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Domains "Taken" From Account Auctions/Closeouts

Located in Domain Marketplace Reviews, started by DomainVP, Jun 15, 2020

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  1. DomainVP

    DomainVP Domain Expert VIP

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    Hello to everyone.

    Has anyone purchased a closeout or auction domain only to have it not arrive and GoDaddy states that "someone else bought it first"?

    Let me be specific: I purchased a closeout domain hosted with GoDaddy, and I received a "Thank You For your Purchase" receipt. The domain then appears in my "Won" tab within the auctions panel, and has an arrival date etc..

    The date of arrival comes, and then I get a "refund" instead of the domain.

    This only started happening recently, but today it happened for a second time SPECIFICALLY to a domain that I feel has a bit of value. The first one ended up in the GoDaddy NameFind portfolio, which raised massive red flags to me. This one went to an account with privacy on it now (shocker).

    I don't buy any of it, the system is still telling me that I'm the buyer aka "HIGHEST BIDDER".

    I hate to accuse, but I know the process if someone actually buys it before you and the system processes both payments. This isn't it.

    To be clear: I'm not talking about domains hosted with another registrar, these frequently don't convert because someone renews it. These are domains hosted at GoDaddy, won & paid for, and then the day of arrival they go somewhere else and then I get a refund and a half-answer from Auctions.

    Now that you know the back story...
    The TWO questions I am looking for answer for are:
    1) Since GoDaddy implemented the 100% guaranteed purchase of closeout/auction domains, have you had a GoDaddy registered domain in your "Won" panel not come to you?
    2) If yes, then have they told you that "Someone else had purchased it moments before"?
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. DomainVP

    DomainVP Domain Expert VIP

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    I know this might not be a broad problem, but I appreciate anyone that might have a similar experience to share their thoughts. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
  3. DomainVP

    DomainVP Domain Expert VIP

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    Has anyone experienced this?
     
  4. lotk

    lotk Top Contributor VIP Blue Account ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I get the below email at least once a month after buying closeout domains... I didn't check the others but the most recent refund from 5 days ago was registered at enom. I'm never going to get the domain so I have no problem stating it. The domain was prepaidutilities.com

    Email:
    "Error on registration. Your purchase could not be completed, therefore we will be refunding the cost of registration."
     
  5. equity78

    equity78 Top Member TheDomains Staff TLDInvestors.com PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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  6. DomainVP

    DomainVP Domain Expert VIP

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    Thank you for your feedback!

    I agree 100%, if this were outside the GD registrar this would be understandable.

    But for a GD registered domain to be assigned to me, the system says I won, receipt and payment processed - only to have a domain yanked from me on the delivery date is suspicious at best.

    How would the system know someone else was 'the winner' if the system is saying I won. Sounds like something manually done.

    Honestly, my theory is that they earmark certain domains so regardless of a 'winner' if they want it they will take it.

    The .COM domains in question are:
    Risk // Scores
    Accu // Post


    Risk // Scores was won / purchased by me and just delivered to GoDaddy through their NameFind portfolio.
    Accu // Post won / purchased by me and was delivered to an account with WhoIs under privacy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
  7. DigitalRoar

    DigitalRoar Investor & Creator VIP

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    This is a pretty simple fix, just don't use GD unless you really, truly, want the name.

    (Never experienced that.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
  8. DomainVP

    DomainVP Domain Expert VIP

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    True, a lot of people have gone that route. However...

    Avoidance of an issue never gets something fixed.

    The GD platform has a lot to offer, and under the leadership of Joe Styler many positive changes have been made. But when something seems unbalanced/unfair it's important to sort it out and see if we can make things better.

    There was an issue with GD employees purchasing names internally, that was rectified only after a public conversation.

    I think GD is a great company, but when something is amiss they need to know to make a positive change.

    Thanks, yeah I don't know if this issue happens to many people.

    Typically if someone buys faster the domain just goes to them, and although a payment is processed the system says they are the winner and I get refunded. I'm not thrilled by that - but you win some, you lose some.

    My issue is that they system identifies me as the winner, and the domain still went to another 'person' - once it was clearly GoDaddy themselves.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
  9. DomainVP

    DomainVP Domain Expert VIP

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    With R / S (the first domain) the Auctions response was as follows:

    "Someone else had purchased it moments before and the system processed both payments.
    The domain was awarded to the initial buyer and your charge was refunded back to the original payment method."


    For me this is false because the system awarded me the domain. I could see it in my panel AND the platform labeled me as "HIGHEST BIDDER" - which is what happens when you purchase a closeout first.

    It does occur that "the system processed both payments" because this happens to me 2- 3 times every week. When the system process both payments and the domain is awarded to someone else it will not appear in my panel and I have to submit a ticket for a refund. I have no problem with that, can't win them all.

    But when you win a domain, the platform says you won, and then the day of reception it goes into the registrars investment portfolio... not okay.

