo is going to die soon or will be bought by another company. It has no future as it is.

      As I said I have been avoiding Sedo even before Namescon 2015.
      Thank you Joseph but no thank you. I won’t be talking to Sedo any time soon.
      We have nothing to say. I will only use them to buy domains in the future and only if I have no other choice.

      Shane has been writing about me for days. I know Sedo is a sponsor.
      And I unfortunately I know a lot of bloggers that only make an appearance when one of their sponsors is mentioned.
      It is so predicable.

      But what he wrote makes no sense in this situation because there is nothing to resolve.
      I tried to resolve problems privately on many occasions with Sedo in the past. They refused or didn’t help me on 10+ occasions.
      His problem was resolved, mine were not. So what am I suppose to do?

      I had a problem with DNS. I talked with Frank over the phone and resolved it.
      So what? I shouldn’t write about Sedo just because I can resolve problems with other companies???

      • @Konstantinos,

        I don’t blame you for writing. I’d just prefer working in an industry in which Sedo DOES resolve issues for Konstantinos Zournas and DOES listen to you. And I think that’s realistically possible.

      • “Realistically”, that is not possible because I had no luck for 10 years.
        If Sedo changes with some magic wand, gets new management, real developers (which they don’t have), etc, then we can talk.
        Until magic happens then we have nothing to say to them.

        Their developers think it is ground breaking to put “This domain is for sale” in the title of a webpage. Remarkable!

    • BuyNowWithoutNDA

      I almost lost a domain because of sedo.

      entrapment via their broker.

      ( by fabricating and providing the prospect entity the false information that the name was for sale
      in their marketplace, trying to get a price out of me just so the entity could file a UDRP. )

      Luckly I called the entity on it, and that entity ( big company ) admitted doing so. I still having the email.

      Be careful with your premium domains, they will sell you out if they can make money out of it.

      Better not to use them at all. As mentioned multiple times, their customer relation is f ed.

  10. @Konstantinos,

    That’s just it, though. Magic doesn’t happen. If progress is to be made, then that will take advice from outside Sedo. Specifically, it will require input from dissatisfied customers like you. Even if they have ignored you for 10 years, they might listen to you tomorrow. And if they would, then it would be worthwhile to be heard finally – to apply some pressure and get some improvements.

    If Sedo sales decline, then reported domain sales decline. Period. Virtually no market place aside from Sedo reports sales on DNJournal these days. Without reported sales, domains decline in value.

    This isn’t just about having another market place to sell through. My own feeling on the matter is that domainers ought to rally in support of Sedo, if only because Sedo provides data to DNJournal, which has had a TREMENDOUS effect at raising the credibility of the domain market over many many years. By now, flawed and outdated though it may be, Sedo is something of a domain industry institution. A decline at Sedo will damage domain liquidity and valuations.

    Sedo may not be rolling out new features or fixing bugs. Let’s grant, for the sake of argument, that you’ve been screwed over in the past as a customer. Even so, there are some valid reasons for wanting Sedo to stick around – both to improve its services and to produce verifiable sales.

    • “Magic doesn’t happen.”
      Exactly so I am not holding my breath for Sedo.

      If they really want to listen, which is not happening any time soon, then THEY can contact me. Really, I don’t understand how I can make them change today from what they have been doing for 10 years. I really don’t.

      If Sedo is not reporting sales then it is up to us domainers to report them directly. And Sedo reports them in order to get free publicity and more importantly for the 2.5% fee it extorts from people that want to keep their sales and purchases private. Disgusting company.

      DNjournal does not need Sedo and neither does the domaining industry. Companies close and open daily. The new Sedo will soon come and you will not even remember it in a few years.

      Again, they have never ever done anything to improve anything. This is willful blindness.

  11. Their PR people definitely could have handled their response to your articles better, either by addressing concerns or explaining why the analysis is wrong (changes in reporting, etc). Just cutting you off with no contact is unprofessional and makes turns a bad situation ugly.

    While there is a lot wrong with Sedo and I understand your frustration, did you really expect them to keep giving you ammo to shoot them with? They don’t distribute those reports for transparency, they do it for positive press and to get recognition for big sales. So to use them in a manner that hurts their business obviously wouldn’t be tolerated.

    It’s a two way street, they were giving you free content to write about which draws page views, and you were giving them the publicity they wanted. It wasn’t you doing them a huge, selfless favor. If you weren’t monetizing the eyeballs effectively and not making much money from the traffic that isn’t their concern. You both benefited so in a way it was a partnership, even if it wasn’t explicitly defined that way.

