For most people who are active in the domain name business, bidding on auctions is a daily occurrence. Most active participants in the business are familiar with the various auction venues and have accounts that are ready for bidding.
Although familiarity with venues is high for people in the business, there are plenty of people who aren’t active who may not be knowledgeable about various venues, let alone have accounts for bidding. Even though opening an account and bidding may seem like common sense, I think it is a good idea for a domain owner to explain the process and provide information about the auction venue to prospective buyers.
The different auction platforms have different rules for signing up for an account, placing a bid, actively bidding, and paying. Venues run auctions of different lengths, have different “sniping” rules, and require bidder approvals for different bid thresholds.
When contacting prospective buyers for a domain name that is headed to auction, especially people who have previously expressed an interest in a domain name, it is important to explain how the auction process works and give them some background information about the marketplace. Since some auction venues take longer to process bidders who want to bid above a certain amount, be sure to educate your prospective buyers far in advance.
I would recommend creating an information email with important details such as:
- Auction venue corporate information
- BBB rating and other pertinent 3rd party information about venue
- Details able placing a backorder or bid, including definitions
- Rules of the auction venue regarding bids, sniping, bid deadlines, and payment information
One thing I have done in the past is provide a contact name and email address at the venue to an interested buyer. Most venues are happy to connect with prospective buyers who want more details about the venue or the auction. It is important to make sure this is done far in advance to allow time for the prospective buyer to create an account and/or become verified to bid.
Make it as easy as possible for a buyer to bid in one of your auctions. Things that have become common knowledge to you and me may not be so obvious to a prospective buyer.