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Survey: Which Expired Domain Name Service is Best?

Survey shows everyone looking for something different in expired domain services.

Last year SnapNames handily won the expired domain category in the annual Domain Name Wire survey. I anticipated that NameJet would take over the top spot this year because it has the best inventory. When it comes to quality, few would argue that NameJet doesn’t have the best expiring domains because of its partnership with Network Solutions.

But I was wrong. SnapNames again took the crown, even when I filtered to only include domainers owning more than 10,000 or more domains. (To be sure, votes for NameJet increased from last year).

Why is SnapNames on top? It turns out everyone is looking for something different in backordering services. It could be starting prices, ease-of-use, or even confidence in a level playing field. I have a number of theories on why the rankings shook out the way they did, but I don’t want to explain them just yet. The survey didn’t ask why, so I’m going to ask it now. If you use expired domain services, please comment on which one you like most and why.

Here are the 2009 results for “Best Expiring Domain Service”
1. SnapNames 43%
2. NameJet 23%
3. GoDaddy 17%
4. Pool 12%
5. Afternic Expired 6%

Also stay tuned for an article about how to win with expired domain names in 2009.

See more survey results here.

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  1. Dluzional says

    I would think it’s more of a personal preference, given the top 5 that are listed.

    I’ve used 3 of the top 5, with varying degrees of results

    My thoughts, and only because of my dealings with them, your mileage may vary.

    They seem to expose themselves a little more, keeping their name out there, daily list’s delivered…
    it’s the “after” success that leaves a lot to be desired, they got the cash, and that seems to be it, the times I’ve used them, it’s taken a LONG time to get name transferred over.

    Not a good experience at all with them, communication minimal, one hand doesn’t seem to know what the other is doing,

    Yet another way to snag your cash up front…
    They charge an “up front fee”, which then provides you with a credit for each fee paid.
    The problem with godaddy is that if a domain that you’re interested already has a backorder on it they won’t allow you to backorder it, saying it’s against ICANN rules because they say the rules state that a domain registrar can only have 1 backorder per domain. Not sure about that one.
    They don’t go to auction if 2 or more want the name,(even though their backorder FAQ say otherwise)…where as everyone else seems to…
    Customer service, as usual, argumentative, sounding like they’d rather be somewhere else, non helpful.

    Not sure who’s right with this, one could conceivably put a backorder in all 5 places hedging their bets, paying whatever fee’s they have in place.

    Cost’s play a factor, I’m sure, especially now, if you want a particular name, or feel it has that quality for development/resale, then cost’s really won’t matter now will they.

  2. Stephen Douglas says

    Aha! That “novel” wasn’t submitted for some reason! Luckily I saved it before I clicked “submit”. But some editing was lost, so please be forgiving. Here it is, again:

    H*ll yes, I will choose Snapnames first over any of the others.

    Reasons? For Dub-A, I will come out of my normally shy and quiet demeanor, and be uncharacteristically blunt:

    1) Snapnames has consistently run a well-managed expiring domain service for at least four years (although they’ve been around longer). There’s been some tight spots at times, and yes, their Seller Dashboards and whole site GUI seriously needs a famous “Stephen Douglas Overhaul”, but beyond that, the people who work for Snap are topnotch, hardworking and dedicated to making their clients satisfied. Add to that their connection with Moniker’s killer CS team, and for now, the “One-Two Punch” of Snapnames/Moniker cannot be beat in the expiring domain/online auction world. I really don’t see any other domain company coming close to them in overall expiring domain/online auction services for a long time.

    2) Namejet is probably second to Snap, only because I, too, thought their inventory would set domainers’ on fire. As Dub-A states, that hasn’t materialized, although I’ve bought a few domains from them and their process was not too confusing.

    However, dealing with Netsol… I still taste vomit in my throat for some reason. It’s the memory of so many marketing “mistakes” they’ve made since they owned the domain name registration process back in 1999. Anyway, they don’t have the personal touch that Snapnames gives you, and NetSol should have just stayed with Snapnames instead of “venturing” out on their own.

