To buy, or not to buy, that is the question. So the headline here comes from an email a reader sent me about an exchange they had with an end user.
The reader sent a targeted email to just one person, asking them if they would be interested in the domain name they had for sale.
The prospect replied, “Sorry Robert, I don’t buy from domainers on principle.” David.
When they asked me what I thought? I said it’s something I have seen many a time, and not just with end users. Many a domainer has this mantra as well.
Way back in the day, circa 2007, when Frank Schilling was blogging regularly at SevenMile.com, many a reader would ask why Frank would not buy names from them, or on a forum?
Frank actually answered the question in a post where he posted 5 questions asked by Domainer’s Magazine that was apparently never published.
4: For those of you that still buy names on “The Drop”, what services do you use and have the most success with. (Perhaps include a success story as well?)
***FS*** I like Snapnames because they run an honest block. The prices are higher at Snap because they are honest and because they have done a good job securing high quality invetory (they run all their names across the block and don’t hold back the good ones for themselves). People ask me why I would spend so much money (millions a year) at Snapnames but not buy lower priced names more aggresively on chatboards and privately. The answer is: Snapnames is more than an auction block… they are a clearing house. They provide certainty of title so I know the name isn’t stolen, they facilitate the authcodes and assist in transfering names to my prefered consolidation registrar. If I buy a name privately I might not get the authcode. I didn’t pay 15k to buy your name so I could chase you around the world to unlock the name and provide an authcode. I paid you 15k because I am hoping to develop the name at one point in the future, that assumes I’ll be able to renew it.. Snap hands the name off safe and secure. Lastly, Snapnames provides a “daily show”. There is almost always something good crossing the block. I think there is a HUGE opportunity to create a vibrant secondary market based on their model. Maybe they will be the ones to do it.
Another case of note was someone who I know well in the business, that focuses on a few niches. So one day I text him a link to a GoDaddy auction that had one $12 bid in one particular niche. He replied thanks! I personally had watched auction wins by him where he was paying $400 to $500 a name.
Later that day he texted me back and asked why did you send me that link? I said what are you talking about? Isn’t that one of the niches you have been buying up?
He replied “Oh yeah, but this was a public auction, I don’t buy from domainers.” I said well idiot you could have gotten this name for $30.
While talking about the email from the reader with a good friend in the business, he laughed and said when he was at NamesCon a very prominent domainer told him he did not buy from domainers while they were having a drink. Yet later on in that conversation as it had shifted, he brought up this domainer again, mentioning that the domainer emailed him some names he had for sale. I said you schmuck you had the perfect reply, “Sorry I don’t buy domain names from domainers.” He laughed and said, “Oh crap, that would have been the perfect reply.”
Many a time we see similar names at GoDaddy public auction don’t go for near the same price as a similar expired name. Namebio doesn’t even track most public auctions, I was doing this manually and sent them to Michael. Later we decided that so many names got reauctioned, etc.. that the data might be very inaccurate. I remember years back during the chip craze, I kept telling someone who forgot about some domains that they were expiring, these 4L.coms had $1,000 high bids with 3 days left. He renewed them and immediately put them up as public auctions and the bids never got higher than half the high bid when showing as expired.
Now I think Frank made a good point for why some don’t participate. He mentioned, They provide certainty of title so I know the name isn’t stolen, they facilitate the authcodes and assist in transfering names to my prefered consolidation registrar. If I buy a name privately I might not get the authcode. I didn’t pay 15k to buy your name so I could chase you around the world to unlock the name and provide an authcode.
Others simply don’t want to put money in their competitor’s pocket. A few people have said that to me over the years. Yet they don’t mind putting money in GoDaddy’s pocket, who is a competitor through their NameFind division.
So do you avoid buying domains from domainers?