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.