Higher Minimum Bid Auctions at NameJet

If you frequently bid on NameJet auctions, you’ve probably noticed quite a few domain names that are pre-release that have a price minimum bid than the standard $69 minimum bid. Up until last week, I assumed that you couldn’t bid on those auctions unless you placed a backorder that was equal to or greater than the reserve.

Last week, I back ordered a domain name that appeared to have a $149 minimum bid. There was one other person who appeared to back order it before the deadline at the same $149 bid price. When the domain name went to auction, I was expecting to compete with one person, but lo and behold, there were additional bidders at below the $149 price.

I reached out to NameJet GM Matt Overman for some clarification, and he let me know the higher price was simply a reserve price. This means you can bid lower than the minimum posted amount without any obligation (as long as you bid above the standard $69). If nobody bids the reserve price or higher, the domain name won’t get sold to you for the $69 minimum.

What does this mean for you?

  • If you think you’re the only bidder when you bid the reserve, there might be others who bid lower but can outbid you at auction.
  • You can’t see how many backorders there are under the posted price prior to the auction.
  • You can safely bid the $69 minimum even if the posted price is higher without obligation.
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. Virtual Bidding Wars, Psychological Warefare, I saw a domain that should be about $600, sell for $2300 on namejet last week, I just shook my head, as these 2 went at it. ArtTree.com, It is hard enough to get end users past $500, you need to get $3,000 just to break even if sold through a broker.

    • Maybe the bidders know something you don’t know. I’ve found that most people I am competing against are pretty savvy when it comes to valuations.

      The name doesn’t make sense to me either, but what do I know.

  2. Means I wish I was a seller on NameJet. They seem to get the highest prices for domains around the auction arena.

    But seriously, its NameJet implementing a reserve strategy to both get higher prices for their names and for the domainer (or whomever is selling).

  3. As a seller, I can’t complain about NJ’s methods. Yes, they do get higher dollars for your domains.

    Ron, did you do a search on “art tree” to see what’s popping up? Premium brandable, 1997 registration date, numerous existing “art tree” businesses. The price is fair, smart investment by whoever got it.

  4. I did do my homework on it Acro, Agreed it was a great name, that is why I was waiting on the two bidders to duke it out and see where it landed.

    When you are investing in 4 figure domains on a daily basis, you choose your battles wisely. When you pay about $2500 for a name, as you already know how vigilant end users are, especially in the artistic sector, you could be sitting on some serious dead money for a while.

    Majority of namejet auctions are a 2 way bidding war, it is a fight of the ego, and that is where they are getting their top dollar from. From my recent purchases, I am seeing some very large domainers start moving inventory through there, and they can get pretty close to end user pricing.

  5. I had to bid minimum of $150 to get HavanaTours.org from Register.com.

    So, could be registrars setting higher reserves.

    PS, after requesting authorization code for transfer out of Register.com, message says expect to wait four to five DAYS for the authorization code… not the transfer, just the authorization code.

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