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SquadHelp: A Game with Too Many Rules ?

Located in Domain Marketplace Reviews started by DomainBanana, Sep 10, 2019.

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  1. DomainBanana

    DomainBanana Established Member

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    Yesterday, SquadHelp launched a new policy of charging $1/submission to their premium marketplace, a marketplace that accepts only 9.79% of names. A major cash grab by SH, this escalates the cost of listing a single name on the SH marketplace to over $10.

    Even before this damaging move, I found something about SquadHelp frustrating: the whole site is designed like a giant game.

    There are ranking boards to show who's in the lead, sellers earn points for things like winning contests or getting a name approved, and now they've introduced SquadHelp coins to pay for submissions.

    Gamifying business can be fun, if done well.

    SquadHelp has gone to the extreme and gamified everything, two or three times over. All their points and coins and rules are dizzyingly convoluted and feel demeaning and manipulative. When it comes to listing domains and getting paid for my work, I want a clean, simple, professional, streamlined interface.

    I don't want to play Candyland.

    Yet, playing a childish boardgame is exactly what SH is making me do to participate in their brandable marketplace, and now this childish boardgame is ridiculously expensive to play.

    I'm not interested in points or coins or rankings or any other childish, manipulative games.

    I won't pay high prices and high commissions for the privilege of rolling the dice at brandable Candyland.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. Peak.Domains

    Peak.Domains Established Member

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    I'd gladly play Candyland, Monopoly and Hungry Hungry Hippos all at once if it helped me sell handregs for $2000
     
  3. DnameAgame

    DnameAgame Check out the new BrandPlease.com Gold Account

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    Why not just list them - choose the option to allow other to use you names for submissions - step back and let your names sell or be promoted by others more active on SH? I havent had the time to try out all the different ways to increase my sales on SQ (gamification)- but in only a handful of months a couple names sold. So a 1 to submit = good ROI(still). We can only imagine the amount of low quality names that they must have been sorting through & have to put some kind of control in place?
     
  4. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    Let me preface this by saying that I have not yet used SquadHelp or any of the other brandable marketplaces personally. However, it seems to me that, even with hefty commissions, the brandable marketplaces are managing to do well for domainers who use their services, as well as offering something the startup community want. I can see if there is $0 to submit there will be huge amounts of trash submitted. A modest cost that represents their cost to look at a domain name and inform the results does not seem to me unreasonable. And everyone has a choice as to where you list your names.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  5. DnameAgame

    DnameAgame Check out the new BrandPlease.com Gold Account

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    They can also be a great learning tool for those trying to understand what actually makes a "valuable:" brandable. I say that - not because I believe any particular market place is more knowledgeable that anyone else in the industry - but what they do - do, is force you think about spending that 1 dollar for validation that you made a good choice. If you are having a hard time deciding to spend 1 dollar to list a name - that's about 1/10 of the reg fee - it may be a good time to step back an evaluate what is being bought?
     
  6. Peak.Domains

    Peak.Domains Established Member

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    ^ This

    If their submissions are $0 right now and they're accepting about 1 in 10 names, I can only imagine that rate will shoot up if people are more careful about what they're submitting. So, I don't think OP has to worry about it costing ~$10 each name.
     
  7. DomainBanana

    DomainBanana Established Member

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    When the marketplace accepts less than 10% of names, $1/submission is not a modest cost. At this approval rate, if you wanted to list 1,000 names at SH, you'd need to pay over $10,000. This plus high commission fees on sales.
     
  8. DomainBanana

    DomainBanana Established Member

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    Have fun. I'll stick with marketplaces that don't treat me like a 2-year-old.
     
  9. DomainBanana

    DomainBanana Established Member

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    $1/per name isn't a terrible thing in itself. On BrandBucket, it works well. But on SH, where the approval rating is so low--even for solid brandable names--it's not worthwhile to participate. Sorry, I won't pay $10.21 on average to list a standard brandable name. There are so many better options.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  10. xynames

    xynames XYNames.com PRO VIP

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  11. DomainBanana

    DomainBanana Established Member

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    Well said -- most of their names are pure junk.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  12. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    Are the acceptance rates significantly different on SquadHelp and BrandBucket? (I have no clue, just asking, I had assumed they were similarl).

    Also, is it not possible that once they start charging the quality will go up and the acceptance rate will also go up? Not sure, but that seems logical to me.

