Domain Auctions

Namecheap Makes 2 Changes to Auctions to Enhance Trust

In an email sent to customers this morning, Namecheap announced two changes to its domain name auction Marketplace. The Marketplace platform will assign user badges to illustrate the number of domain auctions bidders have won. The badge levels are Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. In addition, when an auction winner does not pay, it will be re-auctioned rather than offered to the runner up bidder.

The rationale for these changes is “[t]o make sure the Marketplace remains a trusted platform, and to ensure that each auction is conducted fairly.

Here’s the email I received from Namecheap explaining the changes that were made and why the changes were made:

Paula Deen Ventures Let PDN.com Expire

According to NameBio, PDN.com was last sold for $27,900 via Sedo in July of 2014. Whois records show the buyer was Paula Deen Ventures. Paula Deen is a chef, cookbook author, and is perhaps most well-known for her Food Network television shows.

I don’t believe Paula Deen or her company ever used PDN.com as a standalone website. Archive.org records show that PDN.com was used as a forwarder to Deen’s website, PaulaDeen.com for quite some time until it expired.

NameJet: “Big Changes are Coming”

On Friday afternoon, NameJet announced that some major changes are coming to the auction platform. The changes were outlined on a splash page, and include the following:

  • New look and feel
  • New process to place backorders
  • New option to remove backorder if you lose an auction on specific domain
  • New download file type choice of CSV or TXT
  • New way to pull Last Minute Board
  • And many others

GoDaddy Cancels KKK.com Expiry Auction

KKK.com is registered at Enom, and the domain name expired in mid-October. As a result of its expiration, KKK.com was automatically sent to an expiry auction at GoDaddy Auctions. By mid-day yesterday, the auction had a high bid of nearly $100,000 with a little over a week until the auction would end.

In response to a tweet mentioning the KKK.com auction, Media Options CEO Andrew Rosener wrote about the domain name and suggested that GoDaddy cancel the auction:

Leonardo Dicaprio About to Lose His Domain Name (Update)

LeonardoDicaprio.com is the most valuable expiry domain name on the daily auction lists I receive. Created in 1997, LeonardoDicaprio.com expired in early October of this year. The domain name is currently registered at Network Solutions, and it will be sent to auction at NameJet if it is not renewed immediately. As I am sure you know, Leonardo Dicaprio is a highly regarded American actor.

Using the Whois History tool at DomainTools, I can see the domain name was previously registered to Birken Interactive Studio, Inc. According to an article on ZDNet from 1999, this company is “the production company established by Leonardo DiCaprio.” The registrant email address for this domain name is through the LDCFoundation.org domain name. This domain name is used by the Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation, a non-profit organization connected to Mr. Dicaprio.

Jen Sale Shares Tips to Evaluate Domain Names in Auction

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One of the most time consuming things I do is evaluate domain names that are for sale in auction. Every day, tens of thousands of domain names come up for sale via domain auction platforms. I primarily participate in auctions on NameJet, GoDaddy Auctions, and DropCatch.com. I spend quite a bit of my time reviewing lists of names to determine what I want to bid on and how much I am willing to spend.

Jen Sale, CEO of Evergreen.com, is a top domain name broker who has been in the business of domain investing for even longer than me. Jen is a regular guest on Domain Sherpa, and she was on the most recent show this week. In a 13 part Twitter thread, Jen summarized some of the tips and tools for domain auction bidding that were shared on the last Domain Sherpa episode. I think the advice is valuable, so I posted the thread below.

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