What “On Hold” / “Pending Sale” Means at Afternic & GoDaddy

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There have been several times I have seen my domain names in an “on hold” status at GoDaddy and “pending sale” status at Afternic. These designations mean the same thing, although it has always been a bit confusing because this status has not always resulted in a completed sale. In fact, I would guesstimate that my sale rate is about 50/50 when I notice a domain name in this status.

Because I have been confused about the meaning of this status, I am sure others are as well. I reached out to Alan Shiflett, Director of Sales for the Aftermarket at GoDaddy, to ask him to explain the following things about hold / pending sale status to give us a better idea of what they mean and why some deals fall off:

  • What causes a name to go on hold / pending sale?
  • Why do deals fall out of this status?
  • Why do completed sales that go through a hold process take time to be paid out by GoDaddy?
  • What are the possible hold times? I’ve heard 24 hours and I have also heard up to a week.

Alan responded to my questions with a thorough answer. If you have additional questions about the “on hold” or “pending sale” statuses at GoDaddy and Afternic, feel free to post them in the comment section.

The domain listing hold system is a critical part of the distribution network of over 150 Afternic reseller partners. Our main priority is to provide a world-class system for domain owners to sell domain names easily. The hold system is used to prevent domains from double selling and to preserve the integrity of the distribution network.

Domains are put on hold as a request from our reseller partners. The hold period varies depending on the reseller’s customer base, internal policies and regional needs. Some reseller partners do not place the hold until funds are in hand. Other partners use the hold system before the purchase and release the hold after they deem it as abandoned. These reseller partners might release the hold if the cart was abandoned or payment was accepted but did not clear fraud checks.

After the purchase is completed, Afternic does additional checks to verify the validity of the sale before payout is released.

A few things to note:

• We recommend 2 hours for abandoned carts and the majority of holds are for this time period.
• The vast majority of holds above 2 hours are 5 days or less.
• The max a hold can be placed for is 10 days.
• Most holds are never seen by domain sellers as they are typically quick (less than 2 hours).
• We monitor for excessive holds by partners. If we find someone is using holds excessively, we work with them to see how we can improve their customer and our customer experience.

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