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BIN price everywhere may lead to account ban/suspension

Labeled as discuss in Domain Selling and Domain Sales started by uzver, Oct 1, 2019.

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  1. uzver

    uzver Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    So I’m having an issue that I’d like to share and hear some thoughts.

    I have the majority of my domains listed at fixed BIN on Afternic, Sedo, Uni, Dan, and my website. For Afternic, Sedo and Uni I add 10% markup to compensate for additional fees (I used to add 20-25% but I reduced recently to make the difference less confusing for potential buyers). All domains use custom landers, but I directly link BIN buttons to DAN’s checkout pages (bypassing DAN's landers).

    I understand that in an unfortunate scenario I can sell the domain simultaneously on two different platforms and I will have to explain to one of them why I can’t deliver the domain. I used to think that I don’t have “hot” domains in my portfolio (that two different people would want to purchase at once). And it worked for over a year -- 24 sales with only 2 issues that I'm about to describe.

    What I overlooked in my setup is that the same buyer can purchase the domain in two different places on the same day.

    My first issue with Afternic (no consequences)

    At the beginning of August I sold a domain via DAN and when I went to other marketplaces to remove sold domain - I found it with “Pending sale” status at Afternic. I couldn’t delete it. I immediately contacted Afternic and requested to delete the domain manually since I sold it outside of Afternic. I also mentioned that I haven’t received any “pending sale” emails from Afternic regarding this domain. Afternic support came back to me without any complaints and politely said:

    “Thank you for contacting Afternic Support.

    We do not have the capability to remove cart holds, as these are sourced from external partner sites that report the domain being placed in a shopping cart (it may not necessarily have been paid for). In most cases, holds will remove within 2-5 business days.

    If you receive a "Sold" notice after this time, please contact our Transaction Assurance team either by email at [email protected], or call 866-351-9586 (U.S. toll free) or 781-839-7990 (international) - ext. #4 for "Escrow" or TA.

    We hope that your future endeavors are successful. Please contact us again if we can be of further assistance.”


    I pushed the domain to DAN's account at GoDaddy successfully. And after a week or so the domain status changed in my Afternic dashboard, so I deleted the domain from Afternic.

    I assume it was the same buyer who probably put the domain into Cart elsewhere, but then found my domain at a slightly cheaper price and bought it from me. I guess, he just never bothered to remove the domain from the cart on another website.

    My second issue with Afternic (account suspension)

    Yesterday, I sold another domain via DAN - the buyer clicked BuyNow on my landing page and paid at DAN.

    I usually delete the domain from other marketplaces and then initiate the transfer. This time, however, I was pretty sure the domain was at NameBright, but DAN clearly identified GoDaddy as current Registrar so I wanted to make sure it was indeed there. I went to my GoDaddy dashboard and I couldn't find the domain! Holy f*ck, where is the domain? :nailbiting: Do I really own it? GoDaddy canceled quite a few of my purchases this summer, so maybe I added the domain without owning it?! I checked my emails and found the email I received in August that requested an authorization to list the domain in the Afternic network. I surely owned it!

    I decided it was a GoDaddy UI bug, and I navigated via direct link https://dcc.godaddy.com/manage/domain.ext/settings -- it worked. I accessed the domain at GoDaddy, but couldn't push it. The settings page was somewhat weird -- I could only see the expiration date, my contact details, domain lock was read-only, and there were links to domain transfer. When I clicked on "Transfer to another Godaddy account" I received an error message "There was an error processing your request. Please try again. If the error continues contact support at 480-505-8877." And there was a link "Back to Pending Account Changes".

    Pending changes? WTF? My first thought was that DAN Bot might have triggered an automatic transfer which probably failed since it wasn't showing anywhere. I checked the Transfers Out menu, but nothing was there too. So I thought the domain might have sold somewhere? Again. I went to Afternic, checked my dashboard homepage for new pending offers, sales, etc - I've got a couple of expired offers, but nothing new! I then found the domain in question and deleted it easily (unlike in my previous case).

    I also deleted the domain from other marketplaces.

    But I still had to transfer the domain to DAN, so I contacted GoDaddy tech support via support phone. It took literally one hour but without any success - GoDaddy Rep promised to call back after further investigation.

    Three hours later, I called them again, and this time the lady on the phone was talking to an Afternic broker and forwarding his words to me. I was told that the domain was locked at Godaddy due to the fact that there were some current "negotiations at Afternic", but the domain hasn't been sold yet. She asked me if I know the name of the buyer -- I checked at DAN and told her. Following her discussion with Afternic Team, she said that since I sold the domain offline and then deleted it during their negotiations, they require some evidence everything was exactly as I'm claiming. She said they don't do business like this, and my Afternic account is now suspended until after they receive the requested info.

    Shortly after I sent an email to Afternic Service with some statements of facts and screenshots that prove the sale at DAN. Sixteen hours lapsed, and I haven't received a response...

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

    This post is not about how to remove the ban from my Afternic account. At this point, I still hope my account will be unlocked, but it's time to think about how to avoid reoccurrence while keeping my sales rate unchanged. :xf.cool:

    I know it was mentioned many times on NamePros that one should set BIN prices on one marketplace only. I hate doing this as this will limit the exposure considerably (no Sedo MLS, no Afternic Network), but it seems I have no other options.

    The question is, will that help?

