Domain Auctions can be Annoying and Frustrating

domain auctions

Lately I've been trying to participate and learn the various rules of domain auctions across different sales platforms and domain registrars.  Mostly I've been sticking to the major auction houses and registrars that run their own auctioning services.  While it can be interesting to see what gets dropped more often than not I am finding that searching through and participating in domain auctions for quality dropped domain names can be quite an annoying and frustrating experience.

First off even if you read through the rules of domain auction services and try to understand their Terms of Service and guidelines before bidding, I am always finding there are little caveats or rules that are missed.  This can really hurt you when bidding and trying to acquire a domain you really want or have a use for.  I could list a lot of examples but honestly this post would be get a little long.  Anyone who is experienced with in domain auctions knows exactly what I am talking about though.  From what I've read on the domain forums and experienced myself it's hard to know every situation until you've gone through it yourself.  Hey, you learn from your mistakes.

Another thing that kills me is when you are a high or only bidder in a domain in auction and you assume you will get it.  When only a few hours before the auctions ends, boom, it disappears.  What happened?  The original registrant of the domain decided to renew it.  This is great if you forgot to renew your domain and it was an oversight but not so great if you thought you were going to get the domain.  I guess that's why ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) decided to implement Renewal Grace Periods.  I agree with the ICANN policies but it's soooo annoying when it happens.  I have had several quality domains I thought I was going to get for a great price when the original registrant renewed it.

For domainers and web entrepreneurs out there, have you ever been annoyed when participating in domain auctions?  Have you had similar experiences as me?

Check Domain Names for Typos Before you Buy

Before you buy, bid, or acquire a domain you should always check domain names for the proper spelling of a word or phrase.  A simple misspelling or typo can be quite costly if you don't keep your eyes peeled and alert.

Checkout this screenshot I took of a GoDaddy Auction where the bidding got quite intense.  It's pretty funny.

check domain namesAt first glance it looks like people are bidding on the domain name “Oil.com.”  Obviously this would be a great domain to have whether you wanted to build it into a website tracking oil prices around the country or world.  You could ask for some serious cash if you wanted to resell it to an oil company.  However, the “O” is not a letter, it's a number.  The number is Zero and the domain name is therefore worthless.

What blows my mind is that the bidding got up to $17,250 for a domain name that is obviously not worth even the registration fee.  This shows the importance of why you should always check domain names spelling before buying or acquiring them in the domain aftermarket.  You never know what domain typos people have registered and will try to sell you or what is being auctioned off.  I've seen a lot of black hatters try to sell a spam domain.

It's something a lot of people could have missed but whoever Bidder 7 is must be pretty upset about it.  It seems that bidding for “Oil.com” stopped yesterday as participants must have realized what they were actually bidding on.  I assume whoever he or she is that was bidding on this domain name they were either;

  1. Very tired and were not thinking clearly.
  2. Drunk beyond imagination.
  3. A shill bidder.

Could GoDaddy Auctions have decided to shill bid this crappy domain name?  Honestly considering GoDaddy's unsavory business practices it wouldn't surprise me.  It's almost good PR for them since the domain forums are talking about this crazy auction.

Another lesson that this shows is that when participating in domain auctions you really need to keep a level head.  The urge to win was obviously clouding these people's decisions, provided they are in fact real bidders.  You can see this behavior in many types of auctions not just for domains.  People are more motivated to “win” then to actually get a good price on the item.  That's why so many things, from paintings to cars, are auctioned off.

Anyway, what do you think of this GoDaddy Auction for “Oil.com?”  Do you always check domain names before you buy them or do you sometimes let it slide?  Have you ever bought a domain name with a typo and only realized it later?