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Alter.com Marketplace

Located in Domain Marketplace Reviews, started by Deven Patel, Sep 14, 2020

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  1. Future Sensors

    Future Sensors 78% of human domainers will be replaced by robots Gold Account

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    Hello @Wisher

    SSL (or better, TLS) is already present at Alter for customer landers.

    $ openssl s_client -servername digisensors.com -connect digisensors.com:443 < /dev/null | openssl x509 -text

    Data:
    Version: 3 (0x2)
    Serial Number:
    04:64:a7:cc:5a:d5:5b:93:2c:51:f8:9d:bc:85:f8:05:b6:b6
    Signature Algorithm: sha256WithRSAEncryption
    Issuer: C=US, O=Let's Encrypt, CN=R3
    Validity
    Not Before: Jul 20 12:05:31 2021 GMT
    Not After : Oct 18 12:05:29 2021 GMT
    Subject: CN=digisensors.com
    Subject Public Key Info:
    Public Key Algorithm: rsaEncryption
    Public-Key: (4096 bit)

    Certificate chain
    0 s:/CN=digisensors.com
    i:/C=US/O=Let's Encrypt/CN=R3
    1 s:/C=US/O=Let's Encrypt/CN=R3
    i:/C=US/O=Internet Security Research Group/CN=ISRG Root X1
    2 s:/C=US/O=Internet Security Research Group/CN=ISRG Root X1
    i:/O=Digital Signature Trust Co./CN=DST Root CA X3

    subject=/CN=digisensors.com
    issuer=/C=US/O=Let's Encrypt/CN=R3

    $ openssl s_client -servername www.digisensors.com -connect www.digisensors.com:443 < /dev/null | openssl x509 -text

    Data:
    Version: 3 (0x2)
    Serial Number:
    03:5c:2b:a8:ae:14:ab:f2:78:20:c0:86:39:98:bd:6d:85:aa
    Signature Algorithm: sha256WithRSAEncryption
    Issuer: C=US, O=Let's Encrypt, CN=R3
    Validity
    Not Before: Jul 21 18:38:09 2021 GMT
    Not After : Oct 19 18:38:07 2021 GMT
    Subject: CN=www.digisensors.com
    Subject Public Key Info:
    Public Key Algorithm: rsaEncryption
    Public-Key: (4096 bit)

    Certificate chain
    0 s:/CN=www.digisensors.com
    i:/C=US/O=Let's Encrypt/CN=R3
    1 s:/C=US/O=Let's Encrypt/CN=R3
    i:/C=US/O=Internet Security Research Group/CN=ISRG Root X1
    2 s:/C=US/O=Internet Security Research Group/CN=ISRG Root X1
    i:/O=Digital Signature Trust Co./CN=DST Root CA X3

    subject=/CN=www.digisensors.com
    issuer=/C=US/O=Let's Encrypt/CN=R3


    You may also use https://discovery.cryptosense.com/ for confirmation and debugging.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. Wisher

    Wisher Established Member

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    Yes I am aware.
    That was only part of what I am looking for in a domain lander along with the other things listed.
     
  3. Future Sensors

    Future Sensors 78% of human domainers will be replaced by robots Gold Account

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    I see, great. Sorry that I misunderstood (y)

    Alter was very fast with the full and correct implementation of TLS for customer landers. Other marketplaces still don't have any implementation at all, or are only doing it partially and are struggling to do it correctly. It really takes a lot of effort to get the other marketplaces to get this right and it was a relief that Alter was able to do this quickly.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
  4. Deven Patel

    Deven Patel Founder, Alter.com Blue Account

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    We thought about this but the pros of not adding that extra friction outweighed the cons. Right now buyers can mark names as favorites, pay using installments, get reminders, and more without having to create yet another online account that they'll never use again. Also, aftermarket buyers typically don't make repeat purchases until a few years down the road when they're starting a new project. So not sure if having their own account would provide any major benefits?

    Of course! This is actually true for ALL marketplaces, not just ours. Majority of end buyers don't even know there's such a thing as an aftermarket domain marketplace. Generally, these types of buyers just call us on the phone and we're able to provide assurances (we even offer to use Escrow.com if it helps them). But so far we haven't had a buyer that didn't pull the trigger because of this concern.

