Userbase Gets Its .com

A week ago, there was an active discussion about whether a small startup called Userbase should acquire its brand match .com domain name which was in an expiry auction at GoDaddy Auctions. The company has been operating on, and the company’s founder (Daniel Vassallo) had polled Twitter to seek out opinions on whether he should spend the money required to buy the domain name. The auction ended at $33,500, and it appeared the company was passing on the opportunity.

it turns out that the winning bidder at GoDaddy Auctions apparently defaulted and did not complete the purchase. As the underbidder in the auction, Daniel was given the opportunity to buy the domain name at his highest bid after the winning bidder’s bids were removed. It looks like he is jumping at the opportunity to purchase the domain name for just shy of $25,000:

Based on subsequent tweets, it appears that Userbase is going to rebrand its website to at some point in the near future. Given the company’s recent launch, it is probably a good idea to do this sooner than later, as long as they follow the domain name rebranding guidelines set by Google to ensure SERP continuity.

i do not look at this as an indictment of the new gTLD domain names though. In fact, it looks like Daniel was able to grow his business enough on the .Dev domain name to be able to justify his purchase of the .com domain name. I do think this illustrates how a startup may launch and gain traction on a new gTLD domain name, but if or when the matching .com comes on the market at a reasonable or fair price, the founder may want to secure it.

Once the domain name is secured and the business is relaunched on, I hope Daniel will provide some updates on the business. It would be interesting to hear how the acquisition of the .com domain name impacted the business.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the 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


    • It’s not allowed to be renewed after 30 days expiration since it’s registered at GoDaddy. They even made an announcement about this policy 2 years ago.

  1. > it looks like Daniel was able to grow his business enough on the .Dev domain

    There is no “business” yet, the current website is but an announcement of the upcoming product linking to its pre-release source code on Github.

  2. He got VERY lucky. This domain name could have been lost forever to another end user buyer at the auction.

    Meanwhile, here’s hoping that GoDaddy bans the fraudulent bidders who failed to back up their bids with real money.

    • I don’t think he got lucky, I think he was the mark, and funny enough him exposing the auction, and stating he won’t pay more than $25,000 got someones attention

      Enough attention to make them not want to pay.

      Godaddy, how can people bid $35,000 on an auction, and simply walk away, you can go legal for damages when talking about those kind of numbers. This can be anyone of us on any given day getting fleeced.

      • They cannot simply walk away. There are penalties according to the terms of service. No one got fleeced. The buyer in this case got a heck of a deal because he was able to pay quickly when contacted and other bidders were not or did not respond quickly enough. There were plenty of well vetted long term bidders involved in this auction. The auctions team has both automated and manual checks in place to make sure that the bids that come in are legitimate. Many times on large purchases speed to payment is the issue and we are seeing what we can do to help with that.

        • The winning bidder was sitting at top bid for about 24 hours, nobody tried to even outbid him when started tweeting about not buying it, the auction stalled. Funny the high bidder got cold feet.

          Maybe it is time for Godaddy to start holding balances like Namejet, and such so this issue is not a problem anymore, they used to back in the day. Would be great for cashflow to, to have all that money sitting in account balances.

          Everytime a big auction defaults, not having enough time to pay, I mean if they have the funds, and send you a wire receipt, I am sure you are going to hold it. Either they sent it, or didn’t, otherwise they were just playing with fire.

        • @Joe Styler – If a bidders doesn’t have the funds or doesn’t have easy access to funds to pay when they win, it’s hard to call that a legitimate bid.

          It seems the automated and manual checks you have are maybe not working? This could potentially be leaving people tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket because people can bid against them, knowing they will not buy the domain anyway.

        • Joe, what is the penalty when someone says they can’t pay within the required time? Surely it is now widely known by scammers to use that excuse when one of their accounts wins and then watch as the price drops right back.

          Secondly how do you know the underbidders weren’t the same type of people who “couldn’t pay on time”? Surely some of these transactions have been pushed up by fake bidders below a real bidder?

          Lastly if there was “plenty of well vetted long term bidders involved in this auction” how come the winner couldn’t pay?

        • If bidders are so long term and well vetted why do so many big ticket auctions on GD default… And again, what are the penalties besides getting banned from future bidding? You always hear from them “oh we’re gonna block him, he will never bid on an auction on GD again..“ Next 50k auction, same scenario, top bidder defaults and they go down the line. How many fake bidders can possibly be out there?? Namejet has its issues, a lot of them, but their default rate is a lot lower. It’s just more transparent with bidder handles.

        • What logic is that? 😂 He started his project on .dev because the .com wasn’t available plain and simple. If the .com would have been free for registration, the guy wouldn’t even know that a TLD .dev exists. Facts.

        • Of course he started his business on .dev because .com wasn’t available. I don’t need you to remind me of that. The logic is that, if he thought .dev doesn’t mean business, he would have chosen a different TLD.

          I suggest that you don’t make an assertion which goes against the logic. He is a developer so it’s more logical to assume that he already knew the .dev TLD.

          And “he bought the .com” simply doesn’t equal to “he thought .dev doesn’t mean business”. They are two different things.

  3. I told you the auction was a scam. GD auctions are so predictable. Now this guy overpaid for a domain because someone bid up the price. Probably multiple people bid up the price. Sure they dropped it down to a lower price but was that really the lowest price. F@#king scam!!

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