One of the biggest gripes at GoDaddy auctions seems to be the high number of post-auction refunds. If a domain name is registered at a partner domain registrar, auctioned at GoDaddy Auctions, and then renewed by the domain registrant, the auction is canceled and high bidder is refunded. Any time spent on research and bidding is wasted.
Within the last few years, GoDaddy changed its own renewal policy to cut down on post-auction renewals and refunds. From what I understand, if a GoDaddy-registered domain name is not renewed 3 days prior to the start of the expiry auction, the registrant can no longer renew the domain name.
For domain names registered at partner registrars, this change was not applicable. A bidder could win an auction for a domain name registered at Tucows, for example, and the domain registrant who let it expire could still renew the domain name for an unknown period of time.
I’ve seen many complaints about GoDaddy Auctions refunds, and I am sure I’ve received refunds for this reason.
This afternoon, I received an email from a GoDaddy representative letting me know about an upcoming change applicable to partner registrars. Domain registrants at partner registrars of GoDaddy Auctions will have less time post-expiry to renew their domain names. This should lead to less auction refunds. Here’s what I was told:
“Reclaimed domains from late renewals will decline significantly as we’ve tightened the timeline for all our registrar partners on Auctions. This will provide investors with greater confidence that they will receive the domain if they win the auction. There are some edge cases that preclude us from guaranteeing 100%, but this change will significantly close the gap.”
For those people who are concerned about the domain registrants, I think they still have plenty of time to renew domain names post-expiry. I am not sure how many days they now have vs. how many days they had before, but there is still a grace period between domain name expiry and the point of no return.
I believe some people use the extra renewal time to gauge interest in their domain names, but this should no longer be the case.
GoDaddy and auction partners will likely retain the right to review edge cases of domain names that were not renewed due to some technical error or other reason, but I imagine this change will cut down on post-auction refunds.