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Is Bido.com an Early Success? You Betcha.

Plenty of Naysayers, but Bido is making an impact.

If you read domain name message boards you probably think domain name auction site Bido is a failure. I beg to differ.

People keep pointing to the “bargains” people are getting on the site. Bargains? What bargains? These same people are watching the auctions, so why aren’t they bidding if these are such great deals? With rare exception, it’s hard to get a bargain on mid-market domains in a domain auction — at least something below “investor prices”.

So here’s why I think Bido is an early success.

1. It is innovative. No other auction platform has shown any innovation beyond just running an auction. I’ll give a tip of the hat to Name Intelligence and Oversee for bringing live auctions concurrent to the web, but Bido goes much further. Bido is the only auction site to engage the community with social networking by inviting people to review the domains up for auction and vote on each other’s analysis.

2. The site is well done. I’ve developed web apps — let me clarify — I’ve managed the development of web apps. Getting them to work just the right way is difficult. I’m amazed at the quality of Bido’s UI, workflow, and overall development. I haven’t looked under the hood, and there’s still work to be done, but overall it’s solid.

3. It’s attracting bidders. It’s not Sedo, but Bido is getting bidders to the table. Think of all of the also-rans that tried to start online domain marketplaces. Most of them have failed or languished. They were mostly copycats of other companies. But Bido has leveraged the domainer community to get the word out.

Bido still has a lot to prove going forward. One question I have is how it will make significant money for its founders. Let’s say Bido sells 365 domains a year at $5,000 each (and these aren’t “house listings”). At a 10% commission (I believe they are starting at 8%), that comes out to only $182,500. That’s not enough to justify the cost of developing, marketing, and running the service. Bido either needs to offer more that one domain a day, increase the average selling price to mid-five figures, or treat Bido as a loss leader to promote other services.

To reiterate, Bido should be qualified as an “early” success. What happens next is up to the Bido team.

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  1. Steve M

    …and the thing is, Sahar and his hard-working team was–and is–willing to pick up the bat and start swinging…while many others do nothing more than sit in the stands and criticize.

  2. Sahar Sarid

    Thanks Andrew, Steve!

    As for revenues Andrew, let me just say what you saw in last couple of weeks is nothing more than the very early stages of what we have in mind. We have tens of developers working on Bido and our other related domain ventures to better the industry, many technologies which are first built to suit our own needs however broader than Bido and are surely licensable to other auction houses and individuals, both in and out of the domain business.
    Revenues at the moment isn’t a priority. Founders of Bido made significant money in the domain business over the years so your assessment of “not enough to justify” is on the money.
    Thanks for the article, love your site by the way, great work overall!
    All the best,
    Sahar

  3. Andrew

    Good point Sahar. Even though I have a background in IP licensing I hadn’t thought of licensing it to other industries 🙂

  4. Julia

    It sure is a success.

    Of all the internet start up’s in the domaining sphere that happen every day, Sahar & Co’s “Bido” [thats http://www.bido.com – just incase you bots didnt get it the first time] has had by far the most publicity.

    Now Ive not had a chance to review the site yet, as high profile domain auctions are not where i find my diamonds in the rough but, Im sure its good and if you would indulge me further, the interesting point to all the publicity for me is how a core circle of domain bloggers (that seem to have suddenly become established) have really gotten the word out there. w00t. Thats great. If only it wasnt me that was stupid, maybe I could make some money also. 🙂

  5. NoNamesForSale

    A lack of liquidity is the biggest problem facing professional registrants engaged in the secondary market.

    Bido, while well intentioned and run by people who I greatly respect and admire, appears destined never to scale and therefore cannot contribute to the resolution of the liquidity crisis.

    Hyper-vigilance for differences in commission rates is not and should not be the distinguishing factor in considering alternate sales venues. It costs money to run a business properly and without lucrative commissions, sales venues will lack the resources to attract sales.

    Without liquidity and without sales, commission levels are meaningless. I’m happy paying 20% now and would be even happier paying 25%.

    If I ran an auction site that only offered one domain per day, people would say that I was running a vanity site, regardless of how polished the auction platform might be.

  6. maniacticktock

    Hi,

    Bido.com is a FLOP idea!! in my opinion.

    First of all, I never found my way to the page where we are going to bid. It should be made faily simple to use, not so sophticated to find out where is the page to bid.

    I always see the “domain” will be up for auction in xx time.

    But it freaking never shows up to bid for me.

    I just dont like Bido, and bido will never compete with Sedo @ speed bido is going.

    Bido.com = flop.com

    Good luck to sahar sarid, for his incredible low speed auction site.

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