Domains – TLD

Godaddy –  
Are Domain Backorder and auctions worth it?

As GoDaddy mentions in their marketing: “It all starts with a domain.” I couldn’t agree more. This is my experience with GoDaddy Domain Backorder and GoDaddy Auctions, how they work, and whether you should pay to play.

Earlier this year we had an idea for a new business to launch and found just the right name – A Simpler Time. It seemed to embody everything we were trying to accomplish in a simple, old timey brand. One problem – simplertime.com was taken – but expiring! After a bit of research, I signed up for GoDaddy’s Domain Backorder service which provides domain monitoring, auction account, and will cover the cost to register your domain (without privacy) if you win.

Here’s what’s included with a GoDaddy Domain Backorder – $24.99:

  • Valid until you suceed
  • GoDaddy Auctions account – 4.99 Value
  • GoDaddy Auctions initial bid of $10
  • DoDaddy domain monitoring
  • Addons – Privacy – $10

Once my domain backorder was in place, the waiting game began. Right on schedule the domain name expired and after the 30 day grace period the domain was up for auction – boom, GoDaddy placed the initial bid for me at $10 – This is a huge drawback. Then, it was back to waiting…

There was no auction action on the domain name for the first nine days – I was winning! During the morning on the last day everything changed. First, another bidder tossed in a $5 bid, now we’re at $15. I can play that game – $20. There we sat for hours – still winning…

The auction was scheduled to close at 2:20 PM. Quick note on what I learned about auction closing times – everyone is awake in the US during the day and domain auctions with bids garner more attention and more bids.

Back to the auction and it’s now12:30 PM. The price was hovering around $85. I wasn’t actively bidding as we still had a few hours to go and I didn’t want anyone to know how serious I was. At 1:30 PM the high bid was $130. Still manageable. Down to the last few minutes the price jumped dramatically – $200. $300 – it happened quickly. Nerves were everywhere and that budget, the number I would never bid above for a domain name, is out the window. With seconds to go the price was $332. Of course I bid again, resetting the time on the auction to five minutes. Another bid. Another bid. Then another. I found my competitions top bid and we sat at $402, my new new amount I’d never ever go over. Another bid – $407. I just couldn’t justify the price any further and with no end in sight, at 2:30 PM the auction closed at $407 and I was a loser.

Through this experience I learned a few things about GoDaddy’s Auctions and Domain Backorders that may be useful to others, especially given the lack of information around the process.

Drawing Attention to the Auction

GoDaddy Domain Backorders can be useful but if the domain goes to GoDaddy Auctions they’ll immediately place the first bid, drawing attention to the auction – Obviously a move in GoDaddy’s favor as they reap 100% of the money raised at auction.

Bid Extensions

Any bid during the last five minutes of an auction will reset the timer to five minutes. This benefits everyone as it deters domain auction sniping but it also allows for competitive bidding which results in higher prices for GoDaddy.

Be ready!

Use whois data to your advantage and find out when the domain expires. The time listed will be when the bidding opens and closes. Daytime auctions may be more visible and attract more bidders.

Mobile App

Monitoring and bidding is very easy from the GoDaddy Investing mobile app.

Money Saved

Domain Backorders are reusable. Since I didn’t win the auction and register the domain, the backorder become available for a new domain.

Now begs the question – Would I use GoDaddy’s Domain Backorder or Auctions again?

Maybe… It really depends on where the domain I want is expiring from. Each registrar treats domains differently. Some just expire after the requisite time and redemption periods. Others, like GoDaddy, use auctions. If it’s a GoDaddy domain, then nope – I won’t backorder. Letting GoDaddy place the first bid for me may draw unnecessary attention to the auction which could result in me paying an inflated price to GoDaddy, if I even win. If it’s a domain I really want, I’ll set calendar reminders and keep an eye on it through monitoring. As it hits the auction I’ll manually bid when I think the time is right. I will continue to use GoDaddy’s Backorder service for domains that won’t be going to auction through their site. 

In Conclusion, GoDaddy’s Domain Backorder service is useful, it’s the automatic bidding on GoDaddy auctions that harms the buyer. Auctions are by nature a land of unknown prices and GoDaddy’s is no different and it’s services and policies favor the house. In the end, all of this technology, domain nonsense, and bidding makes me long for, well, A Simpler Time…

These useful links may help you in your quest for a new Top Level Domain (TLD).

Erich Schwenk

Erich Schwenk

Director of Things - Coffee Drinker

Erich has a background in all things digital and is a co-founder of EARS Digital Media, Inc. From web design and social media to video production, EARS Digital Media, Inc. aims to help small business compete in the digital world. Our clients include real estate agents, landscaping professionals, politicians, and online stores. With years of experience in the digital realm, let us guide you and your business to digital success.

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