Two of the major services let employees compete with domainers.
[Note: See update at bottom of article.]
Earlier today a reader tipped me off to a discussion at NamePros about GoDaddy’s TDNAM service. Apparently GoDaddy VP (and owner of DNForum) Adam Dicker won a couple auctions for domains through the service. Dicker runs the aftermarket service. The reader was surprised that GoDaddy let its employees bid against its customers and push bid prices up:
These employees may or may not have access to more information than the rest of us, and they may or may not have to pay full price for the domains they win. This is particularly insidious at GoDaddy since they are one of very few auction sites which don’t show you who you are bidding against. So I have no idea if any of the names I won that day were inflated in price due to TDNam executives bidding against me.
Elizabeth Driscoll, GoDaddy VP of Public Relations, told Domain Name Wire, “Go Daddy does not have a policy forbidding its employees to engage in public auctions or registrations. You can be assured we have tools in place to prevent anyone from gaining the opportunity for an unfair advantage in securing a domain name through registration or auction.”
You may be surprised to learn that GoDaddy isn’t the only major expired domain service and auction house that lets its employees compete with customers. According to a phone representative with NameJet, employees of that company and its partners Network Solutions and eNom are allowed to bid on domain names through the service. The representative said employees are required to pay full price for their domains just like customers and don’t get any unfair advantages. [Update: an Enom representative says that Enom and NameJet employees are only allowed to buy domains that no one else bids on.]
SnapNames, on the other hand, doesn’t let its employees bid against customers. The company confirmed to Domain Name Wire that “Oversee.net employees are strictly disallowed from bidding against customers.”
Although it’s easy to find fault in GoDaddy and NameJet’s policies, there’s a deeper challenge that domain name companies face. They want to hire talented employees, and that often means finding skilled domainers. These domainers won’t abandon their domain “businesses” for the job. How can they hire qualified employees while not creating conflicts-of-interest?
What do you think? Should employees of GoDaddy and NameJet be allowed to bid on their auctions?
[UPDATED 6/30/08: GoDaddy has officially changed its policy…see GoDaddy Bans Employees from Bidding on TDNAM.]
I was the person at Namepros that originally highlighted this. It is wrong. This isn’t even “just a GD employee”, it’s the VP of the service the names are auctioned on. Whether or not he gets discounts doesn’t matter. It is reasonable to assume that as VP of TDNam part of his compensation depends on the success of TDNam. Part of the success of TDNam depends on how high bids can get.
Please note that I am not implying he *does* abuse his position. I am stating that a scenario in which it is even possible is not customer friendly, and that’s an understatement.
That’s an absolutely unethical behaviour.
All Expired Domain Services should adopt the same strict policy as SnapNames.
@ DP – thanks for spotting this. I’ll be interested to hear what everyone thinks. Personally I was shocked that GoDaddy allows this, and even more surprised with NameJet was so non-nonchalant about it.
Rob Sequin says
Hard to call this one and this is no reflection on Adam, just the concept of allowing any employee to bid in any auction.
On one hand you want experienced domainers who understand the industry creating a great end user experience but at the same time one might say that this is like putting the fox in charge of guarding the hen house.
It is my understanding that Bido, DNZoom or Monikder employees cannot bid on domains in their auctions and I think this is a good policy so I guess I have to fall on the side of caution on this issue.
What if the domainer at any drop company or auction house gets early notice or some other inside information and can operate in a gray area and take advantage by getting ad “edge” simply because they are inside.
You are either an independent domainer/entrepreneur/developer or your are an employee.
You cannot be both.
Time for standards in the domain auction industry?
John Bomhardt says
Another big problem is that the employees of GD can “confidently” bid higher with inside info. The rest of us in a “hesitant” manner, bid cautiously and being at an extreme disadvantage, we are no longer on an even playing field. How do you fix something like that?
I don’t have a problem with them bidding.
However…if they are scanning our “Watch Lists” that us domainers have created in order to formulate their own Watch List then that is really abusing the system and very unethical. It takes work to scan lists and they should not have the ability to see our work. They need to do the work too.
I’d like a clarification on this aspect and I will plan on calling GD tomorrow to find out.
Emil @KING.NET says
That is unethical … Adam should know better.
This is simply crazy … employee bidding against you.
With all the other unethical practices at these companies, in particular the blatant act of keeping expired domains rather than releasing them, is anybody really surprised? Of course Adam has an advantage in this situation; he runs the darn service. The abuses at these companies keep getting worse and worse. Friggin unbelievable.
Pete Kosednar says
I bid on and won a premium geo real estate domain name from Godaddy on May 27.
This really fires me up! I set a reserve due to the fact that I did not know if I would be around for the final seconds. I raised the reserve by $100 due to the fact I wanted this domain.
In the final 15 minutes before the end of the TDNAM auction of this domain name I contacted Godaddy to remove the reserve due to the fact I could bid the current asking price to buy the domain.
Godaddy employees told me that I could not change/remove the reserve.
