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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. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent Gold Account VIP

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    It seems to me that GD (and all companies!) should be very careful about suggesting domain names to anyone - so easy to have some sort of conflict, I would think. Does this happen often for people who have extensive holdings at GD?
     
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  2. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    I'm seeing quite of bit of conspiracy theories being thrown around about auction behaviour .. and most of the "suspected" activity is completely normal. Most buyers wait until the final 6 minutes before bidding specifically to draw as little attention to the domain as possible. It's not only not "suspicious" .. but it's the smartest way to do it.

    As for the bids a few seconds after your own .. don't forget that a lot of people play the numbers game. Let's say they target 100 a day ... for them it's not about individual auctions ... so they might risk letting the domain go to closeout where they might lose the domain to someone else .. they still end up with a bunch of domains at $11 instead of a bunch of domains with multiple bids.

    In the same sense .. if you bid with less than 6 minutes left, automated bots that were hoping to get the domain at closeout, now know they can't so place their bid as fast as possible to avoid longer auction extensions.

    AS LONG AS GoDaddy employees do not have any more access to internal information than we do, then I actually don't see a problem with them bidding. That being said .. it still comes down to perception .. in that there is no way for us to truly know what information that do or do not have access to.

    That being said .. although it was against their policy (and again also a perception problem), I think what the employee did by only being the first bidder and never increasing their bid after someone else made a bid was a clever way to be involved without affecting the integrity of the auction. This isn't anything near on the same scale of seriousness as shill bidding is.

    And let me be clear .. that just because I don't think this set of particular incidents isn't a huge deal, I think the bigger eye opener is that it was actually a GoDaddy customer that found the issues as opposed to GoDaddy themselves. It also does not mean that there aren't bigger more serious infraction going on (although *IF* there are, I don't think it's on the huge scale of hundreds of employees that some suspect) .. nor does it even mean their platform is even 100% secure (I've discovered some extremely critical bugs on their platform over the years that would make your heads spin 1000x worse than this ... most of the time it's likely not malice .. but just sloppy coding).

    I think the real problem is transparency vs privacy debate. There are legitimate positives and negatives on both sides of the public handle debate .. but at the end of the day the more transparent a platform is, the more we can trust it. But let's also be clear that simply adding user handles will not make much of a difference as people really want to get around it will create multiple accounts.

    I think a big part of GD not showing information is indeed both privacy and reporting related. It would be great if they could simply make all auction information permanently public. But then would you want a potential buyer for a $4999 domain to know you got it at closeout for $5? lol .. Yes making everything public for domains that go into the thousands of dollars would help the industry .. but at the end of the day I use GoDaddy auctions specifically because I can find some gems at closeout or with only a couple of other bids. Given my domaining strategy I'm really conflicted on what I think they should actually do .. because while ironically I share about 400 domains a day with everyone here and at NameCult, ultimately I do keep a select few to myself.

    I think a good "quick" temporary compromise could be just a very minor tweak in having bidder user names continue to be hidden during auction, but then revealed to those who participated in the auction after the auction ends. The only problem with that is that it still makes fraud investigations by outsiders (like us) difficult because of the very limited data set available to crosscheck .. ultimately it wouldn't really make things significantly more transparent .. but it's a step in the right direction until a better broader ultimate solution is found.
     
  3. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    Now this is a case where often it's normal. As mentioned previously, often people extend auctions just to give more time to research or think about a domain. In many cases someone will try to decide by a certain price point (like an even $100 for example), assuming most advance "proxy" bids are at a rounded numbers.

    Also, 50% of the time your secret "proxy" bid is ultimately revealed if the other bidder's last bid is $5 or less than yours. Because the bid will no longer show (auto), and even more obvious in cases where your final amount was $4 or less above their last bid, then they will see the difference is less than $5 and automatically know there can't be another proxy bid above it.


    HOWEVER ... there was a time (unfortunately before I started seriously domaining .. lol), where there was indeed a backdoor that allowed people to actually view the highest "supposedly secret" proxy bid. For example, if you made a proxy bid of $500 .. through this system I could see your $500 bid even if the current bid was $30. Again .. I'm pretty sure this was more the result of sloppy coding and not actual malice .. but without going further into the specifics, it was a huge flaw that effectively completely eliminated the integrity of the auctions. For example, there was nothing stopping someone from bidding up to $499 and making you pay 10x more than you would have. Definitely a great strategy for depleting your competing auction bidders funds.

    Again though .. it bugs me that many assume GoDaddy to be this big evil corporation. The problem at GoDaddy is that they have a massive platform with multiple departments .. things get built upon older things .. tweaked .. often with unintended and unforeseen results. Heck .. I've won auctions I didn't bid on .. lost auctions I was the highest bidder on. It boggles my mind how many issues and bugs there are with their platform. A few are a very serious, but most of them are relatively benign or are a pain in the butt. Sometimes they are actually helpful (I used to be able to renew domains up to 42 days after expiration without paying any redemption fees .. unfortunately they actually did ultimately find and close that trick .. lol).