    This is why we've also invested heavily on landing page elements that help build trust with the buyer like these:
    • Social Validation: Buyers can instantly read our 5-star TrustPilot reviews.
    • Media Coverage: Buyers can see that Alter was mentioned on top tier publications like Forbes, Inc, WaPo, USA Today, etc.
    • Customer Service: Buyers have the option to contact us via live chat/phone/email and talk to a real person instantly.
    • Company Background: Buyers can read about our company mission and even see the face of the founder on our about us page.
    • Company Location: Being an US-based company has an advantage because buyers can easily take us to court if we mishandle their funds.
    • SSL Landers: All pages use HTTPS, including redirects.
    Yes, most marketplaces solely rely on type-in traffic. For us, it's a big chunk but we also generate additional traffic through other marketing channels. Anyway, the point I was trying to make was that super low quality names probably won't bring in any traffic at all and simply dilute the overall quality of the marketplace. For example, I'm not sure how many potential buyers would type something like this in their browser: BossManCatalog.xyz

    You make an interesting point but do you really think sellers looking to sell high quality names would also have low quality ones in their portfolio? I wonder if there's a poll somewhere on this forum that gives us more insight into this.

    Stay tuned. ;)

    It absolutely helps and it's on our roadmap. Though so far it hasn't been a deal breaker for any buyer. Also, we already accept Apple Pay.

    Regarding German buyers not being able to wire money in USD, are you sure about that? I would think their bank would just charge them a small fee for the currency conversion just like how US banks charge us the fee when we make purchases in other currencies.

    I think you're only looking at the rates without considering the actual benefits you receive at each of those places. Please correct me if I'm wrong but here's my understanding of your examples:
    • Sav 4% - They seem like they're giving away the service for free to gain market share which I'm not sure is sustainable in the long run. They also don't do any additional marketing, don't support payment plans, and don't protect you against chargebacks.
    • Efty + DAN 7% - They don't do any additional marketing, don't support payment plans, and you have to pay a monthly fee to use Efty.
    • SH WL 7.5% - They don't do any additional marketing unless you pay 30% commission and don't protect you against chargebacks.
    • DAN 9% - It seems like during their last update they decided to add a 2% CC processing fee which essentially makes their rate 11%.
    Most of the places above also charge withdrawal/processing fees for PayPal/wires/etc which can easily be over 1% of your proceeds.

    Our 10% rate is all-inclusive and we support payment plans, handle chargebacks, offer attractive landing pages with logos (free professional logos for premium), syndicate your domains, and do additional marketing to get more exposure for your domains.

    If you have any ideas on how we can further reduce our fees without cutting benefits, I'm all ears! :)

    Regarding traffic leakage, based on our experience 80-90% of buyers don't care about other options. And the rest of the 10-20% that do will find other options regardless of how much you try to lock them in thanks to Google (just search for something like "domain name marketplace" to see what I mean). Nobody's going to spend thousands of dollars on something without thoroughly researching all available alternatives. I mean just think about how much research you do to acquire your own domains. These buyers are future businessmen after all.

    Besides, if traffic leakage was really a problem Afternic would be completely out of business because anytime someone searches for the keywords in your domain there, they're presented with countless other alternatives in different extensions that cost 100X less (registration fee). Instead, Afternic is one of the top performing marketplaces.

    The other thing to consider is that right now all the traffic is pooled together. So if a buyer landed on our marketplace through someone else's domain, they may end up purchasing yours instead. This strategy plus our additional marketing helps boost a domain's traffic by up to 80% compared to just receiving type-in traffic and locking the visitors into just that domain. Why would you want to willingly lose out on this extra exposure?

    How does everyone else feel about this? We could certainly introduce an option not to display other domains on the landing page if a lot of sellers still think it's beneficial somehow. Of course, that would mean we'd have to disable your domains from showing up on other landing pages to keep things fair to those sellers who've opted in to receive more traffic.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
  5. Wisher

    Wisher Established Member

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    Yes I said Dan competitor. So I am talking landing pages only. No additional marketing.

