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What New Crap Is This? (Weird/Fake ngTLD sales on flippa)

Located in Domain Marketplace Reviews started by andNames, Sep 17, 2018.

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886

  1. andNames

    andNames Shailendra Mishra VIP

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    I was testing a few filters on NameBio and was specifically interested in :

    All New gTLDs sales in past month.

    And I was shocked to see a lots of flippa sales all below $200. So I added another filter of $200 max sale price. Here is the result:

    https://namebio.com/?s==kjN3gDO2gTM

    Screenshot:
    [​IMG]

    On further observation, I found that all sales have a lot in common:
    1. All are Classified Buy It Now sales. Classified sales are not that common on flippa in general.
    2. As many I checked, all sales come from various sellers from Vietnam (country) alone.
    3. All have prices of $195 or too close.
    4. All of them appear to be worthless domains at first sight.

    I have high bets on these sales are fake and manipulative created by common efforts by a group of people. Why? I dont understand.

    Corrections:
    Not all are from Vietnam, there are other countries too, Eg Bangladesh
    Some sales are as high as $1000 and some of those sellers are already banned. E.g.
    https://flippa.com/search?filter[property_type]=domain&filter[status]=won&query[keyword]=joincode
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
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  2. NYJimbo

    NYJimbo Domain Re-Animator Gold Account VIP

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    That's some weird money laundering right there. :-P
     
  3. andNames

    andNames Shailendra Mishra VIP

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    Maybe, But, ......... HOW?
     
  4. atinc

    atinc Entrepreneur VIP

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    Those are all crap names.. Can't be real sales unless an angry girlfriend hi-jacking her ex's card LOL

    But I don't think it is a manipulative move, seriously look at the prices on your attachment. There should be a different agenda there but I am not sure what it is. Only thing I am sure of is whoever is behind this is a some sort of scammer.

    I have seen names that are sold for more this year on creditable marketplaces and couple of months later tried to be sold here for half of it or even 1/3rd of it in some cases on nP. But I don't think this is the case here.

    Very interesting, thanks for sharing.
     
  5. NYJimbo

    NYJimbo Domain Re-Animator Gold Account VIP

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    Conspiracy theory: Somebody works for a domain name investor looking for western/American english sounding domains. So that employee reg's the domains for $1 (junk TLD's) and puts them up for sale at just under $200, which might be a limit before a sale must be reviewed by a big boss.

    Buyer (employee working for company ) is same as seller (employee scamming boss). Domain is bought by employee, seller gets small amount of money, minus fees. Junk domain is added to domain portfolio. Big boss doesn't see anything wrong. Employee does this 5-10 times a day.​

    Of course that sounds far fetched, but the only other thing I can think of is seller buys own domain to create fake sales history, but then it still costs listing and selling fees. That's also not as "tin foil" as my conspiracy theory and therefore more boring. :-P
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  6. andNames

    andNames Shailendra Mishra VIP

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    To avoid listing fees, he created classified listings, which is free.
    So no listing fee.
    Now for success fees :
    If buyer pays through paypal (or any way except flippa escrow), the seller has to pay the fees manually to flippa. Flippa cant force the fees because in this case the money was never in their hands. All they can do is raise an invoice and mark your flippa balance in negative, and ban you after it happens more than once.
     
  7. NYJimbo

    NYJimbo Domain Re-Animator Gold Account VIP

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    Hmm, interesting. Actually it would be cool if we could have some kind of running thread on sales scams like this. Stuff people spot as weird so we could chew on it to see if we could figure it out,.
     
  8. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    I had noticed the same thing when they started coming in about a month ago. I have tried to dig into it but still perplexed, especially by the narrow price range, at least in most of them.

    If it was from one registry or ownership group I would be suspicious of that, but they are over many different extensions including some non ngTLDs (like a few .us and one .pro). There does not seem to be a concentration in ownership. Some of them are very recent registrations (few days) but a number go back to last fall with Oct to Dec registrations on ones I checked.

    In the digging I did, a few of the names that seemed nonsense to me are actually take-offs on Android games (e.g. some of the farm related ones) or possibly tv shows (not sure) or actual events (possibly trademarked) so they are not all as silly as first seems.

