Dynadot

Alter.com Marketplace

NameSilo

Deven Patel

Founder, Alter.com
Impact
991
Hi all,

I wanted to introduce a new premium domain marketplace we just launched called Alter. I would love to hear your thoughts! As the world’s largest community of domainers, your feedback would be invaluable.

Let me introduce myself. Although I’m new to NamePros, I’ve been around the block. I’ve been buying and selling domains for my own startup ideas for over 20 years. As a serial entrepreneur, I founded a number of startups across various industries like marketing, web hosting, social networking, blogging, and SaaS. This experience has helped me understand how indispensable a brand name is to a business.

Most new entrepreneurs don’t think twice about their company name. Our goal is to change that! A brand name literally has the power to make or break their business. This is more true today than ever before now that there are countless alternatives to every product or service imaginable. Sure, every business may have their own world-changing differentiator but from the outside they all look the same at which point the main differentiator ends up becoming their brand name. In a world full of distractions, we no longer have the attention span to thoroughly research what we buy so we rely on our emotions. This is why large businesses like Apple and Amazon spend billions on their “brand” alone because they understand that customer perception is everything.

Anyway, I noticed that most marketplaces that exist today are focused more on the seller rather than the buyer. Our goal is to reverse the equation and prioritize buyers because I think they are the key to success in any industry. The domain industry is no exception. Without buyers, there’s no money. This is why we’ve made it our mission to help entrepreneurs succeed!

And what’s with the 30-35% commission rate most of these marketplaces are charging? Unless they’re doing more work than a human broker, I don’t think anything over the industry average of 15-20% is warranted. We’re changing that. Alter has one of the lowest rates in the industry, an all-inclusive 10% commission fee when a name sells. There are no other fees or restrictions.

What do you think? Are we on the right track or barking up the wrong tree?

Deven
This was a promoted post.
 
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Frand

New Member
Impact
12
Maybe you need to clear your cookies ( i don't know ) for me work
First results for "poker" are first results - they are only 4 domains that have "poker" as simple search on advanced are more
Maybe you need to clear your cookies ( i don't know ) for me work
First results for "poker" are first results - they are only 4 domains that have "poker" as simple search on advanced are more
I don't think it's a cookies problem and there are more than 4 domains with the term "poker". Right now I’m looking for the term "investing" and "investingtopics" appears on page 21 behind names like yadica, enacio, highfolio...
 

ddesigns

24Designs.in - Web Development and more...
Impact
824
Hello

From your Syndication

Automatically list my "Buy Now" domains at the marketplaces and registrars mentioned above

------------------

What about my " make offers " domains !!

My make offers Domains not appeared on Dan or Sedo

Only the one with Buy now or Both are syndicated..
 

Deven Patel

Founder, Alter.com
Impact
991
What are the chances that a seller is going to buy a domain from your marketplace versus sellers who are experimenting with your Search and trying to see if their domains are showing up?

Please note that search results aren't counted in your stats. The "visitor" count you see in your account only includes people who actually viewed your listings/landers. I think that might solve your concern. :)

I see you are trying to promote non-keyword domains to interested buyers but it looks like you giving a very little boost to the domains that contain the search term. It's rare that a domain that contains the search term will show up on the first page.
Can you give a boost to domains that contain the search term a bit? I think it makes a lot of sense. I predict your CTR will increase if you did that. Just try an A/B test between search results that contain the term VS that don't contain the term.

Our algorithm works the same across the board. It doesn't distinguish between keyword vs non-keyword domains. However, it does consider how buyers interact with the names so you may be seeing an inadvertent effect across some specific search terms which could be due to a number of reasons like our inventory not having enough keyword based domains, the keyword based domains being too niche, etc.

Here's an example of the results that show keyword based domains at the top: https://alter.com/names?q=talent

Suggest:

- Bulk verify option after names are already submitted.
- Bulk category editor.
- 'Description refresh' button (set a new/correct description based on new categories assigned)

Thanks for the suggestions! We just released a feature that will automatically verify your domains after they've already been submitted. On that note, we also released the ability to add/edit thousands of listings at once through a CSV file. :)

Does Alter alert people who already favourited your names when you reduce prices like SH? @Deven Patel. It will be a great feature if not already in place.

