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Bido Needs to Improve Domain Quality — Fast

After $2 auction, platform needs to step up quality fast or users will lose interest.

I love Bido.

There. I said it. Bido is an imaginative auction platform. It’s the first truly social domain auction platform. Stop by the site during auction hour and you can join a discussion. Prior to bidding you can read what other people have said about the domain. It’s fun and engaging.

There’s just one problem: the domains up for auction stink. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Today’s domain, myEntitlement.com, sold for a whopping $2.

That’s no surprise, given the pre-auction expert comments:

“It is unfathomable to me why this domain was selected for auction on Bido. Not only is this domain completely worthless, it’s another black eye for an otherwise promising platform.”

“Another generic domain with little to no appeal.”

“This domain isn’t a great pick for anyone.”

“I don’t see anything redeeming about this name. Not even registration fee.”

“This is worth reg fee or less in my opinion. I do not think this domain will even get into the double digits.”

The past few days haven’t been much better. Yesterday BuyCheaply.com sold for $16.

These are domains that could eventually sell for much more to an end user, but otherwise don’t have much value. They’re like lottery tickets.

It can be fun entering a live chat when there’s a hotly contested domain auction. It’s lame when the domain isn’t even worth talking about. To make matters worse, many Bido customers have submitted domains for auction. They feel snuffed when they see a domain like this selected.

To be sure, there are some domains on the horizon that could sell for four figures. ZJP.com is coming up and should sell for $3,000-$5,000.

But a no reserve auction platform requires robust bidding activity, and trust with both buyers and sellers. If domain quality doesn’t improve then buyers won’t bother stopping by. And if buyers aren’t there, sellers won’t want to list their domains.

There, I said it. Now let’s step it up a notch guys.

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  1. wannadevelop.com

    Portfolio auctions of relevant grouped domains is where the money is.

    Doing one domain a day or everything else that all the other aftermarket sites are already doing isn’t really anything to get excited about or very promising.

    There is eBay, Sedo, Afternic and all the other ones.

  2. DKH Domains

    When Bido first came out (before it disappeared, and now is reappearing), I sent numerous comments to Sahar and his partners in this venture regarding this exact issue. Initially they claimed to be accepting other domainers’ domains for auction on their platform. But as more and more domains like the ones you mention here were being auctioned off, it became clear that Bido was intended to offload the chaffe from Sahar’s (or someone’s) portfolio. As you say, a shame they don’t do something to ensure that every domain they offer is at least worthy of $xxx bids.

  3. LittleDevil

    Sahar has got a great platform and they’ve spent months fixing alot of the technical issues that were plaguing their site earlier — but the quality of names they list is still discouraging. Names like “myentitlement” should be left to eBay or the forums, not to single day centric auctions around a 1 domain.

  4. Tony

    Many of these names on Bido are really pathetic. The winning bidder today paid $2 too much. I’m glad to see all the expert commentary blasting this domain and the other sorry ones coming up. Bido so far for the most part has been an insult to the intelligence of the average domainer!

  5. Hymen Schwarts

    Although regarded by many as a visionary and leader in the domain space Sahar has a long history of being connected with some very questionable domain names and whats been happening with Bido seems to support the idea that some people never really change. Going from registering domain names like GarthBrooks.com to offering names like myentitlement.com for sale proves that there is no limit to depths that this guy can sink.

    At the best of times Bido is a stupid platform. While it might be ok if the names they offered were decent, selling one domain name a day does little to support liquidity in the domain aftermarket; and as it is now, the absolutely useless domain names they are trying to flog make an absolute mockery of their platform, domain names and the supposed expertise of Sahar himself. For someone who has been so vocal about the importance of controlling great domain names I find it amusing that he would try and sell this crap to others. Bido quite simply sucks.

  6. bob

    Bido has a neat site but needs to think a little more web20 maybe have domain owners submit a list of names a few days before the auction, have the bido members vote on all the names the name with the most members votes goes up for sale.