The auction went down to last second and was bid higher…
I ended up buying this domain name and contacted Godaddy and questioned if Godaddy employee(s) could of bid up this auction and was told NO!
After my contact w/ Godaddy and when I watched the last second bidding up of the auction price I was then at that point thinking that my call to Godaddy was a big mistake.
The employees have full access to my reserves that I had set or any auction details and this is an unfair advantage.
I think the real issue here is whether it is ok for employees of companies to support their companies by buying products through them. I don’t think it’s fair to single Adam out as he probably still buys domains from many places I am sure. You can’t be suprised that a guy who has been know in the industry for 10 years buys domains. That can’t be newsworthy. I have enough knowledge of him to know he is a man of integrity and doesn’t need to save a few hundred or a few thousand dollars to get domains. That can’t be newsworthy. For companies to adopt a you can’t buy from us makes no sense either. I see nothing wrong with Adam or anyone else going through the standard auction we go through to buy names.
Paul K. says
I see alot of assumptions and no facts.
If Adam bid it at TDNAM like a constomer there is nothing wrong with this.
Good for him for supporting his company.
I even rememeber he posted a thread on DNforum alerting others of great deals on .us names and they should get in and bid.
Doesn’t seem wrong to me.
Jay Z., says
I agree with Mark, I work at Sears and I buy at Sears. I do it cause I like to see the company I work at succeed. This is rubbish. Adam did nothing wrong he is a domainer that buys domains and a good guy. The compnaies have their policies and to assume someone gets an unfair advantage is silly. These are smart companies and smart people.
Rob Sequin says
11. Pete, you are describing shill bidding which is unacceptable anywhere and would ruin the reputation of any auction house. So, you won’t run into shill bidding.
14. Did you ever get the ability to purchase a hot Christmas toy before the general public? Did you ever get the chance to buy a sale item marked down for promotion to bring in the general public? Don’t really need an answer but these are two examples of inside information.
Does it hurt the consumer or the business? Hard to say so I guess it depends and now we are in the gray area and that’s what these comments are all about.
Still not sure if this applies to Adam’s situation but as you can see, it gives the appearance of inappropriate behavior and this perception can be harmful.
@Jay Z. – What you’re buying at Sears is not a unique item (like a piece of art or a domain name).
If you buy a $20 shirt at Sears while working at Sears, it won’t prevent another customer to buy the same shirt today, tomorrow or next week.
There are dozens of same shirts.
In case there was only one shirt, can you imagine bidding against a Sears’ customer ?
Instead of paying $20 the customer would have to pay $30 to have the shirt because as an employee you made a $25 bid ???
Can you really imagine that ?
I can’t personally, no matter how nice you are as a Sears’ employee…
Speechless, he probabbly has access to infos that we regular domainers do not have and it is simply a bad thing to do. And he is VP?
I also see nothing wrong with this.
You cannot assume any unfair advantage was obtained.
A long time domainer buys names, wow big shock and he supports a company he works for.
VP or no VP, No big deal here and you are making a mountain out of a mole hill.
John Kane says
Adam buys hundreds of domains, if he had more information would he not buy thousands of domains from godaddy with all his supposed info. No he just bought two, WOW! With all his inside information he only bought two. You guys are dreaming up controversy. Nothing illegal or wrong happened here PERIOD
18 & 19
If you can’t see what’s wrong with it then you probably need a white stick and a dog…
Adam Strong says
This is absolutely ridiculous .
I agree, I think I’ll go read dnjournal where real news may exist.
Alan M says
I am a member of Adam’s DNForum site and have been for a few years. In that time, I have found Adam to be responsive to needs of members in that community and honorable in his operation of that site. He runs a clean ship.
It was probably his own business acumen and understanding of the industry which brought him to the attention of (and presumably his position at) GoDaddy. The good folks at GoDaddy likely wanted the best expert in their minds for the project they were advancing and so hired Adam because he best fit their needs.
In my opinion GoDaddy itself is one of the finest domain name registries out there. As an outsider and a customer, I think that GoDaddy is heavily focused on customer satisfaction and adding value to the GoDaddy experience. They may have a non-conventional marketing approach to differentiate themselves in the market, but the company appears to be run as tightly as any other sound business. Their results speak for themselves.
Do you think it logical that either Adam or GoDaddy would deliberately do anything untoward to sully their excellent reputations? Of course not. To create an environment which seemingly besmirches one or both of these parties by reaching for something that I believe is simply not there just seems wrong.
Is there dirt to be found in the domain resale industry? Sure, but not in this case.
Bryan Gray says
Adam is one of the people of highest integrity in this industry. If you do your research you can find him bidding on every major platform on the internet as he has for quite some time. Just because he took a job at GD doesn’t mean he should have to stop buying names there.