No, because we don't require buyers to sign up for an account. Buyers seem to appreciate less friction and also the fact that they don't have to worry about endless spam.

the search engine is not good. For ex, I put "poker" and in the first 10 or 15 pages appear unrelated domains like ribil, joiti, sonsic, orifund, skabble ... up to page 17 some domains related to Poker begin to appear.

That's the point. By default, you're performing a "broad" match search which will only show you quality results at the top. I think what you're looking for is results that only contain the keyword "poker" which you can accomplish by choosing the "contains" filter.

Broad Match: https://alter.com/names?q=poker
Contains Match: https://alter.com/names?q=poker&placement=contains

Note how the top row of quality results appear in both sets.

I was just wondering, do you have any stats like to average favorites-to-sale ratio or visits-through-marketplace to sale ratio etc.? Would be helpful in some calculations.

EDIT: Also, it would ne nice having an option to show number of favorites for domains which are favorited. Might add a sense of urgency in buyers.

We do not track these because they don't accurately paint the picture.

Regarding favorites-to-sales, we've seen buyers who never favorited a name as well as buyers who have so it's not really a useful metric to track across the entire marketplace. However, you can do this for your own portfolio if you like.

Regarding sales-through-marketplace, again it's super hard to track because of buyers using multiple devices and marketing channels over a span of few days before actually pulling the trigger. What we do instead is try to survey the buyers if possible after the sale. This is how we discovered that around 80% of them come through landers (very rough estimate).

Regarding showing favorite counts to buyers, we already show "X buyers viewed this domain recently" on the landers. I think that accomplishes the same goal. :)

Just moved 1/3 of my portfolio to Alter. Domains already listed on SEDO and Arternic, does it make sense accepting this form?

If your names are already listed there and you don't care about the benefit of saving a ton of time dealing with different companies, updating prices across accounts, re-verifying domains, etc then you don't need to syndicate your domains. It's just an added convenience for busy sellers.

From your Syndication

Automatically list my "Buy Now" domains at the marketplaces and registrars mentioned above

------------------

What about my " make offers " domains !!

We can only syndicate domains with a BIN price because we don't have enough information to negotiate on your behalf on other platforms. If you have a lot of MO-only inventory then syndication may not make sense for you.

Sold my second name via Alter - icona.net $899 (non Premium listing)
Great experience, Thanks to Alter

Thanks to the team at Alter, I managed to sell the only name I have listed there. I've had this name for 2 years tried to list it at SH but it was rejected, I knew the name had some sort of value so submitted the name at Alter in January 2021 and it was accepted.

Awesome, congrats on the sales!! And thank you for using Alter. :)
 

Lord Antares

Top Contributor
Impact
1,511
I saw one of my name has got 37 direct visitors today so far in 12 hours. It very few normally.

This mean I can confirm to you guys that it's being advertised. This is good.

However, I'd like to see some more detailed stats. IMO, stats could be something to give you an edge over DAN.
For example, it says what percentage of visitors are direct visitors and what percentage are marketplace visitors but it doesn't say for which name. Some names are botted and I have one which constantly receives the highest amount of visits, but it's all non-unique visits, i.e. bots.

Smart people will use data to their advantage. Marketplace visits are more important than direct visits, so you can conclude that names with higher marketplace visits are higher quality than names with lower visits, on average. Same goes, to an even greater extent, for favorites.

I understand you don't necessarily like favorites because sellers favorite their own names to try and get ahead in the site SEO. But practical people will use them to gain data, reevaluate their domains and prices etc. This is why I think knowing the average favorite-to-sale ratio (I assume only relevant for marketplace browsers) is useful for some calculations. Data is king.

DAN can't provide this kind of useful data so this might put you ahead in my book.

