Do You Care Whether You Know Whether A Domain is Expired or Privately Owned on Namejet?

Jul 30 2012

The “gripe” has come up several times over the last few years regarding Namejet.  People want Namejet to list whether a domain that is for sale is expiring or from a private portfolio.  And the reason most people want to know this?  Because they do. Because its “shady”

I raised this question over at a post from Raymond at HybridDomainer yesterday.  I was curious why it was such a big deal that the two were mixed together.  The answer is always come back the same. ” It’s not “cool” to not reveal the difference”.  No data, logic or stats to back up any real value to differentiating the two. They say I have an agenda.  It is right.  I want to sell domains.  I want to buy domains. That is my agenda.

In my opinion, Namejet has the best quality names up for daily auction on the net.  Each and every day you can find names of quality to purchase.  Some are expired, some are from private portfolios.  It is this combination that provides the quality.  Godaddy also has quality names each day but the names under their management dwarfs all the other registrars and gives them a large enough group to have decent names most days. Namejet has several different registrars that come into their expiration pool but it certainly wouldn’t be nearly as trafficked if this was all they offered.  There is a reason nobody goes to Snapnames any more.  They don’t have the quality any more.  Namejet does and this is why they lead the pack.

So again I ask.  Why is it important which type of name it is?  The quality of the domain is in no way determined by its owner. Do you look at a domain and come up with different pricing depending on whether its expiring or privately sold?  “I was willing to pay $600 for it but now that I know its not an expiring name I only will pay $400”  Sounds silly doesn’t it.  Raymond of HD said it sounded like I was taking it personal.  What he mistook for anger was actually confusion.

I am all for transparency.  But the transparency I want is so that I have all the correct information I need to make a good financial decision.  I want all the data that would effect the value of a domain.  Who owns it presently doesn’t make a difference to me. My favorite quote from Ray’s blog “I do not like buying ‘sellers’ domains on NJ as much as expired names”.   I’m not sure how a name that someone let expire or forgot to renew is better than a name being put up for sale.

My only concern is that if I buy it, I am going to get it.  We all know that Namejet delivers almost 100% of the time. If you buy at Godaddy you never quite know as the owner could renew at any time.  Sometimes as a result of domainers contacting the owner and working out a private deal. No fault of Godaddy but it happens.  At Namejet, the domains have been secured to be for sale whether its a private seller or expiring.  Either way, they are for sale.  And isn’t that what you want? A place to buy quality domains.  A place that may offer a good deal if you search the lists each day.

I stated several times that I am fortunate enough to be one of the private sellers on Namejet. A relationship I built many years ago when the private sellers were first being introduced.  They were introduced to give quality to the daily offerings.  Not to confuse or dump names, but to make sure that buyers had a reason to come back.  Yes, it offers liquidity to the portfolio owners that have the honor of selling through the platform.  But isn’t that how business works?  You are trying to sell products so you seek out the people that have the best product.  The only reason to label the source of that product is if it effects the value.  Being made in China or England would.  Expiring or being sold by me doesn’t.  Other than to appease someone’s curiosity.

Whether Namejet does or doesn’t differentiate the two is of no concern to me.  I don’t think it changes anything.  “Because I want to know” or “I need transparency” are nice answers but they are not reasons. I could care less if they put a giant Panda bear next to the private names.  As long as there are some good names to buy. Also,  I challenge anyone to prove that things are “shady”.  And to answer the “why do I care so much” question.  I care because I “call out” as many or more people and companies that any blogger out there.  I want transparency for shady behind the scene things.  I want people to share their conflict of interest.  It’s not about negativity, it’s about getting all the info out there so we can make intelligent business decisions.  Adding data that provides no relevant info is just semantics.  And if I wanted semantics I would ask my 12 year old daughter to clean her room.

PS:  If you really care, just look at the whois and 9 times out of 10 you can find out

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Acro

    Actually, whether it’s listed as expired/dropping or in a private sale, does make a difference; for some reason, competition is higher when it’s a “free for all”, versus a sale that is private. Why, you may ask. It’s a psychological factor: if it’s a private sale, a bidder will think: I might as well make an offer. Personally, I turn WHOIS shield on and forward the domain’s DNS to NameJet’s auction page. (and don’t forget that silly issue with Sedo raking up junk clicks!)

  2. Samit

    Not only is it bad enough that they list private domains for sale, the worst bit is that only a privileged few are even allowed to post them.

    And the domains that are worth getting always seem to be way overbid at reseller levels, which is always a little suspicious, specially after the snapnames issue.

    Which are both contributing factors to why I don’t use NameJet as much as I would considering the quality of inventory on offer.

  3. Acro

    Shane – Correct. So when a domain is not expired, the natural thing to do is look up its WHOIS info. The method I described with listing domains works to my advantage.

  4. Neil Armstrong

    I’ll raise my hand and shout my main reason straight out: “jealousy”. I’m jealous that you get to sell your names on NameJet and I don’t.

    As for a genuine, serious reasoning behind the difference – it may just be a perceived difference, but if something is expired and dropping – it might just be a once in-a-lifetime bargain because the owner forgot to renew, or died or, or….a thousand reasons. Whereas if you’re actively trying to sell and prepared to take $69 minus all the commissions – what’s wrong with the name? Why is s/he selling? What’s wrong with it? Of course, usually it’s a good name, you’re after liquidity or whatever, but there’s a lingering unbroken horse potential versus idly hanging around the stables and hasn’t done much bad metaphor that perhaps is why people in the take a risk world of domaining prefer the expired versus private sale name.
    Actually, that’s a terrible metaphor, but I hope you follow what I mean: anyone allowed to sell on NameJet is probably smart and experienced enough to have examined the rock for gold – whereas an expired domain – who knows what’s in there?

