Regardless of whether or not you thought the Webfest Live Domain Auction was successful, there is one thing I am 100% certain. Adding Internet bidding adds incredible value to the auction. Almost every domain in the auction received some kind of action from the Internet. And that was despite there were hardly any names under $10,000 for sale. There were mostly big boy names and honestly I didn’t expect many to sell because of their high price. But the action came. Action that not only purchased domains, but drove up the prices of names that were bought by in person bidders. No it wasn’t a big total and many names didn’t sell, but there were still more bids than I expected.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars came from online. Whether they were truly at a remote location or even sitting in the room, the Internet bids allowed people who couldn’t make the auction to participate or in person bidders to hide their identity. Both of which provide value. One of the two letter dot coms sold for over $200K and the money came from an online bidders. Another two letter dot com that didn’t sell got a $240,000 bid from online. The $30,000 commission of the LL.com that did sell would not have been made without the platform. It doesn’t take much intelligence to figure out if it’s worth opening the auction to anyone.
I think the problem in our industry is the fact that it seems that only Moniker/Snap has the platform to pull off a live online added auction. There doesn’t seem to be another platform that can stay up and perform for the entire three hours. You can forget all the bullshit about problems with the Internet bandwidth. This is 2012, I’m almost getting enough speeds on my iPhone with LTE speeds to run the auction. The problem is there are not enough people that would use a live bidding platform so nobody has the financial incentive to build a stable live backend. So if you don’t like the prices or have some dislike of Snapnames, then you aren’t going to be able to have a live online auction. And that leaves you to having the same type of auction as the 1600’s.
To sell domains to only people in the room is archaic. Should I make people drive to my house to pick up the domain too? “For sale, domains, must be present to win, pickup Only” We sell domains. This is a worldwide business. Not everyone can make it to the auction. Why would we not want their money? Phone in? Why not telegraph.
Domains that are the placemarks of the Internet. It was refreshing to see an auction use the Internet to bring in more people, more action. I know results are all that matter but the Internet brought results. It saved the auction. I’m hoping the next live auction I go too in May will do the same.