Domain Name Wire

Domain Name Wire

  • New Afternic tries to create a sense of community

    1. BY - Oct 05, 2012
    2. Uncategorized
    3. 26 Comments

    Completely revamped Afternic.com brings back the sense of community and marketplace.

    AfternicRemember Afternic back in the day?

    I mean way back in the day. Like around 2000, when the site served as both a marketplace and a popular chat room for domainers (even though they weren’t called that then)?

    It was a community. An active marketplace.

    In recent years Afternic became more of a utilitarian device; a tool to list your domains for sale to get them syndicated on other sites.

    Afternic’s completely refreshed site, which will be released later today, brings back the sense of community and true marketplace that once existed.

    (Thankfully, the chat boards have not returned).

    The first thing that will strike you about the site is that it’s trying to become a place to buy domains again. It brings community aspects to the forefront.

    Each domain listing is tied to a seller. You can see the seller’s username, photo, when they joined, and how many domains they have listed. One click takes you to view the entire seller’s portfolio that’s listed for sale. You can even follow a seller’s activity.

    Sellers essentially get their own listings page on Afternic. They can even choose domains in their portfolio to feature on their page.

    There are also “trending domains” that are attracting attention. The home page lists recently sold domains. And it even looks like auctions are making a return to Afternic.

    You can also see the up-to-date number of domains for sale on Afternic. As of this morning: 5,556,237.

    A completely revamped dashboard makes it a lot easier to see your activity at a glance, too.

    It will be interesting to see domain industry reaction and how it takes to the community and marketplace features.

26 Comments
  • Cannot say I am impressed with Afternic. I listed quite a few domains with them but didnt want to put a Buy Now price. Every so often I would be asked to set a Buy Now ,but they then said my Buy Now price was too high.So what, i have to sell at price they tell me ?.

  • I second John UK’s comment and consider this one of the few flaws in Afternic’s system, and it’s a huge huge flaw. Once YOU set your buy now price, it is unacceptable for the online brokerage to interfere with your price setting in any way. That has soured me considerably. It’s not a small issue.

    Hopefully Afternic’s new format has removed this restriction. Sedo is guilty of placing a $10k limit on “Buy Now” prices. Equally bad!

  • @M. Menius Noted. What pissed me off more than anything was that Afternic are well connected with BuyDomains and I noted, by chance, that they have a domain listed for $49400 which was a reasonable but not great 2 word domain. I tried setting a BuyNow for a very well known Island that is going to be BIG ! and they rejected my BuyNow and said must be below $20k (or maybe was $25k) Now what the F do I want to do that for. What I then thought was “hey what a great game”. Get (BuyDomains that is) a legit enquiry from someone then get your “MUG” (me) to accept the LOW BALL BuyNow price Afternic says you should/must accept ,BuyDomains then buy it from the MUG and then sell it to the enquirer for a massive profit. Im not saying that is what they are doing, but it has that appearance to anyone with half a brain. Good to see someone else concurs with me,thanks . Im not averse to paying anyone a commission to sell them, and 20% is quite handsome, but I am NOT into being made look or feel a fool. I removed ALL my domains from Afternic now.

  • John UK,

    Regarding your comments about listing prices on Afternic. The $25,000 limit on pricing is required to be part of Afternic’s Premium Promotion network, which places your names at many of the top registrars and allows the Fast Transfer of a name upon purchase. This price limit is set by the registrars who present these names in the purchase path. The belief is that there is an “upper limit” to the prices these registrars want to present to buyers. That’s their prerogative, and we think the benefits of making this distribution available for the many, many names that are priced below $25,000 creates a valuable selling channel for our customers.

    If you don’t choose Premium promotion, you are free to set your price to any level. We have thousands of names that are priced well above $25,000. In fact, we have many million dollar + names listed.

    As for your comment on the conflict-of-interest on inventory from any of our sellers (BuyDomains included) we are driven by the customer, not mis-aligned incentives. Our 100+ partners and our in-house sales team receive the same commission, regardless of the source of the name.

    We would not have signed up more resellers than any other marketplace if we played games like that. Instead, we are investing in the platform to help domain investors achieve more liquidity and more success.

