GoDaddy can learn from mistakes in its first Signature Auction.
When GoDaddy sent out a press release announcing the auction lineup for its first Signature Auctions, the headline boldly stated:
‘Sold!’ Go Daddy Offers Live Auction for Premium Domain Names
Perhaps it should have headlined “Not Sold!”. By my count, only 2 domains sold during the auction. This is despite GoDaddy changing the rules after the first day. It lowered the reserves on some domains. It also lowered starting bids but enacted hidden reserves. (During the first day, all domains opened at their reserves).
The third day saw few bids despite opening prices as little as 1/10th of the original prices.
Why such poor results? Here’s my take:
-First and foremost, the reserve prices on the domains were often times 2x-3x what the domains could be expected to sell for.
-The auction process wasn’t clear until about a week before the auction.
-You had to apply to bid in the auction. I understand doing this to keep the integrity of bidders, but many people weren’t approved to participate until a day or two before the auction (despite ‘applying’ about a week before). A number of people applied, but didn’t join in the fun when they saw the high reserve prices. Heck, I wrote about how GoDaddy had a good lineup of domains. But I wouldn’t have been so enthusiastic had I known the reserve prices.
-The auction was done through a “live” interface. If you wanted to bid, you had to wait through all of the auctions you didn’t want to bid on. Compare this to Sedo’s Great Domains auctions, which run in parallel.
GoDaddy just hired DNForum’s Adam Dicker to run the TDNAM auction service. If Dicker ties this into DNForum, GoDaddy will see greater success in upcoming auctions.