    I suspect this happens more, I just happened to notice it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
  10. Joe Styler

    Joe Styler Aftermarket Product Manager GoDaddy Staff Afternic Staff PRO VIP

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    Yes there are cases when that happens. They are rare but happen more often now that the demand for closeouts is extremely high. We have a system in place where if a closeout is added to the cart it adds a hold on the domain for you to be able to complete the checkout process. The issue is that in these cases where someone buys it before you, you and that other party are adding the domain to the cart within fractions of a second of each other, too quickly for our system to catch that and place a hold for any other parties.

    I would wager that the original poster here is scripting the site or using an API and that it is being added at the more or less the same exact time as someone else doing the same thing. There is a great amount of demand on the closeouts now as I have stated. And even so the hold system catches this most of the time but there are domains that this is happening to and in that case it is going to the fastest person even if they are beating you by milliseconds.
     
  11. Joe Styler

    Joe Styler Aftermarket Product Manager GoDaddy Staff Afternic Staff PRO VIP

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    We do not bid on any domains at the auction. If you could send me the domain I can take a look at it. We also do not retain any domains for ourselves instead of sending them to expired auction. What I believe you are seeing on the WHOIS is the fact that every domain name that is fulfilled on our auction passes through a holding account which we tried to make very clear - is a holding account. The WHOIS will list our name and address as "Afternic - Pending buyer fulfillment" or something similar as the Name field. Expired domains pass through that account on the way to the ultimate buyer of the domain, a customer. That is my guess about what you are seeing but you can send me the domain and I can look into it further.
     
  12. equity78

    equity78 Top Member TheDomains Staff TLDInvestors.com PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Interesting, did not know that. Thank you Joe.
     
  13. Keith

    Keith Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Moral of the story - spend the extra dollar or 2 and just bid $12. Yes another potential buyer could place a higher bid but at least you’re a sure winner if they don’t.
     
  14. Joe Styler

    Joe Styler Aftermarket Product Manager GoDaddy Staff Afternic Staff PRO VIP

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    And also just to clarify. In a situation like this we do not take domains from people's accounts. You may be able to pay and see the domain in your won section on the auctions but we will realize there is an error and that there was another faster auction winner prior to awarding the domain to anyone and we will automatically refund the domain in question. This "automatic" refund is a manual process by the support team so it might not be instant but it should come in the latest at 48 hours. Because it is rare we do not have an automated process around it and it needs to be processed manually. If you are not seeing a refund automatically in that time period please let me know and I will have the team check into it for me.
     
  15. RevolutionaryDomains

    RevolutionaryDomains Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Agreed!! Just had this happen today. It's definitely not worth the risk of losing the name just to save a buck or two, imo.
     
  16. DomainVP

    DomainVP Domain Expert VIP

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    Hi Joe, thanks for your reply allow me to take a second to respond.

    The .COM domains in question (without the spaces and //) are:
    Risk // Scores
    Accu // Post



    These are closeout domains that I am having issues with.

    The domain did not go to the "Afternic - Pending buyer fulfillment" or "Afternic - On Behalf of Buyer". The domain in question went directly to the Namefind Portfolio account "Grand Cayman" / "KY" WhoIs.

    Okay let me dive into this. Yes, someone can purchase a domain faster while the domain is in the 'holding'/'add to cart' period but when that happens a payment will process but the system will not award the domain to you. The domain is awarded to the other buyer, and will appear in their "won" section.

    So there are instances where I have added a domain to the cart at the same exact time someone else did, and they paid before me by milliseconds yet our payments both submitted. In these cases the domain does NOT appear in my 'won' tab, nor does it assign me as "High Bidder" it says "outbid" and that's that.

    It happens... I then file for a refund and it's awarded. No big deal.
    Your team has been excellent facilitating my needs in this situation.


    The issue here is that when I purchase a domain, I am the first payer AND I have been designated as the winner "High Bidder" by the system. Payment is processed, the domain will go into my "won" tab, and gives me an expected arrival date as expected. The domain then becomes "SOLD" and I am still the "high bidder". If my payment was second to another the system would have designated me as "outbid" and I would have not seen the domain in my "won" section.

    Later the arrival date comes and these domains got diverted somewhere else and then I get a refund.

    My problem is that the system is telling me that I paid first, and then mysteriously the domain just goes somewhere else.


    Let me say this Joe. You and your team does an excellent job. I just had to communicate this here because I get canned responses when the problems get any more complicated than, "how do I connect my hosting".

    I totally understand that systems make mistakes, especially when you are dealing with thousands of customers per second. Based on the information provided to me by the system, I believe that these domains should be in my account and may have accidentally gone elsewhere. What makes me feel like it was intentional are these canned responses I get from some of the agents when I am clearly taking the time to meticulously go thought the issue.

    Your time and attention to this is appreciated Joe.
     
  17. DomainVP

    DomainVP Domain Expert VIP

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    This does not happen often, but it happens in very specific circumstances.

    Spending and extra dollar - it does not work like that.

    In 2020 if you place a $12 bid, you are going to pay anywhere between $160 and $550. Everyone watching will descend on the domain, including Huge Domains.

