NamesCon2020

Domain Liquidation Platform - Seeking input for new Epik project

Labeled as Wanted in Promotional started by DanSanchez, Dec 3, 2019.

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  1. DanSanchez

    DanSanchez Brokerage & Acquisitions Epik.com Staff VIP

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    Dear Namepros,

    The team at Epik is exploring the development of a project that aims to shift the painful domain name expiration process into a more profitable experience for domainers. Perhaps you have read my opinions about registrars selling expired domains and refusing to help registrants in recovery. The time to disrupt this with action has come!

    In the meantime, since joining Epik last month, I decided to do something about it with the help of some amazing engineers. The goal of this "name liquidate" idea is to sell domains directly to buyers that may otherwise wait to acquire these domains at expired auctions or being filled as registrar backorders which pays zero to the registrant.

    The planned solution addresses two domainer pain points,
    1. Liquidation of expiring inventory brings much needed capital, meaning you can renew more of your portfolio.
    2. Buyers get clear title and dont waste time bidding on names that can be recovered post-expiry.

    Here is the process,
    1. Submit your domains: you unlock your domains, provide auth codes.
    2. Seller acknowledges that a fast-transfer of the domain will occur once domain has a bid.
    3. Bidders agree to non-revocable change of ownership if their bid prevails.
    4. Sellers receive a large portion (80%?) of auction proceeds.

    The process begins with a 7 day reverse auction counting down hourly/daily, down to $1 plus renewal/transfer for delivery. The domain doesn't have to be expired or expiring. You can submit the name multiple times during the life of the name but not more than once per year. Once the auth code is verified:
    • Epik parks the domain with auction template with Make Offer pricing so retail bids can come in.
    • Wholesale buyers are informed of expired auction inventory update.
    • Domain goes through reverse auction in 7 days
    • Domains are fast transferred to Epik as soon as one bid is made.
    • If seller locks name, all domains will be removed and no further listings will be accepted from seller.
    • Domains already at Epik are pre-qualified for "name liquidate" services, but you must opt in manually.
    • External domains are eligible once auth codes are verified.
    • Data will include number of views, expiration date, and expected delivery.
    • Pre-set domain buys will give you the ability to buy any name when a price hits a certain target.
    • Once a bid is submitted, it cannot be revoked. All purchases a final non-refundable.
    As for brand name, we are considering NameLiquidate.com — very descriptive name and targeted at a very specific audience. That said, open to considering other names. A separate brand naming project is coming shortly for what Rob describes as the “Ultimate Digital Brand Marketplace”. This is separate.
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. karmaco

    karmaco Top Member VIP

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    Isn’t this very similar to Daily Diamonds? I think you are going to have to keep the lowest price way higher than $1.00. Most would let drop or sell here rather than get possibly 80% of a dollar.

    If you want to incentivize it has to be better than NP bargain bin for people to want to give you 20% of very little. JMO.
     
  3. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    Daily Diamonds is only for a Epik's internal expiry stream after it has passed through Snapnames. It offers zero upside to the registrant.

    The intent here is to bring an industry-wide solution to the general problem of domain liquidation, e.g. a customer called this morning with 500+ domains owned by a deceased brother he just wants liquidated.
     
  4. Grego85

    Grego85 Quality.Domains VIP

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    It might help with the psychology part of it. I cant tell you how many times I've failed to sell a name on here for even $20, only to see it get sold at expired auction for $80+
     
  5. DanSanchez

    DanSanchez Brokerage & Acquisitions Epik.com Staff VIP

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    Daily diamonds does include expired names, this is more for liquidating expiring inventory before it goes to forced auction at any registrar. Not just Epik.

    The $1 idea is purely for testing purposes, but I think it would encourage resellers to take a gamble on a name that would otherwise go unsold. I have snapped up names on the bargain bin for being this cheap in the past.

    We are debating starting every auction at $10,000 while dropping the price hourly or daily over a 7 day period.

    Again, the upside potential for domainers is 80% of the sale price. This can shift depending on feedback, but I would rather get something for a name I am letting expire anyway.

    Precisely what I have experienced as well, there needs to be some emotional disconnection and a willingness to take risk of letting the market decide what the price should be.
     
  6. oldtimer

    oldtimer Do some good for humanity and the environment VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    This sounds like a good option to have for domains that people want to let go,

    Although I believe a more valuable service that Epik could provide is to let you transfer expiring domains that you rather be able to keep, but that perhaps you couldn't renew on time because of lack of funds.

    @Rob Monster has helped me on couple of occasions to transfer to Epik some of my expired domains that were at risk of being lost at other registrars and he put them in Epik's escrow and let me pay for them later on when I was able to. Although he did this as a favor to me, but I believe that if this option is made available to other domainers it could make a lot of people happy and it could get more domains at Epik.

    IMO
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  7. karmaco

    karmaco Top Member VIP

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    What industry wide liquidation problem? The example you stated of a relative is not applicable to domainers.

