If you follow expiry auctions, you likely noticed that Carrot.com was coming up for auction via GoDaddy Auctions. Carrot.com is a fantastic domain name, and the auction price in the mid $60,000 range reflected how desirable the domain name is. The domain name was renewed at the last possible moment, so the auction was halted.
Expired domain names get renewed all the time, so having an auction taken down isn’t an uncommon occurrence. In the case of Carrot.com, it took quite a bit of effort from two domain industry veterans to ensure the domain name would not be lost by its owner.
A couple of days ago, I noticed that Name Ninja’s Bill Sweetman had posted an update on Facebook asking his network if they knew a Canadian artist or his family (out of respect for the artist’s family, I refrained from publishing his name). I realized why he was searching for the man, and I reached out to see if he had made any progress. Bill responded and told me he had been working behind the scenes with DotWeekly’s Jamie Zoch and some other people who Bill did not mention by name.
Yesterday afternoon, a friend messaged me to ask if I knew why the Carrot.com auction was taken down. I reached back out to Bill and Jamie, and they both confirmed that the domain name was renewed. How the domain name was renewed is quite an interesting story.
Jamie had been following the Carrot.com domain name since he noticed it move out of Escrow.com’s escrow account in April of 2017. He was surprised to see it expire nearly a year later, so he attempted to contact the registrant via email to make sure they were aware that the domain name had expired. Jamie didn’t receive a response, so he searched Facebook using the registrant’s email address and he found the registrant’s Facebook page. Sadly, some of the Facebook updates and comments made Jamie understand the registrant had been terminally ill and passed away late last year.
Knowing that the former registrant was Canadian, Jamie reached out to Bill Sweetman (who is also based in Canada) with the information he found. Bill subsequently published the aforementioned Facebook post, and someone in Bill’s network knew the registrant, his family, and the person managing his estate. Based on information gathered and shared by Jamie and Bill, the domain name was renewed before it was past the allowed renewal period.
So why did Jamie go to such great lengths to help the family of someone he doesn’t know? “I just felt that this was the right thing to do,” Jamie told me. “Domain names like Carrot.com do not simply expire on choice. Who just throws away a six figure asset? I just knew something wasn’t right and wanted to make sure that the owner’s family was aware of the situation and tried my best to make that happen.”
Now I know that there are a few people who might be upset with the third party intervention that prevented the domain name from going to auction. I get it. However, if any one of us suddenly died and valuable domain names were expiring, we would all hope someone would help our family with a renewal. Kudos to Jamie, Bill, and others who assisted the family quietly behind the scenes.
Jamie and Bill did not seek out any publicity for this. Had I not emailed them a couple of times asking for information, the story probably would have gone untold. Domain investors and industry participants often get a bad rap. I know there is one family that is very happy there are caring people in the domain industry, and I am sure they will appreciate it even more if the domain name is eventually sold.