    Some corrections.

    Efty + Dan do have payment plans.

    Squadhelp do actually protect against Chargebacks.

    I am not aware of any of those charging extra fees to withdraw payment. Can you clarify which ones you think do?

    I think you can get cc fees at around 2% for high vol, bank wire costs less

    Then you can charge 5-6% and still be profitable.

    If thats the case why go the brandable marketplace route at all? As nearly all the traffic to these sites comes from our traffic.

    If if get the buyer through my lander I do not want that to lose even 10-20% chance of sale. I bring the lead I want the best possible chance of a sale. Traffic leakage is deal breaker for me.

    No harm to have it as an option either way.
     
  6. Future Sensors

    Future Sensors 78% of human domainers will be replaced by robots Gold Account

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    Hi @Deven Patel

    Thanks for taking the time as always. Here are some quick replies to some parts.

    While the current setup (not having a buyer account) will work technically, having an account at Alter can subconsciously confirm that Alter is indeed a solid company. Especially when it comes to installment plans and higher lease amounts, DNS changes, invoicing, it seems nice from the buyer's perspective to be able to log in to their own environment. I also think that repeat purchases can be stimulated for larger companies that often have several projects needed to be named.

    I think most of us have a certain percentage of lower quality names in portfolio. But I personally will not think of ever listing these names on Alter. I try to pick only my better names in each price category for Alter. As soon as I notice that low quality and extreme cheap domains become part of the listings, I will not appreciate it as a seller. It's not good for the reference point for potential buyers either.

    Your 10% rate is pretty good. No problems with that percentage myself.

    My suggestion is to first show some closely related domains from the same seller with high priority, followed by other relevant domains from other members.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
  7. Charybdis

    Charybdis Established Member

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    There are cheaper alternatives but Alter does additional marketing for you. My dashboard displays that the Alter marketplace generates 50% of the traffic, the rest is type-in traffic and partner traffic.
    And they give you free logos for premium domains and other features.
    For 10% commission no other marketplace gives you free logos.

    Maybe try to list a few domains for 30 days and check your traffic stats.

    It is not a problem that other domains appear under your domains, because your domains appear under other domains, too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
  8. Charybdis

    Charybdis Established Member

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    I think if you want to be the go-to marketplace for all domain investors, then you could support these low-quality names, too. The truth is, there are domainers with junk names :)
    Yes I think domainers with large portfolios have mixed names and if you want to attract all domainers then you could support these junk names, too. The low quality names would appear only at the end of the search results anyway. You don't need to advertise the lower quality names.

    International wire transfer is expensive, that's why there are services like wise.com. But these global payment providers have local bank accounts and they make the wire transfer payments cheap to customers.

    My names are almost only premium names, so I vote for the option to display other domains on landing pages, because non-premium domains drive extra traffic to my premium names :)
     
  9. Wisher

    Wisher Established Member

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    The CEO himself says only 10-20% of people are interested in buying other names that land on your page. So that 50% will not likely convert. Conversions to sales are whats important.

    Also as more domains are added that 50% will likely go down anyway.

    Personally I have no interest in brandable marketplaces or logos. They tend to favour a small group of insiders who benefit more.

    But a Dan competitor for landing pages at 5% might be of interest to many.

    Anyway these are just some ideas on how you could out compete Dan.
     
  10. Charybdis

    Charybdis Established Member

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    Problem is, that would be unprofitable.
     
  11. Wisher

    Wisher Established Member

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    This is the issue. Favours certain sellers over others currently.

    It's not a one of the other situation. You can have it as an option that can be turned on or off depending on the sellers preference.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
  12. Wisher

    Wisher Established Member

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    2-3% of millions per month in sales. Think big.
     
  13. Charybdis

    Charybdis Established Member

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    You can't do millions of sales without marketing and brand building. And marketing and brand building are expensive. You need to market to both domainers and end users at the same time.

    There are marketplaces who charge only 2-8%, but I simply don't trust them. Their landing pages are not good. I don't think end-users trust them either. So I wouldn't list my domains there. Without brand building it won't work.

