What Good Are “You’ve Been Outbid!” Emails That Come Hours After An Auction Ends?

Mar 12 2012

We all know and love GoDaddy Auctions . It has been a great source of good domains and another outlet to sell domains. But there is a MAJOR flaw in their outbid notifications.  As Acro has mentioned several times, they show up AFTER the auction is over.

The purpose of an outbid notification is to get you to come back and raise your bid.  Its great for the seller because it brings more action to the auction.  Its also very helpful to someone such as myself.  I put in a lot of bids at different auction houses but I have a day job that I have to attend to.  I don’t have time to follow every auction but I do hear the “ding” of a new email.  On the “must have” domains and the bigger auctions I schedule time to sit with it, but as we all know the auction can extend for hours on end with the extended bids. For the lesser domains I put in my max bids and wait and see.

The fact that I didn’t get the name I wanted today at Godaddy was no big deal.  The only person that really lost out is Godaddy.  I would have added another $100 to the final price if I had received a timely email.  Sure, if I REALLY wanted the domain I would have bid higher or come and watched the end but this was one of those “like but don’t have to have” names.  Domain investors have way too many of these.

You know the names.  Decent, could make some money, type names that you put in a bid that you think would be a good deal and let it ride.  Except you don’t let it ride.  You get an outbid notice and go back and bid much more than you planned and buy the name.  You don’t get killed but went above your initial amount.  As you bid you try and find some past sale or friends affirmation that you aren’t being stupid for paying so much.

Paul Nicks is doing a great job building the auction division, realizes there are flaws and is doing his best to tackle them one by one.  Some are going to take some major changes to fix, some are easy.  This is easy.   There is no reason those emails can’t be instant.  If I can constantly get texts that say “you’ve won a $1000 gift card to Wal-mart” and the senders are making money, then a SMS or email that lets me know I need to raise my price should easily pay for itself.  They can track the raised bids off of the emails and have very valuable information.  The could easily prove whether or not the instant notifications work.

For all of you that say I should just email the person that makes these calls rather than publicly post a blog I say this.  The personal emails always get the same response, “I’ll see what I can do”.  The public posts show how many others besides myself are affected.  It lets the company really see the scope of the issue.  It also lets the higher ups take note and action usually gets taken quicker.  I can’t personally change anything but the reaction and changes to some of these posts have been incredible. Sedo canceled my account but after my posts realized I was not the issue and that there was a much bigger problem.  I helped them realize and fix it and I was reinstated and given a gold medal.  OK maybe just reinstated.

So if any of you have some issues with the late emails or really think its no big deal.  This is as good a place as any to be heard.  Heck they may even fix it and we’ll all get gold medals.

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About the author

Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

View all articles by ShaneCultra


  1. Puranjay

    Email is a rather redundant medium for such updates. While I do keep my gmail opened in a tab when I am using my desktop, I also tend to access GoDaddy auctions through my smartphone where I don’t have the liberty of keeping gmail open in a separate tab.

    I would like it if GoDaddy can explore options that go beyond email. Push notifications, perhaps? SMS?

  2. Ron

    Godaddy sends so many emails out per day, that many isp’s limit that amount, and they end up getting blacklisted, or they go over a set quota that is set for them. They have to constantly get themselves whitelisted, I think instead of getting like 10 transaction is complete emails for auction completions, they need to send one out at the end of the day.

    We all been hit with what Shane has described, worst is when you get it 1 min after the auction closes, lol least you had a chance, 3 hours, you never even stood a chance.

  3. John

    The auction platform over there could be vastly improved. With the money they have there is no excuse. It has to be the people driving the car. I’ve sent in countless suggestions emails. If they had any competent traders in that department coupled with some programmers my guess is that they could increase their revenues in the 7 or 8 figures a year.

  4. Acro

    Well-said. I’ve lost several GD auctions when depending on timely emails, when they arrive 2 hours after the end of the TDNAM auction. A solution: set alerts for the auction and attend it until it ends, reloading the page when needed. It’s like eBay 10 years ago!

  5. Michael

    “Its like Ebay 10 yearss ago!”
    hahaaaaaaaaa, so true Acro, so true. I’ve been the victim of this a few times and it really is a kick in the pants. really it is…… I get so pisssssed for about 10 minutes.

  6. temple melville

    I agree the emails are ridiculously late – part of the smart moves here is to wait until the last few moments and then bid, because the underbidder will never know he’s been outbid until after it’s all over!
    But the same thing applies to emails about changes to nameservers and removing domains from your account. We sold a domain a couple of weeks ago and we didn’t get the message that it was gone until nearly 12 hours later. Think how many domains could be stolen in that period

  7. Paul Nicks


    While email does have its limitations, we have SMS delivery available for several ket notifications including outbid and offer received. All you have to do is login to your Auctions account, go to “settings” and then enter your cell # in and which alerts you’d like to receive.

    As far as mobile goes, I’ll have to check in to see what it would take for push notifications, but I do like the idea.


  8. John

    Having to do a captcha for every domain name lookup when one is logged is a bit much as well. Way to time consuming, especially now that GoDaddy is the only place foe their names. Perhaps, those with Account Exec. accounts can forego the constant captcha check …

  9. John

    The auction watchlist needs more columns. An easy one to start with would be the year a domain was registered (i.e. 99, 01, etc)

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