that sold in a domain auction for $37,000 was never paid for

It seems that a few of the domains that were in the 3 .NYC auctions in the past year were not paid for.

I got a tip that the highest selling domain name from the 3 auctions,, that sold for $37,000 was never paid for.

So I did a little research and found that 5 domains from the 3 auctions (and a total of 60 domains) were unpaid. There might have been more but the domains were then probably offered to the second bidder. The 5 domains are,,, and was the crown jewel of the fashion themed .nyc auction and was also the highest sale of all 3 .nyc registry auctions. I think that the fact that the domain name never sold should have been at least mentioned somewhere.

In the case of, that was auctioned at Snapnames, the domain name was offered to the second bidder but he declined. He was prepared to pay up to $35k but after the non-paying bidder he lost interest. The domain name results from the auction were not updated at the Snapnames blog. together with, and are listed at Afternic with a Buy It Now (BIN) price of $30,000 each. Minimum offer is $5,000. is not listed for sale.

Here are the 5 domains from the 3 auctions that were not paid for with some extra details:
Auction price: $37,000
Registrar: Network Solutions
Owner: NeuStar, Inc.
Nameserver: (does not resolve)
Listed at Afternic for $30,000
Auction price: $5,700
Registrar: The City of NY Registrar
Nameserver: –
Listed at Afternic for $30,000
Auction price: $2,563
Nameserver: –
Not listed at Afternic
Auction price: $750
Nameserver: –
Listed at Afternic for $30,000
Auction price: $500
Registrar: Network Solutions
Owner: NeuStar, Inc.
Nameserver: (does not resolve)
Listed at Afternic for $30,000

I have since removed the 5 domains from Sold.Domains and the 3 auction results articles:

Results from the premium .NYC domain name auction ( $21,300)

Results of the fashion .nyc domain name auction: $33.5k

Results of the tech .nyc domain name auction: web .nyc $8,638, startup .nyc $3,300


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. I think many of the GTLD operators screwed up the GTLD’s with their own internal greed, they just had to let these things grow organically.

    They pushed, and forced, and shoved, and now they are going the way of .biz, where you can get one word domains for almost reg fee.

    • “Internal greed,” sure, but the real problem is that new TLD have been released in an expensive “money grab” model from conception to grave. Great for .com, however.

  2. Billy Graham’s comment and my follow up comment on the following post tipped you off? Thanks for confirming it was never paid for, I guess the auction was a bust, but they sure made it look like a success, maybe it was planned that way thinking no one would know since hardly anyone develops NGTLD’s anyhow.

    That’s funny because everyone was telling me there was no collusion, and yet Neustar is the registrant without even hiding it. Not only that, but they have the domain listed for sale BIN for even ONLY $30K so not only did the “buyer” have no intention of using the name in the several months it has been owned, but they are selling it for a $7K LOSS in just several months of owning it.

    This is clearly Collusion!

    BIN on Afternic:

  3. does anyone know the winning bidders ID’s on the auctions that were not paid?

  4. I wasn’t thinking about the possibility of a non paying bidder for some reason, but since .com’s have many non-paying bidders, I imagine it much worse with NGTLD’s.

    It’s interesting, they immediately list it for $30K. So none of the other bidders that helped bid it up to $37K wanted it even for what they bid on it at the auction? Sounds very fishy!

  5. “I think that the fact that the domain name never sold should have been at least mentioned somewhere.”

    And not get the FINANCIAL BENEFITS of a FAKE SALE to help PUMP UP Lagging .nyc sales?


  6. We live in an industry where sales are glorified and bad news are swept under the rug 🙂

  7. I could outbid anybody for anything with the caveat that I never have to pay.

  8. How do you not pay a mere $500 for one like if you have even the slightest connection to NYC? I was lamenting not having NYC nexus anymore over these auctions and still am. Some of those prices were insane, and not paying some of those prices is doubly insane. Crazy Eddie would be writing in the streets over this.

