Because of the strong interest in buying a domain name that already has a reputation and backlinks pointing to it, expired domain vendors have begun creating bidding wars on worthwhile domains to drive up the price, and to turn in their profits.
This is seen as a predatory and manipulative move by some who have been buying expired domains for some time as domains are just URLs; there’s nothing else to them. What was previously a matter of buying a domain for a set price now has all of the pitfalls of the online auctioning process attached to it, like auto bidders, waiting to the last second to hike up the price, or other bidding war practices that draw the ire of expired domain purchasers everywhere.
SERPchampion is one service that has decided to eliminate the bidding war process entirely by offering all of their expired domains at a fixed price. Setting up your own website is difficult enough. Why should buyers have to be subjected to the added stress of waiting for an auction to go through, and possibly lose the domain or overspend on it?
Expired domain vendors began buying expired domains by the boatload, and then auction them off. GoDaddy even has their own expired domain auctioning service as they’ve realized the great earning potential in selling domains that the previous owners have let their leases of lapse. At first, consumers adjusted to this change because there was simply no other option.
But over time, these auctions have created entire sub-industries of their own, with unscrupulous vendors finding any way to artificially inflate the final buying price of a domain. This is by exploiting human psychology with regards to auctions. Some sites even allow those who are selling the expired domains to have a hidden “reserve” bid. If a certain amount of money isn’t reached, the sale won’t proceed. This is a nefarious practice for two reasons. Firstly, since the reserve is hidden, nobody really knows how high they’ll have to bid to even be able to secure the website. This means that after spending hours or even days locked in a bidding war, they might fall short of the lowest price the owner is willing to settle for. Secondly, it is just a way those domain sellers use to not only guarantee a price they’re happy with, but also to gain them extra profits by letting two customers or more duke it out and drive up the final price.
Imagine if a car salesman was okay with taking $1000 dollars from you for a new car, but asked you to wait for a few days in case someone came by offering more. You’d be outraged and the car dealership would be publicly shamed. Unfortunately, some people have accepted the reserve bid system and have gotten used to it.
Thankfully, however, many people haven’t and have been crying out for change. More and more sellers of expired domains are seeing that people just want to get a domain quickly and easily for a price that is set in stone, without having to jump through hoops. The market will always change with the demands of the consumers, and consumers finally have had enough of bidding on expired domains.
Do not support predatory domain auctioning services. Instead, choose to support those who are transparent in their desire to sell an expired domain for a fair price. Because of how bidding on expired domains is going out the window quickly, you can be a part of this movement, should you vote with your dollars.