  • Even Worse says:

    October 5, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    John and M.M.; if you think that’s bad, how about having hundreds of listings on their platform with Premium Promotion (for the most exposure) at prices they approved … only to have them years later have the gall to send you e-mails telling you to lower over 1/2 of them to below new, lower maximum prices they came up with … or else they’ll remove them from Premium Promotion.

    Because I refused (nicely) to cut my prices on all these domains, they cut off their best exposure.

    I enjoy working with the nice, friendly folks who work there, but this policy was/is just plain wrong.

  • Having seen the new format, I’d like to say it looks very good. Really attractive, modern appearance also with improved editing features which are very much appreciated. One bit of feedback: When clicking on “view more listings” under a user’s profile, it appears only 10 domains are showing with no option for buyers to view the rest of a particular member’s portfolio.

  • @Even Worse – This is indeed a major problem. Afternic should allow the domain owner to set his or her own price without interference (i.e. sending the domain to “pending review”).

    Example: I was just using the new interface on several high quality domains and decided to add a floor & reserve price to these domains that were already in their system, displaying at Afternic & BuyDomains, and that had Minimum Offer and Buy Now prices already previously established. Just as I wanted it.

    As a result of simply adding a floor and rseerve price, suddenly all of the domains immediately went into “pending review”, disappeared from the site, and generated notices to lower the prices. This is completely unacceptable to me as a seller! This particular internal Afternic process wastes the seller’s time and should be scraped altogether. As the owner of my domain properties, I decide what they will be listed/sold for. Afternic, as a brokerage, stands to gain by having high-quality inventory to display to their customers. The problem with not honoring their seller’s prices (and subjecting domains to “pending review”) is that the seller will leave Afternic. Therefore Afternic will earn no commission. This problem can be easily corrected once Afternic management make the decision to eliminate “pending review”.

    The other troublesome process is several domains (that have been in my account and listed for over a year) suddenly required “owner verification”. This request for owner verification was trigger by nothing more than simply making a price edit. Bear in my mind I am the original owner of these domains and the whois has remained unchanged for years. They have been in my Afternic account for substantial lengths of time. And yet the domain disappears from the site while “owner verification” is requested. If it’s a newly added domain, yes, verify ownership. Otherwise, no need for this.

    Afternic has so much going for it. But these things I have written about are very very troubling and a chronic source of dissatisfaction. I hope Afternic will upgrade their system to fix these problems.

  • I love the new interface, but my ONE issue, a SERIOUS issue is the “ABOUT THE SELLER” link on the sales page of listings. Did you guys forget about PRIVACY ? I’m assuming they will make an option to HIDE this information if you want, so that no one can see which domains or the # of domains you have.

    Otherwise I’m outta there on principal. Jeez.

    • I understand Afternic’s take on the price limit for premium level domains. I actually think $25k is rather high. If I owned a registrar I also don’t think I’d want to take a credit card transaction for $25,000.

    • @ M – I’ve asked Afternic about that same thing. Right now it seems that you can’t see the seller’s full portfolio anyway.

      But even having your username next to the domain can create an issue. Many people use the same username at multiple venues; for example Afternic, SnapNames, NameJet. If someone finds my username at Afternic they can connect it to me through whois. If they then saw the same username at SnapNames then they’d know who they were bidding against.

      Of course, the simple solution to that is to change your username at Afternic. But I still think some of the seller profile page features should be optional.

  • Andrew- glad to hear I’m not the only one bothered by the seller’s personal info being shown.

    That aside, I think the new interface is slick. The “endless” domain list for searches that automatically expands as you scroll down is smart. No more having to click “next page” every 50 domains .. I think this will definitely result in even more eyeballs.

    Also, the “For Sale” pages look really attractive and sharp. They look a lot more credible and I bet will lead to more sales.

  • The next release of Afternic will include enable/disable preferences on the display of your profile page.  This should be out shortly.
     
    Please let us know of other features or functionality that you think would help increase your chance of a successful sale on the new platform. You can always reach me directly at pngueyn@afternic.com with any feedback.

  • @M ,I am with you totally on the Privacy issue and won’t be using until all issues are fixed.

  • It’s surprising that Afternic let this kind of privacy flaw thru (username & portfolio shown). I expetected better…

  • Even Worse says:

    October 6, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Right you are, M.M.

    Nice that “Afternic” at comment #12 above addresses the privacy issue.