    • Especially since all domains have low renewal prices…

      • What’s been going on with .NYC is an extreme anomaly that simply makes no sense. I suspect a big part of it has to do with the backwards dumbing down of society in general about domain names, what they even are and how they word, due mainly to Google and now also FB and others. They could even deliberately do all the fake sales they want if they thought they had to do that, but the best .NYC domains are extremely valuable to an end user even if those behind the TLD didn’t believe it and think they have to do that. I’m from a few places one could say, and I’m very much from NYC with important life history there. If I still had NYC nexus I would have been all over these auctions – not as someone who sells, but as an end user wanting some of these domains to use first and maybe never sell. This is just another example of temporary cultural ignorance and insanity, and I doubt it will last forever, just as people like Rick had the vision to see that domain names were the world changing frontier of opportunity that they were instead of the insanity some people thought at the time or the ignorance they originally maintained. There should not even be any need for “pumping up” the best .nyc at all and it’s one of the few and rare good new domains.

      • The registry is also to blame. Neustar and its non existent marketing has ruined .biz, .us and now .nyc.

      • $2.9 Billion for .us, .biz, and .nyc seems overpriced. Is this based on revenue or potential revenue? They could have spent $100K for a NGTLD extension and spent the rest actually marketing the extension so people would know about it.

        Considering they only have $15 Billion under management, $2.9 Billion is a major investment. Surprising their keeping the same CEO!

        If nothing changes, nothing changes!

  9. I love the smell of domain industry fraud in the morning.

  10. How about other domain names that were in that auction that were bidder on by the defaulting buyers causing the winning bidder to pay more maybe thousands of more for a domain. Snapnames should refund the overbids by throwing out all of the deadbeat bidders bids

  11. There’s fraud, there’s incompetence and there’s poor planning (maybe the same as incompetence). In this case there is no way that Neustar is part of any fraud – I think it’s poor planning. I don’t even think it was incompetence.

    There could and maybe should have been a process to approve bidders at the higher levels. There could have been a way to verify the identities of people. But most of this action came in the final hour of the auction. Also it’s worth remembering issues with having to verify and the hoops to jump through: I lost out in an auction at NameJet because I wasn’t a verified bidder and experienced people walking away from a purchase because of the requirements. As in life everything is a balance – balancing security with ease, and having a protocol to deal with non-paying bidders. Perhaps there could be a system to enter the domain into a repeat auction with only the original bidders less the non-paying bidder would work.

    I’ve been watching those names and had hoped that would transfer over at some point, and maybe the image of .NYC benefited at that time to have that auction result highlighted… but reflecting back – it wasn’t even highlighted. So I cannot even blame Neustar for benefiting from a false auction result – they didn’t publicize it. This auction was a blip and outside of domain forums it wasn’t news!

    I will definitely be writing about this on because it is newsworthy and Neustar should have made a release about the non-paying bidder after say 2-3 weeks, and I believe they should give the other bidders an opportunity to buy or compete again in an auction. But we need more of the details:

    If it sold for $37,000 and the second highest bidder was prepared to pay $35,000 and it’s now available for $30,000 why hasn’t bidder #2 jumped at buying it and been happy they got it for $5k under their ceiling? How much did the high bidder push up the price and how much was bidder #2 influenced by them?

    Who was #1 bidder? (in fact who were all the bidders?)
    What was the reason for the non-paying bidder’s actions? (self-mistake, someone else gained access, age/identity of person bidding…)
    What are the legal consequences for non-paying bidders? How will SnapNames/Neustar hold them liable?
    What measures can be put in place to lessen the likelihood of this happening again?
    As mentioned above – if this person has bid and pushed up prices in other auctions will those bids be removed, possibly lowering the final sales price?

    Often we hear gossip in domain circles about registries doing bad things, but as mentioned, sadly, I think Neustar are busy with other things. They have started to put more effort into .NYC recently with the Best of Boroughs contest but other than that they didn’t capitalize on these domains as much as they could have. They didn’t promote the auction results across the city’s media (NY1, WNYC, etc.).

    This doesn’t mean that .NYC is doomed! In fact, I believe it’s going strong, still a huge opportunity. .NYC is being adopted without a big push or any big promotion of these auction results.

    Still I believe the non-paying bidders should be named and shamed (banned from all NYC/SnapNames auctions).

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