My Thoughts on GoDaddy Acquiring Dan.com

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I list nearly all of my domain names for sale on both Dan.com and GoDaddy (via Afternic). The domain names mostly resolve to Dan.com landing pages but are also listed via GoDaddy’s expansive sales network. These are the only two platforms I currently use to sell domain names, beyond my own landing pages.

In a blog post published on Medium this morning, Dan.com announced it is going to be acquired by GoDaddy:


I have become fond of selling domain names on Dan.com because of the ease of transacting. The platform makes it easy to negotiate with a counter party, and once a deal is agreed upon, the automation makes it easy to transact. I think GoDaddy, via its Afternic Fast Transfer network, has the greatest reach of all platforms to sell domain names via its various partnership channels. Independently, I like using both platforms to sell my domain names.

After reading Andrew Allemann’s interview with Paul Nicks regarding this deal and thinking about some of the implications, I have some thoughts:

Positives:

  • GoDaddy’s brand is more recognized, particularly in the US. This will give confidence to buyers who are reluctant to use Dan.com / Undeveloped because they don’t know the company. I closed a six figure deal with an end user buyer who insisted on using Escrow.com rather than paying via Dan.com. I was fine with that and sent a commission payment to Dan.com after the deal closed.
  • If GoDaddy can help with customer service, Dan.com may have better hours for transactions between US-based customers. I have had deals slow down because they completed in the middle of my work day but after hours in Europe.
  • It would be great if I close a deal via Dan.com and don’t have to do anything with the transfer. My GoDaddy-registered domain names can be taken from my account immediately and deals can close faster, similar to the Fast Transfer service on Afternic.
  • It will be nice if domain names sold via Dan.com or Afternic are automatically removed from the other platform immediately after selling. Selling a “trend” domain name on two different platforms has always been a distant concern for me.
  • If there’s a recession and aftermarket slowdown, having the financial resources of GoDaddy will help Dan.com continue innovating.
  • Dan.com customers who do not list on GoDaddy / Afternic will have more reach when their domain names are added to GoDaddy’s sales network and sales channels.

Negatives:

  • I would imagine the growth of Dan.com put some pressure on GoDaddy’s aftermarket team to provide value to its customers. Now that Dan.com will become a part of GoDaddy’s aftermarket portfolio, that outside competition will no longer exist.
  • GoDaddy’s Fast Transfer does not mean “fast payment.” Dan.com has become known for its lightning fast payments and speedy transaction times. I can’t say the same for GoDaddy’s Afternic.
  • In the DNW article, Paul Nicks mentioned “commission alignment.” I don’t want alignment. Dan.com doesn’t get in the way of deals closed via my landing page, and I wouldn’t pay more than I pay now. If I was willing to give up 20% commission on my landing page-generated leads, I would use the GoDaddy-branded landing page and be done with it. If GoDaddy increased the commission to 20%, I would most likely go back to my own Embrace.com landing pages and negotiate via email closing using Escrow.com.

Unknowns:

  • Another growing company taken out by GoDaddy will likely lead to an upstart trying to take its place. I have no idea who will jump in nor do I know how that will work out. It could birth an innovative competitor.
  • A large competitor might offer a competing service for domain investors to try.
  • There could be fewer advertising dollars to support industry tradeshows, news publications, and forums. Less revenue could lead to some departures from industry coverage.
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

22 COMMENTS

    • I can’t blame Reza at all. He’s running a business. He probably got a nice payout and has much greater resources and runway to grow.

      He is running a business and needs to do what is best for himself, his employees, and his investors. Of course, this will have implications for his customers and that will play a role in the future success of Dan.com.

  1. I use dan but on the fence right now after this. Will wait and see what the fallout is. My take is this and changes they need to do to keep domain owners.

    No reason for dan/godaddy to charge 20% on a 250k name. The same work is done on a 10k domain than a 250k name. That fee for higher priced names must come down. When a real estate agent sells a 5 million dollar home the commission percentage does not go up. Same time and work is done selling a 500k home.

    Then you have lease to own for 5 years. They take 20% commission and top it off with a lease to own at 30% over 5 years now you’re at 50% commission. Escrow does not charge those extreme high fee’s for lease to own. Not going to send anyone through a lease to own at 20-30% for higher priced names lol. Bring it down or have an option to remove it by seller.

    An option would to be charge 3 fee’s. One for names under 10k one for 10k-50k then 50k PLUS. At the same time give the option for sellers to negotiate own names. Sales are lost because you will have random GD agents selling a high priced name they know nothing about.

    • Correct. Those smaller deals are where Dan.com excels. I would imagine one pain point for Dan.com is getting US-based buyers to send six or seven figures to a relatively unknown European based company. That said, I did have a multi-six figure deal with a US buyer close via Dan.com without any issue, so this is more speculation than fact.

  2. I would be taken my names off dan and using bodis lander and sedo lander if I have to .Not paying those 15% when I can negotiate and use escrow or sedo leads for 3%.End of story .

  3. I don’t personally think theirs any positive here. Less competition is never good. I have sold a deal on both Afternic and Dan. If I remember correctly Dan did get me paid quicker.
    I would never pay 15% or 20% if I sold it myself. Squadhelp tries to pull that on premium listings and that is a NO FOR ME.
    Someone will step in. Theirs a lot of money with limited investment at the end of the day they’re providing technology for 15%, 20% or 25%. and if it is a nice domain that is great money.

