Located in Domain Marketplace Reviews, started by webquest, Jul 18, 2017
Maybe Francois @DomainingCom can chime in to clarify what he meant by that statement.
I have sat back and read all of this, and wanted to wait a little for the dust to settle. Clearly the writing is already on the wall. I think it is time that I addressed the original issue. A mistake was made by me, not the 'Booth bros'. Andy Booth, not James Booth.
There was a misunderstanding in terms of the status of this small handful of domains. I had thought they were already sold (we had discussed a trade value, me and Oliver do this kind of thing all the time), that once again they were free game at auction, but it later became apparent that wasn't the case. Oliver's intentions with the domains were only to list them on my behalf. Obviously when that came to light, I knew I had screwed up.
I have no track record of being a shill bidder. I am not in the business of pumping up or inflating a domain value. I naively wasn't fully aware of the TOS at NJ, and given I was not technically the seller, tried to genuinely buy some of the domains back (as technically they were already transferred. Despite Whois records indicating I was still owner, they were out of my hands/control).
James' involvement (BQDNcom) was innocent - he wasn't in on anything. Just because we are the 'Booth brothers', it doesn't mean that we always work together. James does his own thing for the most part. Sometimes we are connected, for example in the case of buying D8.com, but generally he conducts his business alone. He was obviously aware that these domains were about to be put up for sale and saw an opportunity. His intentions weren't to inflate the values. He actually won 2 of the small handful of auctions that DID complete either for himself, or on behalf of a client. Even more disturbing, he in recent days received a death threat via his website, BQDN.com, about his Namejet bidding activity.
Oliver, thinking he was just selling for me, took it upon himself to bid on the domains that he knew had parking revenue. Those turned out to be the ones he genuinely wanted (take MovieZone as a case in point). Oli wasn't trying to inflate any value either. His understanding at this point was that he wanted to buy the good ones and his bid was not made to pump anything up, he had every intention to follow through.
I would never knowingly have sabotaged my own reputation for something like this. There was no attempt to disguise who we were (which obviously looks beyond stupid given what was come to light) in terms of bidding handles, nor was there attempt at fraud or deception. On the domains I was bidding for, I took the view that they were no longer mine, and I had as much right as anyone to buy them back. I even won one and had every intention of following through. Again, inflating the value was never the goal. There was genuine intent there.
About my activities in other auctions, such as MGP.com, I have never made any attempt to 'fake' a bid. If I'm bidding, it's because I want it.
Jonathan @NJ had a different understanding of the situation, and for that reason had defended me. There were several miscommunications during this debacle which is why it has escalated to this stage. It's unfair to make him the scapegoat as he was only doing his job.
I was the one here at fault, but I hope you understand that is was a genuine mistake, not part of some elaborate conspiracy to defraud anyone. I hold my hands up and apologize to anyone that may have been affected in bidding for those domains. I am disappointed to have let down the domaining community and have learned a lot from what has happened.
This whole thing pisses me off as well, as I spent and continue to spend a lot of money on Namejet. Having said that, I am responsible for what I bid. So, I gotta make my own maximums - if i think a 4L is worth 180, then its 180 whether the shill guys outbid me or not. Then again - I coulda had some of them domains cheaper if it wasn't for HKDN or some other self-proclaimed "market-maker" .... Never ends man, Namewinner BS, Halvarez bs, these guys.... No role models guys, Bernie Madoff was a role model for a long time. Don't be a groupie to anyone, make your own decisions ()
That's actually a post by Raymond (I don't know if Francois and Raymond are the same person):
The comment that I quoted was from Francois, not Raymond (scroll down to the last comment of that blog post).
So your initial response in this thread was what? Certainly not this. This comes after a few days. I'd be more inclined to give benefit of the doubt if I heard this right away. Now I question if it took a few days to come up with this story or if it is genuine.