    But at the same time I don't want to pay too much commission either. I think this 10% commission for so many features is the sweet spot for me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
  14. Future Sensors

    Future Sensors 78% of human domainers will be replaced by robots Gold Account

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    You're on a mission.
     
  15. Wisher

    Wisher Established Member

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    Disagree.

    Offer a better product at better prices and domain investors with large portfolios will jump ship.
    It's very easy to switch providers. Key thing here is better product. Alter seems to have done most of that hard work already in that regard, so well positioned.

    Nearly all the traffic to these marketplaces comes from these large sellers.
     
  16. Deven Patel

    Deven Patel Founder, Alter.com Blue Account

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    First of all, thanks for sharing all your thoughts on this matter. I appreciate it. We're constantly reviewing all the feedback provided here by you and other sellers to see how we can position ourselves to make everyone happy. Although I can't promise you anything, we will certainly try and see if there's anything we can do about our commission. :)

    I also wanted to say that I highly respect all our competitors. Everyone started at the same place and they're all doing what they need to in order to succeed just like you and I. It's often hard for those on the outside to truly appreciate the trials and tribulations of running a business like this. Selling a few domains on your own website with little traffic is very different than running a large marketplace that's being bombarded with millions of conflicting opinions. From buyers who think domains should be worth no more than $10, to sellers who think they know how to sell based on some random piece of advice they read on a forum, to malicious people who are constantly trying to exploit the business. The larger you get, the bigger the problems become.

    Just the other day we had a "buyer" deposit a fraudulent check for $65k that we had to waste time and money sorting out. Then there was this seller who was trying to siphon money through stolen credit cards. All of these issues cost real time and money to resolve. Most of these problems are tackled behind the scenes so on the outside everything appears peachy. My point is all of this is taken care of for you behind the scenes in return for the commission you pay. Even then a huge chunk of sellers constantly hop around from one marketplace to another wasting all the effort spent marketing their domains. So it's not as simple as commission - processing fee = profit.

    Now I understand what you're saying in regards to providing a lander-only service but my question to you is why? Why wouldn't you want your domains to be marketed? In your own words, isn't it all about sales at the end of the day?

    I don't personally agree with your approach of just using a landing page alone but if that's what you really want then why not just use Efty? It's 0% commission and a small monthly fee that's equivalent to paying for your own web hosting. Why would you want to use any marketplace at all in that case?

    I thought you had to pay the full 9% (+2% CC now) at DAN for payment plans based on this post.

    I thought they didn't based on this article. Maybe things have changed.

    I may be wrong but this post makes it seem like there's a 4% fee for PayPal payouts over $2k.

    Can you tell me where we can get CC processing for 2%? As I mentioned above we pay 3-5% in transaction fees right now to our processor Stripe (2.9% CC + 0.4% chargeback + 1% international) and payouts (1% Payoneer, 0.5-1% wire, etc). Bank wires are rare and buyers typically don't use them for majority of the transactions especially since a lot sales happen through monthly installment plans.

    Even if we did no additional marketing at all, there are still operational costs to think about like software development, web hosting, customer support, taxes, etc. On the support front, we offer concierge service which Escrow.com charges an additional 3.25% for (in fact they charge you a total of 9.6% for the same service we provide without even a landing page).

    Keep in mind these aren't automated transactions. Each one can easily take 15-20 mins of human time (i.e. transferring the domain from the seller into company's account, transferring it to the buyer, processing payouts, sales/support inquiries, etc).

    I don't think you're seeing the full picture. Sure, there's a 10-20% chance of you losing the sale but there's also a 10-20% chance of you gaining one that you wouldn't have otherwise. It works both ways and only benefits you in the long run especially if you have high quality names (i.e. if a buyer landed on a crappy name and saw your quality name under it, they'll buy yours instead). So unless you have crappy names, you will actually benefit with this feature.

    Let me ask you this, when was the last time you spent a few thousand dollars or even a couple hundred dollars without Googling for alternatives? Your comment makes it seem like buyers who spend their hard earned cash are stupid.

