I received an email via the TRAFFIC conference mailing list with an update on how this year’s TRAFFIC auction will work. The auction will take place on October 18, 2011 at 4pm. In lieu of working with one auction company, TRAFFIC organizers will accept submissions from various aftermarket companies and even individual domain investors. Conference organizers will provide the auctioneer and presumably an online bidding platform.
For those who wish to submit their domain names separately, there is a fee per guaranteed auction submission, and it’s pretty steep. That being said, the commission structure is favorable should the domain name sell. It’s based on a sliding scale, so the higher the reserve, the higher the submission fee, but the lower the commission rate.
One other big change is that all auctions will start at either $1.00 or $1,000 and work their way up. It seems misleading when an auctioneer gets a $2,000,000 bid on a domain name when the reserve price is $2,500,000 and other people talk about that $2 million bid. A bidder who makes the $2 million bid knows his bid won’t be accepted, so it’s not really a true bid. Working towards a higher price should help determine a market value.
The auction list has already started to form, and there are 20 premium .XXX domain names that are scheduled to be auctioned. Additionally, the following domain names have also been scheduled: FortLauderdale.org, Her.CO, Sub.CO, and TrainingSession.com.
A full explanation of how the auction submission process will work as well as the full rate chart can be seen here. I recommend reading that information before submitting any domain names for auction.