The success of domain auctions has spawned the introduction of new domain auctions across the industry, causing some confusion. These new auctions leave me with a bunch of questions:
– Who is having an auction?
– When is the auction?
– Is the auction live or silent?
– How do I sign up to bid?
– How do I submit names?
– How do I bid?
I am downright confused! Clearly domain auctions are an exciting way to sell domain names. Since I am not in a position to build, operate and execute a successful domain auction, I would like to share a few suggestions for the companies who are running these domain auctions:
– Live, real-time auctions are better than “silent” daily/weekly auctions. They are more exciting, and people know what they win instantly so they can budget accordingly.
– An easy to understand and operate online interface is essential to give bidders at home an opportunity to bid.
– Provide as much infomation as possible about each name. Traffic stats, revenue stats, rankings…etc all help in a domain evaluation.
– Create niche auctions in certain industries. Publicize the auction to domain investors, people in that industry, AND also to the advertising agencies that represent some of these companies.
– Million dollar names aren’t essential for a domain auction, although they will bring publicity. Remember that most people are looking to buy .com names.
– Keep the auction short and sweet. Anything over 50 domain names can cause fatigue for bidders. A company wouldn’t have to auction 300+ names if they hold a monthly auction.
– Make it easy for people to sign up and bid – similar to Ebay’s system.
– Make the submission process quick and simple. Cap each person’s submissions to 10 names. If a domain investor can’t pick the 10 best names they want auctioned, you shouldn’t have to dedicate the man hours to do it for them.
– Transparency is essential. People need to know they are bidding against a “real person.”
– Phone bidding availability is important for people who don’t have access to the Internet at the time.
– Don’t try to lock domain owners into long exclusive agreements. I think 30 days is more than enough time for everything.
– Don’t pressure people to lower their reserve price. If the price isn’t low enough, don’t put it in your auction as it will irritate the owner should it sell for the reserve.