For all of those defending Adam and making it out as if this is an attack on him…
I have known Adam for a while and I know plenty about him. I just talked to him on the phone a couple weeks ago. I know he bids everywhere. This article really has nothing to do with Adam, other than that he happens to be the GD executive who was found to be bidding on the aftermarket he runs. If it were about Adam, the headline would have been “Adam Dicker Bids on Domains at the Aftermarket he Runs”.
Furthermore, nothing pisses me off more than when people say an article like this “is not well researched” or “is just allegations and not facts”. Here are some facts for you:
1. I make no allegations in this article. I do quote someone who speculates.
2. This is the best research you’re going to find on a topic like this. Whereas most people in forums just run around making accusations, I took the time to pick up the phone and call Oversee, NameJet, and GoDaddy.
Rob Sequin says
Maybe Adam or Bob Parsons would like to post a comment?
Can Adam see and search a database that is not available to the general public?
Can he see all names with bids?
Can he see the left bids?
If he has ANY advantage over the general public then he should not be bidding. That is very clear.
With that said, this article is more of a conversation about the CONCEPT of an employee bidding in an auction, not about Adam specifically.
As others have pointed out, this is completely different from people just supporting their own company by buying its products.
The Sears example is just dumb. If your purchase of the t-shirt at Sears meant that the next customer had to pay $5 more for it, then that would be a problem.
And you have to ask, if this is really not big deal, then why does Oversee have a strict policy that its employees can’t bid on snapnames auctions?
jim r says
Adams a domainer. The company he works for sells domains..The company has no rules against him buying/participating in these sales/auctions..unless they change the rules I can’t see why he would not buy/bid for domains he wants..
Do you really think a reputable company like Godaddy would allow this to go on if there was a chance that employees can gain an un-fair advantage. Absolutely not!
We have no problem with Adam Dicker.
He’s certainly a good guy.
BUT, he should stop bidding on TDNAM or he needs to RESIGN from GoDaddy if he wants to bid.
As simple as that.
We are customers and he is increasing prices we pay at TDNAM.
There is an obvious conflict of interest and it must stop.
GoDaddy has to enforce a no bidding policy for ALL its employees.
“We are customers and he is increasing prices we pay at TDNAM.”
What exactly do you mean he is increasing the pricing?
Whether he is working for Go Daddy or not, a bid would increase the price….
People are trying to turn this into something it is not.
33 – That was very clear.
His position allows him to get data we don’t have access to.
Proxy bids then become a JOKE !!!
Read #11 concerns about it.
If an ongoing auction has a $100 bid and we know we can’t be in front of the computer when the auction closes then we set a proxy bid (let’s say $500).
What if someone from GoDaddy or NameJet (if it’s a NameJet auction as we have nothing against Adam Dicker) makes a $450 bid and we get the domain for $500 ?
Isn’t it increasing prices ?
How will we know if we were bidding against a real bidder (customer) or against a GoDaddy employee ?
I’m not telling anyone is doing this but it’s a possibility.
SnapNames has avoided this “possibility” by enforcing a strict no bidding policy for employees.
If they saw a problem (conflict of interest), you should see it too.
Unless being a very close friend of Adam Dicker, no one should deny there’s a real problem here.
Petros C says
I see nothing wrong with an employee bidding against other bidders as long as he uses no inside info that will give him an unfair advantage over others.
And the price inflation accusations are ridiculous IMO. If no unfair advantage is used then he is no different than other bidders and you can’t accuse a bidder of inflating auction prices if he is bidding to win. That’s the whole concept of an auction.
@ jim r –
That’s why the original intent of this article wasn’t to accuse Dicker of wrongdoing, but that his company has a policy that allows it.
Jason Jarmacz says
I agree. I know this is an old article, but even now it still goes on. I just got outbid for the .com of my company name which is unique and no one has any reason other than to circumvent my purchase process to own this. It’s intellectual property. Yet, now GoDaddy owns the domain and I don’t…
Andrew Allemann says
Are you sure about that? GoDaddy doesn’t buy expired domains from auctions.
I’m sure all the companies that allow employees to bid in their own auctions have strict guidelines which have to be followed and if they aren’t then the offender is disciplined (up to and including termination). Is their job (and if you get right down to it, you’re accusing them of defrauding their clients) really worth a few domains?
Its interesting that people can see conspiracy anywhere. Obviously the person who wrote the initial article is mad because they lost an auction at TDNAM and need to find someplace to blame and want to light a fire.
I’m a member of DNForum, does that mean that if I won a domain though TDNAM that Adam gave me the information to beat out other bidders quickly? Where will it end? What if I put a bid that is just under someone else’s proxy bid? Will I hear similar accusations against me?
I have n problem with employees of these companies making bids on the domains as long as they are legitimate bids that they would be willing to pay for.
Some people need to grow up and realize that sometimes others will bid under their proxy bid and some other people will not win every auction at the price they want.
If you truly feel that one of these companies tried to defraud you of extra money, then hire a lawyer to conduct an investigation (and then they can file slander charges against you when nothing is found). Oh, wait, you’re already guilty of slander since you’re issuing these accusations as fact with no facts to back it up.
