Should domain marketplaces increase minimum bid requirements?

Is $60 or $250 too low for a minimum offer? Should you be forced to set something higher?

It seems that Go Daddy’s inclusion of non-priced domains from Sedo set off the latest round of discussions about minimum offer prices, but it’s a discussion that’s been going on for years.

Sedo has a minimum offer price of $60. The minimum commission is $50, but may be waived if you park your domain with them.

Afternic has a minimum offer price of $250. Its minimum commission is $60, or $120 on a premium listing.

I’ll admit that I get annoyed when I get a $60 offer at Sedo. But I also know that I can set whatever minimum bid I want, so it’s kind of my fault.

This week Sedo announced in its newsletter that adding a minimum bid is now part of the domain listing process, which makes it even easier to avoid these lowball offers.

That said, should marketplaces consider upping their minimum bid requirements overall?

It’s not that easy of a question. I’d start by pointing out three things:

1. You can already set whatever minimum bid you want, as I’ve mentioned.

2. Some offers start out small but turn into something big.

3. Low offers are a good starting point for an auction.

But the big thing that weighs against increasing a minimum bid threshold is that both Sedo and Afternic are selling domains for their minimum bid prices. I even noticed one case in which a big name domainer that sold a domain on Afternic for $250.

If deals are getting done at these prices, it should not be forbidden. We’re talking about two willing parties; a buyer and a seller.

What do you think? Should Sedo and/or Afternic increase their minimum bid requirements?


  1. J says

    Maybe someone can explain to me why on earth Sedo deserves $50 for a $100 domain sale that was generated on a link from my own domain. I get many offers on Sedo I would accept if I would get the full amount. If my domain is parked elsewhere then I know the sale came through Sedo’s search and they deserve the commission. Otherwise ALL the marketplaces need to be a lot less greedy on small dollar sales.

  2. todd says

    A very simple solution would be to up the minimum bid to $250 but where you can go in and lower it if you want to. So the default would be $250 but if I want it to be $60 I can change it. I am sure that most would at least want it at $250 but if you feel like lowering it you can.

  3. ChuckWagen says

    “(SEDO’s) minimum commission is $50, but may be waived if you park your domain with them.”

    Can you help clarify this?

    I thought it’s now $50 minimum across the board, parked or not.

  4. says

    You can already set the minimum at whatever you like, so I don’t see it as a big deal.

    I actually bought a $60 domain on Sedo recently, I didn’t think the sale would actually go through, but it did. I had an unsolicited offer on the domain within a week.

    If people want to sell their domains for peanuts, let them.

    If people are too lazy to set a minimum offer, which can be done in bulk, then they have little justification for whining about lowball offers in my opinion.

  5. J says


    I agree, but does Sedo deserve 5/6 of the sale price? If you’re drop catching domains for ~$20 and aren’t attached to the domain a $40 margin would be considered fantastic in most other industries. The current domain marketplaces are leaving millions of dollars on the table by pricing low-cost domains out of their systems IMO.

  6. J says

    How much work is that exactly on an automated system where I do the pricing, negotiating, closing and lead generation? I’m thinking of Sedo specifically but Afternic, are nearly the same. DNS actually does take an active and visible role in brokering so I view their service differently and they also don’t hide inquirers’ info. Sure Sedo or any broker will go above and beyond for a large, premium sale but as far as the automated inquiry and negotiation system all I’m saying is there’s room for low priced domains but the commission should reflect the low margins some are ok with and make it up on volume. We also shouldn’t have to let Sedo rake 90% of our PPC rev in order to get a better commission when we’re helping their marketplace by pricing domains to sell. I’m happy with IT, my PPC rev went from “practically nothing” to “something” almost overnight. I’m not the only one. I think Sedo and anyone else that relies on parked domain traffic to generate sales should be taking a serious look at their business model and what they can do to parley their temporary moment in the spotlight into a real value proposition for domain owners.

    • says

      @ J –

      In many of Sedo’s cases it takes a lot of work coordinating it, especially for ccTLDs.

      But beyond how much time it takes a marketplace to transfer a domain and handle payment now, you need to realize it cost a lot of money to set the infrastructure up.

      A lot of things are inexpensive incrementally after you’ve built the infrastructure and systems for them.

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