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Could Domain Industry Benefit From Better Auction Timing?

Labeled as poll in General Domain Discussion started by Ategy.com, Mar 4, 2019.

Replies:
5
Views:
465

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Could Domain Industry Benefit From Better Auction Timing?

  1. Yes!

    6 vote(s)
    85.7%
  2. No!

    1 vote(s)
    14.3%
  3. I don't have time to share my opinion on timing!

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Total: 7 vote(s)
  1. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    Could the Domain Industry Benefit From Better Auction Timing?

    More importantly .. what specific actions would be helpful to you?

    - Auctions time more spread out or more concentrated?
    - Auctions moved to different times of the day than they already are?
    - Auction times sorted by TLD?
    - Auction times sorted by Valuation?
    - Auction times sorted by domain type (expired/reseller)?
    - Anything else I haven't mentioned that you'd like modified (please propose alternatives/suggetions).

    I've been wanting to start this topic for a while now in hopes that it could lead to a few changes in the industry.


    GoDaddy - For me personally I'm a pretty heavy user of GoDaddy auctions where the auction days are 5.5 hours long! I love the fact that unlike some other marketplaces GoDaddy spreads out it's auction day so that if you're targeting multiple domains you can focus on one or two at a time. But the 5.5 hours a day I find is just way too long and I'd love to see them shorten it to about half that time (no less than 2h and no more than 3h). I think that the only people who buy so many domains that such a change could affect them likely already are running bots or have some other system in place where it really wouldn't make much difference.

    What really led me to thinking about this is that auction days are always 5.5 hours regardless of if there are 25,000 (expiring) domains or 60,000 (expiring) domains. 35 days after Christmas is when domains originally registered at Christmas go to auction. On that "Christmas+35" day a few weeks ago there were half the usual number of domains .. I was thinking how nice it would have been if GoDaddy also gave us a half day as it wouldn't have meant any difference of intensity or effort for bulk buyers (even if I'm sure it doesn't affect them .. aka their bots).

    I think the majority of domainers do this part time, and as such 5.5 hours a day plus however much time you spend going through the lists each day adds up to too much of my day. But I also think the longer term benefit could be that more people actually participate in the overall entirety of their auctions as opposed to just going on for one or two specific auctions at specific times.

    PS @GoDaddy .. Also on the subject of time ... Please move to a state that has daylight savings time so that I don't have to change my routine and Excel formulas twice a year! ;)


    DropCatch - I'm not on DropCatch (yet), but the other day @Domain Shane mentioned his frustration at DropCatch's auction timing, because for them it's the exact opposite of GoDaddy and all their auctions run concurrently and end at the exact same time each day. So if you are looking at multiple domains it makes it extremely difficult to manage your bidding. Just as importantly, makes it hard to choose what domains to allocate your budget on when you don't know if you're going to win 1 domain .. or 10!?


    Flippa - In the past I actually had choice-paralysis when thinking of starting an auction at Flippa because I feared choose an ending time for my auction that would limit the number of potential buyers seeing my auction when it was nearing it's end time. I think for them it's not as bad because I think most buyers only focus on a handful of auctions compared to the volume platforms, but it would be nice if they had a default suggested window so eventually we could see a little more momentum there if more eyeballs saw more listings as they were ending within the same hour or two. (Obviously I think it's important they still allow sellers to have the right to select ending hours outside of the suggested window .. they should simply discourage it .. and I think that would be enough).


    NameJet - I honestly am not familiar with them enough to really give constructive feedback for them .. looking forward to what some of you have to say ...


    Overall .. for myself, I'm in Montreal in the Eastern Time Zone. So GD auctions start at 11am or at noon during daylight savings time. I honestly am not sure how changing auction hours would affect me. I'm usually pretty tight for time doing my daily lists and blog at NameCult, so I definitely would not want to see auctions start any earlier. But I suppose with domainers being all over the world there will never be perfect auction hours that makes everyone happy.

    Anyhow .. looking forward to hearing what all of you think .. and specifically your suggestions and ideas on how to make things better.
     
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  2. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    Wow .. what coincidental irony just a few days after posting this .. lol .. what a mess today turned out to be. The way GoDaddy outputs date and time is extremely backwords and very user unfriendly, so I need to create formulas to break them down and reassemble them. Forgot to make adjustments for today and as a result my lists are all off by an hour. Damn you Arizona!
     
  3. Domain Shane

    Domain Shane Top Member DSAD.com Staff PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    That could have been Josh on the Dropcatch thing. We have 5 people writing now at DSAD but people still think its all me. You also might be talking about Sedo where I said they all end at the same time so I can't bid on two LLL.com because I don't have the cash to buy two at the same time so I have to choose
     
  4. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    @Domain Shane .. it was indeed your story I had in mind .. but seems I mixed up Sedo with Dropcatch. I could never mix up you and Josh .. (for those who don't know Shane's the plant guy and Josh's the fish guy! lol) .. actually .. even your domaining styles are just as different now that I think about it.

    But yeah .. doesn't really seem efficient to have everything end at the same time .. particularly with larger assets like LLL.com's.