P.S. I notice that names with logos are prioritized both in the featured name section and category/keyword searches. So there are still, in fact, premium and non premium names ;)
 

zomainhacks

Top Contributor
Impact
1,450
If your names are already listed there and you don't care about the benefit of saving a ton of time dealing with different companies, updating prices across accounts, re-verifying domains, etc then you don't need to syndicate your domains. It's just an added convenience for busy sellers.

Yes it is surely a great plus point, but you give up fast-transfers and more control on listing prices.

Regarding the second point, would you like to share the Alter pricing policy on third party marketplaces?
 

zomainhacks

Top Contributor
Impact
1,450
So there are still, in fact, premium and non premium names

I'm curious to know if it is a predetermined priority given for certain characteristics (name lenght, TLD, logo or not etc etc) or if it is the "natural" outcome of an AI of such type (i.e people tend to prefer names with real logos) .
 

Lord Antares

Top Contributor
Impact
1,511
I'm curious to know if it is a predetermined priority given for certain characteristics (name lenght, TLD, logo or not etc etc) or if it is the "natural" outcome of an AI of such type (i.e people tend to prefer names with real logos) .

It is possible that since all the old names have logos and they have naturally accumulated more visits and favourites, you mostly see them on top but I don't know.

Frankly, if names with logos get higher STR, it would make sense to show them first from a business perspective.
 
For example, it says what percentage of visitors are direct visitors and what percentage are marketplace visitors but it doesn't say for which name.
Perhaps already answered, but you can select any one of your names from the drop down box to get those stats for individual names and for any time period you set. I did not realize that at first.
Bob
 
I am not sure if you have followed the emerging situation at Epik, but at least as of this afternoon, it is not possible to get auth codes for domains registered there. At least not in the usual way. I have not tried contacting support who I am sure are overwhelmed with inquiries. I presume this cannot last long by ICANN transferability rules, but I wonder if it is a problem keeping Epik-registered names listed on Alter, since if a customer bought a name and could not get it promptly, I presume they would be upset.

Sedo have a setting that you can make names temporarily not for sale, while still keeping them in your portfolio. Have you considered this option? I presume with your listings across partners this would be complex to implement, however.

Bob
 

Deven Patel

Founder, Alter.com
Impact
991
I'd like to see some more detailed stats. IMO, stats could be something to give you an edge over DAN.
For example, it says what percentage of visitors are direct visitors and what percentage are marketplace visitors but it doesn't say for which name. Some names are botted and I have one which constantly receives the highest amount of visits, but it's all non-unique visits, i.e. bots.

Yup, we already offer the option to filter dashboard stats by individual domains. As Bob pointed out, there's a dropdown menu on the top right corner of the dashboard that can be used to filter the data. See screenshot below.

dashboard-filters.png


Also, note that we try to filter out all bot visits through multiple approaches. Two of the most effective methods are user-agent checks server-side and using JavaScript client-side. Ultimately, the goal is to only capture real human visitors (unique visitors so no repeats).

I understand you don't necessarily like favorites because sellers favorite their own names to try and get ahead in the site SEO. But practical people will use them to gain data, reevaluate their domains and prices etc. This is why I think knowing the average favorite-to-sale ratio (I assume only relevant for marketplace browsers) is useful for some calculations. Data is king.

We're certainly aware that certain sellers favorite their own names to try and game the rankings but rest assured that our algo already handles that. It's a fruitless effort and won't negatively impact other sellers. :)

It's not that we don't like favorites, they're great for buyers! It's just that the data isn't particularly useful in predicting future sales.

My last company offered analytics software to 300,000+ marketers so I understand how valuable data can be. However, most of the metrics people look at are typically vanity metrics that make us feel good but don't actually help us make any useful decisions. The favorite-to-sale ratio is one of them at least when compared across the entire marketplace because there are so many different factors that can impact it (i.e. listings using Buy Now vs Make Offer, listings with reasonable prices vs those shooting the moon, category of the names, etc, etc). This is why I always recommend sellers compare against their own data rather then someone else's because no two portfolios are the same.

