Front running in GoDaddy domain name auctions

I got an email from someone trying to sell me a similar domain name to one that I already own. The domain is not even remotely similar to mine but anyway…

The domain was SO stupid that got me interested and typed the domain in the address bar.

I found out that the domain was actually expired and was at the time available in CLOSEOUT GoDaddy Auctions. The page said:
“It’s your lucky day! This domain is available now.
The registration of *************.com lapsed on 9/11/2016
This domain is available now at CLOSEOUT pricing through GoDaddy Auctions®. Buy it now for only $0.00 before someone else does.
Time left for closeout: 21H 30M”

But the worst thing is that the guy emailing me was not the owner of the domain name. This is not the first time this is happening and it is not exclusive to GoDaddy auctions. You can read about other instances of front running on Namejet here and on Snapnames here.

As usual GoDaddy’s systems have once again failed to display correct information. The domain name was not available for $0.00. It had a Buy It Now price of $11 plus a one year domain name registration renewal fee and ICANN fee. So the domain could have be bought today for about $26. (less with a Godaddy discount)

The domain has been owned by the same person for the past 5 years and he has now decided to let it lapse. That is for a reason. This is one of the stupidest domains I have ever seen. It is similar to that is parked at Sedo. Why are people registering these domains?

Since I didn’t show any interest for the domain name, the front runner didn’t buy it and it is currently in Redemption Period and will soon be free for anyone to register.

So the point here is to avoid front running. Even if you are interested in the domain name offered, just research the domain name for 2 minutes and buy it yourself cutting out the middleman.


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. This has been happening for years, I traced one vendor back to India, using a NJ PO BOX, if these guys make $50 a day, they are happy.

    Bottom feeders, many times they were using a godaddy based domain attached to their email, godaddy did not shut them down on numerous reports.

  2. Tell them you are interested so they rush and buy it and waste their money 🙂

  3. VirtualWildWest is available, seems to suit the industry !

  4. Yeah I came across several of such stupid names. For the owner however, that could be his best !!

    I have some domain names parked with godaddy. Not sure how stupid it could sound to some. Anyways, I have put them up for sale.

    Have a look;

    • Yes Shasi, those are stupid domain names. You’ll never sell one, and you should definitely not renew them.

      Nice spamming though.

  5. Front-running has picked up dramatically over the last couple years. More and more people are trying to avoid getting stuck with a domain they can’t sell. I think it’s mostly because they are either too lazy to research or simply never learned what to look for when valuing a domain. Either way, it’s no excuse for front-running. Sadly, I have even noticed a few smaller brokerages trying to use this tactic. It’s important to keep in mind that if you are running a brokerage, you can quickly destroy your brand name in a matter of seconds when you get caught front-running.

  6. Konstantinos, that is business !! Buy cheap, sell at profit. Any business is intended to make profit. Nothing bad about it.

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