GoDaddy’s aftermarket platform Afternic caused concerns for domain sellers today with a discussion about pricing discrepancies.
In response to a tweet from competitor Efty about charging more for Afternic listings than for direct sales through landing pages, the company tweeted:
Afternic Reseller partners spend significant money and resources to get eyes on premium domains. Pricing discrepancies create confusion and an overall negative experience for buyers. 🧵1/3
As a result, it sacrifices the value and integrity of the Afternic Partner Network if prices are lower on the For Sale Landers. You cannot actively market your domains at a lower price on your domain landers.🧵2/3
This is not a new policy, we have always enforced this when a reseller partner has pointed it out to us. We received feedback from sellers that they would have preferred to have it specifically mentioned in terms so they know it applies to everyone and not just them.🧵3/3
This likely comes as a surprise to most sellers. In light of Afternic’s recent price increase for sales of domains not parked on GoDaddy-affiliated landers, some people are raising their prices to reflect the change.
Afternic’s Membership Agreement does indeed state:
Additionally, the Buy Now Price specified for any listing on Afternic must be equal to the price listed on any for sale lander used by Seller.
The problem (well, one of them) is Afternic’s justification that “Pricing discrepancies create confusion and an overall negative experience for buyers.” But Afternic allows its partners to charge a higher price for domains and pocket the difference. It wouldn’t allow partners to do this if it’s concerned about pricing discrepancies.
The Membership Agreement states:
You understand that certain reseller distribution partners may, upon approval by the Company and at Company’s sole discretion, add a markup to the sale price of your domain name and that the reseller distribution partner may keep this markup in its entirety, and that you will receive no payment for the portion of the sales price that is marked up.
GoDaddy previously got in a tiff with distribution partner Namecheap, which was discounting domains below their asking price.
GoDaddy’s decision to offer a 40% commission discount for domains parked with its services can be seen as either highly competitive or anti-competitive. If it enforces a restriction on domain owners selling their domains for different prices based on where it sells, I’d say that falls squarely in the anti-competitive category.