    There is a set way of liquidating domains allready in place: sell at low fixed prices,auction,sell here in bargain bin,sell at registrar level or drop them.

    Nothing you guys are suggesting is some bold new idea. If you are going to ask for 20% you have to be suggesting something that nobody else does allready that is truly inventive. Why would anyone pay you 20% when they can liquidate here, at Dan,etc for less?

    If you want to empower domainers, as oldtimer mentioned, maybe have emergency loans for renewals but to say you are suggesting something that is a solution to a problem is silliness. Liquidation is not something new and everything you are suggesting allready exists minus the 20% cut to you.
     
  8. .X.

    .X. Upgraded Member Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I think it is a fantastic idea, except the 20% commission, I would suspect that you will be moving very large quantities of domain names daily. I think 20% is far to much, the plan itself sounds very good though.
     
  9. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Top Member VIP

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    So the choices are, if I am understanding this correctly:

    A. Let a domain expire and get nothing.

    B. Enter the domain into NameLiquidate.com, pay 20% commish and possibly sell it for something.

    To further break it down, the choices are:

    A. Absolutely nothing.

    B. Possibly something.

    After a long hard and careful consideration, I choose B, hands down, no questions asked. Sign me up! Let's do this!
     
  10. JB Lions

    JB Lions Top Member VIP

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    Those aren't the only 2 options, Karmaco literally posted others above:

    "There is a set way of liquidating domains allready in place: sell at low fixed prices,auction,sell here in bargain bin,sell at registrar level or drop them."

    Try it and see if it works.

    If you want to do something for domainers, make an NJ competitor. There would be big money there.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  11. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    This is, in my opinion a FANTASTIC INITIATIVE, one long overdue in our industry. I wish you the very best with it @DanSanchez and @Rob Monster (y).

    I like the name NameLiquidate as being as you say descriptive.

    I would find 80% or something near that which you propose as very generous.

    I like the proposed decreasing amount approach for valuation. The mechanics you suggest seems logical.

    So is the plan that this could be for domains whether registered at Epik or not?

    Also, is your plan to do all extensions, only .com to start, or something else (sorry if this was covered and I missed it).

    I look forward to this, both as a place to get a little bit for expiring names and to find good deals in acquisitions.

    The search and arrangement of the marketplace will be a critical element to success once the inventory numbers get large.

    Thanks for the great initiative.

    Bob

    PS On launch some sort of contest for NamePros members either listing or buying might help to raise profile quickly of the option.
     
  12. DanSanchez

    DanSanchez Brokerage & Acquisitions Epik.com Staff VIP

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    There seems to be a disconnect here. The expired auctions at godaddy/namesilo are a tax of inaction that amounts to millions of dollars in losses and possible earnings. They fully utilize your inventory to fill their pockets without sharing the profits. The shift is that we are willing to share those profits with the owners of the domains. The only way to take away the expired inventory from big auction houses is to begin voluntarily. In other words, we need a few portfolio owners to participate to test the system and its ability to liquidate without the seller's emotion interjecting.

    My own experience in trying to recover domains at those two places was impossible. Meaning I lost both investment and domains.

    The goal for this is platform is to encourage domainers to have an exit strategy with minimim time investment. Selling domains for $1 to $10 is painstaking and not the point of hedging domains for good profits. We want to sell your names for more of course, that way we can yield a win for the registrants and small profit for us.

    Not claiming this is a new idea whatsoever, I do want to implement and disrupt the current processes that fail to serve the needs of registrants and buyers. There are countless threads about missing expired domains (mine included) and others complaining of an expired domain auction being cancelled. Of course you can liquidate on your own and I have always encouraged some profit is better than the complete loss of an expired domain that someone else bought.

    I appreciate your input, I think you raised a good point about the current options there are to liquidate. My point to that is, how can we help the domaining community by facilitating the process? If we can find a balance, we can start shifting the growth from going to a few shareholders at billion dollar companies, into the pockets of the individuals that put in all the work.


    Glad to hear you like the idea, the commission cost is variable. I am not married to it whatsoever, especially if we can get some of the volume from other auction houses. But I think initially we will keep it at that rate to recover the investment and focus on reaching more domainers with distribution and marketing inventory. Rob and I will spend time discussing this in detail.
     
  13. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Top Member VIP

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    With the option you present there seems to be a point of failure. Every day there are domains sold in the expired auctions that wouldn't fetch a dollar with the current options you mentioned.

    I understand your view, but if you don't see the problem it will be hard to identify the solution.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  14. JB Lions

    JB Lions Top Member VIP

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    Your post was just flat out false. As far as this, as I said, try it out. If there is a real market for it, it will be successful.
     
  15. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Top Member VIP

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    Prove it. Bring the facts.
     
  16. Grilled

    Grilled khjasdhkfdhdskfhhukdfshkj VIP

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    This seems more like another plug for epik. Almost a win for the industry, (recommending this thread be moved to marketplace reviews due to the advertisement nature)

    Instead, (imo) this seems like more advertising / marketing for one registrar (epik) to benefit from another registrar (others) not doing the right thing, rather than epik simply leading be example and doing the right thing for epik domains.