    We actually talked to real buyers and they told us that they're already aware of other marketplaces and alternatives. Go ahead and type in a basic keyword like "domain marketplace" into Google and tell me what you see. Do you think buyers who are about to drop a couple grand don't already do that?

    Heck, if they're about to buy an aftermarket domain, they generally already have an account at a registrar where they'll transfer the domain. All the buyer needs to do is use the registrar's search bar to find an alternative which'll cost them 250X less if available.

    From our experience, buyers aren't buying domains from your own website or WL marketplace because they're "locked in". They're buying them because they're attached to that specific name. And if that's the case then showing other domains under yours isn't going to make one bit of a difference to them. But the additional traffic you'll receive from it may make a huge difference to you (bigger audience = higher probability of a sale for you). Quality has and will always wins.

    This is exactly why we're taking the hybrid approach where you can list any domain you want and still be able to take advantage of brandable landers. In fact, we're the only marketplace that does this right now for 10% commission (the other one charges 25%). We believe that brandability is the future of domaining. If you don't believe me, compare the search trend of the keywords "business names" vs "domain names".

    We have something in the pipeline that I think will help you feel better about certain sellers being favored more than others. Stay tuned! :)

    If enough sellers want this then we'll certainly consider it. Though one of our goals is also to keep things simple so if this option doesn't really benefit anyone than it would be pointless to add it and unnecessarily create confusion. So far I haven't seen much interest from others and/or enough data to help justify that it works. As I mentioned above, it actually helps sellers who have quality names.

    Sure, but 0% of millions per month in sales is $0. If we're already spending up to 5% in transaction fees then based on your math 5% + 2-3% of profit would put us in the 7-8% range without doing any marketing at all. At that point why not just spend the extra 2% and have us market your names to a broader audience? Especially in an industry that is very supply heavy with nowhere near as much demand (20+ million aftermarket domains vs 1-2% average STR).

    Agreed, but in this industry most platforms have already capped out on features. In other words, adding more features isn't going to give you more sales. But doing marketing will. :)

    All great points! We'll continue to gather feedback from buyers and act accordingly.

    Makes sense though the challenge we're still having is that there's no consensus on what good quality actually means so every seller draws their own line based on the quality of their portfolio. IOW, everyone essentially thinks they own high quality names. You can clearly see this in a number of posts created after our new direction announcement. I think we have a way to fix this though by improving our search algo and letting buyers decide on quality, rather than sellers. Stay tuned! :)

    Indeed. This is already on our radar. Just waiting for a larger inventory so that the relevance makes sense. Right now we don't have a lot of closely related names so the results aren't that useful.

    I think this may help sellers who own low quality names but can't see it helping buyers. As I mentioned above, buyers wouldn't be interested in names like BossManCatalog.xyz no matter how cheap they are. At that point they might as well add/swap keywords or just buy an available extension for $10. Unless you're looking to use Alter to buy/sell names on a wholesale basis? Even then the profit margin would be impossible to work with unless we introduce a minimum fee. Wasn't Afternic's minimum sale price $250 for a long time before they lowered it?

    I see what you mean. Agreed, we'll certainly explore this and whatever else ultimately helps buyers buy more domains. :)
     
  17. Wisher

    Wisher Established Member

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    No Efty recently introduced payment plans with Dan which were 5% (now 5%+2% for CC fees) since fee increase by Dan (only over $999)

    They did change it.

    They push you to withdraw to bank over $2K to stop this extra charge. Which I would imagine nearly everyone does on there, so not to incur extra charges.

    Not saying you need loads of features. But you need to do all the basics well. This is where you can outcompete. Better price + all the features sellers expect. SSL, payment plans etc.

    Having a toggle on or off is not a big change. Useful for those that want it though. Does Dan etc leak traffic from sales page? No So there is a lot of sellers that like this option.

    Those cc fees are lower for high volume businesses. Sav are not going to be doing similar service at a loss at 4% so I think you are paying too much. I do not believe in the merit of any additional marketing that brandable marketplace do. Pretty much all the traffic comes from us the sellers. And as you say the buyers are not interested in other names anyway.