    How about someone there addressing mine and M.M.’s complaints as well.

    I won’t hold my breath.

  • Even Worse:

    Your complaint (as best we can decipher) is that you were asked to re-price your domains. It’s hard to respond to such a generic complaint in a public forum, particularly where you don’t identify the account or the names in question. We have a customer service team that takes pride in helping more customers sell more premium domains than any other platform, so we’d be happy to be make sure you are getting that same benefit if you contact us offline with the specifics. Keep in mind that our network gets 75 million queries each month for available domain names from 100+ domain resellers (75 million!) so we do think that our view is informed by the single largest source of end-user statistics in the secondary market.

    On M.M. comment about seeing more names in the profile, we are adding a feature to show more names. We’ve also addressed the disabling of the profile page if the seller wants to supress that promotion.

  • 75 million queries a month and roughly $4mil a month in sales . . . unless my math is wrong (and it usually is) ~$53 rpm ?

  • To amplify M Menius’ point – and the $10K doesn’t rise with inflation.

    I calculate it should be at least $11K and change to keep up with inflation since it was set.

    still not a lot but obviously better than 10

    Carl Edgar

  • I just tried the new my domains page and it’s awful on my 20-inch LCD screen.

    The type is washed out/spidery. The page doesn’t fit on one screen without scrolling.

    I can only scroll horizontally by moving all the way to the bottom of my portfolio.

    To see all columns on one screen I have to de-zoom down to 67%

    The old format was crisp and clean visually and I never had a problem navigating it.

    What to do (begins pulling hair out by the roots)

    Carl Edgar

  • PS – I have screenshots to illustrate this but can’t insert them here.

  • Carl:

    The new site is designed for a minimum resolution setting of 1024×768. Our guess is that you have your resolution at 800×600 if you are seeing what you describe.

    The domain profile page does require that you scroll horizontally because it contains 16 different attributes about your domain…these attributes are in distinct and configurable columns…so you can choose to see the default set of four columns, all the way up to 16 columns. This way, all the characteristics of the domain most relevant to you can be reviewed quickly.

    Please contact us directly at pnguyen@afternic.com or support at support@afternic.com for additional assistance.

  • Actually I’m at 1152×864. However, thanks for the reply.

    Carl

  • After checking out the frontend of the new site briefly, my initial reaction is that I don’t like how the top menu bar when expanded pushes down the main content of the page (and then retracts again when mousing out of the menu). I think it would be better from a user experience perspective to have the menu drop down expand over top of the content below it without moving it. Because of the size of the menu and the amount of height that the content gets moved to me it just seems rather jarring.

  • @pngueyn, I wanted to send you some more feedback but the email you posted is bouncing. cheers – Michael

  • Thanks for the opportunity to reply to your concerns, and to provide you and your readers with the most up to date information on the Afternic re-launch. We are committed to providing you with the best user experience in the aftermarket. Below is an update as of today (Friday 10/12/21) on the outstanding questions you have.

    @M. Menius- We released an update this week that allows users to view more listings from members profile page.

    @M- We’ve released privacy features that allow you to completely hide your profile page and references to your profile if you so choose, and to control what information is shown publicly, including hiding your user name from the site entirely. Even more privacy options will be coming in future releases.

    As always, if you have any specific questions or concerns about your account, please contact customer service at 866-351-9586 or email Service@Afternic.com.

  • I went into the site in more detail yesterday and selected the option to work on columns.

    It said something like ‘work on columns here’ so I right clocked and left-clicked and dragged and so on but there was no reaction whatever. The page just stared back at me as though it were an exercise in anger management.

    There’s also an issue with horizontal scrolling. You have to go to the bottom of your domain list to find the scroll bar, rather than having it at the bottom of your screen.

    In addition, you can only show 50 domains at a time (it’s 200 with SEDO and 1000 with DOMAINSPONSOR), so the site is not useful for large portfolios – because larger portfolios add yet another level of clicking and faffing around.

    Simplicity is the key here. Sites that work don’t require a long chain of comments becuse they just work and users, therefore, don’t feel constrained to write about them.

    Carl

    I had no problem with the old format except that when you changed minimum and other prices the changes weren’t didn’t actually appear on the list that people saw.

    Afternic told me they had an issue with this

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