I went to the GoDaddy auctions homepage and was browsing the top auctions and I noticed something that stuck out.? There’s a handful of LLL.co auctions and the price has hit around $2-3k for them which struck me as a little unusual.

#1:? It was unusual because I’ve watched LLL.co auctions on GoDaddy for the past 5 months and unless it is a word or three repeating letters they never hit four figures.

#2:? It was unusual because the five auctions that you can see below all kicked off either today or yesterday which means these weren’t bids that built up over the course of 10 days, but two people bidding right away which for LLL.co’s is unusual.

#3:? It was unusual because in each instance it looks like bidder #1 put in a high bid and bidder #2 has kept bidding and driving up the price but never reached bidder #1’s price.? It is unusual for the first bidder to come and bid more than $3k for a LLL.co as their first bid, very unusual.? And unusual that a second bidder comes and keeps bidding so soon.

It looks fishy and because GoDaddy does not give us bidder names or at least bidder ID numbers or anything to identify the bidders we cannot conclusively say that its the same two accounts in each instance but an educated guess would believe me to say yes.

Why do this?? Why would anyone run up the price?? I’ll tell you why.? A while ago (over a year) I was bidding on a domain at GoDaddy expired auctions and got into a back and forth with another bidder as the auction was closing.? I forget the exact dollar amounts but let’s say that he and I bid back and forth from $500 up to a few thousand dollars.? The other person won the auction but didn’t end up paying.? I received an email telling me I could purchase the domain for $500 (the price after all of the winning bidder’s bids were removed).? And just like that I got a domain that I was willing to pay several thousand dollars for for $500.

I can’t say if this same logic/rule is in place at GoDaddy but I’d guess it is (only thing that would make sense to me on why someone would bid up a domain against themselves).? Bidder #1 puts in a ridiculous bid.? Bidder #2 (who is the same guy) bids up the domain to a ridiculous level but loses the auction to bidder #1.? Bidder #1 of course doesn’t pay and now bidder #2 gets offered the domain for next to nothing.? And the reason they do this right away is so that a legitimate bidder #3 never comes in and bids because that would increase how much the domain would sell for after bidder #1’s bids are removed.

Anyone familiar if this is how GoDaddy auctions still works?


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15 comments on “Something Fishy with GoDaddy Auctions

    • Looks like GoDaddy has removed the bids as I don’t see anything in four figure range anymore.

      The problem is if the policy is to give the second bidder a shot to buy the domain if the first bidder doesn’t pay AND the second bidder gets offered the domain at a price that removes the winning bidder’s bids then you will always see this type of action. It is not ethical but if someone can snag domains that are worth four or five figures and pay two or three figures that is an easy payday. Would like to see official word on if this is still the policy of what happens when there’s a non-paying bidder.

  • What do LLL.co normally sell for at auction?

    I saw this earlier today and was hoping that LLL.co prices were finally moving up (since short com’s and.cc’s have moved up already this year, and .co may be next).

    • I have bought a few handful in the past few months and I’ve gotten anywhere from at auction from $12 to maybe $200. The one I bought for $200 had sold on Sedo a few years ago for around $8000. But I’d guess my average auction price was $35 (and I was going for good letters).

    • If I expanded my screenshot you would see that there’s a bunch with no bids on them. They sell for low to mid 2 digits on average from what I’ve seen.

  • If it is true, this would be a pattern that can be detected extremely easily by risk management team at Godaddy. So we will see in 10 days how it ends.

  • One would inly do this, if they feel these names are desirable, and you need to have a verified account to bid over $1,500, so are 3L .com really selling in the $2-3K range?

  • Looks fine to me but if you want to prove that thesis, I see JEQ.co for sale also this day. If it runs into the 2 to 3000 range, you’ll be wrong but when you consider that the LLL’s for the .com’s are now running into the 25K to $250K range or more, $2000 to $3000 is actually very cheap for a .co that is heavily promoted.

  • One last thing, LLL.co’s have sold for $100K in the past. While you might be correct, it could also be certain investors hooked on the same thing the people that paid $100K for .co’s did. That LLL’s are rare and end users don’t care what you pay for them as a domineer.

    • I just checked Namebio and it doesn’t have a single LLL.co selling for over $50,000. Maybe L.co have sold for over $100k (but I only think o.co)?

    • Doesn’t work with expiring domains that will be heading in redemption period.

      Here is an easy fix, charge users $99 per year to use TDNAM, verify questionable accounts for any bidding over $499

      I know all the cheap asses will cry, but you won’t find to many people creating fake accounts when you have to pay $99, and reverify everytime.

      At the same time, high auction prices, and shill bidders essentially help the house.

      Given the above example if the uncapitalized bidder had forgot to bid, and put the OP a few thousand up in the auction, that is the true shame, and value that is never measured nor caught.

      I have never seen Godaddy say this account was suspended, and they were bidding on your auction, therefore we are clawing it back. Essentially all those bids are fraudlent, and that could actually cause a huge legal pushback.

      I am pretty sure we have all been affected by shill bidders one way or another, it’s just that we have no transparency.

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