Boxcar Auction Attracts Bidders But No Reserves Met

May 03 2011

As I stated earlier, Boxcar just had an auction that was one of the finer collections of names up for auction in a while and it ended today.   Names like reached $31,000 and many of the names received bids,  but I don’t believed any of the names met reserve.  I admit I missed the final results of auction one but last check they hadn’t met there either. I would still call this auction a success for Boxcar for two reasons. One, it drew attention and that’s one of the main goals of an auction house.  They want people to find them.  Secondly, it showed that domain investors with top quality portfolios are willing to give the system a try. My only complaint was the lack of guidance to the general range of the reserve.  I didn’t know if they were $5K or $50K.  I had an idea but my idea and the sellers could be a zero apart.  I admit I was impressed with the quality of names and checked in daily.  With another auction ending tomorrow I’ll be checking in again which makes this week more times going to boxcar than all year combined.  I guess you can call me an official Boxcar user now.  Here’s a look at the final results of the oriented auction which I was particularly interested in. $6000 2 Duration Expired
6 $8000 4 Duration Expired
7 $31000 14 Duration Expired
8 $21000 7 Duration Expired
9 $11000 6 Duration Expired
10 $10000 2 Duration Expired
11 $5000 0 Duration Expired
12 $8000 4 Duration Expired
13 $8000 4 Duration Expired
14 $5000 1 Duration Expired
15 $8000 4 Duration Expired
16 $6000 2 Duration Expired
17 $5000 1 Duration Expired
18 $12000 7 Duration Expired
19 $5000 1 Duration Expired
20 $21000 4 Duration Expired
21 $5000 0 Duration Expired
22 $5000 0 Duration Expired
23 $7000 3 Duration Expired
24 $21000 6 Duration Expired
25 $5000 0 Duration Expired
26 $5000 0 Duration Expired
27 $5000 0 Duration Expired
28 $9000 5 Duration Expired
29 $5000 0 Duration Expired
30 $5000 0 Duration Expired
31 $5000 0 Duration Expired
32 $5000 1 Duration Expired
33 $5000 0 Duration Expired
34 $5000 0 Duration Expired
35 $5000 0 Duration Expired
36 $5000 0 Duration Expired
37 $5000 0 Duration Expired
38 $5000 1 Duration Expired
39 $8000 5 Duration Expired
40 $5000 0 Duration Expired
41 $5000 0 Duration Expired
42 $77000 9 Duration Expired
43 $5000 0 Duration Expired
44 $5000 0 Duration Expired
45 $5000 0 Duration Expired
46 $5000 0 Duration Expired
47 $5000 0 Duration Expired
48 $5000 0 Duration Expired
49 $5000 0 Duration Expired
50 $5000 0 Duration Expired
51 $5000 1 Duration Expired
52 $5000 0 Duration Expired
53 $5000 0 Duration Expired
54 $5000 0 Duration Expired
55 $5000 0 Duration Expired
56 $5000 0 Duration Expired
57 $5000 0 Duration Expired
58 $5000 0 Duration Expired
59 $5000 0 Duration Expired
60 $5000 0 Duration Expired
61 $6000 2 Duration Expired
62 $5000 0 Duration Expired
63 $5000 1 Duration Expired
64 $5000 0 Duration Expired
65 $5000 0 Duration Expired
66 $5000 0 Duration Expired
67 $5000 1 Duration Expired
68 $5000 0 Duration Expired
69 $5000 0 Duration Expired
70 $5000 0 Duration Expired
71 $5000 0 Duration Expired
72 $5000 0 Duration Expired
73 $5000 0 Duration Expired
74 $5000 0 Duration Expired
75 $5000 0 Duration Expired
76 $6000 2 Duration Expired
77 $5000 0 Duration Expired
78 $8000 4 Duration Expired
79 $5000 0 Duration Expired
80 $5000 0 Duration Expired
81 $5000 0 Duration Expired
82 $5000 0 Duration Expired
83 $5000 0 Duration Expired
84 $4600 5 Duration Expired
85 $5000 0 Duration Expired
86 $5000 0 Duration Expired
87 $5000 0 Duration Expired
88 $5000 0 Duration Expired
89 $5000 0 Duration Expired
90 $5000 0 Duration Expired
91 $5000 0 Duration Expired
92 $5000 0 Duration Expired
93 $5000 0 Duration Expired
94 $5000 0 Duration Expired
95 $5000 0 Duration Expired
96 $5000 0 Duration Expired
97 $5000 0 Duration Expired
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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. DTalk

    I agree, Shane, about the Reserve price range – there should be one to save frustration & time for bidders.