    They clearly overreacted, but imagine if they had *seriously* overreacted and stopped sending out the reports altogether. By using the reports (that they are under no obligation to send out) in a way they obviously wouldn’t be happy with, you could have jeopardized the entire industry’s ability to know about their sales and have good comps to work with. And to what end? To “expose” something we all already knew, that Sedo stopped innovating a long time ago and is declining as a result? They’re kind of like the black sheep in the family that nobody talks about during Christmas dinner 🙂

    • There is nothing wrong with the analysis on the declining number of sold domain names. It is based on their data.
      I just put them all together on a spreadsheet. They never questioned that.

      I don’t care about the reports. I wasn’t posting them anyway. And if I want to find something I can go to the other blogs or dnjournal.
      It was the way they did it. Like cowards.

      Again, I had stopped posting the lists for months as they provided nothing valuable to my blog.

      The main reason for publishing the lists is to extort the 2.5% fee. Then it is about publicity.

      Me jeopardizing the entire industry??? Haha. Frankly I don’t care what happens to the Sedo lists and you probably give me too much credit.

      So what do you suggest that we all keep quite just because Sedo might stop publishing their reports? They cut their lists from 200 names down to 50 and no one cared.
      I will keep talking about Sedo for a long as I see fit.

  12. Sedo was a friend of mine when they first started. I know some of the top people and are ‘friends’ on FB with them.
    I listed names with them but eventually figured out they were using my names for click bait then selling one of theirs.
    Then at a domainer convention a few years back they had a booth. While everyone else had the standard walk up booth, theirs was in the back and roped off. They had a guest list. I was not on it.

    Unprofessional, ungrateful and simply rude.

  13. What do I say for this article, an informative one or a lesson for us. Thanks for posting this article. I have contact sedo for their existing partnership opportunities they are offering and I haven’t received an email yet.

    Its been more than 3 weeks and haven’t received an email yet. Even for me I am not like I really need their service. Any way I don’t care if they don’t reply to an email.

    But any way thank you for giving your time on writing this email.

  14. Just really need the answers…,everyday at namebio domains at sedo selling for XXXX to XXXXX…are they names sold belonging to real customers or owned by sedo / known connections…and if they sell…are they sold via paid listings/auction ? they is no info on that…

    some light thrown on that would help domainers.

  15. @BuyNowWithoutNDA,

    If 50% of the publicly reported sales are fake, then you should have no trouble at all finding 1 fake sale. 52 weekly reports per year. And there are lots of sales listed each week – with specific prices, specific domains, and buyers and sellers you can track down and ask.

    If you haven’t found even 1 fake sale, then this idea that 50% of the sales are fake is pretty worthless. 50% of our elected leaders are lizard people too. Who needs evidence to make claims?

    • I think he talks about the sales that are not actually reported but are counting towards the total sedo weekly report. These days only about a third of all sedo sales are actually reported.

      • Hi , my question is basically are reported sales result of sedo paid listings / auctions ?…or most of them from third party referrals / sedo partner programs / parking..

        as a domain-er if i were to list with sedo..i will do so based on the fact that paid listings result in sales as reflected in namebio DB…this clarity is nowhere discussed ..

      • BuyNowWithoutNDA

        @K Precisely. thanks.

  16. @Konstantinos,

    Maybe so. But there’s nothing Sedo can do to refute that allegation, and there’s nothing he can do to substantiate it. Some sales will fall under NDA. We may as well be arguing about the existence of sinister alien lizard people. Nobody will ever produce them. And nobody can prove they don’t exist.

    In the recent DNJournal article – the 1 in which 18 months of Uniregistry sales were dumped into the charts all at once – Uniregistry also made claims about their revenue from NDA-protected transactions. Nobody can refute or confirm their claims either.

    I think we ought to be consistent here. If someone wishes to believe (without any evidence) that Sedo is lying about their sales, then fine. Provided they’re equally skeptical of Uniregistry and everybody else who mentions NDA sales we can’t prod and pinch.

    • I am mostly skeptical of Sedo because of their track record that is far from excellent and because of the suspiciously consistent $1m weekly sales.

      Actually I missed the NDA sales from Uniregistry. What was their number and how many domains (in terms of money) did they have in their report?

