Is A GoDaddy VP Bidding Against Customers In Domain Auctions?

from the very-questionable-if-true dept

Slashdot is running an interesting post, suggesting that GoDaddy’s VP in charge of managing the domain auctions it runs on expired domains, has been caught participating in the auctions himself, often driving up the prices of those auctions for customers. That’s one way to pump up those revenue numbers. If this is shown to be true, it seems incredibly questionable.

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Companies: godaddy

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Comments on “Is A GoDaddy VP Bidding Against Customers In Domain Auctions?”

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WebmanGA (user link) says:

Go Daddy

I suggest to never search for a domain name unless you are ready to purchase it RIGHT THEN. I have looked for domain names in the past to see if they are available and after deciding that I will go with one of them that was available it was snagged up. I believe that GoDaddy and others evaluates the searched URL’s and buys them up to force you into buying it at a jacked up price if you want it. Like I said, I only waited until the following day to purchase. Does anyone else see this same issue?

JS Beckerist (profile) says:

Re: Go Daddy

Yes and I’ll give examples, but it wasn’t with GoDaddy: (link farm now) (has since been resold, was a link farm) (looks like either a sophisticated link farm or some crappy ad-ridden portal…)

All domains I either at one point owned and lost OR straight up wanted. I researched and found they were all available at the time of search, and within days of searching they were unavailable.

This happened to me all 3 times, using multiple different search engines, so I STARTED using GoDaddy. I’m still not sure which search was the culprit, so if you want a list of those I used (to avoid) just email me…

While this is not the same as bidding on domains to jack prices (which is incredibly unethical) I DO trust GoDaddy to not sell the information about what was searched for, and they haven’t let me down yet.

Davin Stewart says:

Domain Tasting

Several domain registrars do this. There’s even a term for it “domain tasting”. If you search for a domain and don’t buy it quickly, the registrar lays claim to it and puts a placeholder web page on the domain. However, after a certain period of time they may decide to abandon the domain name due to maintenance costs, unless there is traffic generated to justify keeping it around.

anne says:

Good Idea To Be Careful About Searching And Buying Your Domain Names

I’m a GoDaddy customer by default. They inherited the accounts of another domain registry company –, and out of habit and paranoia, when I decided to take advantage of a special offer to register some new names with GoDaddy, I presumed they would try to screw me out of the names if I used their website to check the domain availability.

So I went to whois, checked there, found that the domains were available, and then went back to GoDaddy and bought them up.

jethro says:

Feed Blitz ripping people off too.

Godaddy is not the only one clipping people. Feedblitz clipped me and several other people off through their credit card processing arm. Now they will not even return e-mails. Lawyers are now getting involved. I wanted to advise everyone I absolutely LOVE TECHDIRT.COM When I’m here I feel like the first to know what’s going on on the net.

Erik (profile) says:

Incredibly questionable? Seems like fraud to me. I’ve never used GoDaddy, primarily because Bob Parsons is a tool and the name always struck me as being pedophilic. Now I’ve got even more reason not to use the site. I’ll echo the don’t search for domains unless you’re ready to buy them right then. I’ve had them registered right out from under me more than once.

tm says:


to me, this totally wrecks of fraud. Why has no one picked this up yet and taken one of these things to court. Talk about class action…. I guess the reality is that there really are not opposing parties since the person who wanted the domain never actually got it, right? Not sure how that would work. Is there an internet rights group of some sort that could sue?

you'vegottobekidding says:


Go Daddy does not capture domains that customers search on their web page. I have searched domains various times before and they were not snatched up. However, there are other sites including Network Solutions that enable this practice.

As for the rumors, I doubt they are true. It’s normal for squatters to try to purchase expired domains to see if they are valuable to the owner, but these squatters are other registrars.

Doug (profile) says:

Interesting article. I’ve wondered this myself. On one had it’s pathetic and at the same time it’s genious. But is it illegal? If the VP has to actually pay should he be the highest bidder, I wouldn’t think it would be illegal. If on the other hand, they use this practice to run up the price and are found to “bail out of auctions” that they actually won, then I would think the full weight of the law would come down on them at some point, and would probably include some type of legal class action against them. That could be incredibly ugly…

glenn says:

had this happen to me

I searched on a domain no long on Godaddy and then came back two days later and they were asking $2500 for the domain!

I wondered how that happened. Now I know.

I am in the process of moving my 100+ domains from Godaddy as we speak.

I question the ethics of someone like Bob Parsons – this strategy has to come from the top!

Let’s send Godaddy the way of the dodo bird.

Luca says:

Wouldn't doubt it.

I would not doubt it. As a former customer, I can say that the web site itself is indicative of sleazy company. Everything you click on takes you to a sales pitch. Links are very misleading. Administrative pages (for hosting customers who have already paid) are horrendous. It the digital equivalent of being followed around a store by a sales associate who tells you the day’s specials every 30 seconds. GoDaddy makes money by getting big busted women to star in sleazy commercials for an overpriced product accompanied by poor service.

Brandon says:

I had a dedicated server down a few days ago and had to call them for a reboot (despite hitting the power cycle button in the admin tools several times, to no avail).

I called in to the “Tech Support” number and all the guy who answered wanted to do was to renew me (yearly account was expiring in a couple of months).

He wouldn’t do a damn thing other than saying I had to wait for an hour to be up beyond my last power cycle request. (Despite trying for 4 hours beforehand).

I finally told him off and his supervisor. Needless to say, I’m looking for a new host.

Brandon says:

I’ve had 2 domain names in the past, both of which I let expire and both I just checked and they have squatters. One, is actually listed for sale for $299! If I’d have known back in the late 90s when I bought it for about $40 that I could have gotten $300 for it today, I would have kept it! Although considering I haven’t had that domain in probably 8 years and it’s still for sale… that might tell you something.

Me says:

Yes, it just happened to me.

I’m starting a new business and searched for the availability of several potential names. I came back five days later to purchase the chosen name and, sure enough, it was parked by Go Daddy. I’m amazed because this name is very unique and unusual. I smell something fishy. I wish I had come across this page sooner.

wns says:

GoDaddy Auction Scam

I think their auction system may be … may be a good idea — but overall I think it’s a total scam. They say BUY IT NOW – but all that means is that you MIGHT get the domain if the person owning it doesn’t renew it– they don’t say that up front — and then offer no refunds if you decide to cancel the order 2 hours later only after finding out that I didn’t really purchase the domain and that I have to wait 10-14 day to find out if the owner didn’t renew. they need to be MUCH CLEARER about what their auction actually is and do not say BUY IT NOW, USE IT TODAY as an advertisement.

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