    Someone mentioned no fees for classified on Flippa but that is not right is it? I thought there was a $1 fee as well as escrow.com costs even for classified? (I have never tried to sell there, so maybe I am wrong? - here is link to Flippa pricing)

    If they were trying to do it to distort sales records surely they could do a far better job - like use more reasonable names, and not make the sales in such a narrow price range? It is interesting however, if you look at Flippa venue only sales for a longer period that are dominated by com, over 40% fall within this range too of $169 to $199. Is there something magic about $200 at Flippa? I even wondered if it was an AI experiment in that a team had programmed a bot to invest in domain names, setting that limit, and it will after a year be evaluated on how it does.

    Once a bit longer passes, the real test will be if any of these go into actual use or redirection at least. Of course even for large price sales, often this takes months or more to happen. The ones I have checked (just a few) seem parked, but just the default parking with links at the registrar.

    The most perplexing thing I see is that some of the names were registered in Nov and Dec of 2017. A long term operation IF it is not legitimate.

    If a bot or person with limited English is buying the names to monetize with links (some of the names while not sensible in total are made up of words that individually have highish value like code or skills),we will see attempted use eventually. Or is there a bot buying (as with com) has someone figured out a way to trick it into buying these names somehow?

    Has speculation on domain names in the south Asia region suddenly taken off with new and other non-legacy extensions, and they are buying up whatever is offered on Flippa? I guess we could check that by listing some on Flippa with BIN in the price range of $160 to $199 and see if they get taken.

    I have no answers. I am pretty sure it is not registry related. I think there is a reasonable possibility the sales are automated bot. The optimistic and trusting view would be that there is enhanced interest in speculating in alternative (not just new) extensions but only for low $$$ prices.

    I hope we get some answers....

    ps This is probably unrelated but 3 of the domain names sold this month have wincod as the name (not wincode with an e). It turns out that there are legitimate operations with wincod, but I also noticed in my Google search that in1999 there was a Trojan horse infection with the name wincod. Anyway, probably just chance similarity, but here is link. https://www.symantec.com/security-center/writeup/2009-030713-2231-99
     
  9. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    I just checked more carefully re some other extensions, and it definitely is not just ngTLDs.

    For example I checked the price range with .pro on Flippa and there were 8 sales between $160 and $199 on Flippa since Aug 26. https://namebio.com/?s==EjM3ETO2gTM. The pro extension has almost never sold at this price in any other venues or time periods.

    There were 9 sales of .us in the last month in that price range on Flippa, a number of which are exactly the same names that sold in one or more ngTLD. https://namebio.com/?s==QDN4ETO2gTM

    There were 9 sales of .asia in the last month in that price range on Flippa, some of which were similar or equal to new extension sales in the same period on Flippa. https://namebio.com/?s==QDN4ETO2gTM

    The following MIGHT be legitimate but many questionable names among the 13 .info sales in the same price range and month period on Flippa. They seem no more sensible than the ngTLDs https://namebio.com/?s==MDO4ETO2gTM

    To me even a number of the names that sold in this price range on com seem equally questionable re worth https://namebio.com/?s==IDM5ETO2gTM

    There are 6 sales in org in the price range, at least one of which has similarity to a ngTLD sale in the Flippa window https://namebio.com/?s==kzM5ETO2gTM

    So if something weird is happening on Flippa, it is not only a new extension thing. Interestingly there are no net, co, biz or me sales however in the suspect price range / period, and while one .io in the range it seems legitimate to me.

    Mystery continues...

    It would be interesting to know if these were paid for with a $200 secured credit limit card, perhaps explaining why they never pay more than that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  10. andNames

    andNames Shailendra Mishra VIP

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    @MetBob. As I already explained that if you do not pay success fees all flippa can do is ban you. And there is actually no need for actual transfer of money (or domain).

    If buyer and seller are brothers they can just mark the transaction as completed and satisfied. And flippa will raise an invoice of success fees.

    If you do not pay that success fees however, flippa may ban you. 15% of $190 is $28 which is not small amount to scale this scam anyways. And I do see some buyer accounts banned too after completing 2-3 transactions in a short period of time each.

    And $1 listing fees can be avoided through bulk upload me.

    And the transaction value is not limited to $200. I saw upto $1111 transaction with similar footprints:
    https://flippa.com/search?filter[property_type]=domain&filter[status]=won&query[keyword]=joincode

    Interestingly same coupon website (templated) opens on a lot of such domains.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  11. andNames

    andNames Shailendra Mishra VIP

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    So it all stopped after 15th September after Flippa banned several accounts involved in it.

    TH mystery still remains.. What was the motive of these fake sales?
     

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