    I agree that your approach of looking at cost within perspective of acceptance ratio is the right way to consider if it is worthwhile.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  13. DomainBanana

    DomainBanana Established Member

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    BB and BP's acceptance rate is much higher than SH premium.

    It's unlikely SH's acceptance rate will go up. The majority of brandable names fall into a gray area where there's no clear and immediate way to assign value and inclusion is up to marketplace's subjective discretion. SH is just very picky -- and, on the whole, their taste in brandables is very poor, in my view.
     
  14. DnameAgame

    DnameAgame Check out the new BrandPlease.com Gold Account

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    @Bob Hawkes I think if you look at "globally" published #s the answer would be yes.

    On an individual level, looking at my BB, BP, & SH, accts. I'm at about 10% SH and about 25% on the others. The big BUT here(for me) is I submitted names to SH I would not have submitted to BB - because I didnt think they would be accepted and didnt want to waste a 1. Bet my % about match by EOY? I'll ty and track & update.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  15. urlurl

    urlurl Top Member VIP

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    im assuming they are introducing this option so sellers are more mindful and selective of what they submit

    Dont get me wrong, im not keen on paying $1 either - but i know why they are doing it...
     
  16. DomainBanana

    DomainBanana Established Member

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    With 9.79% marketplace acceptance rate, it's just not economically viable for sellers to submit this way
     
  17. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    I think the acceptance ratios go up and down but when I wrote this some months ago looking at the BrandBucket situation probability wise (based on information circulated at NamesCon and with some update provided through email by BrandBucket) the acceptance ratio there was about 10%, not much different than quoted here for SquadHelp now.

    Now as @DnameAgame astutely points out there may be some self-selection that is different from marketplace to marketplace, so the same acceptance ratio might mean different quality level.

    I think the key point is whether looking at submission costs, acceptance ratio, sales success ratio, average price, commission structure, and perhaps other factors one still, on average, do well at a brandable marketplace. It seemed when I crunched the numbers to the degree I could know them that the result was positive for BrandBucket. I have not tried to similarly crunch SquadHelp numbers.

    Does anyone have a feeling for what fraction of brandable domain names are sold each of the following ways?
    • through domain brokers
    • via direct landing sites at a domainer site
    • other private sales methods (including social media contacts, outbound, etc.)
    • via a brandable marketplace
    • through general purpose marketplaces like Afternic, Sedo, DAN
    Would be interesting to know, as obviously the commission/cost structure is very different.

    Bob
     
  18. manpreet

    manpreet Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I think this is just the start of downfall of SquadHelp, didn't like their slow approval process earlier either. Its good by making it public and charging just for eac submission, they have discouraged new users and maybe its time to focus back on Brandpa and BrandBucket.
     
  19. urlurl

    urlurl Top Member VIP

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    maybe that's what they want to improve - the submissions sellers send in

    im sure some sellers are just throwing anything and everything against the wall to see what sticks - especially when you are able to send in non-registered names.
     
  20. offthehandle

    offthehandle . Gold Account VIP

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    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  21. urlurl

    urlurl Top Member VIP

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    yeah, there is no way in hell in submitting non-reg'd names.

    I keep my lists to myself
     
  22. Larion

    Larion Established Member

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    I have never used this marketplace.
    What do you mean with "submission" ?
    Do you pay 1 USD or 10 USD per domain you submit to their marketplace ?
    What is the commission percentage when selling a name on their marketplace ?

    Many thanks!
     
  23. Domain_savvy

    Domain_savvy Established Member

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    Sooner or later this was bound to happen.
    It is now hard for new or small sellers to build a decent portfolio on SH with a hope to get atleast one sale. More sellers would now hope that since SH started charging , they could expect some sales in short term as the money might be utilized for promotions and all. But looking at SH,all the promotion they do is majority in digital space like google-ads , fb , insta etc which IMO has averagely less conversion rates when it comes to domains.
    Not to forget that they will surely get rid of tons of pegion sh*ts and overall better control on the inventory.
    I agree with OP to a certain degree but again domainers are free to list wherever they want after considering all the factors.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  24. MrAcidic

    MrAcidic Account Auto-Closed Gold Account

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    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  25. dexdn

    dexdn Top Member Gold Account VIP

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    SH rejected, BP accepted, BB accepted, BB listed and 2 weeks later sold.
    Now I don't submit my domains to SH anymore.
     

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