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Domain Auction Sites are doomed to fail

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David G

Internet Entrepreneur
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Apr 15, 2002
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Most all domain auction sites are doomed to fail. Buyers do not want to participate in an auction, they more likely want to buy with no bidding process.

Plus, zillions of hits are required to generate any domain sales activity. For example I had a very professional auction site myself, ran it for about 2+ yrs.

It was well ranked on all the search engines, constant SEO work was done (including a few secret seo methods which worked well), there were approx' 1,000 excellent domains for sale.

Only good names were listed, mediocre or poor names were not accepted. No ridiculous asking prices were posted as they were all Make Offer auctions with no reserve or low reserves.

It had lots of active links from many websites and had a high link relevancy rating. The site was heavily promoted via emails and ezines. In addition, some ads were placed, including banners and even some in-print media ads.

After all of that the site only generated approx' 50,000 Uniques in all that time (2+yrs), and never sold even one domain name! In fact, the site only had 1 serious bid and a few other minor inquiries in all that time and effort! Isn't that amazing? :mad:

This shows how utterly futile it is starting a new domain auction site and really expecting to get much traffic, let alone buyers!

I am familiar with several other domain auction sites who experienced the same poor results and have now shut-down or are dormant. I shut down my auction site about 1 yr ago as a total loss.

The original auction software purchase and subsequent programming cost was thousands of dollars, and the monthly server bill over 2 plus yrs was also costly. I am not even counting hundreds perhaps thousands of hrs of labor that went into the website in my losses. :sad:

I am sure most all other domain auction sites also lose money, many never making even 1 sale. Register.com has lost zillions on Afternic.com (45 million $ I believe), now little more than a worthless automated BOT. Network Solutions also lost zillions (50 million $ from what I understand) on GreatDomains.com.


Sorry, I posted this on Expiring Domains in error, it really should be on the domain selling forum. I tried to move it without success. Modified version, originally posted by RealNames. Feedback Requested.
Domain Summit 2024


Cool Member
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Apr 19, 2002
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Already posted this on another thread but as i am too lazy to create a new reply this fits ok i think :D :

Auction sites for domainnames don't make sense.
At least not if you want to sell to an enduser.
Because endusers, if interested in purchasing a name, want to BUY a name, not BID on it.To them bidding on a domain is just something that appears to be not respectable - can't blame them for that as most endusers are just NOT familiar with the domainbusiness.
So the only legitimation for domain auction sites is seller to reseller business.But as we all know,in 95% of all trader2trader sales it's about lowlevel figures only,just because a reseller will only pay a percentage of what an enduser might be willing to pay - can't blame them for that either.
So for me the unwillingness to see that endusers don't like to BID on a name is the REAL reason why places like Afternic and GD will never work in terms of reaching endusers - pretty obvious and logical actually

I agree, most buyers will buy through private sale/whois and there is little need for auction sites, what demand is there can easily be filled by ebay :)


who exactly are the players (individuals not companies)? I've heard references to different people who seem a bit shady...
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