I was pretty surprised when I came across a NamePros thread last week about a GoDaddy program I was neither aware of nor had I heard about. Apparently, there was a rewards program that gave GoDaddy account credit for buying GoDaddy products and services. What stood out to me was that this apparently included purchasing domain names in auction at GoDaddy Auctions.
Here’s what the NamePros member shared about the GoDaddy Pro program:
“Me as a Pro Plus member, They used to give me %10 of cashback for any new purchase, So if i purchased a domain via auction for $500 then i will have $50 back after a certain amount of time. Which i can use to purchase any other product at GoDaddy.”
I was able to confirm that this was a legitimate program offered by GoDaddy that operated in a manner similar to an affiliate program. From what I have come to understand, the program was created to allow service providers, such as web developers and graphic designers, have their clients pay for GoDaddy products or services, and they would receive a commission in the form of GoDaddy account credit when a client (or they) made a purchase. For instance, if my developer was in the program and wanted me to purchase a hosting account for $350, he could receive up to a $35 GoDaddy account credit if I used his link or if he bought it on my behalf, depending on his commission level within the program.
The GoDaddy Pro program was not targeted at domain investors, but there were investors participating in it. GoDaddy Auctions participants who were in the program would receive GoDaddy account credit based on their domain name auction purchases. The credit could be used towards GoDaddy products and services, including subsequent auction purchases. For instance, if someone in the program won an auction for $10,000, they could receive up to $1,000 in GoDaddy credit that could be used to pay for GoDaddy services or future auctions.
As the NamePros thread starter indicated, this program is no longer offering GoDaddy account credit for GoDaddy Auctions purchases. To be clear, the reason I learned about this was because someone publicly mentioned that account credit was no longer being given for auctions, and I did not know this program existed until after auction credit stopped being given to participants.
I reached out to GoDaddy to seek confirmation of this program and to learn more about the program. Paul Nicks, VP of the Aftermarket at GoDaddy, shared the following statement with me via email:
“We take the integrity of our auction platform very seriously. Unfortunately, users in the GoDaddy Pro program received rewards on auctions that weren’t broadly offered to normal auction users. We have stopped allowing this and will work with other teams to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
If I were to guess, I would imagine this was an error rather than a feature of the program. In fact, the fine print in the program’s terms and conditions that I found states the following: “The following purchase types do not earn GoDaddy Pro Rewards: Add-ons for Sites and/or ManageWP; renewals; domain club; aftermarket purchases; as well as other services not purchased via Shared Shopping Cart.” Domain name auctions would be considered aftermarket purchases.
As a GoDaddy Auctions participant, this is disappointing to me. Auction competitors who were members of this program were gaining an advantage when they were bidding, as they would receive up to 10% of their auction winnings returned in the form of GoDaddy credit to use on future auctions or other services.
I could not speculate about how widespread this program was, but I believe there were quite a few competitive auction bidders who participated, including people who would be classified as domain investors. I do not begrudge these people for participating, but it was an unfair advantage for them. It is unclear how long this program allowed auction participants to receive account credit for their winning bids.