  7. Sahar Sarid

    I posted in length about DressOrganic.com on NewFound Names ( http://www.newfoundnames.com/domain-auctions/life-after-namejet-and-bido/ ), why even lesser quality names can not only view as OK by us, but that I personally am ecstatic to have those sales on Bido. What many don’t yet see is the power of liquidation. Our target audience are motivated sellers as well as smart buyers. Liquidation means selling when one needs to sell, on one’s schedule. Bido so far has done this 100% of the time, and while 2$ isn’t a lot of money, it is the best the market was willing to pay at a given time. We brought the exposure, interest, the market to the table. We brought the technology, the venue. Not only we cannot control the price, e do not want to control the price. That is up to buyers and sellers to make their own educated decisions. We feel we’re doing our job, as agnostic as possible, to not get involved.

    As we indicated before, we will open the platform, introduce new models, and add new features. All takes time, a lot of work, and major financial commitment on our part, every day of the week, month after month, year after year. We’re moving as fast as we can and as many can see (see my blog today) making upgrades often, periodically. Anything good in life is worth the wait, is worth the patience. While many don’t yet see what we exactly try to achieve, and are too focused on how much money we make or could make running one domain a day auction, I can promise you that our eyes are not on just making Bido a success, but influencing the whole industry to levels that none has done so far. Talk is really cheap so we decided not to talk too much, and keep things simple. Our motto when it comes to our products, “Under promise – Over Deliver”.

    Patience guys.. things will change, faster than you think.

    Thanks all for the feedback, it is always highly appreciative here!

    Cheers

    Sahar

    P.S.

    Hymen Schwarts,

    People make mistakes, I’m not perfect, never claimed to be. life goes on, I tend not to live in the past.

    Best,

    Sahar

  8. Lda

    > The past few days haven’t been much better.
    > Yesterday BuyCheaply.com sold for $16.

    Funny you should mention that one.
    I (deliberately) dropped it a while back in a
    purge of names that I believed had no future.

    Why ?
    Well, adverbs don’t loom large in commercial flagship branding.
    It had no traffic or obvious prospects.
    I have about 200 much better dot com ‘sales’ names.

    Buyers aren’t fools.
    If BIDO can only dish up rejects, they have a definite ‘use by’ date.

  9. Andrew Allemann

    @ Sahar – I understand there’s a lot more to it. But I think you owe it to your customers to explain what you’re looking for in domains. Your explanation sounds like you’re not trying to pick the winners. In that case, should you just randomly select domains to sell? People have spent a lot of time submitting domains…

  10. Sahar Sarid

    Andrew,

    We explained in details on the site what to submit. Majority of submissions have nothing to do with what we asked. People paste a list, click submit. As I wrote on my block, does any of you believe we don’t want to pick names of higher quality? If those are the ones our team choose, can you imagine what isn’t making it to the site??

    The problem is bigger than of our team choosing the right domains to list. We hope by end of this month to introduce a new business model that will address those quality issues.

    Sahar

  11. Tia Wood

    I love Bido but I agree. I do have hopes to see better things in the future. I just don’t want Bido to lose out by turning people away before it even really begins. This is the best domainer targeted “auction house” that’s for us and by us. Let’s give it a chance.

  12. Andrew Allemann

    Sahar, believe me I know you guys are receiving a lot of crap submissions. I got a “press release” the other day from some group that said it had “just submitted 4 premium domains to Bido”. The names weren’t worth $2.

    Perhaps you should pony up some of your names 🙂

  13. namer.ca

    I have to agree with you here,
    a panel of “experts” commenting on names that sell for $2, I think is detrimental to credibility of bido and wasted value of time spent by domain expert’s commenting as well as those submitting domains.

    Bob’s Idea, about a vote being conducted to determine the domains making it to the auction, would be a step in the right direction i think.

    “Bido has a neat site but needs to think a little more web20 maybe have domain owners submit a list of names a few days before the auction, have the bido members vote on all the names the name with the most members votes goes up for sale.”

    Let’s wait and see what happens, and support Bido in their venture.

  14. Sahar Sarid

    We tried that Andrew, got blasted by everyone that this was built for us to offload names. We just listed a three letter domain of ours which will likely take a loss (there are six more coming after that). Auctioning our names isn’t viable, also isn’t scalable. We came up with a system we believe will address quality issue in the grand scheme of things. Let’s cross fingers now shall we ? As said before, should be introduced (hopefully!) by end of this month.