A bit off topic but at my last company, we tried to compare our conversion rates against other startups in the SaaS space but ended up coming to the same conclusion (i.e. it was a vanity metric when compared to the entire industry). E.g.

saas-conversion-ratees.png


Note how even companies selling to the same target audience have wildly different conversion rates.

I notice that names with logos are prioritized both in the featured name section and category/keyword searches.

Not intentional. As you suspected, this might be due to (1) older names having accumulated more data and importantly (2) better logos naturally attracting more buyers (i.e. better first impressions). See results for the keyword "health". There are a couple names without professional/uploaded logos at the very top. Anyway, having better logos definitely helps even if indirectly.

I'm just waiting for them to add crypto payment and I'd move everything.

We do have this on our roadmap but it's not at the top. Can I ask why this matters to you so much? I would think it would be better not to use crypto for withdrawals as it's very risky (i.e. if you accidentally provide the wrong address then your money would be lost forever compared to other methods).

does anyone know how to check if my alter listing is classified as premium or basic?

Moving forward, we consider all aftermarket names as premium similar to GoDaddy. We no longer differentiate between premium and non-premium. All names are treated the same. Our search algo then ranks them based on buyer feedback and a number of other factors.

I'm curious to know if it is a predetermined priority given for certain characteristics (name lenght, TLD, logo or not etc etc) or if it is the "natural" outcome of an AI of such type (i.e people tend to prefer names with real logos) .

Our smart search algorithm uses a number of factors to rank names based on buyer feedback. Everything from the domain's extension, length, price, brandability, popularity, and more is used to determine its rank. Just like the Google search algorithm, we continually adjust our algorithm over time based on buyer feedback to ensure an optimal experience and high STR. This means high quality names will continue to thrive while giving new listings an equal opportunity (just like SEO).

Unfortunately, I can't give you the specifics because then some sellers would try to game it. But I can tell you that we use a variety of factors and buyer signals to rank names. Also, note that it can often take a few days or weeks before a name finds it's true position in the results because the algo is continuously collecting and assessing new data for each individual name.

Regarding logos, they don't have a direct impact on the rankings but as I mentioned above better logos will indirectly give your names a boost because they naturally attract more buyers (i.e. first impressions matter).

Yes it is surely a great plus point, but you give up fast-transfers and more control on listing prices.

Regarding the second point, would you like to share the Alter pricing policy on third party marketplaces?

Regarding fast transfers, it's just a way to transfer domains to buyers quicker after they're purchased. So it shouldn't affect sales or the amount of exposure your names receive.

Regarding markups, we simply tack on the partner's commission on top of the listing price so that you net the same amount as expected on Alter (i.e. if you list a domain for $1,000 on Alter and it sells on a partner marketplace then you'll still profit $900).

I am not sure if you have followed the emerging situation at Epik, but at least as of this afternoon, it is not possible to get auth codes for domains registered there. At least not in the usual way. I have not tried contacting support who I am sure are overwhelmed with inquiries. I presume this cannot last long by ICANN transferability rules, but I wonder if it is a problem keeping Epik-registered names listed on Alter, since if a customer bought a name and could not get it promptly, I presume they would be upset.

Thanks a lot for the note, Bob. I just caught up on the Epik thread and noticed the transfer issue has been resolved so we should be good to go. But in case there's still a hiccup in the future, I'm sure buyers would understand especially since the news has garnered so much media attention. Worst case, we would just process a refund.
 

Future Sensors

78% of human domainers will be replaced by robots
Impact
8,922
We're certainly aware that certain sellers favorite their own names to try and game the rankings

Not so fast, it's not always what you think. For instance, I tag all my domains to spot them easier in the listings. If you can find a way to highlight all my domains in portfolio (for logged in sellers), I'd welcome such a feature.
 
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Reyginus

Established Member
Impact
279
Thanks @Deven Patel.

