Go Daddy Policy Change May Help DomainTools

I read about a policy change at Go Daddy’s TDNAM auction house that was implemented as result of domain investors circumventing the system to acquire domain names that had been previously auctioned. The company described the problem in this way:

Domain investors often watch Go Daddy Auctions ® for expired domain names of value. When they find domain names they want, they use the public Whois records to harass the current registrant into redeeming the domain name and selling it directly to the investor. Based on customer complaints, many investors participate in this practice, and some even hire outsourced teams.

Although I think losing out on sales was more of a problem rather than Go Daddy’s concern about domain investors harassing their customers, I think this “fix” will probably bring additional business DomainTools rather than solving any problem. The Whois History tool is a powerful tool that can essentially circumvent privacy and allow people to see the prior Whois information, enabling them to contact domain registrants as they have been doing.

With that said, I don’t see why Go Daddy doesn’t have the same sort of system employed by other registrars that prevent customers from re-registering domain names after the grace period. I suppose it would be a potential customer service issue if a registrar is auctioning its clients domain names rather than using a partner like Net Sol does with NameJet).

In my opinion, the solution won’t really work for Go Daddy because anyone who is buying names like this will sign up for a DomainTools account and continue as usual (if they don’t already have one). I think the way to stop the problem is to change the timing of the auctions.

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. You bascially read my mind and was working on an article on the same topic, so no need for me to repeat, you have said everything spot on.

    I think they cannot run the auctions later Elliot. I know when speaking to Paul Nicks and he commented after an interview we did that the most important thing to them is giving the customer as much time as possible to renew.

    The system even works weird in that if you have a domain with no interest the time is 42 days but if it gets a bid you actually get 45 days to renew.

    Here is the comment from Paul replying to Ms.Domainer,

    Ms Domainer, re: the 42/45 day question:

    Good question and one that I sincerely hope I can clarify. First, I’ll underscore a point I made in the interview, we created the system to give our registrants the ability to keep or redeem their name as long as possible. With that as the backdrop, hopefully the following explanation will make more sense.

    For many TLDs we are given a grace period of up to 45 days after expiration to decide whether to keep or drop a domain. On the 25th day after expiration, after three attempts to contact the registrant, we put our expiring inventory onto the Go Daddy Auctions platform to see if any of our other customers are interested in acquiring them. During the entire time a domain is at auction the current registrant is able to redeem that domain, albeit for a fee.

    On the 42nd day we will cancel the domain name if no other customer has expressed an interest in it via either the auction system or a Go Daddy backorder. If, however, a customer has expressed an interest via either of these platforms we will move the domain to their account on day 43. Since the domain is still in the Go Daddy ecosystem we do allow, in rare circumstances, the original registrant to get the domain back via our redemption system up until day 45 which signifies the end of the grace period.

    Our help documentation (http://support.godaddy.com/help/article/608/what-is-your-process-for-handling-expired-domain-names?locale=en) specifies day 42 for deletion because our registrants need to understand that if they do not redeem prior to that date they could lose their domain forever. However, we will continue to err on the side of the registrant when it comes to the edge cases where a domain owner calls asking whether they can get their domain back after day 42.

    I hope that helps ease any confusion around this topic.


  2. GoDaddy will milk the cash cow for as long as they can. For the time being, they screwed Sedo by adding the SedoMLS on TDNAM; that leads to mass retraction of listed domains from Sedo to avoid this degradation of domain value.

  3. Theo do you think they screwed Sedo or Sedo screwed themselves as they wanted the Go Daddy partnership right ?

    I agree they have messed this up and was not necessary, 20% for Sedo MLS for them to throw listings on Go Daddy when the domainer does not need that. What domainer does not know Go Daddy and cannot sell there on their own for 10% ?

    • Most definitely Sedo got screwed by GoDaddy, not the other way around. Look at the silent inquiries: no way to exchange messages. It’s due to the fact that GoDaddy wants to keep the exchange on TDNAM.

  4. Oh ok so it was the demands Go Daddy placed on Sedo, well then you are right Sedo got screwed. Not sure why everything was not developed better, like providing an opt out.

  5. The GoDaddy auction system is frustrating to say the least. You never know if you are going to get the expired name or not. Today I purchased a name on SnapNames and another expired name on GoDaddy. An hour later the SnapNames domain was in my Moniker account. I’ll find out in a week if the GoDaddy domain is mine or if I get a refund.

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