Dear Owners of Flippa, Great Job, Now Fix These Small Problems

Apr 03 2015

Over the last year Flippa has become one of the top auction houses for domains.  An amazing feat when you consider how quickly it happened.   I think the hard work of Kevin Fink is much of the reason they have risen so quickly.  But with fast growth comes growing pains.  In the attempt to scale and add revenue sources there are some issues that need addressed BEFORE they expand and add.  None of them are game enders but they are a pain for many users.  I have started using the platform more in the last month and I have had good success.  But you know me.  I like to complain.  I call it an opportunity to improve but the people that actually have to do the work to make it better call me a complainer.   Here are few “opportunities” for the owners to build on.  Some things don’t exist but would be nice if they did .


1.  Your Escrow doesn’t communicate well with the users.  I am told that it is only me, but I don’t get emails letting me know the stages as the come.  I have to go into the escrow page every time to see how it stands.  If you have ever been to, Agreed, and even eCop you will see a much system.  I love the fact that it is free but at this point free comes with price.  Also, I know that California and Texas is very difficult to operate legally.   I trust them but escrow needs to be more than trust.

2.  When you do get communication from Flippa escrow it defines it by the Auction number.  I am selling several names.  I have no idea what the auction number was. Nowhere does it list the name.  So I have to guess what it is by the price or I have to log in and double check.  I only know what the name is.  Define it by the domain name.  It’s unique so it should work fine.

3.  Under my listings that I’ve sold it says “Won”.    I certainly didn’t win the name, I sold it.  It’s confusing enough but I resold a name I bought at Flippa and everything says I won.

4. The Dashboard needs some revamping.  Here’s what I would do.  Divide it into Buying and Selling.   That way I can tell the difference between the two.  Right now everything is mixed together and everything is “won” regardless of buy or sell.   Under the buy and sell categories you can do your recent offers.  “Your Offers” in one section and “Offers Received” in the other.  They have it divided somewhat in the left column before you go to the dashboard but to me that’s what a dashboard is. A summary of everything that’s going on.

5. Add the ability to sell a portfolio as a listing.  People are working around it right now.  But users are showing they want to sell multiple domains in a listing so give the ability to do so.  An owner should always be looking for a way to make the product better as well as increase revenue and profits.  It’s pretty obvious what improvement to make when users are taking your product and hacking it to make it do something they want it to do.

6.  Don’t charge so much for upgrades.  Absolutely have upgrades but make them a bit more affordable so people can really use them and not just the super users and friends of the family.  Sure there are people that are paying $400 but cut that a bunch and I’m pretty sure overall revenue will jump.  I could be wrong.   Or if you’re really sure that the upgrades work then give them away for free and add 5% to the commission rate.  But give them a choice.    I am going to do a test on a few names to see how much difference it makes but I would be willing to pay an extra 5% and I’m sure many other people would be as well.  (*This is an Advertisement:  I charge $10 to list your name in my daily list.  I think it’s the best advertising money you can spend but don’t believe me because this is an advertisement and you can’t believe advertisements)

7.  Give Kevin a raise.  The guy works his butt off.  He represents, defends, and promotes Flippa all day long.  On the blogs, the forums, and in public.  As Flippa grows so does his workload.  He is human.  He answers every email and helps me with my problems.  But when I gave him the list above I overwhelmed him a bit.

8.   Get better control of the comment sections.   It is very hard to control comments.  It doesn’t matter what venue.  I have one choice.  Do I want to receive emails of the comments on the domain I’m watching.  Yes, in general I do.  But lately I have had sellers comments 30 times per auction.  One person, every hour, on the hour for the last day.   I want to follow the auctions but somehow there has to be a limit on how often a seller is allowed to comment.  I realize this is a small deal but it has been an issue as I use the platform more often.


I love Flippa.  I think the owners and their team should be proud of what they built.  But now that it is built and successful, they need to take that power and perfect the platform.  They have done so many good things, many that nobody else is doing.  I love Namejet as well but Flippa eats their lunch when it comes to self listing a name.  A successful auction house has good names for sale, buyers that want those names, and a platform that can bring them together.  GD, Namejet, and Flippa have all three.   Flippa is closest to having the ideal platform for users.  The owners just have to not be satisfied with being the best.  They need to want their platform to be great, regardless of what the others are doing.   Quality names and results are what drives the business.  They are not first in that category yet, but if the platform is perfected, they have a good chance to do it.

