I predict three major changes at domain auction house Bido.
A week ago I wrote about the lack of high quality domain names for sale at Bido. Others agreed, and Bido co-founder Sahar Sarid chimed in. While Sarid was somewhat coy about planned changes at Bido, he dropped several hints. After reading his comments on Domain Name Wire and his five posts about accurate domain pricing on his blog, here’s what I think is in store for the site:
1. More than one domain a day. I’m not sure if this means unlimited or ten, but I suspect it will increase from the current one-a-day auction format.
2. Perhaps relaxing of $1 starting price, but a penalty if the domain doesn’t sell (see #3)
3. Incentives for sellers to submit quality domains.
The third change warrants more attention. How do you get sellers to submit quality domain names and not have to wade through thousands of worth(less) domains? I’ve written before about seller submission bias and how to solve it with economic penalties (see How to Solve Auction Submission Bias with Financial Incentives).
I can think of many options for Bido.
One is to put the onus for quality on the buyers by using the wisdom of the crowd to select domains. But Sarid’s posts seem to pin responsibility on sellers.
If you pin it on sellers, there are many approaches.
1. Refundable listing fees – charge a fee per domain that is refunded if the domain receives 2 or more bids.
2. Graduated listing fees for more promotion – the more the seller pays, the higher his or her domain shows up on the bidding list for the day.
3. Traditional listing fees, perhaps based on starting price.
There are challenges and benefits to each of these approaches. Obviously they all require proving that your auction platform attracts bidders.