    Also, I may be wrong, but, I had noted the closing date for these auctions was originally set at 10, 11 & 12 May 2011…..NOT 3, 4, 5 May, 2011?….Did they suddenly bring the closing date for them forward? Or, did I get that wrong?

    The other thing that frustrated me, was that – for some unknown reason – the auction list of names suddenly appeared out of alphabetical order yesterday….So, suddenly, it was hard for me to find the names I’d previously noted I might bid on…

    …Not good auction policy to deliberately make it HARDER for a bidder to find & bid on domains…!!…lol

    Like their recent DomainMadness auction glitch, I think Domain Consultant & Boxcar need to be a LOT better on detail – just more professional – if they want to be taken seriously as players.

  2. Snoopy

    If nothing actually sold then it is hardly a good result. They’ll quickly get forgotten about with auctions like that.

  3. Alan

    Not having a reserve range was a big let down for me. The $1,000 bid increments were pretty high too. Mike should run a “second chance” auction with these names and list reserve ranges – unless his main goal was just to attract attention to BoxCar which I think he accomplished.

  4. Post author


    I was trying to focus on the positives. I think the lack of reserves was a big flaw but at least there were high quality names which can’t be said for most domain auctions as of late.

  5. Mike

    This was not mine or DC’s auction, it was an auction by a long time domainer. He set reserves, obviously, not us. Again, Boxcar is a PLATFORM for any domainer to utilize.

    And as for listing order, all main columns are sortable and the date changes were made by seller – we had set initial dates to next week for a longer duration.

    Hope that covers it, cheers, M.

  6. Cole

    Wait, weren’t these domains all listed with $5,000 start and no reserve initially? I recall a lot of press when they were initially listed and could have sworn it was no reserve with $5K start.

    1. Post author

      I thought I was the only one. Did anyone else see anything that said it was a no reserve auction. To have the NNN.coms no reserve would be crazy but I still thought they were listed that way.

  7. Cole

    @Shane I don’t think we are both crazy, it must have happened but then quickly changed. The date changes also confused me a little, but I appreciate Mike saying they were changed.

  8. Alan

    That’s funny – I thought the same thing too and was quickly disappointed when I saw all the “reserve not met” icons next to the domains on the site today. I didn’t see those icons next to the domains that had bids days ago.

    The post on DC said the domains were starting at $5,000 and had “incredibly low reserves”. Anyway, this is the second auction at BoxCar that I’ve left disappointed. I realize this was a user generated auction, but the platform itself still has room for improvement (e.g. not allowing sellers to list domains without a reserve range). I know they’re trying.

  9. WQ

    I participated and it was a big waste of time.

    The auction house needs to, at the least, show a reserve range or set the starting bid as the reserve, especially when it’s $5,000.

  10. Needs Reserves

    I did not participate in the auction because of a lack of reserves. What major auction does not have a reserve range? What a joke. Makes no sense to not have reserves… the only possible reason I can think of is that Boxcar tries to entice you to join, whereas if you saw reserves you couldn’t afford then you would not join… otherwise there is no logical reason for the lack of reserve range. Maybe this is why Boxcar can’t find any bidders. You would think if domainers run Boxcar they would think about this.

    Nothing hit reserve out of like 100 domains. I wonder if all reserves were set at like $1M each and the domain owner was just trying to gauge value of his domains.

    And how the hell did not hit reserve for $77k. What is that anyways? I Googled it and it is a bean. Mickey got magic beans for a cow and $77k wasn’t good enough to get this bean?

  11. DTalk

    Yup…I understood that $5000 was the ‘incredibly low’ reserve per domain hyped by Boxcar to sell the auction…

    This is the kind of unprofessional thing I mean:

    – An auction set to close 10, 11, 12 May – suddenly closes on 3,4,5 May….with little, or no, notice. Just like that!…Important Details…!!

    – Originally hyped as an ‘incredibly low’ reserve auction for good names – with $5000 Reserves for each name – suddenly becomes a $5000 ‘starting bid’ as soon as you begin bidding!…Important Details, again…!!

    – No Reserve range per name…Is it $8000 – or, $1 million…??!!…IMPORTANT DETAILS, AGAIN!!

    Net result? A nonsense auction, with virtually a ZERO outcome.

    Please listen, Mike & Boxcar…

    Its not good enough to say: ‘Well, the seller made these decisions….”….You’re the Auction House…Abdicating the kind of control to sellers that makes an auction chaotic only gives Boxcar a bad rep, frustrates domainers & buyers, and guarantees a failed auction….Make sure you – NOT the lunatics – are in charge of your asylum….lol

  12. Mike

    DTalk, sorry, but NOT what we said, read it again…

    “amazing collection of domains on all starting at $5,000 with some incredibly low reserves.”

