In July, I noticed a domain name I had sold for five figures on Afternic was coming up for auction at GoDaddy Auctions. The domain name had been sold less than a year before, so it was surprising to see it had already reached expiry status. I posted a tweet mentioning that I think GoDaddy should add one year of registration after a domain name was sold via Afternic:
I sold a domain name via Afternic for 5 figures this past September, and it was in a GoDaddy Auctions expiry auction today. Registrants are responsible for renewals, but it seems like a courtesy to give an extra year.
— Elliot Silver (@DInvesting) July 16, 2019
This morning, I was doing some diligence on upcoming GoDaddy expiry auctions when I noticed two domain names that appear to have been sold within the last year are coming up in expiry auctions:
Centrist.com is coming up for auction in 8+ days. There have already been quite a few bids and the high bid is $590. Using GoDaddy’s Appraisal tool, I can see the domain name is listed as a comparable domain name that sold for “more than $25,000.” A DomainTools historical Whois search shows that the domain name was registered to GoDaddy’s NameFind portfolio as recently as January of 2019. To me, this would indicate that the domain name was sold less than a year ago.
SmartChoices.com is coming up for auction in 7+ days. Bidding has exceeded $1,300 already. I do not see this domain name listed as a comparable sale, but I do see something else that appears to show the domain name recently sold. In July of this year, the domain name was registered to Afternic DNescrow, according to DomainTools. In April of this year, the domain name was registered to GoDaddy’s NameFind portfolio, also according to DomainTools.
From what I can tell, it would seem that the registrants still have at least a couple of days to renew these domain names before the redemption period passes. Because these two domain names have made it to this point, it would appear that the registrants have not taken action on the renewal emails they should have received. As much as I would be happy to own either one of these domain names, it does not seem fair that they are already being auctioned when it would appear they were recently sold.
When a domain name sells via Afternic, it is either pushed to the buyer’s GoDaddy account if the name is registered at GoDaddy, or it is transferred from a different registrar. With a registrar transfer, a year of registration is automatically added. If the domain name is pushed to an internal account, it does not appear that an additional year of registration is added. In my opinion, a year of registration should be added to all aftermarket sales.
There is a chance I am wrong about the two domain names mentioned above. Without having knowledge about their history, it is possible they may have sold more than a year ago. Perhaps the Whois did not change at the time of sale. That being said, I won the auction for the name I sold less than a year ago, so I know it is an issue.
You might ask why I did not reach out to the buyer as a courtesy. I would have done that if I could have found the buyer’s email address or contact information. However, there was no email address for the registrant archived in DomainTools’ Whois History tool. I would offer the name back to the buyer for what I paid at auction if that person or company asked. It would be the right thing to do.
By giving an extra year of registration for domain names sold via Afternic, it will cost quite a bit of money. When you consider that GoDaddy would also lose out on the auction proceeds, that makes an even larger cost to GoDaddy In my opinion, this is the right thing to do.
I spoke with a friend about this and wanted to clarify something a bit. I am not condemning GoDaddy here. I think it is more of a courtesy to customers rather than a call out that GoDaddy is doing something wrong. I also think it would be a courtesy for companies like NameJet, SnapNames, and Sedo to add a renewal year before pushing a domain name to buyers. Domain investors should consider doing the same thing as a courtesy when they have the margin. For instance, a $50 deal on NamePros doesn’t really give the seller much room to pay for an additional year of registration.