    Since I want to have my domains priced at my website first (and at DAN consequently), I will have to remove prices from my domains at Afternic, Sedo, Uni. But what about Afternic's price requests and Sedo's binding offers? I might still find myself in a similar situation.

    Or does that mean I now need to remove the price from my website every time I respond to price requests at Afternic (and offers at Sedo)?

    I was also thinking of keeping the same price everywhere so that I don't motivate potential buyers to purchase from my website if they committed to purchase elsewhere. No 100% proof, and why would I maintain my website then?

    What do you think?
     
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  2. xynames

    xynames XYNames.com PRO VIP

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    Risky game that you play. “You pays your money and you takes your choice.”
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  3. NameDeck

    NameDeck SaveDotOrg.org VIP

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    I think as long as they haven't sold your domain they have no right to lock down your domain. It's probably in their TOS but reason enough to ditch them as a sales venue. Their brokers are slow and incompetent. They can take ages to complete a sale. That would mean your domain could be locked down all that time. That's just insane.

    It's good practice to only list a BIN at one marketplace however chances multiple people BIN it at the same time are slim, I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  4. uzver

    uzver Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    Sorry, I forgot to mention that right after my 2nd phone call to Godaddy, the domain had been unlocked and I pushed it to DAN's account at GD. Everything is completed by now, and DAN has already sent me a payout.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  5. tonyk2000

    tonyk2000 Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Actually, listing on Sedo and Afternic at the same time makes little sense, especially if the landing page does not refer to either of these 2 channels. Most sales occur through their partner registrars which are almost the same (naturally, GoDaddy is afternic-only). We never know how lets say netsol will select - if a domain is announced through both sedo and afternic, and there is a sale - then they will have to select between 2 suppliers, and they will select one for sure - but having the domain with one supplier (afternic only or sedo only) will have the same practical outcome. In sedo-vs-afternic scheme, I ended up with the following - Sedo for domains where potential buyers are more likely outside U.S. (and so they would have no "Godaddy" preference), and I prefer to price such domains in Euros. Afternic for all other domains with USD pricing.
     
  6. uzver

    uzver Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    Yes, I agree. I sell 1-2 domains at Afternic each month. All smaller sales ($500-$2000) but I acquired them under $500. Not too bad...

    I also understand that I could move more sales to my website if I remove the price from Afternic.

    Exactly. That's what I did until now.
     
  7. tonyk2000

    tonyk2000 Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    On various occasions, I've seen buyers checking various marketplaces and/or using contact form on the landing page to ask something as the result.... Once the buyers added the domain to a shopping cart somewhere, did not complete the purchase, the domain was still marked as pending sale on afternic and then they paid $$$ to domainagents .com (!) to submit an offer being exactly my BIN amount. I mean to say that nowadays it is not too uncommon for endusers to check various websites looking for one and the same premium domain. Maybe this is because of new gtlds with variable pricing.
     
  8. uzver

    uzver Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    I don't think their partners 100% overlap, so maybe it still makes sense to list on both... But Afternic vs Sedo is 80/20 for me. I think I can ditch Sedo and won't even notice.

    As to your "sedo-vs-afternic scheme" -- that's too much effort :xf.wink: Plus, it's prone to errors, IMO.

    I have mostly English keywords but domains sell to both US and non-US end users. Not sure how to split domains into 2 categories by the audience.
     
  9. uzver

    uzver Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    That's also my observation. It happens frequently that I sell domains at Afternic and then Google analytics shows that someone was hanging around (clicked BuyNow, but didn't buy) my landing page on the same day. I assume it was that "smart buyer" you're talking about.

    You've just validated my thoughts... if I remove BINs from other marketplaces and set on my website only, it may actually work out pretty well. I'm going to test this thing in October.
     
  10. uzver

    uzver Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    They don't require exclusivity AFAIK. I used to think they understand that the domain might as well be sold elsewhere. There is only one item in the stock, so it can happen.

    It's not the same that if I somehow got in touch with the buyer and convinced him to make a deal without a middleman (Afternic).

    I know that when you respond to price requests, your domains usually sell after that. But what if not? What if the buyer placed the domain into the cart, but then came to xynames and buy it from you? Should you remember to remove the BIN and Floor at Afternic?

    Everything is risky, but I wasn't cheating, and I expect Afternic to be reasonable too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  11. BaileyUK

    BaileyUK Top Member VIP

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    Reads like your an intelligent man Uzver. And everything has turned out well with your actions (apart from a small holding time) Personally I wouldn't worry too much about possible account suspensions (Which haven't happened) Lets face it with different sellers now having different mark-up policies it makes sense for any buyer to now look at different market places for the best advertised price.

    The belief may be among domainers that the buying public isn't aware of these variations but when it comes to money it doesn't take long for buyers to cotton-on.
    I think your experience just shows the requirement to 'Stay-on the Ball' Thanks for the insight though and Congrats on your regular sales performance
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  12. uzver

    uzver Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    Thanks.

    I had to google what “staying on the ball” idiom means :xf.smile: With these four words you replaced few paragraphs of my writing :xf.wink:

    Yes, I totally agree with you. It is/was also a common belief that price difference may confuse the buyers to the point they become suspicious and abandon the idea of domain purchase. My recent experience suggests this may not be the case.

    P.S. My Afternic account is suspended. I hope they will unlock it, but they haven’t even responded to my emails until now.
     

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