    I will add though that you are much better at communicating with potential/customers than some of the other platforms. So you also have that in your favour. Much more respectful and I get a professional impression of your business from the outside.
     
  18. Wisher

    Wisher Established Member

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    Landing page only is used by all the big platforms so I do not understand why you don't agree with this approach. It's the most popular option by far.

    There are couple reasons I don't want to use EFTY.
    One is unnecessary additional expense of monthly subscription.

    Two I think it makes for a confusing buyer experience and brand confusion. i.e one brand for marketing domain and another for doing the transaction. Most buyers never heard of Efty or Dan as payment processor, so lack of trust over more established payment processors. Or one cohesive buyer experience like Godaddy etc

    Three is Escrow can be a pain for buyers to verify etc and Dan I really do not like their new hidden cc fees.

    I really don't care marketplace you are correct. Dan competitor i.e landing page only. No leakage. Dan has a marketplace but that is not where the sales come from.


    I am seeing the big picture. I do not want ANY traffic leakage from the LANDING page. Brandable marketplaces favour insiders with premium names. Traffic from all other names is basically given away for these sellers to benefit. This is only detrimental to everyone else. Obviously I can not control what the buyer does off page. It might benefit insiders, premium names and the marketplace but it does not benefit me. And no I do not have crappy names but thats the game one is playing if you are not on the inside. Unfair playing field and I have no interest in it. Landing page only is superior as far as I am concerned. No other industry I can think of would you leak traffic to competitors when you don't have to.


    I can use your own argument against you. Why have brandable marketplaces at all then? The buyer comes to the brandable marketplace because they type in the domain and land there. Mostly they are only interested in that name. The marketplace and insiders benefit to have additional names marketed but I don't.

    Simple to have it as an option to turn this off for those that do not want it.

    Anyway thanks for the discussion. I think these are all the main points I want to make. I do not think we see eye to eye and thats fine. I hope food for thought for some.
     
  19. Deven Patel

    Deven Patel Founder, Alter.com Blue Account

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    Thanks for the compliments! Much appreciated. :)

    I think this is the crux of the problem. You don't believe in the additional marketing. There's nothing wrong with that but with all due respect it's not fair for you to judge something that you don't fully understand. That's no different than me judging you based on your limited NamePros activity (i.e. I have no idea about your background or life experiences so it wouldn't be fair of me to judge you or your capabilities).

    I agree that the big platforms don't do any additional marketing but we do. That is one of our differentiators. We're not just competing against big platforms solely on commission, we're actually competing on STR. More marketing = more sales which again I know you don't believe in but it's true. Otherwise, why would we do it at all?

    Instead of me asking you to just believe me, here's a list of random buyers we recently encountered via live chat:

    V53874: I am looking the best name to start up in fintech

    V55455: do you have any domain names that could be potential for staffing companies I could look at ?

    V72384: I'm working on new business with partners and looking for a name, and a name where we can get the .com address

    V53733: looking for a brand name , for hair and skin care products

    V13969: i am looking for a cool costruction company name

    V82190: Searching for a busines name for soap and body product sales


    Your argument is that these don't matter because they don't come through your landing page. But you can clearly see that these are motivated buyers looking to buy a domain. So you don't think it's worth paying a couple more percent in commission to raise your probability of a sale?

    I'm also not asking you to choose Alter blindly. We have been very transparent about how much traffic we're generating to your portfolio through our traffic breakdown chart that looks something like this (you can view the data at the portfolio level or at the individual domain level):
    [​IMG]
    We provide this tool to make the decision super easy for you. I haven't seen any other marketplace offer this data because like you said they're probably only relying on landing page traffic.

    I never said 100% of buyers are not interested in other names. You're selectively choosing your points to make your argument. I said that a good 10-20% of them are. If we didn't see any buyers coming through our marketing channels then why would we waste time and money on marketing? As you said, we'd be better off offering a lower commission for a lander-only service.

    Take a look at the graph above. Even if the STR is lower for marketplace traffic compared to direct traffic, why wouldn't you want to increase the chance of a sale?