      • BuyNowWithoutNDA

        @Joseph, I think they could come clear by reporting all the sales under 2k in the
        last 2 year. Their weekly number will demonstrate itself to be false.

        @Sedo, It’s very simple, If you have nothing to hide: Report it.

        ooops, you cant can you ?

      • …and surprisingly almost always ~52% of sales come from Buy Now…. What a consequence…

  17. Of course, I can’t prove that Sedo hasn’t fabricated its sales figures. Nobody can without an audit of all thier sales. The same applies to DomainNameSales / Uniregistry. But I’m not aware of any evidence to suggest that they have lied. And in the absence of any specific reason for thinking so, I wouldn’t make that claim.

    If Sedo were concocting flattering sales figures, why would they allow their numbers to show a decline over time? That makes no sense at all. Konstantinos has pointed out a downward trend. To me that suggests credibility. For if Sedo had already crossed an ethical line and were reporting sales that didn’t happen, why on earth not show an upward trajectory? Who would fake a decline?

    I can see how people might assume that Sedo’s weekly sales figures are “suspciously consistent”. But consistency isn’t necessarily a reason for suspicion. In statistics, there is a “Law of Large Numbers”. The larger the number of individual potential outcomes, the more predictable and consistent the total will be.

    For example, if everybody flips a coin 5 times, we’ll see a wide fluctuation in the number of “heads” or “tails”. But if we all flip a coin 500 times, then we’ll all get results that are virtually identical. This is how insurance companies can set rates – because they can rely on consistent numbers of people crashing cars, burning down houses, being struck by lightning, etc. For an individual, these outcomes are unpredictable. But for a large set of individuals, they barely fluctuate at all.

    This definitely applies to the total sales volume at any store with a large inventory and a large audience. If Starbucks or McDonalds were to report their weekly sales, then the total volume would be quite consistent week to week. At Sedo, there are so many domains listed (i.e. potential sales) that the total outcome can be remarkably consistent week to week.

    So I don’t think this is necessarily suspicious. I’d need to perform some mathematical modeling to determine how much fluctuation in weekly sales should be expected. Then I’d need to compare that predicted fluctuation to the actual fluctuation and determine if the difference is statistically significant. To date, nobody has done that. So there isn’t really any evidence that Sedo’s consistency is suspicious.

    I realize that’s a bit counter-intuitive, but I’d suspend judgment until there’s real evidence of some kind that Sedo or Uniregistry or some other market place is lying about its numbers. If a casino reported its weekly revenue from the Roulette wheel, that total would be quite consistent. Does that mean their Roulette wheel is rigged? Not necesarily. The casino knows that, however volatile the outcome for an individual gambler is, the total outcome for them is centered tightly on a predictable number.

    • BuyNowWithoutNDA

      @Joseph,

      It’s called Calculus ( derivatives ).

      If SEDO reports all their under 2k sales in the last 2 years then it will be easy to verify the right side of the
      equation -and they know that.

      I’m afraid your logic is flawed on the coin analogy ( when comparing to sales stats ). The coin will flip for sure. And for sure will have result in A or B. Now assume for every other flip that the light is off and on accordingly. You can reverse engineer the results.
      It is notorious you dont like Uniregistry. I have no affiliation and do not care, but such compare is also flawed because, as far as I know they have not claimed results -before- publishing sales. In fact, havent they just released a whole sack of sales ? I suspect they did because Konstantinos is not the only one on Sedo’s case; They understand that it would look bad on them too, that applies to any market.

      Sedo needs to come clear or they wont be around for much longer.

      ps: McDonalds does report their weekly sales, btw. Franchise Reporting. But they dont need to auction stuff nor flip coins to SECfy away .. It is public knowledge the amount of beef they buy, multiple sources -that simply is not true in the virtual world, .. even more so because of NDAs or unwillingness to
      report ( shame ) sales below, say 500USD ..

  18. @BuyNowWithoutNDA,

    If my “logic is flawed”, then kindly explain how. Pointing at the word “calculus” – you’ve lost me there.

    • BuyNowWithoutNDA

      @Joseph study Calculus in order to see SEDOs crookery in factual evidence.

      • When I was a teenager, aged 14 to 18, tutoring Calculus was how I got my spending money.

        You still haven’t explained how my “logic is flawed”. Fair to assume my logic is perfectly sound, then.

  19. Sedo has stopped reporting their total sales and total of sold domain names:
    http://onlinedomain.com/2016/08/03/opinions/what-is-sedo-afraid-of/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *