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Uniregistry expired names going to Dynadot

Labeled as registrars in Domain Industry News started by equity78, Jun 12, 2019.

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  1. NamesBond

    NamesBond Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Sadly, I must respectfully disagree, although I do take your point...

    Dynadot, in tandem with Uniregistry, allowed a domain they did not have unencumbered ownership of to be auctioned and said results of auction to be made public. (IMHO, Namebio is blameless, as they were simply "reporting" on publicly available information that Dynadot put online in the form of auction results - First amendment, and all that sort of thing...) Bottom line, a 40 day grace period is a "40 day grace period"... IMHO, all my rights were not extinguished on day 30 when Dynadot held the auction. (In legal terms, think of the 40 day grace period as an "option" to repurchase the domain, or as a right of "first refusal"... in either instance, Dynadot didn't ethically have any right to auction, publish results and possibly devalue my domain until such time as my option was exercised or abandoned, and "title" was free and clear.) From my perspective, it is entirely unethical to auction ANY property belonging to somebody else until you own "clear" title to said property. (And I would say the same holds in terms of a car, real estate, literary property, or whatever other types of assets.) So, if any apology is owed, it is certainly to the owner of a domain whose property was auctioned, without permission or notice, and whose property value was diminished as a result of such auction results being made public. Also, an apology is due to any Dynadot Auction Winner who, after investing time and money to research, participate in and win an auction, is subsequently informed that the auction results are null due to the original registrant renewing or transferring the domain.

    Remember, both these unhappy outcomes are entirely avoidable by a simple change in auction timing by Dynadot and others in the industry who engage in the same practices.

    So, again, from my perspective, the "ethical" thing to do here is for Dynadot to be responsible and simply make the minimal effort to sync their UNI related auctions to the end of the 40 day grace period. This would protect both registrant and potential auction winner, and even burnish Dynadot's reputation, as situations such as those mentioned above could easily be avoided. 'Nuff said! :xf.wink:

    PS - I am not a "domain auction" business expert and if I am misunderstanding the situation here, I welcome Dynadot's response to my comments and any clarification they can supply as to their policies and/or procedures.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. eurorealtor

    eurorealtor okre.com VIP

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    Perhaps @Dynadot could disable payments for won auctions, until the domain pass the grace period, to avoid an unpleasant reputation?
     
  3. NamesBond

    NamesBond Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Unfortunately, I don't think this would solve the problem... Whether the payment is finalized or not, the mere fact that the online domain auction was held in public prior to the end of the grace period, would result in the potential harm to the registrant.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  4. tonyk2000

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

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    Reporting or making public wholesale purchases such as by domainers who bought expired domains on auctions is harmful. I experienced this myself. Not exactly due to Namebio, but still - a potential buyer saw dropcatch open expired auctions page, did not participate (or did not win, not sure), I won, and he used highest bid amount he saw at some point of time in subsequent negotiations (you paid just $xxx to dropcatch, I am offering you the same amount and an extra $100 which is a whoping "management fee").

    If namebio still wants to report wholesale purchases of expired domains - they might at least wait for registrant change (or until the registrar changes, aren't successful uniregistry expired sales supposed to be transferred to dynadot registrar?)
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  5. illumy

    illumy Restricted

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    2. I've won 3 auctions recently, in the midst of waiting for another one to conclude in one more day before it's renew or not by the previous owner.
     
  6. Michael

    Michael NameBio.com NameBio Staff PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Sedo reports completed auctions weekly, and NameJet reports completed auctions monthly, and both of those are only for sales $2k+. Literally no other venue reports completed auctions to us. If we only reported what was spoon-fed to us we would only be adding a couple hundred sales a week like DNJournal, you'd only ever hear about the high end of the market, and there would only be two venues plus whoever reported private sales. This is not a transparent industry and we do the best we can.

    That means we have to go out and gather the data ourselves. But the caveat is that in many cases it isn't possible to know if an auction completed successfully. There are a few exceptions, for example when DropCatch re-auctions a domain we can know the original auction didn't complete and remove it. We used to be able to capture GoDaddy rollbacks. BuyDomains only reports completed sales on their homepage but they only report a tiny percent. Private reports are verified. But the rest is unknown.

    All that said (and I've said all that multiple times on NamePros), from what we've observed at DropCatch and GoDaddy, more than 98% of auctions complete successfully. So I'm still comfortable reporting auctions even if there is no mechanism by which we can confirm successful completion, since almost all of them complete successfully anyway. I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bath water.

    And looking at the WHOIS as others have suggested is not feasible. It would require multiple WHOIS history records per domain to verify anything, which would cost significantly more than NameBio even earns. And in a post GDPR world it wouldn't really help, and even before that law there was always the issue of WHOIS privacy before and/or after the auction. We would only be able to confirm a small percent of the auctions, the rest would get trashed even though they most likely completed successfully, and we'd spend an absolute fortune on DomainTools API calls making the database less helpful.

    I put in a request to Dynadot yesterday to get a feed of only completed auctions, I don't know if they'll be able or willing to help though. If they don't, and these Uni auctions continue to fall through at an extremely high rate, we're just going to have to remove tracking of Dynadot auctions and remove all of their results since the Uni deal started. But I'm not going to exclude all the other venues that have very high completion rates, that would be silly and serve nobody.

    As for the merits of tracking wholesale auctions in the first place, I won't really debate that. Markets like this (and Real Estate) can't function well without knowing what similar items have sold for. Comparable sales bring both efficiency and liquidity to a market. Without them prices would be all over the place, nobody would be confident that what they were paying is reasonable, so less deals would happen.

    That's why in the US sales of residential Real Estate are a matter of public record by law. And why companies like CoStar (I used to work there) exist for commercial Real Estate. I've lived in Europe for a long time and the country I live in has nothing similar, and you should see the listings for homes. It's laughable, the prices are all over the place and people are just making it up as they go. You'll see one house listed for 150k EUR and a very similar house in the same neighborhood listed for 250k EUR, just because nobody can figure out what anything is worth as they don't know what anything actually sold for.

    So no, we're not going to stop tracking the wholesale market. End users will very rarely find out what you paid, and even if they do it doesn't matter. If you buy a Picasso at a yard sale for $100 and your "score" is all over the national news, do you really think you're going to have a problem selling it for millions? It doesn't matter what you paid, it matters what it is worth. A buyer who tries to use knowledge of what you paid against you to the point that negotiations break down, wasn't going to pay your price anyway. Any halfway decent negotiator can deal with this very rare situation.

    And let's not forget that it was our tracking of the wholesale market that led to the exposure of the shill bidding scandal at NameJet, and I spent countless hours digging through the data to make those connections even though it didn't affect me. It concerns me when people argue against transparency.

    The real problem here is that quite a few venues have built a business around auctioning items they can't guarantee delivery on, just to make their processes easier and/or cheaper for them. They're not going to stop until you speak with your wallet, blaming the people trying to bring transparency certainly won't help.

    Could you imagine a house getting auctioned off because the owner was late on a single mortgage payment, and then the auction getting cancelled because they paid within the grace period? Nobody would put up with that nonsense, especially if the winner had to pay before finding out whether or not he'd actually receive the title. I'm not sure why the domain industry puts up with it
     
  7. stub

    stub Top Member PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Hi Michael. I thank you for a very detailed comprehensive reply of your mode of operation. It's clear and appreciated. I am not happy that you are also seeing these large number of non-sales being made on Dynadot's Auctions of Uniregistry's Expiring Domains. But if you are also considering having to remove Dynadot's Whole Auction process just so you don't have to deal with this high level of auction sales not completed. Then, I don't think my use of the term "overzealous" is extreme language, warranting such a lengthy reply. IMHO. However I appreciate the reply. Not having seen this explained elsewhere in NP's.
     
  8. kriss05

    kriss05 Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Incomplete sales at Dynadot expired auctions are usually "genuine" sales from buyers's perspective. Such incomplete sales still add value. Maybe it makes sense to add disclaimer to all Dynadot's expired auctions claiming high probability of their incompleteness due to the fact that most of Dynadot/Uniregistry customers are domainers who are highly likely to renew expired domains compared to ordinary customers.
     
  9. tonyk2000

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

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    In the case I was referring to, the buyer finally paid the asking price and with zero discount. He was more or less aware of the price I paid (he did not know the final closing price, as he only saw the current high bid in the morning of the last day dropcatch auction was running, and he was unaware of Namebio). But, yes, he tried to use this in negotiations, and it only complicated the things.
     
  10. tonyk2000

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

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    What exactly prevents Namebio from at least checking registry whois for verisign com/net - was the registrar changed from Uniregistry to Dynadot (current case), or lets say from Tucows etc. to GoDaddy in case of GD external expired auctions, and, if so, did such a change occur on exact day it was supposed to (for successful sales of expired domains)?
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  11. Michael

    Michael NameBio.com NameBio Staff PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    If 80-90% of Dynadot auctions that close above $100 are from Uni, and a very high percentage of those do not complete, what would you do? I didn’t say I’m definitely going to remove them from the tracking, but I’m considering it because the data is overwhelmingly false and what’s left is pretty inconsequential. Not sure how that makes me overzealous to not want 8 bad pieces of data for every 2 good pieces. I get lots of complaints because 2/100 didn’t complete, what we’re seeing at Dynadot post Uni deal is far above an acceptable threshold and is also why I don’t track eBay.

    The long reply was because I misunderstood your comment and thought you were calling me overzealous for reporting questionable auction sales that aren’t verified (i.e I’m trying to capture everything and don’t care about quality). But now I understand that you meant because I was considering removing them.

    Anyway, it’s still good for people to understand the challenges and why I make the choices I make.
     
  12. stub

    stub Top Member PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I was calling you overzealous because you were reporting a lot of non-completed auction sales as completed. But I understand this would have been a fluid situation. And you might not have had the data of this beforehand. I applaud you for considering taking the action you propose to correct this now. But by the mere fact that you are having a change of thought about this, I think justify's my comment about initial overzealous-ness.
     
  13. Michael

    Michael NameBio.com NameBio Staff PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    The juice isn’t worth the squeeze frankly. Before this Uni deal Dynadot was barely doing any volume. If I have to go to a huge amount of effort to exclude almost all of the Uni data just to be left with around the volume Dynadot was doing before, it’s not worth the trouble. It was barely worth adding them in the first place when I didn’t have to worry about all these issues.

    Plus I’d either have to publish and then retract which is a pain, or wait six days after the auction ends to add them and then this small amount of data is already buried by the time it gets added.
     
  14. Michael

    Michael NameBio.com NameBio Staff PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Dynadot tracking was in place before they had a deal with Uniregistry, and I wasn’t aware of their deal right away. So it wasn’t a conscious decision to include them, they just got added automatically. Once I was aware of it I needed to see how it played out, and so far it’s not looking good. I’m not getting hung up on your choice of words, just trying to understand exactly how everyone feels about it as that will help with the decision of how to deal with it. Thanks for your feedback.
     
  15. wwwweb

    wwwweb Top Member VIP

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    It’s clear uni owners are sophisticated owners who use extended grace to extend their cashflow float. It’s great for dynadot as they have all these excess funds sitting in cash accounts unused. That is real money in dynadot bank account they can use for working capital.

    Back to question 1, why not end auction on day 41, uni has the ability to express out transfers so really no delay there, these auctions are going to keep failing. Incorrect sales will continue to flow, and more end users are using
    Godaddys appraisal beta tool as inaccurate as it is, I believe it scrapes namebio data, so really you have a bad experience that goes full circle all the way around.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  16. equity78

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

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    I have never believed that previous sales data affects as many sales as others have. I have had many deals and other deals that fell apart where that played no part. I think if someone thinks "Oh an end user might see I only paid $100 for a name, they will use that against me" Most end users believe every name cost every domainer $10 so they always think they are getting ripped off.

    On the flipside, I was selling a name for a client, where the client paid $4,000 for the name, the prospect offered $1,500. I let them know the data that the name was purchased for $4,000. Their reply was, "I don't give a sh*t, either he takes $1,500 or we move on to another name, your client's bad transaction means nothing to our organization."

    So I think most end users don't care what a name was acquired for they have what they will pay and are not really persuaded.

    I think the real problem here is Uniregistry's TOS but I guess they feel the juice is worth the squeeze, they have another revenue stream and if some people leave, they will leave.

    GoDaddy has listened to give us bidder id's a piece of the expired money, Huge Domains is screwing us, etc... They keep on going and like someone wrote last week, I think it was Shane, people complain but yet still spend their money. Most companies are happy with the trade off, "I have to hear you whine, but I get your money, we good."

    Thanks for all the input @Michael
     
  17. Dynadot

    Dynadot Member Dynadot Staff ICA Member VIP

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    I'm sorry to hear that, I see that @Michael has already clarified this but I'd also like to confirm that we don't publish or share any information about the closing price of our auctions with any third party, only the auction winner would have access to that information. For any domains listed in our expired auctions you are still entitled to your full grace renewal period.

