Yesterday’s Aftermarket.com auction started out great. Then it flopped.
I thought yesterday’s Aftermarket.com auction went great. And I still thought that well after the auction was over.
Why? Because I didn’t watch the second half.
I watched the first 25 or so auctions from my office, and then packed up and headed home. The first 25 lots went great. The sell through rate was high and the auctioneer was lively. The online interface was greatly improved from last time.
There were a couple early issues, including the auctioneer accidentally referring to 2o.com as 20.com (a much more valuable domain) and some latency issues between online bids and the auctioneer being able to see them. The auctioneer was very fast, although color commentary on the domains from a staffer was long winded.
But when I logged back onto my computer after the auction ended, it was clear that all was not well. I had an email in my inbox from someone saying “the technology sucked” and a couple comments on the site asking “what happened”.
Adam Strong wrote up the full story of what happened. Essentially there were delays as they tried to fix major latency issues. By the time everything was worked out the auction was scheduled to end, so only the remaining .com.au domains were auctioned and many domains didn’t make it to the auction block.
I’m not sure if the problem was Aftermarket.com’s technology, the distance overseas, or other problems. You might suggest that Aftermarket.com should just punt on its own auction technology and outsource it instead. But then Rick Latona’s auction, which uses outsourced technology, started late due to technical issues. (It may not have had anything to do with the outsourced service). And once Rick got going, it sailed smoothly.