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GoDaddy is a privately owned, Internet-based company that provides a variety of services including domain name registration, web hosting and e-business software sales. The company, which is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, was founded by Bob Parsons. Parsons previously owned a financial services software company, which he sold in the mid-1990s upon retirement. He came out of retirement in 1997 to form Jomax Technologies, the predecessor to GoDaddy.

Since it’s inception, GoDaddy has risen to become the largest domain registrar in the world, with tens of million of domains registered to its clients. The company ranks as the world’s largest ICANN-accredited registrar; it’s approximately four times larger than its nearest competition. Recent corporate acquisitions include Outright, Locu, Afternic, and Media Temple.

GoDaddy has redefined Internet hosting services, and it has been the recipient of numerous industry awards and accolades. Among these awards are the 2001 Arizona BBB award for Business Ethics and the 2011 SC Magazine award for Best Security Team. In 2011, it ranked number four in the Phoenix Business Magazine list of “Best Places to Work in the Valley” and it made the 2012 Forbes list of “Best 100 Companies to Work For.”

Known for its sometimes controversial commercials and interesting spokespersons, GoDaddy also sponsors a number of charitable causes in support of domestic violence and child abuse awareness, and sports events, including NASCAR and the Super Bowl. In 2013, the company shifted its advertising strategy to focus more on small to medium sized business owners (SMB). Reflecting this change, its commercials and advertising materials shifted from “sexy” to smart.

The Appraised Value is “too high to estimate”


It is apparent that GoDaddy has been in the process of revamping its domain name appraisal tool. This became most obvious when expiry auctions in GoDaddy Auctions were missing their estimated values. Recently, domain investor Bob Hawkes noticed what appeared to be a change in the appraisal tool:

GoDaddy’s Paul Nicks replied that the algorithm hadn’t changed but GoDaddy added more sales data:

One thing that seems to have gone unnoticed is a tweak to what GoDaddy shows on appraisals for high value domain names. Instead of reporting the value as more than $25,000, the tool now says the value is “too high to estimate.” GoDaddy’s Michael Cyger – who is departing soon – shared this on Twitter this morning:

I actually think this is a very good change. Instead of putting that $25,000 number on valuable domain names – which can be very confusing unless the disclaimer is carefully read – it emphasizes the high value of the domain name.

With many prospective buyers trying to use the GoDaddy Appraisal as a means of getting a lower price on a domain name they don’t wish to buy, I have come to look unfavorably on this automated tool. That said, I think this new language is helpful.

AirPlay.com Sells for $202k as Apple Registers Swath of AirPlay Domain Names


The largest domain name sale of the day yesterday was AirPlay.com. The domain name sold for $202,000 in an expiry auction at GoDaddy Auctions. I wasn’t following the auction closely, but NameBio reported the auction result this morning:

Originally created back in 1996, AirPlay.com is currently registered at GoDaddy Online Services Cayman Islands Ltd (formerly Uniregistry).

Questions Related to Uni —> Afternic Parking Migration

If you are a Uniregistry customer, you most likely received an email explaining the upcoming migration of the Uniregistry Market and parking platform to Afternic. The subject of the email I received was “Important notice – ACTION RECOMMENDED to move your Market & Parking accounts to Afternic within 6 weeks“. Andrew Allemann wrote about this as did Theo Develegas.

I have had a Uniregistry account since its inception. I started with parking and the Market for sales, but I later moved all of my domain names off of the Market and nearly all of them off of parking. I primarily use my own inquiry forms and Dan.com for my domain name sales right now.

I have about 1,100 domain names listed in my Uniregistry Market account. Since I neither parked most of my domain names nor directed them to the Market, I never took the time to delete sold or expired domain names. My portfolio at Uniregistry is totally outdated due to the lack of upkeep. If GoDaddy would migrate this list of domain names to my Afternic account, it would be annoying to remediate. I will almost certainly delete just about all of the domain names listed there, with the exception of my parked domain names.

GoDaddy Announces Layoffs of “About 8%”


In some unfortunate domain industry news this evening, GoDaddy announced a round of layoffs that will impact “about 8%” of its global workforce. The news was shared today in a press release entitled, “A message from GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani.” The content of the press release was an email that was reportedly sent to GoDaddy employees today.

Layoffs at a large company like GoDaddy aren’t surprising right now. Tech companies around the world have been laying off varying amounts of staff lately. In fact, Fast Company published an article with the question, Why is every tech company suddenly laying off about 6% of its workforce?

I know quite a few GoDaddy employees, and I was sorry to read the news today. Hopefully those who are impacted by these layoffs are able to find employment quickly. Perhaps some will go off and build a successful business on their own.

Here’s the press release from today:

Dan.com Buyers Not Updating Whois


I received an auto-renewal reminder email from GoDaddy this morning. When I looked at the domain name that will be auto-renewed next week, I realized it was for a domain name I previously sold via Dan.com. The first thing I noticed was the account number in the top of the email was different than my account number, so the domain name is definitely not in my account.

When a domain name owner sells a domain name via Dan.com, he is given two options to get the domain name to Dan. The seller can either start an account change to the Dan holding account at GoDaddy or unlock the domain name and provide the transfer authorization code for Dan to transfer it to Metaregistrar.

Friction with LTO + Make Offer

I use Dan.com landing pages for a great deal of my portfolio. Many of these domain names, particularly at price points above a few thousand dollars, use the Buy It Now (BIN) + Make Offer + Lease to Own (LTO). I have been running in to a bit of friction with this setup.

The way it is suppose to work is that someone can either buy the domain name immediately for the list price in one payment, buy the domain name in monthly installments of their choosing, or submit an offer to buy the domain name. If a prospect submits an offer and the owner accepts it, the buyer is sent to a payment page to submit payment for the agreed upon amount.

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