Mike Az says
I understand this blog entry is not directed towards Adam and more towards registrar’s allowing their employees to bid against its customers. An article which may have been pretty thought provocative has spiraled into people assuming and pointing fingers with no evidence or bad experience. Everyone here is up in arms about the “what if” factor. “What if” you took into consideration how much $$$ Godaddy is worth and you actually did the math….is it really in Bob’s interest to let an employee (doesn’t matter whether its an exec or not, a names a name as long as you get paid) stand to gain an unfair advantage for a couple thousand dollars, even hundreds of thousands of dollars? Come on people lets get real!
This is a company who’s foundation has been created and based off of integrity and customer support. That’s their edge, their differential if you will. I am also a member of DNForum and have seen personally the integrity and business savvy that Adam operates with. Do you think he would even entertain the idea of tarnishing his name in the domain industry for x amount of money? Reality check, these people operate at a different level than the average domainer. I think on this matter we have to put our ego’s aside and think logically.
This is more of a response to the responses on this blog and not so much about the writer who posted it. Good article but never under estimate the general publics quick reaction to not newsworthy material. This just brings me full circle to the media in America and how censored it is.
Steve M says
@Dragger and others expressing the same/similar “I’m sure they have strict guidelines” viewpoints:
Short of explicit, no-exceptions-allowed, site-posted guidelines spelling out whether employee bidding is permitted; and if so, under exactly what conditions; any such statements or beliefs are nothing more than unsupported conjecture and speculation.
Furthermore, there is a really rather obvious, inherent problem with any company which would even state that such employee-bidders have no access to such auction critical data as non-employee bidders’ proxy amounts, highest-interest names, bidder identity and bidding/purchase history/approach, etc; because; whether they actually do or they don’t have such access; even the possibility that they do–or could-makes any auctions by such companies suspect.
For no fewer than these reasons (along with the others expressed here and at other blogs/venues), the approach taken by companies like Snapnames is the most appropriate and logical.
Company faith and trust–and a level playing field for all–demands no less.
Thanks Andrew for bringing this thread back to what it should be about.
I think the only issue on the table at this point should be whether or not companies should allow their employees to bid or buy an of there services?
Does Domainsponsor give their employees a discount to park with them?
Does Enom give their staff discounts to buy domains with them?
I believe and feel they should.
To think people won’t buy domains or services because you forbid them to is foolish.
Most employees at most companies are buying domains, you can bet on that.
It makes good business sense to let them use your companies service and bad business sense to send their money to the hands of a competitor.
June 20th, 2008 | 11:55 pm
Another big problem is that the employees of GD can “confidently” bid higher with inside info. The rest of us in a “hesitant” manner, bid cautiously and being at an extreme disadvantage, we are no longer on an even playing field. How do you fix something like that?
BINGO! We have a winner.
These guys can easily tell who will back out on a high bid and who will plug on.
So now there is an auction on let’s say perfumes.com
How high will you take this?
well, once the auction starts and is closed to new entrants, make a few phone calls to your contacts at Bayer, Proctor etc and you can find out how much they will pay for it.
With insider information you safely have a margin of error and a guranteed profit.
In Auctioning that is the biggest edge.
The entire re-sale business has turned into a shady cleptocracy.
I no longer bid on Godaddy auctions or Namejet Auctions.
The godaddy people are shady, look ta their site, it looks like a online flea market.
NameJet auction are ridiculously bid up. How do people make money buying nonesene like jhaxxgd.com?
The reason is there are way too many new domainers. 12/hr starbucks employees who think they’ll be a millionaire buying random names.
This is a sign that the domaining business has peaked, it’s in a bubble and will soon crash, just like realesatate. No wonder the large name re-sellers are getting rid of inventory at a faster pace.
I think you are all taking this a bit to far.
Do you really think he would use unethical methods of buying names ?
I posted at Np that he was the buyer only to prove that the big timers were buying .us names.
for those of you who invest in .us you should be happy, for those of you that dont, You should 🙂
June 21st, 2008 | 5:21 am
I think the real issue here is whether it is ok for employees of companies to support their companies by buying products through them. I don’t think it’s fair to single Adam out as he probably still buys domains from many places I am sure.
You’re confusing Apples and Oranges.
A receptionist working at a Lasik optometry gets surgery done with the doctor she works for.
That’s ok. He’s not auctioning his service to the highest bidder. The price is fixed and she knows her doctor does a good job.
A car salesman looks at the inventory bids for the used cars his dealership is getting rid off in dealer auction.
He sees xyz has several high reserve bids on black minis.
The salesman does some research and finds out that mini is no longer shipping black for the rest of the year.
Salesman places a bid a tad above the reserve and wins the auction on the minis.
That is NOT ok. And this is exactly what is going on with these kleptocratic domain auctioning and domain registrars. They have a cosy arrangement where they keep the best domains and feed the chaff to the masses.
