Silent auctions make more sense on Moniker’s legacy platform.
In late 2006 Moniker launched “Marketplace Pro”, the domain registrar’s answer to domain aftermarket sites. It used Marketplace Pro for its silent auctions as well. The platform wasn’t perfect, but made it easy to find domains and place bids.
For the past few silent auctions Moniker has switched to SnapNames, which is owned by Moniker’s new parent company Oversee.net. SnapNames has the added benefit of many registered users and visibility, but it comes with so many drawbacks that I think Moniker should stick to its legacy platform until the kinks are worked out.
First, there are no categories at SnapNames. At Marketplace Pro you could easily search for silent auction domains within a category. You could limit your browsing to consumer, finance, etc. At SnapNames you just get one long list.
Second, the SnapNames platform requires you to go through a “checkout” process for bidding on domains. It doesn’t make much sense: you have to add the domain to your cart and then proceed to checkout to place a bid.
But perhaps most frustrating is the lack of transparency that comes with the system. You have to work around the system to figure out if people are actually bidding on a domain. For example, take a look at this screenshot of a few of the domains that show bids in the silent auction ending tomorrow:
It would appear that Pay.com had 80 bids with a high bid of $1,470,590, right? Nope. If anyone placed a bid/order on the domain at SnapNames before the auction started, it gets counted as a bid even though it’s below the reserve. And in order to find that out, you have to add the domain to your watchlist and then review the bids.
SnapNames wasn’t created for an auction like this, and it seems like the platform has been stiched together to make it work. Until the kinks are worked out, I recommend Moniker stick to its Marketplace Pro platform.