I'm calling bullshit on your entire charade and explanation. None of you, either Oliver, Nor your brother nor you are newbies to be so unfamiliar with
a. The auction mechanics and simple fundamental premise that you don't bid on your own domains
b. That you're so naive that you that you're not aware of the NJ ToS. I'm fairly new to domaining (relative to you, professionally), and and I'm fairly clear on this point - don't bid on your own domains. Or heck, even backorder them. I actually went and removed backorders for domains that I put up for auctions on NJ that I'd won at NJ and hence had an older backorder there
c. If you have such a miscommunication between Oliver and yourself where he and you don't know who's selling for who and who owns the domain at the auction time, I'm seriously worried how you even manage to broker millions of dollars worth of domains
d. The common thread here seems to be that you tend to serially miscommunicate - first with Oliver Hoger, then with your brother and of course with Jonathan from NJ. You really need to come up with a better excuse. This is politician level excuse who always claim misquoting when they get caught doing something improper
f. You are right, this is not a genuine mistake. There is definite malice somewhere, whether at your end, or at Oliver Hoger's (with NJ's complicity).
g. If you are holding your hands up, are you also willing to reimburse those who've been negatively affected (I'm one of them) due to your impropriety?
Got it. Thanks for the clarification
As I said, there was a misunderstanding. Only when we were both questioned by Namejet did a clear picture become apparent. Me and Oliver were on different pages. And of course now this has become my responsibility and I look foolish. This isn't a story. It is the truth.
Btw, this is an explicit guideline by the NJ staff (in my case Laurie) that this should not happen
I have admitted to being responsible. There's nothing more to say. If there was anyone negatively impacted by the handful of auctions I was involved in recently, of course I would take responsibility. The majority of the auctions ended up with me or my brother winning.
For those who are found guilty whether it's Oliver, Booth brother's etc, and you continue to defend them, promote them, broker for them, do deals with them, you are guilty by association as well.
Its great to see Namepros community step up here. Michael, Donny, and other's doing great research.
You guys are experienced, you know what's up. Not saying your guilty, time will tell, but why would you guys risk your reputation when you had so much going for you?
Now that I think about it more... so both you and Oliver were actively bidding "against each other" in earnest? You never stopped to think to ask him why he's driving up the price on a domain he owns and same with him asking you (since you were both confused on who owned the domain)? I'm going to call BS on this too.
As long as Namejet allows sellers to list third party domains, this will continue to happen.
@andyboothsi - You brought up a lot of points that don't make any logical sense in the broader context of your response, so it would be good if you could provide further explanation:
So Oliver was only intending to list the domains for sale on your behalf, but you won the auction and he was the second highest bidder in the auction?
And Oliver didn't even know he bought the domain from you, which you and your brother stated in your initial explanation, and he thought he was brokering the name for you? Assuming that he thought he was brokering the names on your behalf, why did he bid against you in an auction for a domain he he was selling/brokering for you? Why bid against his own client for a domain he is selling for that client? And eventually his client (you), won your own domain in a bidding war against him.
So Oliver bid up the domains you allegedly sold to him, and you willingly bid against him in what you thought was his own auction for his own domain? And Oliver bid against you for a domain he thought he was selling for you? But you don't think he was trying to inflate value?
In other words, you thought Oliver was the owner and seller, and you had no problem bidding against him for a domain he himself owned and listed for sale, according to you. And Oliver had no problem bidding on a domain against you that he thought he was selling for you.
This makes absolutely no sense!
And I only mentioned moviezone.com, because it was one of the most obvious examples between you and oliver.
Can you please also explain the other screenshots posted in this thread that shows seek (oliver hoger) boothcom (andy booth) and bqdncom (james booth) bidding on domains still in your whois, listed for sale by oliver? So in these auctions, the former owner (andy booth), the alleged current owner/seller (oliver hoger), and the former owner’s brother, and the current owner and seller’s friend (james booth) are bidding on the same auction, sometimes coming out as the top 1, 2, 3 bidders? You are friends with oliver and you bid against him in his own auctions for your formerly owned names? And Oliver bid against you and your brother for domains he thought he was selling for you? And your brother bid against you and his friend Oliver, on names still in your WHOIS and sold and allegedly owned by Oliver?
Please explain how this is not shilling and collusion between the three of you.
I think many here are missing the point when it comes to me. Yes Andy is my brother. Yes I know Oliver. I have done several deals with both of them. Me and Andy are completely separate businesses. He is Booth.com, I am BQDN.com. We have our own portfolios and occasionally we will partner on a name (D8.com for example). I ask you to research MY account and see what domains I have bid on on ANY auction platform. I only bid on names I want. I bid on AirplanesForSale.com and WON it, PAID for it and SOLD it already. That's what I do. The fact that some people are emailing me DEATH threats and verbal abuse is beyond ridiculous. The fact that so many people have pointed fingers at me especially when this is nothing to do with me other that Andy is my brother. Anyone who ACTUALLY knows us will know we are completely separate. Regardless of who owned the domains I am still allowed to bid and win names. People asking me to explain myself. I have nothing that I need to explain. I have just sat here and seen the things people have to say about me so I now know for future reference. I have NEVER shill bidded.