Why should Snapnames be allowed to park domains for 4 days after expiry just so they can check traffic. They then keep the ones inhouse that have traffic potential and then release the rest randomly.
Oh yeah, Adam Dicker got on board with GD right when the auction scam began taking off. I guess he saw the enormous potential for personal profit.
Why don’t employees at these companies should quit and work at non-registrar domain companies? That’s right, why leave all that honey on the table. Take it all before congress cracks down on these kleptocrats.
And talking baout congress, I had a talk with my Congressman at a recent fundraiser about the recent kleptocratic cabal that is in control of the domain business. The guy didn’t even know what a domain was. No wonder these guys can get away with all this. I guess I have a lot of educating to do. I’d rather spend 10K funding 10 different congressional races than bid against a kleptocrat employee in a rigged domain auction.
Thanks to everyone for providing your viewpoint.
In James (42) comment, I agree that companies like eNom should provide employees with discounts when registering a domain name, and perhaps a bit more rev share on parking. I think most people here would argue that’s very different from letting them participate in an auction run by your company. An auction is very different from a fixed-price purchase.
Re 46 – I would argue that I would rather see an employee of mine purchase a name through my company legitimately than to force them to put food on the table of one of my competitors. An employee should have the same rights allotted to a customer no matter what industry they are in.
In this case, the companies policies were followed and the employee was able to bid legitimately. To assume otherwise would be considered libel.
Claude Gelinas says
In a perfect world, the ICANN would enforce strict rules regarding the “end of life” for domain names, including a total ban on auctions of any sorts and the formal obligation for a new domain name acquirer to NOT be related, in any significant way, to a registrar.
The current system is going to poison the whole process and in such conditions, everyone (including the registrars) stand to lose everything (meaning the domain name system, itself).
Unless the industry matures and properly regulates itself, upholding the highest ethical standards, some regulatory body will eventually step in with draconian measures.
Wether this news is confirmed or not makes little difference. The simple fact that speculations on this are being circulated are enough to hurt the registrars’ secretive inner workings, imagewise.
And in this information age, image is everything.
To all people thinking there’s no conflict of interest when GoDaddy VP bids in GoDaddy auctions :
Would you participate in a General Motors sweepstake when you know the previous sweeptstake they ran was won by Richard Wagoner, Jr. who is nothing but GM’s CEO ?
Imagine : and the winner of the 2008 Cadillac Escalade is … Richard Wagoner, Jr.
I personally wouldn’t.
Same suspicion applies here.
Petros C says
Sweepstakes? How can you compare auctions to sweepstakes. At sweepstakes participants have a minute chance of winning and they can do very little to influence their winning chances. If a VP of the company wins the sweepstakes against all odds, then that will arouse suspicions.
In auctions all participants have the same opportunities to win, and the one who wants the name the most simply pays more and wins. As long as an employee of the auction house uses no unfair advantage against other bidders then what makes him so different from the rest?
I think you should all get your facts straight before making these comments
50 – you say : “As long as an employee of the auction house uses no unfair advantage against other bidders…”
HOW CAN YOU KNOW THAT ???
Since an employee has the ABILITY to have an unfair advantage, he simply shouldn’t bid.
That’s the rule for all auction houses, GoDaddy is the exception that raises transparency and integrity flags.
Petros C says
I don’t know that and you don’t know the opposite either. You are just assuming. From when is it ok to accuse someone based on assumptions?
Alan M says
51, thus far you have participated seven (7) times in this discussion.
In your last point, you assert “HOW CAN YOU KNOW THAT???”, to which I would ask, do you have specific knowledge that what you were responding to is not the case? If you do have specific and provable knowledge, then please share it.
If not, then it appears you would have us accept unfounded innuendo from some anonymous fellow who posts on comments section of a thread vs. the credibility of a successful domain registrar and service company as well as the operator of a successful domain related site. Is that right?
Also, you claim that “GoDaddy is the exception”, which according to the very article you are commenting upon so vigorously is simply not the case.
Your own comments here could very well make one ask, why doth he protest so much?
A lot of what happens online is based upon trust and reputation. Your speculations could apply to many other goings on related to the business of Internet, but nevertheless, that does not make or mean that any of them are either correct or reasonable.
To 52 – That’s exactly what i’m saying, WE DON’T KNOW.
As there’s a POSSIBILITY the best practice is to set a strict policy so that nothing questionable can happen.
53 – I initially thought both GoDaddy and NameJet allowed its employees to bid as according to Andrew, a representative with NameJet told him on the phone that employees are allowed to bid on NameJet.
But then, i read this : link where Enom Sr. VP Taryn Naidu denied and told employees are not allowed to bid.
I’m quoting him : “We definitely do NOT let employees compete in auctions. Even if controlled, that practice has bad news written all over it.
This is the reason why i said : “GoDaddy is the exception, the rule being not allowing employees to bid”.
Once again, that’s nothing against GoDaddy or Adam Dicker.
I would write the same about SnapNames if they allowed employees to bid.