    Thanks for all the support !

    Sahar

  15. Steven

    Sahar,

    I hear what your saying about patience but i think your missing one VERY important detail.

    You guys launched and gained traction and then went away for months. That typically spells doom for a web startup. However, the domain community is small and allows for more opportunity to regain eyeballs.

    You have spent time and money advertising the site to regain those eyeballs. The eyeballs have returned only to find crap names that are a waste of time.

    How many opportunities are you going to have to convert those eyeballs? How much credibility has the site lost for re-launching with crap names? Are people still willing and will they continue to come to bido and spend their time to see hairywalfare.com being sold?

    I think you and your team should have waited for the re-launch of the site until you get some higher quality names. I think you could have sold from your inventory or bought names and re-sold them just as a hook to get people used to coming to bido and seeing how liquid the bido market is. I get what your trying to do but feel you are doing it backwards and will never gain the traction needed to be successful unless the business plan is re-worked and re-communicated to the domain community.

    I wish you and your team the best with the site.

  16. Stephen Douglas

    Hey gang… now for the input from the guy who sees viability of an obvious “crazy enterprise” but hasn’t been wrong yet… Me? oh…

    I will stand behind Sahar’s Bido development, watch what he does, and before I whine about “bad domains” he’s featuring, watch and see how he resolves these issues and then get a better handle on his overall vision for Bido before posting my whine about domain quality. (Trust me, this is hard, but somehow I sense Sahar has something up his sleeve).

    I’m a domain consultant and have sold millions of dollars in domains, I’ve filtered my domain portfolio down to about 4000 domains over 10 years to those I know will make me at least enough money per sale to take Sevan Derderian out to a nice sushi dinner, and even include Elliot, Adam and Dub-A (I worry about Elliot tho, he has a voracious appetite for unagi).

    However, I sent Sahar several domains to be included on Bido back on his first launch in 2007, and I was surprised he declined them. Whoa!

    But I just watched and waited. Sahar has a plan, we may not agree how it is evolving, but I’m not someone at this point in Sahar’s vision to say “yo dude, you’re doing things wrong”.

    But yeah, a $2 domain auction reminds me of wasting money on Afternic Bazaar. So, I’m still waiting on Sahar. It will probably be the title of my next screenplay, “Waiting On Sahar” and the option will be picked up by Bollywood and win an Academy Award for Best Screenplay.

    Go Sahar! Make us all believe in you again!

    Stephen Douglas
    http://www.successclick.com

  17. Sahar Sarid

    Steven,

    Thanks for the feedback. We are doing our best, nothing is ever released perfect, and things never move as fast as one wants, especially with development.

    Cheers

    Sahar

  18. Kevin Jackson

    There is definitely an issue with quality domain names.

    The question is however, of all the people writing criticisms, how many have submitted any of their quality domain names to Bido?

    It takes 2 to tango!

  19. Sahar Sarid

    On the money Kevin. I said this internally many times as well, if quality is your issue submit better names. The problem with it is you and me are not going to change human nature. At 1$ and no reserve many are not willing to take such a risk, and let’s all be honest about it, it is a risk.
    We’ve looked close at our data, had numerous meetings about it, and later this month will release a new business model which we hope address this issue. To understand a little further our line of thinking see these two posts on my blog:

    1. http://www.conceptualist.com/2009/02/23/the-importance-of-accurate-pricing/

    2. http://www.conceptualist.com/2009/02/25/the-importance-of-accurate-pricing-part-ii/

    Thanks for the support!

    Sahar

  20. Sahar Sarid

    Continue on the post above, the point Kevin Jackson had raised, the second part of it, why quality names are not being submitted, is simply because we all have different ideas of what quality/value is. In order to make some sense of it we (the auction house and sellers) need all be on the same page. The links I posted above to my blog discuss those fundamental issues.

    Feedback of course is most welcome!

