Higher bid increments should speed up high-dollar auctions.
Expired domain name marketplace DropCatch has changed its bid increments following an extended auction for reactive.com in October.
The auction dragged on for hours as bidders continually raised the ante by just $50. DropCatch resets the clock to five minutes whenever a new high bid is placed, so the auction became a war of attrition between bidders.
DropCatch disclosed the new bidding tiers in a tweet today:
You asked, we listened! As of today we’ve adjusted the bid tiers to be more customer friendly! Bids will now auto increment per the following table: pic.twitter.com/8sBkf27TgN
— Annie @ Turncommerce (@annie_domainsTC) December 1, 2022
Having to raise bids by $2,500 once the reactive.com auction hit $50,000 would have sped up the conclusion.
For comparison, SnapNames and NameJet have minimum bid increments of $5,000 when auctions hit $100,000, and GoDaddy has $1,000 bid increments over $50,000.
Mark Thorpe says
Long time coming.
What really extends the length of auctions is bidders (and their bots?) who wait until the last seconds of an auction to enter an incremental bid and then continually do so at the last second of an auction again and again. Each time they do this, it extends the auction for another five minutes (or whatever length each auction platform uses, respectively). This can go on and on, literally for hours, with little actual price movement (on some platforms, an incremental bid of $1 can extend an auction for another five minutes).
Such bids serve only lengthen the duration of an auction, making sure the auction is live longer and more eyes can see it. This obviously benefits the auction platforms most. A conspiracy theorist would suggest that the Snapnames, Dropcatch and Godaddy’s of the world are the primary beneficiaries of such “special” customers using their platforms.
If the incremental bidders were serious about winning the auction, they should just step up and bid their maximum amount upfront rather than in small increments and lengthen an auction for a period of hours. That’s unsportsmanlike.
Frankly, it’s not fair to serious bidders who are legitimately using the platforms day in and day out. It’s just a waste of time. The auction platforms should change their policies to eliminate such prolonged “bot” bidding.
I’m going to tentatively say that I disagree with this, for a number of reasons.
I think that these pricing steps should be implemented ONLY IN THE LAST FIVE MINUTES of the auction, and in some cases the steps are too large anyway.
For example, a domain that ends up selling for say $1300: when it reaches $1000 BEFORE the last five minutes I think nothing wrong with adding another $5-10 to the bid, $100 bid is FAR too high. Even DURING the last five minutes $100 is too high, it should be say $50. Note that if the auction only gets to $1000-1500 in the last 5 minutes, one would not expect that domain to get to mid-high 4 figure of higher, so the auction would likely not drag on for a long time.