I’m passionate about it because as a customer, i just want transparent bidding platforms with strict guidelines.
I’m not sure why contract law hasn’t been brought up. When I recently opened a Nam*jet account I was taken aback by the pre-bidding process.
European law, specifically German contract law, specifically prohibits auctioneers from taking bids before the actual auction begins.
Secondly, nearly all U.S. states have laws prohibiting state employees from bidding on state auctions. The private auctions laws are a grey area, however GD secret auctions contravenes several aspects of auction law. Although it has been some time since I reviewed the latest on auction contract law, I know Soth*bys was in trouble few years ago year for manufacturing shill bidders to drive up prices.
The fact is the auction process for domains contravenes even IC*NN rules. Unless the IC*NN rules have changed recently, the rules are when a domain is deleted, it has to be deleted and made available to everyone on a first come first served basis. Unfortunately these registrars have a cosy cabal going where they drop the domains into a small pool of registrants, right now they are nam*jet and sna*names. I think even Po*l no longer has immediate access, their servers are allowed to bid several minutes after the registrars drop the names to sna*names and nam*jet.
And lastly for those who this is a ok way of doing business, I will be giving out a million dollars very soon. A million individuals will come by my website and pick a random number as their ticket and give me $1 usd for the generated ticket.
ofcourse I will also be picking a “random” number myself. I might even win.
@ 53 Seb
Remains to be seen about NameJet. I think there’s a disconnect between NameJet and the mothership over at Enom. The rep I spoke to from NameJet gave me an immediate and (what seemed like) a canned response about employee bidding, which said they could bid but had to pay just like everyone else. Seems straight forward to me.
I’ve been in touch with Adam Strong over at Domain Name News, but haven’t heard anything from Enom. I would think they would contact me to clear the record up.
I can tell you that this has definitely been happening at GoDaddy and Namejet. I stopped buying names at auction on Namejet because I knew the names were being bid up. When I did not bid anymore the other bidder won. Then mysteriously the name would be back on auction a week later. With GoDaddy employees are encouraged to buy domain names by Adam. I have lost many a good name that were either in my cart or taken from me from backorders. There shoiuld be class action settlements for those that have lost thousands because of schill bidding. Common guys wake up and smell the coffee. I know for a fact this stuff is happening.
I think the real issue is not so much whether Adam should be allowed to participate in auctions or not. The issue is on what basis and is that basis fair to all concerned including customers.
There are two ways that an auction house can allow this practice:
1. Require that the employee file their proxy bid in advance of the auction starting and then not be allowed to bid again. This eliminates the possibility that the employee uses inside informtaion on the auction to prepare their own bidding strategy as the auction progresses.
2. Only permit the employee to participate to win. In other words once they start bidding, they can’t stop. This would prevent “bidding up” an auction in favour of the auction house and clearly the employee will have the obligation to pay the market value as a result.
Fundamentally, both of these approaches require full disclosure on the part of the employee in advance. And at Pool.com for example, the employment contract signed by all employees includes a restriction that any domain purchases have to be approved in advance regardless of how they may be acquired.
I don’t think it is in any auction houses best interest to allow auctions to be bid up by employees, it’s a practise that can be easily uncovered even with anonymous bidderIDs. Eventually, a domain gets a registrant and the ID can be linked back to the original buyer.
@58 indeed. I no longer bid on nam*jet or GD. I do however use GD as a parking service, but I keep an eagle eye on their activities as pertains to my registered domains.
This type of secret shill bidding going on at GD is what litigation lawyers love. A clean open and shut case, this won’t go to court because it’ll get settled out of court for many multiple years of GD net revenue. No more playing around with NASCAR brunettes for Pars*ns.
Another definite class action possibility is the outright fraud that networks*lutions has began to perpetuate. When potential registrants run a domain through and it’s not registered, Networks*lutions locks that domain up.
Just 2 days ago I ran a couple of potential websites through networks*lutions to check if the domains were available. I could have used GD, but the flea market front page with cheap neon Pars*ns has all over gives me a headache.
So I find that this one domain is available to register. I then head on over to GD because I have discount pricing there.
I register the domain with GD
I get the confirmation email of payment and I print the receipt. GD acknowledges via email the registration.
As I was changing the nameservers, the domain comes back as invalid.
Called around and found out that networks*lutions had pulled the REGISTERED domain from GD into networks*lutions.
It’s a good thing I take snapshots of every single process of the registration process. If there is indeed a class action lawsuit, I don’t know how networks*lutions is going to defend itself against this blatant fraud.
Another networks*lutions activity is they’re sending names to auction only 4 days past the expiry date. These guys remove the domains from the control panel so you can’t renew. When you call them, their reaction is based on how pissed you are. If you threaten with a lawsuit, they’ll pull the name out of the namejet auction pool and put it back in the control panel.
These registrars are engaging in all types of shady activities. The bigger question would be why is ICANN asleep at the wheel.