Have anything you think they should add or fix?  Now’s your chance.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Mike Maillet

    Shane, what about the issue that you spoke of the other day regarding the auctions being extended for one full hour, for each and every bid in the final hour? That might need some revamping. I cant tell you how many times I went to bed chasing an auction, making a final bid and finding out in the morning that I lost! I think it should be at 10 min extension intervals. You need to have a drop-dead time an auction will end, it cant be hours and hours after the scheduled end. Regarding the upgrades, I think the prices are a bit steep, but doable, so Flippa should offer buy 2 get one free, that sort of deal. I love the post auction wheeling and dealing, I am getting emails from domains I listed long ago!

  2. Bobby

    Better filtering when searching for domains would be helpful too.

    It’s just overwhelming now. And that means it’s hard for buyers to find your domains.

    And even though infinite scroll is cute, there is a reason that pagination exists – it’s useful! Sometimes you went to get back to page 6 of your search, and not have to start over and start scrolling through 6 pages of domains again.

    Little tweaks.

  3. Keith DeBoer

    Hey Shane, I agree with all the high fives for Flippa. They’ve found a niche and are doing well. Bravo! But as you say there are several annoying features that still deter me. 1) Promo features are over priced and hyped. Hard not to read the descriptions of some of the promo services and not feel gouged. And please specify that the $49 for the feature listing is for 24 hrs max. Don’t make us dig through the FAQ page to find that out. Be transparent. 2) Filters could be improved as others have said 3) Poor page navigation. Put the blue page scroller at the TOP of the page as well as the bottom and number the pages. Otherwise we have no idea if we are on page 4 or page five 4) Problems with close out sale page. My auction is complete. I paid my commission and go my invoice. The buyer has paid and I’ve transferred the DN successfully. But the sale completion page is still asking me to pay my success fee and won’t let me leave feedback for the buyer. ……………. OK enough groaning. Thanks for a great platform, Flippa. I hope you make it even better and blow the competition away!

  4. Bob

    Excellent points Shane, I would also like to see the upgrades priced according to length of the auction, seems crazy that an upgrade to premium is the same for 7 days as it is for 30 days, The idea of paying a little more commission for upgrades rather than up front is also a very good idea.
    I am currently experimenting with selling a name without any upgrades ,I recently sold a similar name at Flippa using the ultra premium package, it is difficult to gauge unless you have exactly the same domain ,however.
    I’d also like the option to delete comments entirely, not leave behind a note saying,” the seller deleted a comment from….” as it looks a little messy in the comments section.
    Like you and many others I love Flippa and think they breathed new life into domain auctions and have been extremely successful ,but implementing these suggestions would move them even further ahead of their competitors imo .

  5. Dec

    Totally agree with all of your points.

    Did I read that someone bidding under the highest bid still extends the auction? Can’t be right, surely only higher bids should have this impact. The ability to opt in or out of the sellers comments would be good, agree with Bob if you delete a comment as the seller it should just be deleted with no residual sentence.

    The Flippa Escrow process is good, its free so that’s a huge thumbs up, but it could be improved with a little more guidance for buyer and seller.

    Lastly, maybe promote/encourage the post auction wheeling and dealing a bit more, I’m sure there are more sales to be had by encouraging further communication when the dust has settled.

    1. Post author


      I did forget to put in the extending auction thing.


      I 100% agree that I have quit bidding at times because it gets extended past my bedtime and YOU CAN’T PUT IN A PROXY BID. Nope once you are high bidder you can’t raise it without Flippa taking it all the way to the number you put it. So if you’re at $100 and you want to go away and want $500 to be your maximum price. Flippa doesn’t up your bid as other raise theirs. No, they automatically take it to $500. I completely forgot about that as well. It’s cost them tens of thousands in bids, I guarantee. Although it has probably made them quite a bit the first time it happens to everyone.

  6. Peter T

    “Your Escrow doesn’t communicate well with the users.”

    I agree. It doesn’t really tell you when you’ve received the funds. And after you do receive them it says something along the lines of “you received the funds on [date of current day]”.

  7. Travis

    Time to show bidder names, what is the big secret? It will help the overall sales process, and bring more trust to the system.

    Also multiple bidders can checkout during a BIN at the same time, and if payment is made via paypal, buyer can get paid twice, flippa system does not allow someone time to checkout once they click BIN.

    Limit comments, I had one auction where the bidder in the span of 5 minutes placed 3 comments, not fun during the work day, when you are trying to work, and watch auctions also.

    Also maybe a 5-10 minute extension in lime with others in the industry, 60 minute extensions are a waste of life.

  8. Glenn

    I totally agree with #6.
    I have no problem paying for upgrades, but Flippa’s upgrade fees are absolutely RIDICULOUS !
    Also , Basic Listings should be FREE.
    And yes , Shane , your $10 daily listing fee IS the best advertisement. It beats the hell out of Flippa’s $49 24-hour Front Page listing fee.
    I love Flippa , but a few simple changes would make this really good marketplace an awesome marketplace.

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