Located in Domain Marketplace Reviews, started by xtremex, May 16, 2013
Sounds like a scheme to keep the listing fee money train rolling. SMH
Thanks for clarifying, Keith. Helps me understand some of BBs thinking behind what they are doing. Some feedback based on your explanation of BB’s intentions:
It doesn’t make sense to penalize the removal of accepted domains that were removed before this actually came to be considered “abuse”. If this metric is going to be used, I think no domains removed before BrandBucket “officially” started to consider it abuse should be counted. It would be better to “reset” every account to 0 (e.g. “good standing”/A), and then start calculating from the day this system was introduced, which I guess would be the day the dashboard score system was introduced. At least then sellers would only be held accountable for behaviour that BB has explicitly said they don’t approve of, and that would be a more logical way to deal with this.
The current system does not do anything to discourage resellers of published names, since such sellers do not remove/drop domains, they simply push them to other accounts, which does not impact your two bottom right corner scores negatively. I also think it’s important for BB to take into consideration that, when the BB reseller market on NP first appeared in 2015, there was a lot of discussion about whether or not this violated BrandBucket’s TOS. BrandBucket came out and approved of the reselling of BB domains on NamePros, and even introduced an account push function to facilitate the reseller market. Now they have backtracked on this position, and considers it an abuse of their system. That’s understandable (it never made sense to me that they approved this practice in the first place), but instead of holding sellers accountable for what turned out to be their own unfortunate decision (by going back and punishing seller’s behaviour that at the time was fully accepted by BB), it would be better for them to just owe up to the fact that they themselves allowed for these various “abuses” of the system, such as allowing the BB reseller market to flourish.
Implementing new regulations now that they have understood that this was a bad idea that led to what they now consider an abuse of their system is fine. But penalizing actions that were previously endorsed by them does not make any sense, and they should only penalize sellers starting from the day they clearly declared that such actions were considered a form of abuse (or just do away with the entire reseller market for a simpler fix - that would also do away for the need to "score and rank" sellers, and penalize/reward them accordingly).
Lastly, the way the scores are calculated is really strict. If you remove more than 50% of your accepted names, then yes you are probably abusing the system. However, under the current system, it looks like if your removed accepted names make up somewhere between 6-8% of your whole portfolio, your account is already considered to be in bad standing (C score or below). My account has been vacillating between C/D score, so I'm just extrapolating that 6-8% is when you first enter bad standing territory. Removing less than 10-20% of accepted names does not strike me as “abuse” at all. They can't expect sellers to agree with 95% of their appraisals/suggested prices. I've removed lots of names for this reason, and just half a day ago I sold a name that I recently removed from my to do list (for close to twice as much the BB suggested price). I would surely have published that name with BB if their suggested price had been double of what they actually suggested, but I was not interested at the price level they suggested. Since sellers are not allowed to set their own prices for domains, besides a 20% increase/decrease, removing accepted names due to price disagreements should probably not be considered "abusing" the system.
Well said @Arca. I have never abused their system, however I did 'reshuffle' my names a few times and now have B and C scores. Hopefully they'll figure out the obvious problem with this scoring system quickly.
Logo: CareBadge ??
Side note: Does anyone else think The/Discount.com is underpriced? Not mine, but seeing the amount of similar regged domains beginning with The/Discount, and Alexa rankings for such domains, I see many endusers with money.
Thanks Arca for your thoughtful comments.
You are correct that it has been "allowed" to go on for some time even though it could be seen as a violation of the TOU. And yes BB did implement a dashboard option to "push' the domain to another BB seller. I think this was to reduce their work load but I see how that push tool could have been interpreted by many as an endorsement.
The sale of BB names among domainers is a situation BB never saw coming it was unprecedented for any brandable marketplace. They didn't know if it would last or how it would effect things. So they waited. But as time went on it began to have unfortunate side effects when some creative people started using it as a business model.
So slowly the situation is being addressed. But the new system has its own unfortunate side effects and is not nuanced enough to protect the well intended sellers like yourself.
I think if we give them some time they'll adjust things and get it right. I'll also bring this up next chance I have to talk to Michael and Margot so they can fully appreciate the scope of the problem.
Thanks again for your detailed feedback.
Define using it as a business model... If I remember correctly you've sold 15+ bb domains on NP.
Some questions on peoples minds:
What were the unfortunate side effects? The reseller market created a HUGE inventory boom for bb. They weren't complaining when they were raking in the listing fee's.
Did something change since then?
Are they phasing out the reseller market?
How do they plan to address the sales equality if they prohibit cutting losses by liquidating to other sellers who made sales?
Will bb start releasing traffic details so domainers can have a better idea if the domain is worth renewing?
How about reporting low ball offers?
Sorry to call you it Keith, but in fairness implementing that tool could ONLY be interpreted as an endorsement. Any suggestion otherwise is daft.