    Unfortunately this wouldn't be possible, as we must renew the domain before the end of it's grace renewal period to prevent it entering the redemption period, and to do so we would require payment from the auction winner. This prevents us from synchronizing the auction end time with the end of the grace renewal period, as we must allow the auction winner reasonable time to pay for the auctioned domain before the domain is renewed and moved to their account. We do offer automatic payments for expired auctions, but not all users are comfortable setting up automatic payments, and if we were to force automatic payments and end the auctions when the grace period ends it would not allow any time to resolve payment issues (such as a declined payment).

    The feedback is very much appreciated as always and will be taken on board as we look to fine-tune the expired auction system.
     
  18. NamesBond

    NamesBond Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    BINGO!

    @Michael, I think you've hit the "nub" of the matter... The real problem here is that certain industry players have developed an auction business model for their own profit and convenience, with small regard for either registrants or auction bidders. (And, of course, they could easily develop processes to prevent incomplete auctions, but that would cost $$$ and require dedicated effort...)
     
  19. NamesBond

    NamesBond Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thank you for your response. If, indeed, no information about auctions is made public, then how do you conduct the auction? How do folks know the auction is even happening or when to increase a bid? Or if a bid has been accepted? (Obviously, information is being put out into the public domain.)

    Even if a confirmed closing price is never published, the mere publication of the ongoing auction process is problematic... And potentially damaging to the value of the name held by the original registrant.

    (And to those that doubt this proposition, I refer you to the real estate MLS model mentioned above... If you saw a house listed on the MLS as sold for 100k, and then the Seller asks 300k a week later, you would definitely have second thoughts about purchasing. This is simply human nature.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  20. Dynadot

    Dynadot Member Dynadot Staff ICA Member VIP

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    All current expired auctions are publicly accessible through our marketplace, but as soon as the auction is over the listing is removed from our site and only the auction winner would have confirmation of the closing price. An individual could track an ongoing auction themselves in an attempt to establish the final price, but we don't share or publish that ourselves.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  21. NamesBond

    NamesBond Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    This is exactly my point.

    During the pendency of the auction, you are publically "publishing" information about an auction concerning a domain which, in future, may be renewed by the current registrant. This information may accrue to the detriment of said registrant. (e.g. Even if a potential future Buyer observes that auction traffic isn't "brisk," this may inform his decision on whether to buy from the original registrant in future.)

    To me, it's obvious that the whole practice of auctioning names to which you do not hold clear, unencumbered title is suspect... (And IMHO, if you have to delay an auction to assure the orginal registrant's domain value is not damaged, then you should do so... Even if this process adds additional costs to your operation - Business ethics are important too!)
     
  22. dande

    dande UNNATURE.COM VIP

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    Dynadot auction is useless. Whenever you win a great name, the chances it will ever get to your account is almost zero. At the last minute you will hear someone has renewed. And you will never be refunded outside Dynadot credit.

    If you put in $5,000 with hope you've won a great name, when they refund you, the money will sit at Dynadot as credit and will never get out again.
     
  23. equity78

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

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    All this worry and outrage can also be avoided by people making sure they renew their names on time and not after they expire because they know their names will be auctioned.

    Uniregistry can adjust their TOS and not give as long a grace period.

    GoDaddy
    Grace period: 18 days

    Redemption Period: 24 days

    Redemption Fee: $80 (does not include the renewal of the domain name)

    Maximum time to recover an expired domain: 42 days

    Network Solutions
    Grace Period: 30-35 days (depending on the registry)

    Redemption Period: 30 days

    Redemption Fee: $299 (includes the cost of renewal)

    Maximum time to redeem an expired domain: 60-65 days

    Note: Network Solutions may or may not provide a grace period, and if you are granted a grace period, they may terminate it at any time without notice.

    1&1
    Grace Period: 10 days

    Redemption Period: 20 days

    Redemption Fee: $40 (does not include the renewal of the domain name)

    Maximum time to redeem an expired domain: 30 days

    https://help.hover.com/hc/en-us/art...omain-names-in-redemption-at-other-registrars
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  24. equity78

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

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    @Dynadot needs to fix that you need to refund someone back to their payment method.
     
  25. wwwweb

    wwwweb Top Member VIP

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    Why would they free working capital sitting in their bank account, it's a good business move for obvious reasons. I would say any amount over $250 should be returned via the method it was paid for sure. It is making customers mad for sure, now that is is front, and center I guess they will need to address it, or make it optional for the customer to contact them to get the funds back.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019

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