Snapnames

Breaking Reports: Snapnames Acquired by Web.com

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According to tweets from two employees of Web.com this evening, Snapnames was acquired by the publicly traded company. I don’t have details about the reported deal, and I can’t find a press release announcing the news, but I understand that Web.com CEO David Brown informed employees of the deal earlier today.

Snapnames and NameJet are two of the main auction houses for expiring domain names. NameJet is a joint venture between Demand Media and Web.com, and it remains to be seen what will happen now that these two companies reportedly share the same owner.

I assume more details about the reported deal will be made public soon, especially given the fact that Web.com is a publicly traded company and will likely have to disclose details about a transaction. Once I hear more and receive an official confirmation of this deal, I will pass it along.

Domain Auction Prediction Algorithm

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Every once in a while, I think of a tool I think would be helpful to my business. I don’t have any type of computer programming background, so instead of spinning my wheels and throwing money at something I wouldn’t be able to adequately tackle, I figured I’d write a blog post about it and maybe someone will create it.

Every domain name that goes to auction, whether expiring auction at NameJet or private auction at TRAFFIC, has many unique attributes. There is extension, keywords, length, inbound links, Google results, keyword search numbers, pagerank, number of other extensions registered, how the domain name was used previously…etc.

All domain names probably have dozens of unique attributes that can be identified, and each attribute plays an important role in the domain name’s valuation.

I would love to have a tool that uses an algorithm to predict the closing price of a domain auction before the auction begins. With thousands of auctions occurring daily across many platforms, there is plenty of data that can be used to predict the sale price. I think it would be a great add on to a tool like FreshDrop, and it could even be a Firefox or  Chrome extension that could be enabled on the auction platforms, allowing me to sort by predicted closing price.

This tool is different than automated appraisal tools like Estibot because it would actually predict closing prices rather than value. In addition to a domain name’s attributes, the tool would also take the auction conditions into account as best as possible. For instance, it would be able to use the auction’s start time, venue, number of backorders, high bid prior to auction, and other factors into account when predicting the closing price. With each auction that the algorithm records, it would be able to self adjust for more accuracy.

Do you think a tool like this would be helpful, and would you pay for something like this? How would you go about getting something like this built?

Is There Something Wrong With Contacting Owners of Expired Domain Names?

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I know that Go Daddy, NameJet, and Snapnames are well aware of domain investors who reach out to the owners of expired domain names in an effort to purchase them before they go to auction. This probably annoys the auction houses and it has spurred a debate about this practice on forums and in private discussions.

The rationale for domain investors doing this is simple. The domain owner may not have realized the domain name was worth anything, so a lowish offer could get the owner to renew the domain name and then re-sell it to the person who inquired about it. The buyer would then get to purchase a domain name in private before others had the opportunity to bid on it. If others pre-bid on the domain name, the buyer would know that there is interest from other parties.

There are a few downsides to this practice. For instance,

Afternic Domain Auction Results

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Afternic held a domain auction on Snapnames that ended a couple of weeks ago in March. The results of the auction are listed below. The highest value domain name that sold was GFA.com, which closed at $15,100.

In addition to the listed results, I was told the company closed an additional $24,000 worth of sales after the auction closed. This is something to keep in mind for the next time you have a name in auction that doesn’t meet reserve. You might want to ask the auction house or brokerage to reach out to the high bidder to try and close a deal.

The results of the Afternic Snapnames auction are listed below:

My Picks for Afternic Auction on Snapnames

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Afternic auctionAfternic  is currently holding its annual Spring auction on the Snapnames platform. At the time of this article, 20 of the auctions have bids, and there are just over three days remaining in the auction (ends Friday, March 22). There are 137 domain names up for auction, and many have reasonable reserve prices.

My top five domain name picks for the Afternic auction include:

Before Buying Expiring Domain Names, Be a Sleuth

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I buy many domain names at NameJet, and on occasion I bid on names at SnapNames. I think there are some good values out there, especially when you manage to find a name that has few bidders.

One thing I think is important is to do some research on the previous owner to try and figure out some things about the domain name to determine if it’s worth buying (in addition to keyword research). By looking at the Whois history and doing a bit of additional research, you can uncover some possible reasons for why it’s expiring:

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