    If data showed us that the 44% of marketplace traffic didn't result in a single sale then why we would bother with it at all? At that point, we'd just drop all our marketing efforts and lower the commission like you said.

    From a technical standpoint, you're correct. However, every little option we offer creates more confusion for sellers because it introduces more questions in their head (i.e. will I sell more domains with it on or off). Rather if we can figure out which way works better than we can just offer that one way and keep things simple. Simplicity is often underrated (i.e. think iOS vs Android).

    Of course they do. You're overlooking the number of links in the header and footer of their landing pages that point back to their homepage. And again, your comments make it seem like buyers willing to drop thousands on a domain are too ignorant to find alternatives on their own.

    I'm sure we can get a discount on CC fees once we have the volume. But we don't right now so we have to work with what we can get.

    I can't speak of their behalf but as I mentioned above they seem like they're giving away the service for free to gain market share which I'm not sure is sustainable in the long run. They also don't offer concierge service, payment plans, or chargeback protection. Not to mention the additional marketing which I know you don't believe in but works.

    I think you have it the other way around. All other marketplaces "leak it" because they know it actually works better that way. eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Wayfair, etc... sellers there compete on price and quality.

    In any case, I think we can probably go back and forth on this forever because it's very difficult for people to change their existing beliefs. Our goal as a marketplace is to make everyone happy but since everyone has their own opinion on what they think works and doesn't, I'm not sure we can.

    Regardless of whether you decide to use Alter or not, I wanted to thank you again for sharing your thoughts because every perspective helps us shape our marketplace for the better. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
  20. Wisher

    Wisher Established Member

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    Judge me based on our interaction here if you like, I can do the same

    You are making conflicting points.
    On one hand you say nearly 80-90% of buyers are just after the one name and the direct traffic brings them and then on the other hand you are saying that marketing is going to make a big difference. IMO its pretty much a waste of time. Buyers on Dan for example are not there due to marketing and they are doing very well over there, makes little difference to the seller unless you dominate the space like Godaddy. And thats more from a Brand/Trust perspective

    You also stated earlier that only 10-20% will buy other names. Conversions>Traffic
    Marketplace: That is traffic from other sellers landing pages leaking from non-premium to premium?

    Because and I am making a generalization here. The traffic is not shared equally. Insiders/promoters on these marketplaces are given an advantage.

    Or the ones that already decided just go to other platforms and you lose out on the traffic from big portfolio holders that DO want that feature. i.e all the Dan sellers.

    No I said I can not control what happens 'off page'. But 'on page' I can. By choosing a landing page that does not advertise other names on the actual landing page.


    You point out the negatives with other platforms, I agree but have a different take. If you CAN
    do these things AND at similar rate you will outcompete them all.

    As I said it does benefit the MARKETPLACE yes.
    No. The name brings the buyer as you said many times as domains are unique and buyers set their minds on one domain. Ebay, Amazon are all competing with the same or very similar products so mainly compete on price.
    Why do sellers on Ebay and Amazon have such a hard time and why do sellers end up starting their own webstores?

    No problems. Thanks for the respectful discussion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
  21. Charybdis

    Charybdis Established Member

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    @Wisher you should develop your own domain landing pages from scratch, this is your best option, because seems like you don't like any existing solutions.
     
  22. Deven Patel

    Deven Patel Founder, Alter.com Blue Account

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    Sorry, maybe I'm not doing a good job with the explanation. Let me try again if it helps.

    I also want to clarify that this data is only applicable to Alter because no other marketplace shares their numbers. We see 80-90% of conversions through direct traffic and 10-20% through other marketing channels.

    My point to you is regardless of where the 10-20% of non-direct traffic comes from, if it helps convert even 1 visitor in return for a couple extra points of commission then why not take it especially since domains are so hard to sell already?

    It's no different than paying 20% to Afternic. But since we have nowhere near that level of exposure, we don't charge nearly as much.

    Just because they're doing well doesn't mean they can't do better. That's ultimately why competitors exist right? Because they think they can do better.

    Now if we were able to raise your STR even a LITTLE bit through additional marketing in return for a couple extra points of commission, then why wouldn't you want us to?

