GoDaddy and Afternic operate the largest domain name sales network, partnering with more than 100 other domain name registrars and platforms to sell customer-owned domain names. A customer that lists a domain name for sale via Afternic will have their listings shown on the purchase pages at registrars like Namecheap, Google, Name.com, and many others when a prospective buyer searches for that domain name.
GoDaddy’s Fast Transfer network makes it relatively easy for domain investors to sell their domain names. When a buyer at Namecheap, for example, purchases a domain name listed for sale via GoDaddy/Afternic on the Fast Transfer network, the domain name will automatically transfer to the buyer without the seller having to take action. Once listed and approved, the seller doesn’t play much of a role in selling domain names via this channel.
The GoDaddy / Afternic network should and does make it easier for domain investors to sell domain names to people they may have never reached, but it is not without its issues. There are pain points that I deal with when selling via GoDaddy and Afternic, and I want to offer some suggestions to improve the process.
Action Required / Processing Listing – Don’t make it a responsibility of the customer to monitor these domain names and ask them to be resubmitted to ensure they are correctly listed. I shouldn’t have to email service @ Afternic to get pending listings approved. Listings in these status should automatically be re-processed and if they can’t, the customer should understand what the issue is (ie 60 day transfer lock). If a listing is rejected (TM reasons or expired), a reason should be given rather than being shown a customer support email. If GoDaddy can see the Whois differs from the account holder, the listing should be deleted automatically rather than showing up as “action required.”
Invalid Listings – I regularly try to add domain names to my account that are already listed by others on Afternic. For instance, when I buy a name on DropCatch and have to add it via Afternic rather than through my GoDaddy control panel, I regularly see error messages stating that the domain name is already listed and can’t be added. Make the process of reporting these listings easier and faster. I hate having to email my account rep to ask him to remove a listing for one of my names so I can add it to my account.
Can’t edit last few listings on My Domains page – This is a small issue, but it’s a known issue that is overlooked. When I am reviewing 500 names in the My Domains page (dcc.godaddy.com) to ensure they are listed for sale or resolving correctly, the last 4 names are shown without data. I can see the names, but I can’t see the renewal status, name servers, expiration date, nor can I see whether they are listed for sale or not. This is a small nuisance but I don’t see why this hasn’t been fixed already.
Pending Sales or On Hold – When a domain name is in Pending Sale status at Afternic or On Hold status at GoDaddy, it means the domain name may have been sold to a buyer and GoDaddy is verifying the payment. In the meantime, the domain name is frozen pending the verification. Sometimes this takes a few hours and sometimes it takes several days. I have an issue with this status for different reasons.
For one thing, the status is passive – there is no notification sent to the seller when a domain name enters this status. The only way to know a domain name is in this status is by logging in to Afternic or going to the Domain Manager at GoDaddy. This is problematic because a domain name may be sold via Afternic but still listed on Dan.com or Sedo where someone else could buy it. Since GoDaddy freezes names in this status, it would cause a seller to default at another platform if another buyer purchases the name elsewhere. Maybe this doesn’t happen regularly, but I wouldn’t want it to happen to me. GoDaddy should email customers when a name goes into pending sale or on hold and be clear about what this means so customers understand the sale may not happen but also understands the risk of leaving listings up elsewhere.
Another issue is that the time it takes for GoDaddy to verify payment can take too long. Waiting several days to have a sale verified feels ancient. At least one industry company is able to verify payments nearly instantly, so the largest registrar in the world should figure out a way to do it, too. It doesn’t make sense that a name is in the pending sale status for hours or days. That, to me, is not acceptable right now and that should be addressed.
Long Time to Get Paid – Once a domain name sale is verified by Afternic and GoDaddy, the seller is emailed a congratulatory email. With a Fast Transfer sale, the domain name is pulled from the account very quickly, and the email states “we will send you an email within 7-10 days regarding your payment.” If GoDaddy has already verified the payment and taken the domain name from the seller’s account, I don’t see why it takes 7-10 days just to get an email that says the payment will be sent 1-3 days later. If the funds are good and the name has been taken, the funds should be disbursed right away.
Buyer Needs to Accept Domain Name – On a recent deal, it took a bit of extra time to get paid and I inquired about why. Apparently, the buyer did not accept the domain name into his or her account. In my opinion, this should not delay my payment. GoDaddy collected the money and the domain name. I did my part and I should get paid. I should not have to wait for a third party, with whom I likely have never communicated, to accept a domain name before getting paid. Further, I shouldn’t have to press GoDaddy about this to get them to get their customer to take the name.
When I sell a domain name via GoDaddy, it can take 1-4 days (on average, I would say) to get the sale verified, 7-10 days to get a payment date, and 1-3 additional days to get paid. We’re looking at upwards of 2 weeks to be paid on many deals. . This is frustrating, particularly on very large deals where the money is needed for other things or on very small deals that are just annoying accounting issues that need to be tracked, recorded and ultimately reported to my accountant.
The breadth of GoDaddy’s sales network is next to none. It has the greatest reach and it helps me sell domain names. This is the reason I am okay paying the relatively high sales commission rate. At the same time, it seems like GoDaddy hasn’t updated the way transactions get done. While I am always happy to close a deal, I often find it frustrating when my names are sold via GoDaddy. There’s a new Afternic beta website, but I sure wish the back-end operations of the GoDaddy and Afternic sales network were brought up to date.