NameSilo

GoDaddy finds that employees were indeed bidding on auctions

Located in Domain Marketplace Reviews started by equity78, Mar 29, 2019.

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  1. jberryhill

    jberryhill Top Member John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq. VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    If I form a business entity, such as a corporation or LLC, then I can of course create an account in the legal name of the corporation or LLC which is not associated with my legal name. I can also open a bank account, appoint a treasurer, etc..
     
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  2. offthehandle

    offthehandle . Gold Account VIP

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    Well at least those “group bids” should be Bidder1, Bidder1a, Bidder1b, Bidder1c. Lol.
     
  3. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Top Member VIP

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    Point taken. Although on a blog, GD said the employee rule violation was not in malice. It was just a rule broken. If the employee set up elaborate accounts to aid in rule violations that would be malice and subject to possible criminal prosecution. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Edit to add more detail. A GD spokesman said this on a blog:

    "1) This was not a “bad guy”. He was an employee that loved the space as much as any investor. What he did was against policy, but it was not done with malice. He did not believe that the way he was bidding was against policy, which I’ll cover in the next question."
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  4. MasterOfMyDomains

    MasterOfMyDomains Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Godaddy share holders profit from suspected fraudulent activities.
    It’s broke and time daddy fixed it
     
  5. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent Gold Account VIP

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    While highly concerning, especially since lasted so long, commend @Paul Nicks for the transparency in this post. The data provided in response to @bmugford provides answers to what I think a lot of us were wondering - it seems to suggest that the impact on significant value auctions was slight in this case. The key will be how the changes mentioned (like staff training) or possible other measures (like steps to make auction authenticity more high develop. The important question is always how we learn going forward. I hope that in coming weeks we will hear more about positive changes going forward. Thank you for bringing the story to our community @equity78. The question about bidding from corporations that @jberryhill brings up is an important one. Are registered company owners matter of public record always?

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  6. carob

    carob Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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  7. tonyk2000

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

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    So -

    Employee: one John Doe with a legal name John Doe.

    His own business entity: John Doe LLC.

    "John Doe LLC" is not equal to "John Doe".

    John, as a natural person and acting as GD employee, needs to follow the corporate code of ethics.

    "John Doe LLC" has no obligation to do so. It is another entity, which happens to be legal entity.
    As such, in order to perform daily operations, LLC should of course be represented by some human being, not necessary by John himself.

    Carefully reading this and related threads, I still cannot find 100% clear confirmation that, indeed, GD corporate code of ethics somehow applies to legal entities which may have connections with GD employees.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  8. Josh R

    Josh R Owner of BrandConsultants.com & PremiumBrands.com PRO VIP

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    While we are on the topic it would be great to have public auctions tied in with expired auctions.... If I’m having to buy shilled up domains, at least allow me to put some of my own listings in there.
     
  9. johnnie018

    johnnie018 Restricted

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    Have you asked him about the money he owes?
     
  10. EbookLover

    EbookLover Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Well of course they will say they found/fired one internal shill bidder, that makes them look more legit, like they are active in doing something to curtail auction fraud.

    The question is, how many more are there that are more stealthy than the one they "fired".

    And how many are there that are secretly paid shills ;)

    Without oversight or transparency, one can reasonably assume this of any online auction site.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  11. offthehandle

    offthehandle . Gold Account VIP

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    10 years ago news story. Kinda funny how similar it is.

    “The company recently "discovered that an employee had set up an account on the SnapNames system under a false name and, under this name, bid in SnapNames auctions," it said in the notice. "This is a clear violation of our internal policy and was not approved by the company."

    “He's been frustrated by the process for years," Santiago Cueto said. "I think the entire industry needs to be cleaned up."

    “SnapNames.com, a subsidiary of Oversee.net, sent out notices last week that it had discovered the employee bidding on domain name auctions. SnapNames, which resells expired domain names, calls itself the largest resale marketplace for domain names. The company runs hundreds of auctions a day, it says on its Web sites.”

    “In a notice sent out last week, SnapNames said the shill bidding affected about 5 percent of all its auctions since 2005, with most of the activity happening between 2005 and 2007. Some auctions in 2008 and 2009 were also affected, it said. The former employee won the auction in less than 1 percent of the cases, the company said.”

    https://www.cio.com/article/2423046/domain-auction-site-faces-shill-bidding-lawsuit.html
     
  12. hookbox

    hookbox Top Member VIP

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    You do business with Dicker?
     
  13. hookbox

    hookbox Top Member VIP

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    It's very easy to open accounts at any registrar with a prepaid visa card and a fake name.
     
  14. DomainVP

    DomainVP Domain Expert VIP

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    1 bad apple does not spoil the entire batch, but this is hard to digest. Especially this whole "2nd in an auction" justification. It is not acceptable.

    Sometimes it only takes 1 bid to draw attention to a domain and incite a bidding war.

    154 auctions were abandoned by the employee as soon as someone else placed a bid, however if they did not place the initial bid it's possible to say that bidder 2 would have been the outright uncontested winner without the employees participation.

    I would publicize the domain names in these 354 auctions, place the 54 domains back into the expired pool or have a bulk auction for them, and most importantly provide a 100% full refund to the winner of each auction.

