I have a few hundred domain names listed for sale on Afternic / GoDaddy. After re-listing a domain name for sale, I discovered something that is pretty small but could pose a larger concern. Domain names listed for sale on Afternic have a listing date on the listing page:
For most people, this is probably a very small detail that would go unnoticed. I didn’t really even think about it until very recently, and I want to share why it could be problematic.
I was reading the news and I learned that a big company had acquired a smaller company, and I own the exact match .com domain name of the smaller brand name, which is completely generic/descriptive. In this particular field, the smaller companies retain their own branding, so there is not a concern that the brand name would change.
When I saw the news about the acquisition, I went to check to see if I have the domain name listed for sale on Afternic. I wanted to make sure it was available for a BIN price should the company wish to purchase it. I discovered that it was listed for sale within my account, but it was pending some sort of review so I don’t think it was showing up to a prospective buyer. Without really thinking about it, I deleted the domain name from my Afternic account and re-added it so I could approve the listing and ensure it was actually showing up.
This was a mistake on my end. Yes, this would allow me to approve the listing so it could be purchased, but the listing date changed to the day it was re-listed. This could have been problematic for me if it was noticed because the companies could have used the listing date, the same date as their acquisition news, to suggest that I bought the domain name with the purpose of selling it to them.
I have owned the domain name for years and it is generic, so I am not too worried about a dispute. However, that listing date could conceivably be used as a piece of evidence against my company if I kept the new listing active. On a domain name in the grey area, this could be a bigger threat.
This is a relatively minor issue that impacts a very small subset of domain names, but it is something people should know.