    3) Godaddy. Oh yes, we domainers should all give our money to a company that does little to nothing to support the domain industry.

    This is the sad irony of GoDaddy. They’ve become like MacDonalds trying to mate with Burger King. A clown or two, a kiddie playroom arena, some attempts at offering “healthy” food, then sophomoric appeals to men’s testosterone levels. Seriously, would you eat there everyday and feel healthy without some self-loathing?

    If I was obsessed and easily manipulated by big boobs and worshipping a Larry Flynt clone, maybe I’d buy into Bob Parson’s paper tiger empire.

    Other than those lame analogies, have you ever seen a domain name worth more than $5000 in their expiring domain list?

    I do my best to stay as far away from GD as possible. I once had over 300 domains with them, and as the intimacy of time revealed the “real” GD, those domains have been transferred away to Moniker or Fabulous. I still have about 40 domains left, mostly ccTLDs and gTLDs.

    4) Pool – I admit I have little experience with them so I can’t comment honestly. I don’t hear much about them, so I haven’t used them for at least three years. (Pool execs, feel free to contact me to change that)

    5) Afternic – There is something about Afternic and Name Media that makes me feel detached from them. I don’t know what it is because I have good friends who work at NM across their many domain businesses. However, nobody seems to be able to stand up and make a “call” on any particular situation or concern you have. They are the most corporate of the domain industry companies… with Oversee a close second since JK came on board. (No disrespect intended, this is business!)

    There is nothing wrong with Afternic, other than their “D-listing” of the Afternic Bazaar. I can’t find it anywhere on their site unless I use a magnifying glass. I thought they deleted this once popular domain dump outlet with great potential. However, after nosing around and scrutinizing every non-highlighted navbar link, I found the Bazaar! (Now, I can make a summary assessment why the Bazaar is extremely valuable to Afternic/NM, but I like getting paid for my advice. I’m amazed that NM marketing doesn’t see how this service can be a goldmine for them.)

    Bottom line, Dub-A, is that the Snapnames/Moniker system is really coming together, and the teams behind these two companies owned by Oversee work VERY hard making sure their clients are happy. With Snapnames/Moniker, your domains are presented and processed efficiently, your payouts are timely and you have people who are extremely dedicated to providing the best personal service. Any domainer can be on a first name basis with at least six different sales execs at both companies. Bari Meyerson, Jonathan Stanfill, Michelle Van Tilborg, Victor Pitts, Peter Brooks, and so many others at the core of Snapnames domain sales processing (whether located at Moniker or Snap) are what I call “*filtered” experts.

    *”Filtered” – Something/someone that is “filtered” means that over a period of time, the wheat is separated from the chaff. Ok, that may be too old school… let me put it differently and ummm… more current.

    The quality of people working for Snapnames/Moniker is like seeing the 12 finalists of Season 8 on American Idol. After many years, AI pulled together the best 12 promising singers this season that I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to pick a winner. That’s Snapnames/Moniker.

    *Note to Snapnames/Moniker buddies – please don’t send me “We were going to love you but now we hate you” emails or Facebook comments for this American Idol analogy!

    Dub-A, as always, great article

    Stephen Douglas

  3. Stephen Douglas says

    okay… my novels aren’t processing… Dub-A, let me know which comment I submitted that you’ll publish (take the second one). And please delete these shorties…

    My question is, why immediately publish the one-liners but not the substantive comments?

  4. Andrew Allemann says

    Stephen – for some reason your novel got stuck directly in spam rather than the moderation queue. I use Wordpress’ moderation tools, which aren’t perfect. But with over 10,000 items in my comment spam for the past month I have to use triage.

    If you submit a comment and it says “your comment is pending moderation”, then I’ll approve it shortly. If you submit something and you don’t see this message and it just disappears, email me so I can find it in the spam folder.

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