I have my own separate reasons for disliking this change. I don't sell any names, but if I choose to remove a portion of my names I'll then be viewed as a seller in bad standing. I think that's unfair also.
If the purpose is to try to stem people selling accepted names then why is it impacting sellers who have never sold a single name wholesale?
However, if you sell to a person that retains the domains on BB, this doesn't affect your standing at all.
I don't think the purpose is to try to stem people selling accepted names to other members that want to retain the names on BB. Isn't this about trying to stop names being removed from their marketplace and/or stop the abuse as an appraisal service?
If you remove your names Richard, any logo creator that chose the payment on sale option has no chance of getting paid, what about the promotion they've done for those domains on their social accounts, newsletters and who knows what else behind the scenes? That promotion is still out there... pointing to your domains that have been removed from the marketplace. I'm sure it doesn't look good when someone clicks on one of their links and gets taken to a domain not listed on BB. Why would BB want this type of seller?
I understand why they have this algorithm and I think it's a great idea, but I don't think they have it right yet and need to receive feedback from us. Thanks Keith for confirming that you'll talk to Michael and Margot so they can fully appreciate the scope of the problem.
You make it sound like all of this was done without cost to me. Listing fees are a small part of what I've paid, but the commissions and design awards on my 40 sales likely amount to $25K+. I don't feel BB owe me anything, but likewise I don't feel I owe them anything either. I'm grateful to them for the sales I've had, but I feel it's been a mutually beneficial relationship rather than one-sided.
I don't think any seller should feel indebted to them at any time. BB don't want to credit any direct traffic our names bring too their site, so why should I credit any promotion they do while my names are listed? And just to be clear - apart from a one-time listing in a email newsletter and one automated tweet I'm not aware of any further promotional of individual names. "who knows what else behind the scenes" is just that - nobody knows of any further direct promotion of individual domains. They promote their marketplace and not our names. Exclusivity and ~35% charges on sales more than cover that email drop and auto tweet IMO.
The only people I do feel somewhat for are the logo designers. But I wonder how many opt for the $5 up front payment for a logo? Leaving minimum $95 additional revenue to brandbucket should a name sell...
I agreed to list my names with a condition that a 30 day window of exclusivity would apply if I ever wanted to delist. I've never actually removed a name to date, but I absolutely won't entertain any suggestion that I should be beholden beyond the terms agreed. Perhaps BB should be addressing why sellers want to remove their names rather than applying prejudicial labels to users who adhere to all the agreed terms and conditions? Using sanctions to try to force owners to retain paid-for exclusive listings is totally inappropriate imo.
Fwiw I was an ardent supporter of brandbucket in the past. If you look back through this thread I think it's easy to back up this claim. My support for them has waned significantly, especially this year. Maybe in 6-12 months we'll come back and see if my negativity was justified out not.
duplicate post, sorry
I didn't mean to make it sound like I wasn't taking into account our costs. I'm just trying to see it from their side rather than just ours. I'm a business owner myself so perhaps I have that empathy. If I imagine myself in their shoes, I wouldn't want sellers on my marketplace that will ultimately remove names. Time, energy, resources, all wasted. Time I could have spent on buyers, marketing, promotion.
I 100% agree that sellers should not feel indebted to them, but I also feel that sellers that want to work with them (as a partnership) to build a brandable portfolio on their platform should have advantages over those that don't. I don't see it that members are penalised, I see it that those that DO want to work in a partnership are nurtured and rewarded.
For the record, I'm not doubting your support, and I see what you refer to as negativity as feedback, but the choice is ours, we either support BB under their terms or we don't. We can't expect to remove some of our portfolio from their marketplace yet still get the priviledges that those that don't do.
Also, FWIW, I think we sellers forget that we are probably the least important part of their business. If we leave, nothing changes for them, they have plenty of their own names and there are plenty more sellers ready to take our place. I'm not saying we are not important, but the time they must spend on appeasing sellers that could be put to better use must be huge. Not to mention all of the negativity on the internet about BB is by the sellers themselves! Let's hope that potential purchasers are not finding these threads, because we're not doing ourselves any favors here!
Thanks for the frank response. I guess I'm daft because I never saw it as an endorsement but maybe I'm the only one.
PS I agree with you that BB is a two way street. It's not a charity. They are making money for sure. But in a good partnership both parties prosper. I think that is their goal and it should be ours too.
Also, I wanted to correct one small point about the Logo designers. They have the option of $5 up front or $100+ at the time of sale. There is no option for $5 up front and the balance later.
Thanks for the lively conversation!
Richard, your post has really made me stop and think today, thank you for that, and hence this additional followup.
