GoDaddy domain auctions: Just got a refund 5 days after the auction ended

I won the auction for a domain name at GoDaddy expired auction on the 25th of January.

I paid $1,500+ for it and while I wanted to share my purchase something was holding me back. It was holding me back the fact that the domain was registered with Tucows so my purchase was not “guaranteed” yet.

Yes, GoDaddy is still auctioning domains names it is not 100% sure it can deliver. And they get paid for them too before they are sure they can deliver.

The domain was simply renewed by its previous owner and I got a refund for the auction 5 days after the auction ended and was paid for.

The domain name was not even “pending transfer” to some other registrar at the time of the auction ended. This separate “pending transfer” problem happens to many domains that are managed in GoDaddy owned registrars. The renewal after the auction has ended is happening with GoDaddy partner registrars that give different (that GoDaddy) grace renewal periods to domain registrants.

So ONLY domains that are registered with GoDaddy (or GoDaddy owned registrars) AND are not pending transfer at the time of the auction ending are “guaranteed” delivery. And yet I guess something else can happen…

This is terrible for achiving confidence and trust in domain name auctions. Especially from the biggest and most well known registrar in the world. We domainers more of less know this inconsistency and we almost used to living with it. Actually no. We are not used to it. No one can get used this shit. We are just depended on buying inventory from GoDaddy so we keep buying more.

But imagine how people outside the industry feel if and when this happens to them. They try to buy a domain name, they get through a 10-day auction, pay for their domain and then days later they are told that their domain purchase was canceled without any explanation as to why this happened. I simply got this email:

Error on registration.Your purchase could not be completed, therefore we will be refunding the cost of registration.
We apologize for any inconvenience.
Thank you for your business.

How do you expect these people to come back and buy more domains? What will they feel and what will they tell their friends and colleagues about their domain name buying experience?

I don’t know in what other perverted world these auctions can exist. This seems like the never-ending domaining black mirror.

This only happens because GoDaddy management and engineers will not make the necessary changes in their system so that different grace renewal periods from different partner registrars are applied into their GoDaddy auctions platform. They are simply lazy. Sorry but that is the truth. Or they are afraid a simple code change will break this old system.

And their laziness is affecting all domain name auctions and the whole domain name industry. Trust is the number one problem in our industry and the most well known registrar is not making it any easier for anyone.

(Finally, this “sale” will be reported in domain sales websites like and will be there forever to see.)


Another domain I won in an auction got renewed and this time I didn’t even get an email informing me probably because I had not paid for the auction yet.


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 could be worse.

    I purchased a BIN domain at the DomainAgents marketplace (having been referred to them by namecheap) and the next day, I got a refund. From Stripe. Even though I used PayPal. With no explanation.

    I guess Buy It Now means something different.

  2. Hi Konstantinos, it hurts what has happened to you, you can write the words you want to be in your right, even if nobody listens to you, only us.

  3. Godaddy auctions is a bad experience of bots bidding
    min bid every 5 mins for 2 hours straight to try to put you to sleep, as well closeouts are being caught by bots also. Anytime I place a a bid in the last 5 mins on a domain nobody has even really looked at the same bidder comes in, and bids me up $100.

    I believe auctions are not to be run in this manner, and any special arrangements would be a violation of state laws.

    • Flippa, did the same.

      • Flippa is dead, and can avoid it.

        Since when‘s Flippa standard?
        i’m still confused why people list domains there.

        Godaddy is not, plus have more resources —spent half billion in stock buyback (burn money)

        Money could be put better use, fixing this crap, 100% agree with Konstantinos, most dont have the gall call out Godaddy.

  4. I just had a similar experience. 11 days after the fact, I received a refund notice. All this despite having contacted them on four separate occasions to inquire about the hold up. Each time I was assured the transfer was in progress. It was all a lie. To boot, I still haven’t even received my funds back. What a shit show godaddy is.

  5. It’s actually a Ponzi scheme same as B. Madoff and it goes like this: GoDaddy (GD) takes in, literally, let’s say, $5m, no let’s suppose $20m daily for anyone and everyone who wants to purchase whatever this Ponzi scam is selling that day. Their computer system logarithm accounts for every cent and returns precisely what the GD Universal Terms of agreement calls for to each participant, PLUS all those auto renewal charges that cannot be turned off by GD customers. The auto renewal system works as a flood gate charging let’s say everyone on their auto renewal date the cash flow into GD to ensure GD survives. I estimate GD pulls in an extra $150m, to upwards of $250m annually using this Ponzi scheme. To verify this simply type GO DADDY + REFUNDS + COMPLAINTS, and there’s millions, but just read, say every 50th or 150th, check out the amounts. GD has about 37,000,000 customers, DO THE MATH!

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