Poll: Should Auction Venues Share Reserve Range?

Yesterday afternoon, JE.com failed to hit its reserve price on NameJet. The high bid was $500,000, although the posted reserve price range was $500,001 – $600,000. Essentially, this meant anyone could place a $500,000 bid without any obligation to buy the domain name since the seller is not permitted to reduce the price to a high bid that did not hit the reserve.

Theo Develegas made this observation and suggestion on Twitter:

Not posting the reserve price range would likely eliminate bids at just under the reserve because it would be too risky for people to bid if they don’t actually want to buy a domain name. We would likely see more genuine bidding if people were obligated to purchase a domain name should their bid hit the reserve. This would give a better idea of the market value of a domain name.

As a bidder, I like to see the reserve price range so I don’t waste my time watching an auction that has a reserve range above what I would consider paying.

Notably, not all domain name auction platforms share the reserve price range. Sedo and NameJet both display the reserve price range. GoDaddy Auctions does not. I can’t recall whether or not other domain auction venues that offer private auctions display the reserve prices, so feel free to share that info if you know.

Do you think auction venues should publish the reserve range?

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. there should be a starting price and not a reserve price.
    if i am a seller and don’t want to sell under $500k, then set the starting price at $500k so there is no bullshit bidding from $1 to $500k.

  2. Honestly I kind of agree with what bdsmStore.com said in the comment above. What’s the point of starting an auction at $1 when the reserve range is $500,001-$600,000. Why not just start the auction at $500,001 with no reserve. This would save a ton of time at the NamesCon live auction too. It was so funny this year watching bidding wars happen below reserve with no obligation to pay should the seller decide to lower the reserve. It’s just dumb and a waste of everyone’s time, in my opinion.

    If you’re going to have reserve ranges I think every bidder should be obligated to pay the below reserve number they bid should the seller decide they want to accept a bid below their reserve. That’d eliminate all this meaningless bidding below the stated reserve range.

    I think the way things are set up now, with stated a reserve range, the auction starting below the reserve range, and no obligation to pay the amount you bid if it’s under the reserve range, is pretty dumb. Just my opinion…

  3. This is an easy fix. Give give the right to the owner to reduce reserve at any time so if some bozo comes in and bids at 499k and reserve is at 500k they are liable.

    On top of that you should have on file a 5 to 10k charge on the credit card if and when anyone fails to complete the sale all based upon sales price.

    Not only that but if anyone fails to buy a 2k or 8k name they should pay a fee of at least 10% for not following through the sale. It would stop all this FAKE BIDDING!

    Can you imagine Sothebys not holding anyone responsible for fake bidding or no intention to buy.


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