    Ah, I think I see the problem. You're assuming that 10-20% of traffic comes from the related domains section at the bottom of the landing pages. No, majority of that comes through other channels like PPC, SEO, social media, remarketing, and many more. Unfortunately, we haven't specifically tracked how much traffic the related domains section generates because we thought it was minimal considering there are plenty of other opportunities for buyers to search for alternatives if they really wanted to.

    Can you tell me specifically why you think that? I can't speak for the other marketplaces but I can tell you that at Alter there are no insiders/promoters. Our company itself owns a few domains but these are all treated equally. There's nothing in our search algorithm that gives seller X a boost in exposure because of some insider connection.

    Correct, that's always been a major issue when it comes to domain marketplaces as opposed to other industries. Marketplaces often know how to improve STR but they have to sacrifice it in order to increase their inventory by surrendering to a variety of seller opinions. This is why you have brandable marketplaces on one side with strict rules and regular marketplaces on the other that are free-for-all. We're essentially trying to find a space in-between the two which is super tough.

    Anyway, like I said if enough sellers want this option we'd be happy to consider it. So far not much interest though. Unless you're planning to bring a big portfolio over to Alter, then we'll consider it sooner. ;)

    Not sure I agree that there's much difference between on-page vs off-page especially since we're not talking about $20 impulse purchases here. These are more like car sales. Buyers looking to drop thousands on a domain aren't ignorant. They will do their research. Just put yourself in the buyer's shoes for a minute and play it out.

    Anyway, your mind seems to be made up already so I'll stop arguing my point. In your case, you still have the option to control "off page" by hosting your own landers or using a WL marketplace. I personally don't think that will help you but those options are available.

    Of course, that's the holy grail in business right? Offer a better product at a cheaper price. The reason I pointed out the negatives is because turning them into positives has a cost (more benefits = more commission).

    P.S. With the amount of time I'm spending answering your questions, I think we deserve a little more commission for that benefit alone no? :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2021
  23. Wisher

    Wisher Established Member

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    That's why I am saying you can outcompete them.

    Why are you now using STR of the whole marketplace as a metric. I have read you mention on this very thread that is not important. What is important is my STR when using your platform. You will have a load of junk on any marketplace. Why would I care about the STR of that? I only care about my own STR.
    Important metric for the markeplace that I was highlighting with Dan is the sales volume for which they get a cut.

    I did say generalization. Based on research it's pretty obvious its going on elsewhere.
    The way it seems to go is Promoters bring more sellers so they are given a lift to grow the traffic with a 'hey look at my amazing STR, its due to 'insert marketplace'. They might not start out that way but it seems to be one of the main drivers.

    Even so premium names on Alter will gain over all other non premium. So there is not really a selling point for non premium to give away their traffic just because one of your assessors does not see the value.

    According to similarweb, I am seeing some search engine traffic (half of which from unrelated terms, pretty much junk traffic) no PPC. 70% Direct traffic.

    I deserve a commission for giving you this free advice on how you could outcompete Dan. But you seem quite stuck in your current plan so I will leave you to it.:xf.cool:
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2021
  24. Deven Patel

    Deven Patel Founder, Alter.com Blue Account

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    Correct. I think you're taking my words out of context. My point wasn't for you to compare the marketplace STR with your own. It was simply to imply that additional marketing is worth it if it helps improve your STR even a LITTLE bit. I edited my previous reply to prevent confusion.

    Interesting. I wasn't aware companies did this.

    You're right. As I mentioned, we are working on a way to fix this. Our original intention with it was to simply highlight the best domains like the "Amazon's Choice" inventory on Amazon but it doesn't appear to be working as such.

    I rest my case.

    I was already aware of most of what you're saying. I was simply trying to explain to you that the answers are more complicated than you think. And I never implied that we're sticking to our current plan. We're constantly learning and evolving the best we can. So I do value your feedback. It's much appreciated. :)
     
  25. omnia

    omnia Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    On the domains display it would be useful to be able to sort by premium/non premium. Any thoughts on this?
     

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