I understand the close personal relationships between ICANN individuals and networksolutions executives, but this type of blatant outrageous fraud ought to be checked.
ICANN is asleep at the wheel, or at worst individuals within ICANN are complicit in these activities. These incestuous relationships ought to be investigated.
If this activity is not checked by ICANN, congress will eventually have to intervene.
@ 59 Richard-
thanks for providing your input. I understand Pool’s policy as you wrote it “And at Pool.com for example, the employment contract signed by all employees includes a restriction that any domain purchases have to be approved in advance regardless of how they may be acquired.”
I know other companies have a similar policy.
So does that mean the Pool employees can participate in Pool.com auctions? Do they have to provide their proxy bid ahead of time?
@61, Andrew, correct and sometimes correct. We allow for both scenarios I mentioned, either a single bid in advance or bid to win.
@61, Andrew, further comment, I honestly don’t recall the last time a Pool employee participated in one of our auctions, and I have been here 3 years.
Adam dicker gets all inside info regarding the auctions.he mighty also get great discounts on the expired domains.
This kind of practice should be stopped.put him behind bars.
Petros C says
64- A quote from that article: “Pool – Pool allows employees to bid in auctions with restrictions, Pool.com CEO Richard Schreier tells Domain Name Wire. Employees can bid on an auction by either a) making a single, upfront proxy bid that can’t be changed or b) “bidding to win”. In the latter scenario the employee can’t back out of the bidding at any point. He or she has to win the auction they enter. This prevents them from pumping up the price only to stick a customer with the bill.”
That’s the same with what Adam did. He was bidding to win and so he did.
65- Jane, you ignorant poster…
That is the most rediculous thing in this thread. You are clearly hiding behind an alias.
If you read the thread you would understand it’s not about Adam, it’s about companies deciding on what their policies should be regarding employees purchasing products from there own companies.
Making assumptions only makes you seem crazier.
You should be put behind bars for such an ingorant post.
@ 66 – Petros:
The point I think is that he (or any other GoDaddy employee) doesn’t have to bid to win…they can drop out of the auction at any time, thus making the customer pay more at the end of the day.
I don’t know if I’m comfortable with Pool’s policy, honestly.
Petros C says
Andrew, the problem here is that people are yelling against this policy because it allows shill bidding from the employees of the company. In this case, Adam was not shill bidding, he was bidding to win. And even if he didnt win, who seriously thinks that he could be shill bidding… the VP of Godaddy!
The other issue is the use of inside info. Again, as long as he does not use any inside info then I have no problem with him bidding in GD auctions. Until that question is answered(about the inside info), it’s unfair to accuse him of that.
#69 – Kind of hard to do your job as VP of a service without “inside info” on that service I’d imagine. Just saying…
Petros C says
dp, he do doubt HAS access to inside info. Of these people accusing him though, who can prove that he in deed use inside info to bid in these auctions
At Petros C
Andrew is right, he can drop out of the auction at any time.
We have no way of knowing how many auctions he participates to, how many he wins and how many he loses.
In 69, you say : “And even if he didnt win, who seriously thinks that he could be shill bidding… the VP of Godaddy!”
Who seriously thought the CEO of ENRON was doing anything wrong ???
Come on, not ENRON’s CEO !!!
Even if he is a nice guy, Adam can’t be both inside and outside of an auction at the same time.
End of the story.
Petros C says
Come on this is ridiculous… nobody deserves the benefit of the doubt now because ENRON’s CEO committed fraud? Let’s not exaggerate. Comparing Adam Dicker with the CEO of ENRON…
I was talking about adam dick who is involved in bidding in aftermarket and the only person who is confirmed to do this.he is big personality.
sorry for being harsh.just pissed as i am bidding it against the person who is involved in selling it.this is truly unethical though rules may allow him to do so.
I read some of these posts and can only shake my head in disbelief. There is a reason the SEC has rules against insider trading. Remember Martha Stewart? you can not enrich yourself in an atmosphere of collusion.
The situation is worse if employees do get discounts on the auctioned prices. They can bid higher and still pay lower than a regular bidder paying the same price.
The bottom line is this industry has to straighten up and begin managing house professionally. The internet is well past the cosy development stage of being a DARPA project. ICANN, the ball is in your court.
I agree with Rick. The whole industry of auctioning off expired Domain names is unethical, as is the industry of squatting on them. Domain names should either be made creative use of in a way that contributes something original to the community, or let go. I’m not going to make value judgments on creative content, but squatting advertising is not content at all. It is a waste of a limited internet resource, which is the namespace, and is an unethical disgrace no matter which way you cut it.
He should resign in shame immediately. Anything else and he is shamed even more. It is fraud. Period. He is in charge of running it, so, at a minimum, he has more data at his disposal. For instance, he would know bidding patterns more than anyone else, since he runs the damn thing.
This is borderline criminal and there are about 15 reasons why. He is a fraud, and he allows people to be banned from Dn Forum who question fraudulent activities there.
