Daily Poll: Would You be in Ok with a Buyer’s Premium for Live Auctions?

At almost all of the major art and memorabilia auction houses, sellers AND buyers pay a commission to the auction house. The buyers’ part is called the “buyer’s premium.” To date, there has not been a buyer’s premium on domain name auctions, beyond the 2.5% fee NameJet began charging in 2016.

I am curious to know how people would feel if a buyer’s premium was added to live domain name auctions.

While buyers might balk at agreeing to an additional fee, they would understand this going into the auction and adjust their bidding accordingly. Having this fee shift could be advantageous, assuming the commission fee would be reduced for sellers. Reducing the current 25% sale commission for live auctions to 15% and adding a 10% premium to buyers may entice more sellers to list their domain name for sale via auction. Having a better selection of domain names at auction would be nice.

Would you be ok with this change?

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Buyer “premiums” are just a scam to make things look artificially cheap for the uninitiated
    – regular bidders at real-world auction adjust their offers down significantly because of this and so it automatically means less money for the seller. – whilst sharing the bill on paper looks good, it really isn’t.

    Some platforms are already doing this with domains – AFAIUI namejet apply extra fees above the purchase price to domains “won” on their dropcatch/backorders as do a few others

  2. Auctions of tangible things should charge a commission to take care of the items being sold. It takes a lot to handle the items, store the items, secure the items etc…. Domains don’t exist in real space so there is nothing to take care of but air. Should a company charge extra for taking care of air?

  3. Elliot, This is a horrible idea.
    Why would you even write this?

    I know GoDaddy sponsors your blog so I have to ask this question. Is this a question GD asked you to ask us your (interested domaining) readers?

    You never auction your names off at auction, (that I have seen), so you are pushing for a savings to the seller. Makes very little sense.

    Now I know you are a buyer so why would you want to pay an additional 10%. When Runner went for 69k last year, you would have wanted to add an additional 6.9k to have won that???

    This is not similar to a Major Art or Vintage Car auction at all. In domaining there are the same 500-1k people bidding and selling all the time at auction. Very little new big money.

    GD gets their 25% and that is all they want I am sure. Much bettter getting their juice from one source rather than 2 sources.

    I absolutely hate this idea.

    • To be 100% clear, GoDaddy did not ask me to write this – nor did anyone else. I think the only times anyone has asked me to post a poll question were readers who wanted me to ask people to vote on the value of their domain names.

      I auctioned names for many years (on various platforms, including TRAFFIC auctions) but have not in the past two years. I would definitely consider adding a one word .com to the auction if the commission burden shifted a bit. I am not going to pay 25% commission though.

      It would be interesting to see if the bidding psychology changes if buyers have to pay a 10% fee. I don’t know if mine has changed with the 2.5% NameJet fee, but I doubt it has. I am paying much more for successful auctions than in years past.

      I am not advocating for this fee shift at all. I am asking people to share their feedback. Of course, I appreciate your feedback. This is not exactly a new idea, and I would be shocked if industry auction houses haven’t considered this.

      • Just saw that on OnlineDomain.
        Weird since the NamesCon press release said GD was taking it over.
        Guess we are waiting on tge official lowdown from Monte.

  4. Buyers premiums for auctions are for items that need custody like cars, or artwork that need to be stored, heated in secure areas etc…

    This is the biggest scam going, I don’t care if you are heritage, namejet, godaddy etc… stop bidding, and they will stop charging.

    Namejet paypal fee is bs also, they need to clean up the shill bidders on that platform.

  5. I voted no.

    “may entice more sellers to list their domain name for sale via auction”

    What would entice me is not having the Estibot abomination figure involuntarily appears with every listing (or anything like it). Hence, I never use NameJet though I would have liked to otherwise.

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