    As you know I'm pretty much a GoDaddy auctions guy when it comes to my acquisitions (not because I have anything at all against the other marketplaces .. it's simply because there are only 24 hours in a day), and the 5.5 hour long day of auctions makes it so that almost no one really is there the entire day aside from a very small number of hard core buyers (or their bots). But if GD brought it down to a couple hours I think there's a chance they'd have more people there the entire time and potentially stimulate more action. (although now that I think about it .. as a buyer on their platform maybe I shouldn't be saying that out loud? lol)
     
  5. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    I am not very experienced with auctions, but wanted to thank you for your clear and well reasoned (and expressed) post on an important topic @Ategy.com. I actually think a shorter period with more activity makes sense, as long as that period is not always the same so is fair to those living in different time zones.

    I think different auctions should have different lengths. I know it is difficult sometimes to predict, but I think that auctions likely to attract many bidders and high ending price should be spread out enough that all who might be interested in them can do their due diligence and participate if they want to.

    On the other hand, I like a lot the idea of names that will go for less being in an auction just for a couple of hours and maybe only on say a couple of days a week, so there is more a sense of excitement and community with not much time between bids, almost like in a live auction. I would particularly like to see that on NPs, rather than the barrage of posts about many auctions no one takes part in, a much smaller number of curated names at a set shorter time. But I know I am getting off-track from your original question.

    These are just my unsophisticated thoughts. I mainly wrote something because this thread deserves to have a lot more attention than it has, so hoping to help get it noticed! :xf.wink:

    Thanks for starting the thread.

    Bob
     
  6. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    Thanks @Bob Hawkes .. and yes .. having the most optimal auctions should be in the interest of everyone in the industry!

    The way I see it there are 4 kinds of auctions ..

    1- Expiring Auctions:
    - Which are basically auctions of domains recently expired (at the registrar) that have not dropped (to the registry) yet. So after the domain's expiration, but before it drops from the registry, typically 42 days later (as is the case with .com). At GoDaddy auctions they have chosen to run these types of auctions 35 days after expiration. The domains get listed in their system 10 days earlier (day 25 after expiration).

    (The GoDaddy auction platform that includes expired domains not just from their customers, but also from several other registrars they have agreements with).

    In terms of structure and length of the auction from the standpoint of an individual domain, I don't really see anything wrong with the current setup. I also don't really see it possible for them to reduce the number of days as for their policies and agreements with other registrars it's important from a legal perspective that protocols are set and what happens on each specific day after expiration is clearly defined.

    My issue is more with the spread in timing of the auction day from the viewpoint of all expiring domains. Currently they have about 50,000 expiring auctions each day with auctions ending from noon to 5:30pm (Eastern time). It might seem like a lot .. but remember that vast majority are garbage. I personally find those 5.5 hours to be way too spread out and would love to see it condensed to 2 or 3 hours. I think that if they did that more people would actually pay attention throughout entire auction period rather than coming and going only for specific domains.

    In terms of changing the hours on a rotation for different time zones, I don't think this is really possible either for a multitude of reasons. I don't really think it would advantage anyone, as for most of us what's important is our routine. Ideally they should have a good idea of what the "optimal" timing is in terms of traffic, I'm (personally) not too picky about that, as I'm more about a shorting of time from the first auction to the last one of the day.

    Unfortunately I don't really know anything about the other expiration platforms (again .. nothing at all to do with quality or service .. just due to a lack of time). So I'm very curious to hear what some of the registrars not affiliated with GoDaddy have in terms of timing?


    2- Drop Auctions.
    Again, these aren't something I typically focus on. I've made a few bids on drop auctions, but I don't think I've ever even won one!? lol ... That being said .. for these I'm guessing that the auctions don't have any choice but to be at or around the time of the drop for each different TLD each day. (I think for .com it's 2pm eastern, but I'm just guessing). That being said .. I opened this discussion to hear what others have to say.

    3- Specialised
    This is more like the Monthly "Great Domains" auction at Sedo which I'm pretty sure Shane was originally talking about. They also often run other niche auctions like for a specific TLD or industry niche. The yearly namescon auction would also be a good example of this. Due to the theoretically higher quality of these auctions, I agree fully with Shane in that it would make more sense to spread them out even if just a little bit over an hour or two depending on the number and quality of the domains.

    4- Individual reseller
    Many of the auction platforms allow domain owners to run their own auctions. For these I fully understand that the domain owner should be able to choose at what time their auctions end .. but I also think it would be cool if there was a default suggested range. So that while they wouldn't all end at the exact same time, as least there would be a relatively short window of time each day where "most" such auctions end.


    Current Problem
    Based mostly on what I've heard in the community (and several times in the past on Domain Sherpa) there seems to be a stigma towards domainer/reseller domain auctions (essentially anything not expired or dropped). I think that's really unfounded, as while the vast majority of domainer owned domains aren't very good .. an even larger super majority of expired/dropped auctions are just total garbage. If domainers were to work together to list our domains in the same 1-2 hour window, then maybe there would be enough critical mass of auctions for it to actually become a "thing" that buyers make a point of being present for because there are enough interesting domains each day at that specific time for them to justify actually taking the time to be there .. and thus look at them all as a whole rather than just specific individual names not strong enough on their own for a buyer to remember to come bid at the right time.

    I know I miss auctions I intended to participate in .. if there were more than just a handful then I'd definitely be more inclined to set my alarm so to speak! lol
     

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