Andy is not and has never been a broker. Know your facts first.
@andyboothsi - It wouldn't hurt if you provided this as well to back up your explanation so far, about this alleged misunderstanding between you and Oliver Hoger:
1. Proof that Oliver Hoger bought and paid for moviezone.com and the other names he was selling from you, that were still in your WHOIS. For you to believe he was selling his own domains, he must have paid you for them, and you must have transferred them to his account. Sales proof and domain ownership transfer transfer proof would back up that claim.
2. Proof that Oliver Hoger thought he agreed to sell these domains on your behalf, which is your explanation for why he thought it was okay to bid on his own auction for these names, in order to drive up more value for you (his client). I really do not understand how you can sell a bunch of domains to Oliver, for a considerable amount of $$$ based on what you tried to "buy them back" for, and then Oliver is allegedly not aware that he has bought these domains from you, and thinks that he is brokering them for you.
This disconnect strikes me as highly unlikely, and I don't understand how you reached understood the situation so differently, if you really sold these names to him. There must be an email or something that shows how Oliver got the idea that he's brokering the names for you. How did he get the idea that you were his client, and that he was selling these names for you, if he actually bought and paid for these names from you, and he is the new owner? I just don't understand how he can be oblivious to paying you for a batch of names, and then thinking that he is selling them for you. Please post the email or whatever communication lead Oliver to believe he was brokering all these domains for you, even though you sold them to him and he was the "real" owner at the time he thought he was selling them for you.
These two scenarios just strike me as mutually exclusive, where both just can't be true at the same time, and without clear evidence to back them up, they seem unbelievable.
Originally the plan was for Oliver to list some names for me. Simple as that. We had a conversation that maybe he would take the chance of selling the handful of domains himself, and give me a trade value against one of his names in advance.
When they got listed for sale (despite whois being in my name, they had transferred out, it just hadn't been updated), I had the understanding that they were no longer mine. I was bidding on them because in my mind the prices were right to buy back. James too saw an opportunity, independent of the understanding between Oliver and I.
It turns out Oliver wasn't actually in agreement with any trade, I had jumped the gun. His understanding was that he was just going to list the domains, as was the original plan, and target only the ones he wanted. I suspect he didn't pay much attention to who was bidding and just bid because he wanted specific names based on traffic revenue which he had known about, and saw it was at a good price. We weren't talking or colluding during those auctions. Obviously it became a mess when we were both involved and there was a clear misunderstanding between us. By that point, this thread had been created and it was already too late. When NJ started asking us what was going on, it became apparent that I screwed up, had wrongly assumed Oli was taking the chance on them with a trade offer, and therefore had bid on my own names.
I am facing the music for that and Namejet are dealing with it.
I think that it should now be clear. There's no one else to attack. Things get misunderstood. People make mistakes. I have said my piece. Future conversation about this from my side will be with Namejet, not on Namepros.
This is bad for everyone. I'm sick at my stomach.
I've followed this thread since day one because I was involved in an auction that I thought had unnatural bids a couple months ago. I started keeping a list of aliases a long time ago so I know who I'm up against and researching whois on my own for any domain I was interested in. I cannot stress enough for domainers to invest in research tools and do your own due diligence when buying domains so you know when something looks "off". I have to say the research conducted here by the community at NamePros is awesome.
I know @Rick Schwartz has been calling for an independent audit of all the auctions. I think a panel of domainers that includes Rick, Elliot Silver and others must be included in the audit process as well. This has to be made right by everyone involved or we all go down on this ship.
Okay, thanks for clarification. So, what exactly were Seek and HKDN doing there?
I'm assuming you've gone through the thread. The issue is not merely whether you won the auction or not. the issue is falsely bidding up the price of a domain due to which other domain buyers suffered as a result of having to pay higher than they would have if the bids were natural...
If he wanted to buy some of your domains, wouldn't have been easier for him to negotiate with you directly?
Why would anyone go through the hurdle of listing domains he wants to buy in a public auction meant to attract more buyers?
Fair enough. I retract the point that he brokered domains. Please read it as having traded domains worth thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars (The actual range might be different but I hope you get the point)
Separate names with a comma.