  4. Yeah Godaddy is a shit show. I moved all of my domain names from their control into a Uniregistry account. Then Godaddy bought Uniregistry. I was sent an email (only a handful of us was sent this email) that my account was being traded in for a Godaddy account, which will only happen over my dead body. So I moved my domains to Epik. I don’t trust Godaddy, my experience with them is horrible but I’ll see how this whole Dan acquisition plays out. Godaddy is trying to become a monopoly. Lucky for me I’m in the website business and only buy valuable domain names to develop. This acquisition really affect domainers more than the occasional buyer.

  5. I love the move as I love GoDaddy and Afternic. I couldn’t be happier with the excellent staff who work with me – from Bob Mountain, Rich Green, Nick Link and the stellar TA at Afternid. I’m leaving out dozens of GD brokers who have been outstanding.

    I like Dan, and they have a great team, but I like this acquisition.

    BTW – I’m not a big whale customer with 30 K domains or sells 500 K usd in domain sales per month, but they are always responsive and provide super support for even bonefish like me

  6. “GoDaddy’s Fast Transfer does not mean “fast payment.” Dan.com has become known for its lightning fast payments and speedy transaction times. I can’t say the same for GoDaddy’s Afternic.”

    Of course, GoDaddy is a US public company and it has to operate under a very different set of regulatory considerations relating to acting as a money transfer agent. So, it would be difficult under any circumstances for a US business to deal with the various requirements (or granted exceptions) imposed by 50 US state bank regulators, along with US federal requirements on structuring or even sanctions compliance.

    I would imagine also that there may have been persons doing business with Dan who may find it difficult to continue to do business as it transitions to a GoDaddy property, simply because there are some jurisdictions with which it is categorically more difficult to conduct financial transactions as a US company.

  7. Not great news for domain investors.. agree with you… Already uniregistry story is something domain investors experienced. This is no different news. DaaZ.com is a pure makretplace offering almost all features like DAN.com and also lighting transction closure times, payouts with in 48 hours.. I have been using them for almost 2+ years… most importantly they charge just 5% commission on BIN transctions and 7% for make an offer or auction transctions. DaaZ.com is worth a try…

  8. plenty of options around… e.g: DaaZ.com commission is just 5% for BIN listings, many outbound domainers are already using them… other options are dynadot , namesilo , namecheap, epik .etc.. DAN is good if commission structure changes domain investors are not fools..

  9. All the acquisitions that Godaddy has made are not the same within a maximum period of two years, all the other companies do the same, everything to adapt to their way of working, I do not think that they would accept the 9% if they did this, their floating keel would would become stones to sink in the Nasdaq 100 market.
    Venturing to give a forecast right now is very difficult and Godaddy knows it very well.

  10. Hey Elliot, you say…

    ” Another growing company taken out by GoDaddy will likely lead to an upstart trying to take its place. I have no idea who will jump in nor do I know how that will work out. It could birth an innovative competitor. ”

    and I couldn’t agree more…

    We (AR-media.net) are a small 20-people company, but as you said, fresh, young and innovative and we are definitely one of those companies that will try to fill that gap that was just created in the domain names market.
    We were already in the making / developing our AR media – Domains Market platform, for the last few months, before even first hearing about the rumours DAN.com planning to sell it’s platform to GoDaddy.
    By creating our platform, we were just trying to provide some more options and services than DAN.com was providing, we basically loved DAN.com as it was, we just wanted to offer a little bit more.
    We can’t say we like GoDaddy much, though… hahahahha…
    Now that this happened and it’s concluded, our project has turned into a RACE!

    We were initially thinking of taking our time to complete our platform sometime within 2022 and then push it publically slowly and steady some time in 2023, but in the spectrum of current events, we need to attract investors YESTERDAY, grow our team and get ready much faster and sooner.
    Many domainers and owners will be very displeased with this acquisition and will try and find elsewhere to do their domaining business and we want to get ahead of this and seize the opportunity that appeared.
    DAN.con going GoDaddy is very good news for us, time to take a bite out of GoDaddy’s pie ourselves.
    We just need to find a few investors to help us move faster.
    Do you know any…? hhahahha…

    • No, I do not know of any investors.

      I have a couple of comments though:

      You wrote, “We can’t say we like GoDaddy much, though… hahahahha…”

      I would imagine a large percentage of deals done via Dan.com had domain names at GoDaddy or moving to GoDaddy. Any company in this space will need to deal with GoDaddy on a regular basis. Saying you don’t like that company much is unwise.

      I also think trying to break in to the domain name aftermarket with a hyphenated .net domain name is a bad move.

  11. I get what you say, but unfortunately, we’ve had our go with GoDaddy and AfterNic, so we can’t praise them, our experiences with them certainly left us with a bitter taste. DAN.com on the other hand gave us only joy using their platform and that’s what gave us the idea to expand that kind of service, in the first place.
    We will built our own platform, as we were planning to do anyhow
    and if we come to crossing paths with huge GoDaddy you know what they say…
    “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

    You are absolutely right about our hyphenated .NET domain name,
    but this is what we are currently built on, as we started our business on that domain some years ago
    and we have built some reputation already. AR derives from the initials of our other business venture,
    so this will not be a simple change. We are already considering several options (even a branding touch-up)
    that I can’t disclose in a public comment at the moment, but it will be announced when our platform is ready to launch. Let’s find our investors first… This is definitely going to be a RACE now! A creative one I hope. 🙂

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