GoDaddy please stop the domain name bullying!

I went to GoDaddy to check the price of Sex.Shop. (.Shop launched getting more than 50,000 registrations.)

I immediately saw that the price for was $139,999.99 per year but then I saw that many other “sex” domains were available. Or so I thought.


I clicked on the “Select” button next to, it said “Verifying availability” and then it said “This domain isn’t available.”. I kept clicking on all the sub-$50 domains and all came back as not available. The only one available was that is $64,999.99 per year. No one is buying that.

sex-shop2I really don’t understand what GoDaddy is doing and why it is doing it. People search for domains only to see all New gTLDs as available until they click on them. This is domain name bullying. You get excited and then GoDaddy takes the domain away.

All these domains are either reserved by the registry or registered. I don’t understand why GoDaddy doesn’t do a domain availability check before displaying a domain name (with a price next to it!) like all other domain registrars do. Time to fix this! But I am sure this is not getting fixed any time soon.

(BTW dropped after I wrote this article and is available for $1,000 per year.)


About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the blog in 2012.


  1. It’s been like that at Godaddy for as long as I can remember. Very annoying.

  2. I know of that happening since 2014 now, only makes it seem like multiple extensions are available, so your .com;s will get more $50 inquiries, as they have so many other so called options, or they think they do.

  3. I had the same experience and feelings like you.

  4. I am a “Godaddy faithful” and I have to use their competitors when searching for available domains.

    • “Godaddy faithful” 🙂

      Sometimes I enter an expired domain (exact domain name with extension) in GoDaddy Auctions and it doesn’t come up in the results! And I know the auction ends in a few hours.
      Sometimes the domain is buried under 30 domains sometimes it is nowhere to be found. Ridiculous search function…

      • The same happens with PREMIUM domain listings as well. Sometimes it shows as available with the price, sometimes it shows as ‘TAKEN’….There is no question their search functions are unreliable and inconsistent……Still a ‘GODADDY FAITHFUL’. 🙂

      • Here is a comment from facebook.
        “I’ve been having this issue for over 6 months. It’ll actually let me register names that are either taken or premium at a normal reg fee, send me a confirmation email saying transaction successful, then they’ll send a follow up email saying the domain registration was unsuccessful. This is extremely frustrating. I kid you not this has happened to me over 15 times, and even more than that where they’ll show up available until I click on them. This is a major issue on their coding side.”

      • I would argue they could dramatically increase their sales conversions if they fix these issues. Due to these issues not being fixed long ago, several things are possible:

        A. It is a very difficult and complex issue to fix.

        B. They don’t want it fixed.

        C. They are complete unaware of the problem.

      • C. and whoever knows about it doesn’t care or want to speak up.

  5. Another issue is the $250 offer / min bid, do you know how many emails, phone calls I get saying you have your domain in auction at godaddy for $250, I will give you $200, I don’t know why they don’t make it more obvious that is is a min offer amount, and not an actual auction

  6. I don’t blame them. Every register is looking after #1. At Uniregistry, lookups bring up Market domains. Which is great as we all want to sell more names, right? Only problem is, the inquiries overrule my settings and are sent to a broker.

    • They don’t bring up market domains. They just bring up unavailable domains no one can buy. 🙁
      Some are actually developed! I bet their owners don’t want GoDaddy showing their domains available for $20 per year…

    • I don’t use uniregisty for lookups, because they always revert to gtlds first, I am always looking for .com first, before anything else.

  7. Hey there, I just wanted to chime in on this. My name is Tapan and I work at GoDaddy on the search results page you’ve been discussing.

    First, we’re not trying to bully you. I can promise you that. We’ve been working to get the balance of user experience just right. Here’s what is happening.

    Every time someone does a search on our website, we provide alternate recommendations. When we do this, a pretty complex process has to happen. To not bore you with the details, we have to figure out what’s being searched, provide relevant examples and return results for customers in a timely manner.

    That’s where the user experience piece comes in to play. We can spin up alternate suggestions almost immediately. But, where we can start to run into trouble is doing an availability check on each and every domain name. If we send out a request to each registry for each recommendation, it can take seconds to get every reply back.

    When it comes to customer satisfaction, every millisecond counts. We see it in the way customers respond and use the website. It might be hard to believe, but it’s very real.

    So you might be thinking, “So, you just throw up random names, knowing full well they might be registered?” Not at all. We try to do everything we can to get the availability right, this includes doing a check against a domain name zone file provided from the registries. A zone file lists the vast majority of every domain name registered within a certain TLD. I want to stress “vast majority.” For a variety of reasons, no zone file is 100 percent accurate. So, if an alternate we want to suggest is already taken, we don’t return it to the customer.

    All that being said, we are looking for ways to fix the problem. We’re looking for ways to get the right balance between showing only available domain names and returning super-fast results.

    Thanks again for having a discussion around this, we all appreciate it.

    • No, Godaddy is simply bullying all potential buyers. Not just me.

      I am sorry but I don’t agree with anything you say. Waiting for a few seconds is way better than getting bullshit results instantly.

      It is like searching for your team at Google and getting a result “Your team won!”. And after clicking on the link you would find that it actually lost.
      Then Google would say: “Well we didn’t have time to put our algorithm to work so we served that your team won to make you happy for a few seconds”. “But we sure are right a few times!”

      And seriously now. Yes, ALL registrars query EACH registry before serving available domains. This is how it’s done. FOR YEARS.
      Don’t bother explaining how things work to me. I have a couple of degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science AND have been in domains since 2002.
      I have read registry and registrars APIs and pretty much know how domain availability works. It is not rocket science to get it working.
      You can say all the excuses your want but the truth is that your system serves bullshit just to make your marketing department and your boss happy. I see no other reason.

      “So you might be thinking, “So, you just throw up random names, knowing full well they might be registered?””
      Exactly right and that is what you do. Sorry.

      NO ONE, no one uses zone files to check availability for domain names. N O O N E. I have no idea who told you to do what you are doing and why but you need to stop and start over from scratch.
      I know pretty damn well what a zone file contains and what it does not. For starters it does not contain domains without nameservers and of course it does not contain domains reserved by the registry, ICANN reserved domains, etc.

      Please stop what you are doing. This is very bad. This is unheard of. VERY VERY BAD. I can’t even find words to describe this…

      NO ONE wants super fast bullshit results. Not a single person. Your results are 99% bullshit and you can see the screenshots that prove it. You only hit an available domain because it is too expensive to register.
      STOP and start over.

  8. I would rather wait a few seconds, than see the instant results of a domain being available and getting my hopes up, then ripping it away from me, and saying it is no longer available as if someone took it just right then.

    Then I scramble to understand where, and why the domain is no longer available, as domainers after years we know because you are false advertising.

    But the person who sees your commercial, and has a business idea, leaves feeling ripped off.

    So if that is the user experience you are looking to accomplish, congrats you did it.

    This free advice is what most companies pay millions to focus groups for, appreciate it!!!

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