What Does SnapNames Acquisition Mean for Domain Investors?

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On Friday evening, I reported that two Web.com employees tweeted that Web.com had acquired SnapNames, a once thriving domain auction platform. SnapNames may still be thriving, but truthfully, I have not participated or followed very many auctions on the platform in a few years. This morning, Web.com officially announced the acquisition in a press release, although terms of the deal were not disclosed.

From my perspective, in the last few years, SnapNames became more well known for its private domain auctions rather than its expiring domain auctions. I remember when SnapNames reported “bonkers” sales numbers for expiring domain names. The numbers may say otherwise, but that’s what it seems like to me anyway. When thinking about expiring domain auction houses though, I still consider NameJet, SnapNames, and GoDaddy to be the “big three,” again keeping in mind that I almost exclusively use NameJet these days.

For a while now, SnapNames has maintained one of the better domain auction platforms. It’s easy to bid and participate in auctions on SnapNames. They were integrated with Moniker, and it was a fairly seamless process to bid on domain names and have them pushed to my Moniker account. It’s been a while since I did that with frequency though.

NameJet and SnapNames will now sort of be sister companies, since NameJet is a joint venture between Web.com and Demand Media / (Rightside). I am not sure how these two companies fit together since they both share a similar offering of private and public domain auctions.  In the press release, the company said “the acquisition complements NameJet,” so I don’t foresee a combination of these two business units. Both have respected leaders at the helm in Matt Overman from NameJet and Craig Snyder at SnapNames.

I am curious what you think of the acquisition and what you think it might mean for domain investors and domain buyers. What do you think about the acquisition?

8 COMMENTS

  1. I have to give props to snap for having an app, albeit a bit buggy, and accepting PayPal. Two things namejet lacks, innovation is needed.

    • Perhaps this is a silly question, but what advantage does an app have over logging in from your iPhone via Safari? I don’t recall having issues bidding on NameJet from my phone without an app. Again, perhaps a dumb questions but I’d like to know the advantage of it.

    • I just find it handy. one click and i can open it and log in and it also auto refreshes the auctions. its nothing huge though i guess but when im on my phone, i always use the app.

  2. It is much quicker navigating thru an app on an iPhone, than a browser in most cases. If you are in a hurry, or have a single task to complete, such as upping a bid, when you have been outbid. Ultimately it is their own fail as it would generate more profit for them, so good thing for bidders it hasn’t appeared as of yet, then again new Gtlds are taking money away as well in regards to allocation in the last few weeks.

  3. as for the acquisition, i wonder if domains will stil be pushed to moniker.com or elsewhere? i certainly hope they won’t be pushed to netsol or register…i also wonder if they have a deal with the dozens of moniker.com registrars that do the catching.

  4. Snapnames still gets more than 50% of the “level 1” domains we submit, probably more like 70% so they are much better than namejet at deleted domains.

    Enom/namejet doesn’t seem to focus on Deleted domains as much as their premium inventory,

    Will web.com move all the private expired inventory to Namejet like domain.com? etc?

    If I were a betting man, I would say, they are going to jump ship when RightSide breaks off and sell their own inventory and get 100% of the profits. Like when Snapnames lost Network Solution when DomainSponsor purchased snapnames.com.

    SIDE NOTE:
    It is going to be interesting if web.com someone integrates drop catching with their web.com searching for new domains.

    To wait 30 days to get the domain you really want most customers I believe would wait…only down side is if snapnames DOESN”T get the domain….one pissed off customer …

    Example:

    Customer looks for expireddomain.com and web.com now tracks all RGP domains and that domain happens to be in either RGP or Pending delete status, if they will say “backorder this domain” at snapnames for $69 it is available on or about April 10th 2014, start your website now with “temp” domain and on April 10th we will try to get your preferred domain.

    Don’t know if it that or one Investor bailing out another Investor.

    Snapnames still has a lot of its own registrars, and still uses alot a BAD registrars to catch domains, hopefully that will improve

    • I want to ask a question to owner of this comment or this blog. Now, I want to buy some domains with drop cath. Sometimes, some domains caughted by domain.com. For example their registrar informations like these:
      – registernames.com – dotster.com – domain.com
      – 1st-for-domain-names.com – mydomain.com – domain.com
      – cocosislandsdomains.cc – domain.com
      … etc.

      We know, some registrars work with or part of snapnames, namejet, pheenix, etc. But I couldn’t find any information about domain.com

      Have they any backorder service? or
      Did they register this domains for themself like as namebright(hugedomains)?

      Thank you very much.

  5. It all comes down to the inventory. If Netsol and Rcom start funneling their inventory to Snapnames as opposed to Namejet then that’s a game changer. Back in the days when Snapnames was dominant it was because they had that coveted legacy expiring inventory. Web has lost lots of registrations to Godaddy over the years but there is still a great deal of old premium .com inventory expiring from in there. If they place it at Snapnames.com then I’d say Snap gains vs Namejet.

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