I'm not going to go into the finer points but... here we are, all bickering (I'm not pointing fingers at anyone) about the logos, what the logo designers get paid, what perks BB staff get, what BB should or shouldn't be doing, what we would do if we ran BB, etc etc. At the end of the day, it's none of our business. We've accepted their terms to list our names on their marketplace when we signed up. We wouldn't dream of demanding this information from Flippa before paying our $9 fee.
What we, the members, should be doing is working together and supporting each other!
BB clearly have that area that none of us are qualified in covered. They have VC connections, they sponsor startup events, they do podcasts and work directly with marketing agencies etc.
The rest of us, we could be a positive army of promotion. Why aren't we doing that? I've just set up a Twitter account to promote MY names. What if someone else used Reddit to promote their names, and someone else did Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr.... there are 100s of places. Result? = we promote ourselves, and in turn BB and all other sellers.
And to head off the obvious "but that's what I pay 30% to BB for". I consider myself a reasonably successful target domainer but I can't sell a brandable (non-target) domain for $x,xxx+, that's what I use BB for. They look like the professional company they are, I look like a one (wo)man band. I would rather BB do all the negotiation work and sell my domain for $x,xxx in my pocket than I do the work and end up with $xx - xxx in my pocket. I don't mind putting in a few hours a month if it means more money in my pocket.
Agreed. Assuming you read BB's intentions right, they could do with better communication skills and altogether different labels. The ones currently in use suggest intention of penalization (as in "account not in good standing") and no credit whatsoever to those only "in good standing". All accounts in compliance with BB's published TOS should be " in good standing". Any infractions prior to changes in TOS ignored. Those that meet BB's higher loyalty standards should be labeled accordingly (e.g. "VIP" or something along those lines, suggesting exceptional status).
Oh, I think most sellers are aware of their place in BB's operation. This BB manages to communicate loud and clear
Good point. But I think you overestimate potential buyers' level of concern about sellers' opinions here.
They over-expanded. It wasn't sellers' fault. We pay them well (30% commission, exclusivity, $10 listing fee, $100 logo) and they need to deliver. They can use my listing fees to hire someone to tweet about my names if they want.
Logged in to BB this morning and apparently my account is 'not in good standing' very strange since i have never removed any domains from my account. Something not quite right there.
Wow I dropped from a B to F overnight with no actions on my part!
Something must be wrong with how it is calculated. I have apparently removed 14% of my domain names which is ludicrous as i have never removed any.. ever.
They don't read these forums. You need to contact them in Slack or at [email protected].
Edited to add: I've just seen that it has already been raised in Slack so it looks like some sort of blip right now since there are a few of you affected. I'll let you know the outcome.
I emailed them as soon as i logged on to find out exactly what it means and why
I read many motivating things about BB, but at the same time, I see many people selling their published bb domains for prices like $1-$5 in selling section, what is the reason? I can't figure it out as a beginner. Is it better to buy some of those instead of registering new ones?
I remember how it was being the new person on here, so being the teacher that I was, I'll try to help. lol
There is a BB aftermarket.
Since some folks have trouble getting their own names approved, they are willing to buy names that are already approved and/or published.
BB approved names can fetch anywhere from $12 up (depending on quality), while published names go for $25 and up (depending on quality). Not sure if I saw any that were in the $1- $5 range.
The Aftermarket is on FIRE these days in terms of people selling their names. There may be multiple reasons for that including:
1. People losing faith in BB. They now think that their names have little chance of actually selling on BB since BB has increased drastically over the past year, and personal sell through rates have fallen.
2. Cash Flow. Many people need cash now and can no longer afford to wait for their names to sell on BB
3. Sellers who are now considered to be in 'Bad Standing' with BB: These are folk who never intended to publish their names on BB in the first place. They hand register names, get them approved by BB, then flip them. However, BB is rolling out a new system to prevent this.
I hope that was kinda clear. lol.
Generally speaking the BB names that are being resold on NPs for very low prices are lower quality names that people have made a business model out of hang regging during promos (for $1-$2) and then quickly get the approved and flip them for a small profit. They have been doing this at a high enough volume to generate what I imagine is an acceptable profit for their time.
But, IMHO, this is having a negative effect on BB in a few ways and they seem to be slowing down their acceptance rate and trying new measures to detour the growth of the reseller market.
The growth of BB's inventory has upset many people recently, and now BB's efforts to correct their course is also upsetting people. So BB is in a tough spot at this point and will not be able to please everyone.
It will be interesting to watch this all play out. I personally hope BB can navigate their way through all of this and continue to be successful for their sellers in the future in the terms of end user sales.
Most problems can be solved using a carrot or stick approach. BB seems inclined towards the stick. Very few dogs respond well to this kind of treatment. Interesting to watch where this gets BB with domainers
Not that BB is likely to care or listen here. They have no competition to speak of. They're inventory heavy. They can afford to alienate and shed sellers.
Separate names with a comma.