    I would much rather battle it out at closeout than anything else.

    My issue here is that the system tells me I won, I should be the winner. This isn't just my "payment' accidentally getting processed by a near simultaneous error. This is me getting success messages, the system confirming, and then the domains diverting elsewhere.
     
  18. DomainVP

    DomainVP Domain Expert VIP

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    This also is not happening.

    The domain gets sent to another account on the 7th day, my reception day. That's the day I got the refund, not within the 48 hours.

    The system is telling me that I am the winning bidder, so I'm not even sure how the support team would even see that if they are looking at the same system information.


    If someone pays faster I immediately see "outbid" and the domain won't land into my account. Months ago ONCE I had a domain land into my account and then it was redirected within 48 hours. But honestly, even that just sounds less than transparent.


    I get that if you play the closeout domain game you get what you get and you are going to deal with some issues. However, in this instance I believe that I purchased these domains first and fastest, and somehow they were sent elsewhere in error.
     
  19. DomainVP

    DomainVP Domain Expert VIP

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    Love you guys, but you are both wrong.

    Let me give you a 2020 update on how auctions go.

    Let's say that you see a domain that you like... if you place a bid you are "DONE'.

    When you place a bid everyone that is watching now sees your bid, and they descend. HugeDomains, other investors, me - we're watching.

    If you place a bid in the last 5 minutes, good luck with that. HugeDomains will bid you up to $150 - $500 USD.

    This is why people take their chances at Closeouts. It's not about an extra dollar, it's about an extra few hundred dollars and the overhead of spending $30 USD and spending $200 USD.

    There are very few domains worth buying at closeout.

    Let's say I find 7 decent domains that are on their way to closeout. 5 of them will go to auction with people placing last minute bids, 2 will go to closeout - I'll get 1 of them. If its a good day I'll get 2 of them. That is unless there is some complication, but by now I know the complications and how the system works - thanks to many conversations with the auctions team.

    In this instance, I think I'm the actual winner and the system had an error. Which is why I am being vocal about it.

    Also to help make the auctions platform the best it can be, these guys work hard it just feels wrong when I get a cookie cutter response in a situation with a lot of layers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
  20. DomainVP

    DomainVP Domain Expert VIP

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    Here is the response:
    "These things happen when multiple people are trying to snap up a closeout domain at the same time using an API. We regret to inform you this domain is no longer available and the transaction has been refunded."

    I thought that the API backdoors were done at the closeout now?


    How is the support team qualifying who paid first when the system is telling me I am the winner? This is extremely atypical because the auctions system is telling me one thing, and then the only data to tell me someone else is the real winner are words from the support team.

    Frustrating.
     
  21. Joe Styler

    Joe Styler Aftermarket Product Manager GoDaddy Staff Afternic Staff PRO VIP

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    I will not comment on any customer info due to our privacy policies. I will say that neither domain is owned by us, has been awarded to us, Namefind, our partners etc. They are both owned by other customers bidding on the auctions just like you.

    I audited the logs on the two names and here are the results. Keep in mind these are showing full second increments not milliseconds. I can't get that without pulling the developers off other projects. So the add to cart was probably extremely close in both cases.

    The payments though are far enough apart to not need to pull milliseconds and that is what triggers awarding the domain name on a BIN auction. The add to cart triggers a hold to stop allowing others to add the same name so you can pay.

    RiskScores

    You
    Added to Cart: 5/26/2020 10:51:27 AM
    Payment: 5/26/2020 10:51:40 AM

    Auction Winner:
    Added to Cart: 5/26/2020 10:51:28 AM
    Payment: 5/26/2020 10:51:37 AM

    Accupost

    You
    Added to Cart: 6/5/2020 11:03:10 AM
    Payment: 6/5/2020 11:03:18 AM

    Auction Winner:
    Added to Cart: 6/5/2020 11:03:10 AM
    Payment: 6/5/2020 11:03:11 AM
     
  22. Keith

    Keith Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    You already stated that when the domain is added to the cart it’s held. In this case “you” added to the cart a second ahead of the “auction winner”.

    Did the domain go to “you”?

    I’m referring to the 5/26 transaction.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  23. BrandEntrance.com

    BrandEntrance.com Open 24/7/365 VIP Gold Account

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    Wow they were close
     
  24. Joe Styler

    Joe Styler Aftermarket Product Manager GoDaddy Staff Afternic Staff PRO VIP

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    @Keith It is and I also stated that sometimes it happens so fast we cannot hold it, and that this shows seconds and not milliseconds. It is quite possible that though the second shows 27 and 28 at a full second that the add to the cart was on the back end of the 27th second by one person and the front end of the 28th by the next. It is definitely split second and not full, and likely very very close. Which I stated up front is why this happens sometimes and while rare, more often now that closeouts are extremely competitive.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  25. Keith

    Keith Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    In the case of riskscores.com it’s obvious that it should go to “you”. Your system either holds first in cart or it doesn’t.
     

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