Currently the major players in the Domain name broker/Auction space include Sedo.com, Afternic.com, Moniker/SnapNames.com. NameJet.com, and some smaller players including Latonas.com, BoxCar.com, Francois Carrillo from Domaining.com set of sites including Cax.com, NumericDomains.com, PremiumDomains.com; as well as Flippa.com (which also sells developed sites) and the newly re-launched Bido.com.
Of course their are several brokers that also send out daily to weekly lists of domains they are privately brokering.
Like I said there is no shortage.
So with so many companies in the space what can Aftermarket do to stand out.
In my opinion the best thing they can do it stop dead beat bidders and non-performing sellers.
None performing Sellers occur in several situations. One situation is, when domains are placed for sale by someone other than the owner and sold off. In this situation the auction house only finds out after that sale that the person who placed the domain into the market place did not own the domain. In this regards Aftermarket.com enjoys a distinct advantage as its parent company also owns DomainTools.com which it should be able to use for its benefit to make sure that every domain in the marketplace was submitted by the owner of the domain.
Another situation where you have a non-performing seller, is where after a domain has been sold in the marketplace the seller simply refuses to transfer. Usually this occurs when the Seller believes the domain has sold well under value and refuses to complete the transaction.
Likewise, Buyer often seem not to pay for their purchases.
Recently we have seen six figure sales not complete at public live auctions, online auctions and through marketplaces.
At the TRAFFIC auction last month 2 six figure domains that appeared to sell in the live auction, Shock.com and BVI.com were put back into the silent auction after the auction house was “unable to make contact with the buyer”.
Although much less frequently than NameJet.com, I have gotten emails from Snapnames.com that notify me that they are rerunning auctions where buyers failed to pay for their purchases.
When a Seller of 7 legal domains elected not to transfer the domains after they sold at auction for some $200K, the marketplace which held the auction refused to file suit against the Seller for non-performance. Moreover the terms and conditions that make up the contract at Sedo, did not specifically give the buyer the right to collect its attorney’s fees and costs from the non-performing seller leaving the buyer pretty much without any practicable enforceable rights.
Since writing this blog about 3 years ago, I have only heard of one situation where an auction house has filed suit for their commission for a non-completing transaction and that was Oversee.net suing for its commission over the sale of Ad.com.
So if Aftermarket wants to stand out from the crowd out of the box, why not ENFORCE a strong policy against non-paying buyers and non-performing sellers? Yes it will cost some money in legal fees. But if the terms and conditions of the site are drafted properly suits can be brought in Aftermarket.com home market, forcing those subject to suit to come to LA, to defend themselves.
My guess is that strong enforcement, each time, every time, out of the gate will stop the dead beat bidding and the non-performing buyers, quick, real quick. So take some of that marketing money and put it where your mouth is, telling the community unlike other sites and platforms if you play games here, its going to cost you.
Along the same lines Aftermarket’s terms and conditions must give violated parties the tools they need to enforce there rights if they so choose by allowing the winning party to collect its attorney’s fees and costs from the losing party if they elect to file suit to go after a non-paying buyer or a non-performing seller.