  5. L

    I couldn’t care less, but a reasonable enough case can be made that a domain with ‘doaminer’ ownership history is significantly more likely to have burned out end user bridges than a good domain that’s a credible drop.

    Would I ever buy a name for resale after knowing it was owned by a talented domain reseller? Rarely, but if so, I’m doing so on the basis that the 30 most likely end users have already been contacted and I’ve got to have some unique insight that others don’t.

    Plainly put, drops generate excitement because they often times represent the fresh introduction of a new product to the market, no different than someone discovering a Rembrandt in the basement. Bidding on that name is simply a wager on how responsive the market will be to it’s introduction.

    When it’s being resold by a domainer subsequent to a long ‘domainer’ ownership history, a lot of that implied potential is bleached out.

    1. Post author


      You are greatly overestimating what big portfolio owners do with their domains. Most don’t reach out to sell but rather wait for an offer . While I agree that’s it’s more likely it is not nearly as common as you think. Almost all yours is perception rather than known reality.

  6. Jacob Fedosky


    I agree with “L” to some extent. Large portfolio owners, which I suppose are the ones that make up the private domain names on NameJet, may not reach out to end users. However, small time domainers typically do. That’s one of the reasons I shy away from the NamePros (among other) market place unless I am buying a domain name to develop.

    I guess in this situation it isn’t completely applicable because as said above, it must be only large portfolio owners that sell directly on NameJet.


  7. L

    I don’t know what the criteria is for being allowed to sell names through Namejet, but IIRC (which I may not be), you’ve sold names on there, correct?

    You aren’t a gigantic portfolio holder. Whatever your own personal strategy may be with proactively contacting end users (or not), I think it’s a pretty fair estimation that some domainers permitted to sell through Namejet- who aren’t mega portfolio holders- are indeed very proactive in their sales strategy and by the time they’re tossing a particular name that may appear ‘good’ on its surface, it’s because the initial 30 ‘most likely buyers’ expressed no interest in it.

    1. Post author


      Buy low sell higher works pretty well for most of us. Having a place to sell higher. You don’t have to beat a horse to death when you can send him to a horse auction

  8. L

    And just to clarify, “talented domain reseller” is not the same thing as “enormous portfolio holder”.

    You think by the time some Visit(Location).com is listed for sale on Eliot Silver’s blog, he hasn’t already flogged that pony half to death?

  9. RH

    I was waiting for this article since about 2 pm yesterday. Shane I had no problem with your comments. I agreed with you on the point that a name is a name. What I said was that I have spoke with many who don’t agree with you and I on that point. The friend who I pointed out the name on Go Daddy was a perfect example.

    Even Acro agrees that its more likely to be bid higher if people think a name is expired.

    Some people on my blog and now a thread on Namepros have left more reasons than just wanting to know. They range from thinking Namejet is a dirty company to the potential of shill bidding.

    I like NameJet, I made a post about a couple things I would like to see changed, not expecting them to get changed.

    But in the end there was nothing against you in my post.

    1. Post author


      Your post was excellent and brought up good points. As all bloggers do I figured I would rather talk it out over here. 🙂 I’ve never seen an auction place there hasn’t been accusations of shill bidding. The difference between the accusations and my thoughts is I know the people that sell and the people that manage the selling and they are all incredible people that are positive for this industry. I hate to see them criticized by people that “think” rather than know.

  10. Dan

    “I couldn’t care less, but a reasonable enough case can be made that a domain with ‘doaminer’ ownership history is significantly more likely to have burned out end user bridges than a good domain that’s a credible drop.”

    L, exactly what I think and exactly what I posted at HD’s site.

    Shane, do you you really honestly think that a large portfolio owner, selling one of their domain names at NJ, has not thoroughly exhausted all possible enduser leads on it before auctioning it?

    Quite silly not to.

    1. Post author


      Your are grossly overestimating the work many dominainers put into trying to sell names. I only know 1 of the 5 people I work with that sell on Namejet that makes any effort to contact end users prior. And that is just a blanket email. I can guarantee you are wrong in this case. The point is moot because we can’t prove it either way. I am just saying that Namejet is absolutely not “leftover” names. It is not the junk pile. Again the difference is you are assuming and I actually know the strategies of many of the sellers and I am telling the truth. Not saying that some don’t but I have a pretty good sample. Believe or don’t, I am just telling it like a see it like I always do. Take it for what its worth

  11. L


    We’re on the same page as far as the overall idea that most domainers are passive, don’t inquire with prospective end users and focus on acquisitions (more than sales). Focusing on the other end of that equation has been my own MO with success.

    The point I’m making is in response to your question. I’m simply pointing out what a lot of people are thinking. Whether or not it’s overblown relative to the facts is another discussion.

    Buying a ‘really good’, somewhat expensive domain with a long domainer ownership history then trying to resell it only to quickly realize I was getting sloppy 4ths (based on the end user responses; “Didn’t you email us about this already a few months ago?”) was a lesson I only had to learn once, the hard way. It did color my perspective a bit and make me cautious about what I was buying and how ripe its prospects were.

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