Adam Dicker is pathetic, in that he allows criminals to run loose on Dn Forum, while giving the boot to anyone who asks a sincere question about the criminal activities and posters.
He should rot in hell.
Honest Person says
This is so illegal, Greed is a powerful thing, just because he is rich, does not mean he wants to be richer, take any of the dozen ceo’s sitting in jail right now, they all had enough money to live out the rest of their lives in luxury, but they wanted more.
First off if your for example if your a VP in charge of the auction services platform, and your bidding on those auctions with knowledge of how those platforms operate, that is pretty serious inside info, most tdnam auctions end between 9am – 1pm PST, typical work hours, so if you are sitting at a desk getting paid by godaddy, and bidding on auctions, and raising prices, isn’t godaddy paying you to essentially bid during work hours? shill bidding?
Maybe he was in contact with lower level employees whose access id’s could access sensitive information, most companies are able to see what information you have accessed by your work login userid, but if you are working with someone else, and using offline paper to communicate, who is to ever link your user id with the info that some other lower level employee accessed. Also we do not know what bonus incentives are the employment contract, if sales go up by a few million, the VP might get a nice bonus…
If you haven’t learned anything from the last few years from Ebbers, Ken Lay, Conrad Black , etc….. it only happens, when you give someone the means to allow it happen. If it wasn’t an issue, why did godaddy suddenly change their tune?
Team Angry says
WOW what a shocker Adam Dicker in a state of controversy. It is really sad that GoDaddy has allowed this scumbag to be VP of their company considering he is a DirecTV & EchoStar hacker who use to operate DSSFileXchange.com and SatansPlayhouse.com and made millions of dollars, I even made about 50K selling my site to him. He is a arrogant piece of trash and GoDaddy.com should be ashamed of themselves for overlooking or just being ignorant.
Go over to Dickers website DNForum.com most of the Admins over there are former Satellite Hackers. Same M.O just a different title under their names.
web design says
I personally think some of these executives need to go to Jail. Period. Without jail time nothing will change.
Today one of the auction houses took the liberty to register a whole slew of domains on my behalf. Unfortunately, for them, I never had these domains in my backorder list. They were all slight mis-spellings of the domains I do have on backorder.
I also noticed that domains, of some merit, which go to auction and are not bid on, are now being warehoused by the registrars dropping the names. If Not the registrar, the auction houses themselves are holding onto the domain names. I find only the ridiculous domains without any merit being finally released.
The entire current domain industry needs to be cleaned out. The list of egregious mis-conduct just keeps on growing every day.
Where’s ICANN in all of this?
While the registrars and auction houses bend over the public, ICANN executives are too busy doing what they do best. Spending time on the yachts of the executives such as Adam Dicker.
ICANN = incompetent, corrupt private group, assigned to administer important Names and Numbers ….. which should be done by a govt. body so these people can be held criminally negligent.
If someone is angry enough and has documented proof of paying more because of Dickers front-running, there is enough grounds to receive a large out-of-court settlement from GD. If there were no conflicts and grounds for litigation, GD legal team would not have changed policy so quickly.
Not Surprised says
LOL “We no longer allow our employees to take advantage of the losers that use our service… at least not in that way. We will also discontinue any other illegal or unethical practices that may be exposed to the public. We hope this will settle the matter and that anyone considering contacting their state’s attorney general to investigate the criminal activity associated with domain name sales will just forget all about it.”
Ellen Hayes says
I work for Network Solutions, and we are NOT allowed to bid on auctioned domains or use any of our resources to gain an unfair advantage in buying domain names. Network Solutions treats their employees so well and the ability to advance within the company is so great that no one would want to jeopardize their position with something as silly and easily traceable as this. I have seen firsthand Network Solutions fire employees when conflict of interest was present.
i hate goddady
Godaddy is a Shame !
What really ticks ME off? GoDaddy foisted themselves off for years as “The Good Guys”, with Bob Parsons taking point in the fighting the good fight.
GoDaddy was our champion within the industry, waving the flag and mentioning the US Marines at every chance. Semi Fidelis, Bob!
They “exposed” the practice of domain tasting and domain kiting. GD just wanted it for themselves and then used the shadow practices of others to hide their own nefarious activites deeper in the dark.
I now have thousands of domains with them, I took this spin doctored store-fronted, shell-gaming, know-its-questionable-but-do-it-anyway, plastic hero’s of lies hook, line and sinker.
I am an idiot. I actually bought into their campaigns of USA, integrity, and boobs. I should have know the worst villain always wears the shiniest armor.
us fidelis says
This completely wrong and unethical behavior. Domain auction sites should adopt similar policies to safeguard against unfair advantages company employees gain with bidding against average customers.
Yuhong Bao says
Johnny: Yes I know, but GoDaddy was not the only one guilty. NameJet was also guilty.
Adam Dicker is not above doing what’s best for Adam Dicker at the expense of others. He got his start as a satellite pirate stealing from DirecTV.