Marketplaces can help sellers keep their inventory fresh.
Yesterday, Jamie Zoch posted on twitter about how poor the accuracy of inventory at domain name marketplaces is:
The accuracy of inventory at domain name aftermarket platforms is absurdly inaccurate. Most would be better erasing databases and starting over with a process that is required to follow in order to be listed/verified.
— Jamie Zoch (@DotWeekly) October 21, 2020
I agree with Jamie that this is a big issue. It’s a bad feeling when you think you’ve bought a domain on a marketplace, only to find out that the person who listed it no longer owns it.
I’m guilty of being part of the problem. I don’t immediately remove my domains from all marketplaces when I sell them (although I do verify ownership before responding to a sales inquiry).
Marketplaces can help domain sellers keep their inventory accurate, thus keeping the marketplace accurate. Here are some ideas:
1. Use a verification system – AfternicDLS has a system that recognizes if a domain has been unlocked or is being transferred so that it can remove them from the distributed network. Could this be applied industry-wide? I know it isn’t easy with GDPR, but whatever they have seems to work for domains that are opted into Fast Transfer.
2. Integrate with registrars – The best way to confirm ownership in a world without full Whois is to integrate with registrars to confirm the domain is registered in the seller’s account. It would be helpful to have integrations that would automatically remove domains from marketplaces when ownership transfers or the registration lapses.
3. Make it easier to update inventory – Marketplaces should offer a downloadable spreadsheet that lists the domains in your marketplace account and their data — what’s in Whois, nameservers, registrar name, etc. This will help sellers identify anomalies to discover which domains they no longer own. Marketplaces also need to make it easy to delete these domains.