    Sahar

  21. NoDomainsForSale

    Sahar Sarid has the personal integrity and technical resources to create a game-changing platform for injecting liquidity into secondary markets.

    At present, we can best observe domain liquidity events at NameJet and SnapNames—when domains are auctioned only after they have been separated from (or rather abandoned by) their previous owners.

    How about adding liquidity options prior to abandonment?

    How about creating a platform where registrants can submit multiple domains for auction (starting at $1) well before their expiration?

    A service predicated on a $1 reserve may not initially attract a top-heavy list of premium domains. However, a $1 reserve-action-format that accepts an unlimited number of domains will allow the best to rise to the top and will contribute liquidity to the market in a manner that no other organization has been able to provide.

    Bido cannot and will not become profitable on the basis of a single domain auction per day. Scalability is a pre-requisite to profitability.

    Sahar, you can do this.

  22. Sahar Sarid

    NoDomainsForSale,

    Thanks for the feedback, we have similar ideas in our minds for a while now. In order to scale we have to make sure what we have first work. You cannot scale a broken system. Much effort is being put on proving the current system, finding current issues, addressing them, stepping forward, addressing more, etc. When the time comes that we are comfortable enough for scalability, as we have indicated many times before, we will open up and auction more than a domain a day.

    Cheers

    Sahar

  23. Trey

    Sahar the Bido business model is sending out mixed signals. On the site you mention “the power of one”, one premium domain…. one domain auction a day…. but all we see is less than ordinary domains being auctioned.

    Your comments on the other hand suggest that you are moving away from the very business model that Bido proclaimed was going to make them unique and that Bido really is more a mass liquidation based service rather than a single premium domain auction platform and that we as sellers dont seem to understand.

    You are giving out very mixed signals, but this is the second launch of Bido and to be fair it is worse than the first attempt. I think the words “premium” and “no reserve” can never go in the same sentence.

    The social auction platform Bido runs on is nicely designed but not really suitable to domaining. One has to consider whether or not there should be any social aspect to any auction. Top prices at auctions are reached in the art world or property world without social commentary attached to the catalogue items. Social commentary could really depress prices IMO as it is a peer based system which negates the power of the auction.

  24. jp

    @Sahar

    You’ve already laid the groundwork and built a great system. That part is done, and done well I think. Just don’t get too caught up in defending your original plan if its not working perfectly. Although most ideas are great on paper, not every idea is perfect once put into action. You seem to have had great followthrough so far, now adapt to the problems and succeed. Good luck with your upcoming new release/improvements. Hopefully they will be noticable by us.

  25. Domain Superstar

    “Bido has a neat site but needs to think a little more web20 maybe have domain owners submit a list of names a few days before the auction, have the bido members vote on all the names the name with the most members votes goes up for sale.”

    I think that this could be a great idea although it may prove difficult to structure it so that it still encourages sellers to submit domain names of high enough quality.

  26. jp

    I think Domain Superstar has a very good idea. Again, only way to find out is to try it. I think it goes well with Bido’s current social model to their auction system. Let us decide by vote the 1 domain we want to see up for auction. What a great way to find what the domaining community is looking to buy.

    Of course this is just 1 idea. The platform is there, lets find a good use for it.

  27. Kristoff

    We can debate this ad infinitum.

    At this point, I think Sahar clearly acknowledges the deficiencies of the current platform, and, based on his own responses, is working to address them.

    Continuing to blast, ridicule, mock, (insert non-constructive, disparaging remark) the system isn’t going to miraculously improve anything.

    I think we can all agree this is still an experimental WIP (work in progress) that’s going to take time to fully mature.

    Even the title “Bido.com – Bid on Bido – v1.2365” suggests a Beta.

    Be patient and give it time to develop. More models/features are in the pipeline.

    Remember, Bido is just ONE sales channel. No one’s forcing you to participate. If you’re that displeased with the current platform, take your business elsewhere.

    “The question is however, of all the people writing criticisms, how many have submitted any of their quality domain names to Bido?”

    Bingo!

  28. Justin

    I agree on the quality of domains being selected at Bido. If it continues, domainers are going to lose interest in submitting domains and being involved in the expert chat.

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