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Suggestions to Improve GoDaddy / Afternic Sale Process

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GoDaddy and Afternic operate the largest domain name sales network, partnering with more than 100 other domain name registrars and platforms to sell customer-owned domain names. A customer that lists a domain name for sale via Afternic will have their listings shown on the purchase pages at registrars like Namecheap, Google, Name.com, and many others when a prospective buyer searches for that domain name.

GoDaddy’s Fast Transfer network makes it relatively easy for domain investors to sell their domain names. When a buyer at Namecheap, for example, purchases a domain name listed for sale via GoDaddy/Afternic on the Fast Transfer network, the domain name will automatically transfer to the buyer without the seller having to take action. Once listed and approved, the seller doesn’t play much of a role in selling domain names via this channel.

The GoDaddy / Afternic network should and does make it easier for domain investors to sell domain names to people they may have never reached, but it is not without its issues. There are pain points that I deal with when selling via GoDaddy and Afternic, and I want to offer some suggestions to improve the process.

Afternic Beta Opens to All Accounts

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Yesterday afternoon, Paul Nicks (GoDaddy VP and GM of the Aftermarket) announced that the Afternic beta website is now open to all Afternic customers:

To access the beta, customers need to click the “Try the new Afternic 2.0 BETA” link on the left sidebar of the website. Once on the website, there is a quick guide sharing some screengrabs of what users can do on the beta site.

When I “Hide” My Listings on Afternic

I’ve been asked about listing domain names for sale with Buy It Now prices on multiple venues. For nearly all of my inventory quality domain names, I list them on Afternic / GoDaddy and on Dan.com with buy it now prices. I know many other investors also use marketplaces like Sedo, Epik, Efty, and a few other venues as well.

A concern I have had is that a domain name will sell to different buyers on different platforms. While this may seem unlikely, it is easy to imagine a scenario where this happens. For instance, a phrase might become a social media hashtag, and before a domain owner can update pricing or remove sales listings to reflect the growing popularity of the phrase, buyers utilize the buy it now option on multiple platforms.

Some Afternic Partners Mark Up or Mark Down Listing Prices

Afternic boasts “more than 100 partners” in its reseller network, and I have found it to be a great way to passively sell my domain names. Domain name registrants can list their domain names on Afternic, and eligible sale listings will show throughout its partner network. Many of the partners include registrars like Namecheap and Name.com, in addition to GoDaddy, the parent company of Afternic.

I have been aware of some partner registrars marking up the prices of Afternic listings, but I just learned that at least one partner offers a small discounted price for Afternic listings. I learned about this when someone asked about opting out from Afternic partners that alter the list price:

Review FOA List Before Approval

When a domain name is listed for sale at Afternic and it is not registered at GoDaddy, the registrant needs to approve a Standardized Form of Authorization (FOA). This approval is necessary for a domain name to be listed and eligible for the Fast Transfer network.

These approvals are very important to review carefully. Once this link is clicked and approved, if a domain name is sold via Afternic, it will be immediately pulled from the registrant’s account. Even if you did not sell a domain name in your Afternic account, if you click the approval link, the domain name will be sold and will transfer.

When I list domain names for sale at Afternic, the Network Solutions email has an important notice (including the “thes” typo):

Afternic Adds 2 Step Verification

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Last Summer, I wrote an article imploring Afternic to enable customers to add two factor verification to their accounts. The added security measure is necessary because if a customer’s account was compromised, the bad actor could reduce the price on a Fast Transfer eligible domain name, allowing it to be sold and transferred at a much lower price than its valuation.

Earlier today, Afternic announced that customers can now add a second layer of security on their account. The Two Step Verification option is now available for all customers to enable within their accounts. The email that was sent, which I posted below, includes instructions on how to set up 2 factor authentication.

I strongly urge Afternic customers to set this up ASAP:

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