    For the most part I think the majority of people at GoDaddy genuinely want to do the right thing and have things as fair as possible for as many as possible. But at the end of the day sometimes they need to choose between two non-perfect choices ... sometimes people make mistakes .. and as I think is the biggest problem at GoDaddy: sometimes in big organisations the right hand does things while having no clue how it affects the left hand.

    I could go on for ages .. but I've kinda given up on the dream of GD ever being a perfect bug-free platform. I've written so many lengthy emails to my rep over the years about bugs and other issues ... each time it's the standard "thanks for reporting the issue .. it will be given to the proper department" .. and then ... silence. It actually got to the point where I would sometimes start my email to my rep by apologising .. lol. For a while I was probably the biggest pain in the ass customer because I kept finding so many bugs.

    But these days I'm more in a put-up or shut-up mode ... GD will always have issues and bugs .. and being a big company most people will just sweep them under the rug or pass it on like a hot potato to the next person. It's not ideal or good .. but it's not evil .. they aren't out to cheat domainers unfairly out of our money (anyways .. in the end we spend all our money with them either way .. lol) .. it's just one of those things that are a fact of life with big bulky multi-department companies or organisations. Fact is .. they have the best expiring domain auctions and you can get good domains cheaper than anywhere else ... at the end of the day that in itself has to count for a lot .. and is ultimately why I'm their client.


    On a positive note, a couple of weeks ago my rep invited me to be one of a few people chosen to help their development team with some possible changes to their platform (not sure which part yet). I've done it before .. and as I said .. many of you would be surprised at how genuinely the people at GoDaddy in general want to build a better ship for all of us. That being said .. just a couple of bad apples could do a significant amount of damage (and for that let me be VERY clear that I'm VERY grateful to some of the NamePros members who regularly dig deep into such issues looking for patterns that reveal fraud) .. so I'm not saying there is no evil at GoDaddy .. just that in general the vast majority are good people with good intentions who want to do things in the most ethical way possible.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  4. jberryhill

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

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    Depends on the state.

    If we are talking about an LLC in Arizona then, yes, the members are a matter of public record.

    If that Arizona LLC was formed with two members, but one of those members claims to have had no knowledge of having been registered as a member of the LLC, then someone has committed fraud well beyond violating the GoDaddy policy.
     
  5. Tunababa8v

    Tunababa8v Established Member

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    I believe this is still going on. I have been on this particular name for the past nine days and I have been the only bidder. Only five minutes left to end of auction and this bidder comes from nowhere to put a bid. And it was even an autobid, which means they want me to pay more..

    Disgraceful. IMG_20190408_170748_126.JPG
     
  6. CrocodileDundee

    CrocodileDundee Top Member VIP

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    These bots are programmed to bid at certain times and to bid on names that already have bids etc, if you are placing bids days in advance someone (robot or not) is going to see it.
     
  7. Tunababa8v

    Tunababa8v Established Member

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    This has happened to me for the umpteenth time. What do you suggest I do?
     
  8. CrocodileDundee

    CrocodileDundee Top Member VIP

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    I think it's best to wait until the last minute to place your bids, the earlier you place the bid the more attention you draw to the domain, although when it comes to the bots they will bid on anything that recevies a bid so there isn't too much you can do.
     
  9. jberryhill

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

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  10. jberryhill

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

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    The pictures of the employees are no longer on that website, but the two are still principals of the Arizona LLC they formed.
     
  11. jberryhill

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

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    https://dropengine.com/about

    DropEngine is a proprietary algorithm and domain purchasing engine that we've developed through years of investing, studying purchase patterns and measuring underlying domain data.

    https://ecorp.azcc.gov/BusinessSearch/BusinessInfo?entityNumber=L22200648

    Member CORY LODDER

    Member MICHAEL ROGERS
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
  12. robert widener

    robert widener Established Member

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    godaddy can’t be trusted....... plain & simple
     
  13. robert widener

    robert widener Established Member

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    I would bet the farm on it , godaddy has been screwing over their customers for many years .
     
  14. robert widener

    robert widener Established Member

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    how about a reply from @Joe Styler , would you like to answer the above question joe or just act like you never seen it & avoid it all together
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  15. robert widener

    robert widener Established Member

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    I noticed that @Joe Styler hasn’t joined the conversation yet , LOL . where are you joe ? any other time you’d be quick on the draw to defend godaddy .... but on this .....NOTHING from you . godaddy has said that they don’t want bidder id’s ( which says alot if you ask me )
     
  16. robert widener

    robert widener Established Member

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    @Joe Styler , still waiting to hear from you ...... looks like joe has gone incognito ,LOL
     
  17. robert widener

    robert widener Established Member

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    I guess @Joe Styler doesn’t have anything to say , he didn’t respond to either thread about the subject . pathetic .... kinda sad actually , also , where are the diehard godaddy supporters who believe anything they say , you know the godaddy “can’t do anything wrong “ crowd ( you know who you are ) . joe’s silence speak’s volumes if you ask me & their’s more to the story than godaddy is letting on
     
  18. robert widener

    robert widener Established Member

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    godaddy , more like NODADDY ( but that story is for another time )
     

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