    I'd consider it a win for the industry if epik were to start the shift of giving expired domain profits to the registrant, by default, for domains registered/expired at epik.

    Thus, maybe prompting an industry wide shift, or simply domainers entrusting epik to hold their domains, because in the event of a domain loss, it's not a total loss.

    But it appears epik follows the model of other registrars, and sends expired domains to auction (at an earlier date than registrars like Dynadot),

    Remind me, for an expired domain at epik, who collects the expired domains profits... epik or the domain registrant?

    If the answer is epik, how much of the profits go to the domain registrant? If the answer is none, my question is Why not share profits?

    Sure would be an incentive to register / transfer domains to epik if the registrant were to share in the profits made from their expired domains. As some of the highest paid expired domains might not have been intended to let expire (as was the case with the blockchain domain lady at GoDaddy) and in the event of domain loss due to unintended expiration, at least from a domainer standpoint, sharing in the expired profits would be a nice consolation)
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  17. DanSanchez

    DanSanchez Brokerage & Acquisitions Epik.com Staff VIP

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    Yes, that is my goal. Simple starting point with low cost but plenty of action on the marketing side.

    Exactly, I came on board at Epik less than two weeks ago and raised the question at our Monday meeting (yesterday.) Rob was immediately on board and is willing to implement the changes on the Epik side of things.

    The process by which we go about it is up for discussion here and I hope we can continue learning to make it better. My goal is to eliminate the unfairness completely by making it competitive for all stakeholders. If we can achieve a 10% penetration into the expired auctions market within 1 year, it would dramatically shift the face of domain investments and defund operations that rely on involuntary removal of your inventory.
     
  18. Kassey Lee

    Kassey Lee 域名世界 VIP

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    I have let many domains drop without trying to sell them because of the extra work involved. If there is an [x] Liquidate option in the domain manager of, for example, Epik to allow Epik to do all the work before this domain finally expires, then that would be a good service. 20% commission for all the extra work that I'm not willing to do is worth it.
     
  19. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    Just to be sure I am clear @DanSanchez as a buyer this is the process?
    • I see a name that I want on the list and am willing to pay the price it has decreased to - say $5.
    • I pay $5 + the current .com regular registration fee at Epik
    • The domain name appears in my account at Epik and should be automatic and fast (not possibility of renew as current expired auctions at GD)
    • For the $5 the previous registrant gets about $4 and Epik $1
    Will buyers or sellers need anything more than an Epik account to participate? i.e. will it be like GD that you need an annual auction membership for a small nominal fee?

    Will all domain names start at same figure?

    Thanks,

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  20. Grilled

    Grilled khjasdhkfdhdskfhhukdfshkj VIP

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    I applaud your efforts.

    If you can convince epik to shift their stance on profiting 100% from expired epik domains, and start profit sharing for expired domains epik sends to auctions, you will be legend.

    It's one thing (marketing) to convince epik to profit from expired domains registered at other registrars (profits they wouldn't otherwise have seen), but it's another (legendary shift on behalf of domainers) to convince epik to share profits (profits currently being taken without the desired intent or explicit consent of the domain registrant) from expired domains registered at epik.

    Almost as if Epik (@Rob Monster) knows, thinks, or believes (at least on some level) that a registrar profiting 100% from an expired domain is untethical, and as such Epik wants to take the tethical approach and help registrants profit share in their expired domains.

    Just, as of now, it appears only when it takes away from another registrars bottom dollar, and not have it come out of epiks. Not sure if that's ethics or business. Sure would be nice for those to collide.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  21. karmaco

    karmaco Top Member VIP

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    So are you suggesting Epik can guarantee a sale of a name? Or sell more successfully dropping names than anywhere else does? For 20% they better.

    You are right people pay more at auction on expired domains because it’s psychological and now a “battle” to win. I think auctioning the domain would be more effective.
     
  22. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Top Member VIP

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    No, I am not suggesting that they can guarantee it. I am not sure a guarantee has been mentioned. Although, it's worth a shot if it brings some capital back to investors.
     
  23. topdom

    topdom Established Member

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    I didn't follow everything..but let me ask it anyway. What if the buyer doesn't pay: This is a very common problem at marketplaces, deal is made, but money not paid. For example, a buyer may say, 50 is a great price, but this domain will drop and noone else will buy it, so, I can register it for 10.
    ....
    In any case some money needs to come from endusers. Domainer to domainer is not enough.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  24. karmaco

    karmaco Top Member VIP

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    well you said the currently available options would not fetch a dollar which is clearly not true. My point is if someone wants to liquidate for very cheap and the name is remotely worth having there are allready solid options in place that don’t require a 20% fee.
     
  25. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Top Member VIP

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    Instead of playing semantics, I understand by your posts that you are not supportive of the mentioned proposal. I am supportive of it. For that reason I respectfully agree to disagree.
     

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