    And “Its not good enough to say: ‘Well, the seller made these decisions….”….You’re the Auction House…”

    No, we’re the PLATFORM? Would you like it if we told you how to price your domains for YOUR auction?

    I understand we should add reserve ranges but to date NO ONE has requested or suggested it, this is the first. So yeah, we’ll add reserve ranges.

    Anything else?

    We’ve been asking for feedback from the start and yet the only time we get it is when someone posts something and everyone piles on to criticize it.

    I am quite literally doing the best I can but truth is you can’t please everyone all the time.

    The auctions went off just fine without issue or malfunction or complaint but now we have to bear the brunt of a seller’s starting prices and reserves – for which we have no say.

    Thanks, I do listen and very carefully, M.

  13. Mike

    And on a final note, what went wrong? Ther reserves? The auctions got hundreds of thousands of dollars in bids, many of which may lead to sales – I already know of one potential bulk deal.

    Or one could view it as a learning exercise, to see what the market might offer.

    And that’s fine, we’re not an auction house, we’re a platform – so no commissions.

    DC is like everybody else – we use it as a platform for the auctions we run and promote. Boxcar is for brokers too, in other words.

    Point is people hold auctions for different reasons and they are not always the same reasons as yours.

    Boxcar let’s you do that without giving up 15 or 20 or 30% and so why not see what you might get? Afterall, set your reserves too low and you might miss out on a bigger payday.

    Thanks again, cheers, M.

  14. Needs Reserves

    Mike – if seller is holding the auction solely to test what the market might offer as you suggest, you should understand that buyers aren’t going to be pleased with that. It is a waste of buyers time to sign up to boxcar in order to participate in a ‘test’. And it seems like this is exactly what this auction was.

    Yes, you are a platform and the seller controls the auction… but if you don’t factor in the buyers and their feelings you will find that it will be a very empty platform in terms of bids.

    Remember, it is harder to find buyers then it is sellers. Boxcar seems to cater to sellers first, and that approach is not going to work IMO.

  15. DTalk

    @ Needs Reserves

    Good comment. Encapsulates the core point I was trying to make….ie a ‘platform’ that favours sellers overmuch won’t fly well – because your BUYERS are the gold.

    So….If Boxcar wants buyers to come – and return – modify the ‘platform’ so that Boxcar retains sufficient control, so you don’t get silly guidelines set by the seller (like no Reserves) – and, chaotic late changes to timing & terms & core criteria, by a seller, as per this auction.

    …If you don’t, buyers with hard, cold cash will buy elsewhere, where the rules are clearer, more reasonable, don’t change on a dime, and meet their needs more.

  16. Attila

    No offense, but I felt let down.

    Whether you’re hosting the platform and letting sellers pull a bait and switch, you’re partially responsible for “letting” it happen. The first notification I got was through newsletter (I think it was a sponsored link) which said lots of gems and no reserve. I checked out the preview auctions and again there wasn’t anything about reserves or anything. The auction opened, said 15 days, still, no reserve auction. Only when it was changed into a 5 or 6 day time period, did the reserve not met button appear.

    I heard of boxcar but never signed up because I didn’t like how scattered the domains are in each group, didn’t want to open each group link and review the list of domains. I’d prefer to just see a long list of names. Also the lack in quality of names each time I looked. However since signing up (during the preview stage), I started receiving the daily emails of auctions ending, which I thought was a cool feature. Although I still feel duped and feel this “could” just be a marketing ploy to get buyers to sign up at boxcar. Though I could be wrong, either way, I feel duped and while it might have sparked an interest in 4-5 of the names, I would never pay more then what we could of had them at, in the auction, should it of really been a no reserve auction.

  17. Attila

    Final note, I probably will do business with boxcar again. I blame them partially for what happened, however at the end of the day, we’re all just human and when we develop something, we go through trial and error until we’ve developed enough to know what to look for and how to avoid it. Even then you still run into a few things you might have overlooked.

    Its why the feedback module I am working on, will be so powerful in terms of website owners having the ability to connect with their visitors on a special level and letting them offer feedback and allowing others add on to it with comments and so on, ect..ect..

  18. Osman Tas

    I was also pretty sure that this was a ‘no reserve’ auction. I gave up after bidding for the first domain in my list. I think the platform should be improved to provide reserves with a reasonable range. This particular auction was such a waste of time for me. I would decide on which domains to bid upfront, and, if they were not reasonable, I would have never bid and waste my time in the first place.

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