    I don't think a public dialogue or firing the employee will settle this in the eyes of even the most GoDaddy faithful.
     
  15. MapleDots

    MapleDots Domain Properties 2010 - 2019 VIP

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    No troubles for me with any of the transactions.

    I do business on a handshake with a lot of members on namepros and in buying and selling domains he has never gone back on his word with me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  16. MapleDots

    MapleDots Domain Properties 2010 - 2019 VIP

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    Beating a dead horse does not bring it back to life. :xf.wink:
     
  17. Start

    Start Established Member

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    @Paul Nicks , please don't add bidder IDs. I think the downsides haven't been fully considered yet.


    Already, it's tough enough that some large companies (probably HugeDomains being one) use algorithms or artificial intelligence in order to do automated bidding:
    https://www.namepros.com/threads/hu...50-of-expiring-domains-at-godaddy-com.988898/

    But bidder IDs add another factor, because instead of the big companies seeing that various domains got a bid (which is one basic way of finding domains to bid on), they can do more targeting, which is very useful for them.

    I'm sure they can figure out which bidders are good at finding gems, and so then they can search for those IDs, and then focus more on those auctions... it's a useful datapoint for them to know a domain was bid on by a certain bidder, compared to it being anonymous.

    I don't know how their software works, but I'm sure they could set their algorithms/formulas to basically "bid higher if certain bidders bid on this domain"... because they know it's an indicator that the domain is good (compared to if it's anonymous, they don't know if it's just some random person making a bad bid).

    GoDaddy knows who winning bidders are, and I think that's good enough.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  18. Start

    Start Established Member

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    That's not unusual, it's inevitable.

    That happens because you were waiting until about 5 minutes left, but so were other people. And a lot of times, I'm busy with other tabs on my screen, so then I find I was away too long, and it's more like 4 minutes.
     
  19. Start

    Start Established Member

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    double post
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  20. DN_Hunter

    DN_Hunter Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Wait a second -- I've long suspected something "fishy" about the Expired Auctions. I sometimes have no choice but to put in my MAX bid (because I have to run to a meeting and cannot watch the auction until the end. On MANY occasions there was a second bidder who pushed the bid right up to just before my max bid. So I won the auction, but I paid my Max bid. If some fraudulent bidder did this I want to know. It happened too many times to be a coincidence.

    Also, I don't care if he was never the 2nd highest bidder. A fraudulent bid pushes other bidders and changes strategy. More different people bidding on a name could persuade other bidders to join in on the competition. So even though he was never the 2nd highest bidder, his actions could have persuaded someone else to join in the bidding for that name.
     
  21. Start

    Start Established Member

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    Yeah, I have been the cause of that too :xf.wink: Sometimes it is because I am on the fence about how much I want it, and then when it gets to a point where I know I will be the highest bidder if I bid again, I really think hard about it (and sometimes/often decide to let it go).

    I think a lot of stuff that looks fishy is simply due to strategy.

    On a funny related note: Once in a while, I have used the strategy of dragging out the auction, in case the other bidder has to go to a meeting, like you mention (others have done that to me at times too though).

    I did that one time long ago at SnapNames, and N. Brady (aka HAlvarez) emailed me... I forget exactly what he said, but it was basically that I shouldn't drag out the auction. I thought it was because the SnapNames employees had to wait for auctions to finish before they could go do other work or go to meetings. But then much later that news about "HAlvarez" came out... and I realized that his email was probably just because he was tired of having to keep bidding :xf.smile:

    I generally try to avoid dragging it out though, because I learned that it usually just leaves the auction visible for longer and attracts other bidders. But in trying to minimize the time the auction is available, that's also why I might do a price run-up... and then when it gets to the "Next bid is highest bid" stage, I think harder and sometimes do let it go.

    And I am sure there are many other bidders who use strategies like that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  22. Marco Alvarez

    Marco Alvarez Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    deleted
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  23. DomainVP

    DomainVP Domain Expert VIP

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    You would be the kind of person who doesn't believe in reparations. (y)

    It's not beating a 'dead horse' since this thread is oh... 48 hours old. Beating a dead horse would be a lengthy discussion of you doing business with the sullied Adam Dicker.

    Speaking of the devil, he left GoDaddy for this very reason. So they clearly know that there was some wrong/damage done. Making it right isn't too much to ask, it only increases the level of trust that bidders will have with their product if they know the auctions department holds violators accountable and will repair damages. That's just good PR.

    Or they get smart and do it to demonstrate good faith in case someone decides to bring forth a lawsuit.

    They might not publicize the names, but they can put the 54 won auctions back into auction status and can refund the other auction winners without much fanfare.
     
  24. AGAME

    AGAME Get That Perfect Name Gold Account VIP

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    Neither does it bring back the money owed either, but we try...
     
  25. uglydork

    uglydork Top Member VIP

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    I am beginning to wonder if some of the names that were suggested to me from a Godaddy employee were bid up and I ultimately won? I think I know who the employee is and if it is that person I feel like I may have been duped on some auctions. I received phone calls and emails from this person on certain names.
    Im kinda pissed right now
     

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