Of the three methods of recieving money on alter, and most marketplaces, only Crypto gives me, and many others, the maximum return. Using other methods feels like I'm cheating myself.

First, with PayPal a certain amount is removed while withdrawing (though it seems alter covers this), then when I withdraw to my bank account they take another amount.

And I'm losing about 25 percent of the final cash because of the ridiculous exchange rates offered by the banks.

Let's say I'm supposed to get $1500, because of poor dollar exchange rates I'm getting 1500—Total PayPal Rates—25%. If there were not other options that would have been smart.

If I use Payoneer and Wire, the same thing happens. As long as I'm withdrawing to a card attached to a bank or directly to a bank I'd be cheating myself.

But with crypto, the only thing I'm losing is the transfer fees. Once it hits my binance wallet, I sell to buyers at the rate the banks will sell to me if I were to buy from them. It's a messed up system. With PayPal and Wire it is $1 to 380 but with Crypto it is $1 to 572 or more.

As Alter already have the crypto option for buyers the same mistake can also be made if we want to look at that line. The buyer can also send it to a wrong address and it is gone forever.

If possible, there should be a system that tasks the user (either buyer or seller) to make sure they are sending or withdrawing to the right address. Like a two or three step confirmation or something better.

And I think this is what gives Dan an edge over many others. With fast transfer, crypto option, the quality logos, in addition to Alter's services and marketing, they'd be a massive influx of domainers, high quality names, sales and great returns for the company. I know I'm not alone.

I already have about 68 names on Alter and my plan is to move others at other landers once that option is made available. Consider it. Please.
 
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Deven Patel

Founder, Alter.com
Impact
991
Not so fast, it's not always what you think. For instance, I tag all my domains to spot them easier in the listings. If you can find a way to highlight all my domains in portfolio (for logged in sellers), I'd welcome such a feature.

Don't worry, doing this won't negatively impact your names. There is no penalty, it just doesn't help your rankings. But that's an interesting use case, I appreciate the insight! :)

Of the three methods of recieving money on alter, and most marketplaces, only Crypto gives me, and many others, the maximum return. Using other methods feels like I'm cheating myself.

First, with PayPal a certain amount is removed while withdrawing (though it seems alter covers this), then when I withdraw to my bank account they take another amount.

And I'm losing about 25 percent of the final cash because of the ridiculous exchange rates offered by the banks.

Let's say I'm supposed to get $1500, because of poor dollar exchange rates I'm getting 1500—Total PayPal Rates—25%. If there were not other options that would have been smart.

If I use Payoneer and Wire, the same thing happens. As long as I'm withdrawing to a card attached to a bank or directly to a bank I'd be cheating myself.

But with crypto, the only thing I'm losing is the transfer fees. Once it hits my binance wallet, I sell to buyers at the rate the banks will sell to me if I were to buy from them. It's a messed up system. With PayPal and Wire it is $1 to 380 but with Crypto it is $1 to 572 or more.

As Alter already have the crypto option for buyers the same mistake can also be made if we want to look at that line. The buyer can also send it to a wrong address and it is gone forever.

If possible, there should be a system that tasks the user (either buyer or seller) to make sure they are sending or withdrawing to the right address. Like a two or three step confirmation or something better.

And I think this is what gives Dan an edge over many others. With fast transfer, crypto option, the quality logos, in addition to Alter's services and marketing, they'd be a massive influx of domainers, high quality names, sales and great returns for the company. I know I'm not alone.

I already have about 68 names on Alter and my plan is to move others at other landers once that option is made available. Consider it. Please.

Very useful feedback, thanks! Regarding buyers, they're given the option to scan a QR code with their crypto app which makes it less error prone. Sellers would have to copy/paste the address which makes it more risky. Also, the other thing to think about is the highly volatile nature of crypto. You could lose/gain a lot of value in the time it takes to complete the transfer.

But you make a very good point that we hadn't considered regarding exchange rates. We'll certainly reprioritize this feature accordingly. :)
 
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