Rick Unleashed on Auctions….Part 1

Rick unleashed on the auctions.

Part 1 of 3 so far

Ok, fasten your seat belts, I have seen enough and now it is time to speak
out. I gave you a preview yesterday. Today I will include the rest of the first part. I will be covering quite a bit in this series. So what I have not mentioned here will be mentioned on the other parts. I did this as one post and realized it was just too long for people to sit and read. Each of these posts are a bit lengthy. So bare with me as I try and tackle this.

'When you have a $20,000 reserve and the opening bid is $20,000 that is no
auction, That is a PRICE
It's nonsense! It's a waste of time and likely did not
return the seller the best return if any at all nor did it create any bids other
than perhaps one. But you don't need an auction or an auctioneer for that one
bid, you need a cash register! Auctions are about momentum, defining value and
sales. Now it is time to do the auctions the right way and I feel pretty
qualified to speak out on this.'
Times are way too dire to worry about
ruffling feathers of some auctioneer who knows nothing about domains and tells a
qualified audience just how great each one is regardless of the quality. EVERY
auctioneer is guilty of this so I am not singling out anyone. So get ready for a
post that will change the game and shine a light on the deficiencies.

So since it was Howard's idea to have the domain auctions and my idea on
how to make them meaningful and Monte's execution, I think it is time to speak
out. We don't have the luxury of screwing up this year.

Let me start with saying this will be hard for me to define in words even
tho the vision I have is crystal clear. It may also take me several posts to
clarify things. I look at the live auctions first as a bidder and attendee
sitting in the audience and then as someone involved behind the scenes. But
sitting in the audience has the trump card because I, like you, are the
customer. I don't like falling asleep at auctions. I don't even like being in
the room for the entire auction. So that is where I am at as a bidder. They are
long and boring. So I believe that the auctions need to understand this and keep
it exciting. I mean imagine a car auction with beautiful show cars one after
another. It is exciting. Now throw in a rusted 53 chevy that is all ripped apart
followed by 6 other junkers like that and that is what a domain auction REALLY
looks like. Ya think the excitement level is going to remain high? Ya think
people will bid. Ya think people will pay attention? Ya think people will
believe how pretty that chevy is? WAKE UP!!

This series of posts will run all over the place because the mistakes that are being
made are numerous and they are compounding and the results speak for themselves.
Sell the sizzle not the steak. The first lesson of business. Create excitement.
You do that by having quality domains. You do that with having domains that are
sought after by a number of people. You do that by NOT INSULTING YOUR AUDIENCE
with crap and telling them how it is the best thing since ice cream followed by
199 more that are even better. Give it a rest.

I want a great auction and that can only happen with great domain names and
MAJOR modifications. There have never been so many quality domains out there for
such bargains and that list is growing every day. People want income domains and
people that own income domains want to cash some of them out. So timing is about
to be perfect. That is what happens in an economic downturn. Auctions heat up.
But you can't have an auction the way they continue to be run and expect them to
be successful. Times have changed, the audience has matured and it is time to adapt to those changes or we will continue down the current path of decline. I will post Part 2 soon.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

5 thoughts on “Rick Unleashed on Auctions….Part 1

  1. RegFeeNames.com

    Great post Rick.
    I havent been to traffic yet and I plan on attending this year to the european and maybe us traffic shows.
    One thing I would have hoped for is an exciting auction with people bidding hard anf fast for great domains and I expect after others read this post we shall get rid of the crap and have an excellent auction.
    I think we should make all auctioneers aware of the domain they are selling not just saying this is a great domain give them notes on how to sell and pitch these great assets that we own.
    I look forward to the second post.

  2. Francois

    I share with you Rick that the excitation of great names is the main parameter of a successfull auction.
    This is what is missing in latest auctions.
    You can do mega ad campaigns, a super show, if the domains auctionned are not appealing then nothing magic happen.
    Now what is the secret to have domain owners put such names at auction?
    Honnestly, I don’t know!
    I have tried myself two years ago spending a lot of money in marketing to have them list their names at the price they wanted without success.
    Impatient to read how you are trying to act to make it happen.

  3. EM @ KING.NET

    I don’t even bother to see the list of auctions. Because it just a waste of time to look for a”gem” and if you find one, the starting bid is $$$$$.
    I bid in auction starting at $69 and ending up paying $2000+ or more for the name I want for business. The adrenalin of bidding knowing you have the change to have the domain is priceless.

  4. Rick London

    I have read some of your posts and agree for the most part.
    The MAIN problem as I see it is that most of the sellers want retail prices for their domains but the people who attend the auctions are for the most part wholesale buyers.
    The auction companies do little to NOTHING to advertise to the businesses who might buy the domain as an end user.
    They don’t get that you have to spend money to make even more money.
    There are magazines for advertisign agencies, The Wall Street Journal, trade publications for example there are two large ones for cameras. If I were selling cameras I would send a Fed Ex letter to the CEO’s and other top people at the 5 top camera companies.
    You would do the same for Candy.com and never put it in one of these auctions.
    I repeat the auction companies spend hardly anything on marketing so the domains will never bring their full potential.
    Also most people want far too much for their domains and are in fantasy land. Very few domains bring the big money and most of the auctions are now selling 5-15K domains.
    I can go on and on but lastly almost all of the domains at the auctions are NOT sold based on their traffic and revenue.
    If that were the case hardly any will sell. For several years people, my company included would buy domains that sounded good but never would do much of anything with them. I am sure you too have a few hundred thousand dollars if not more of domains you wish you had your money back on. This type of buying still exists but is slowing down which is another reasons the auctions are not doing well.

  5. Ted Sudol

    Great Post. I’m glad someone is willing to pull back the curtain at Oz and shed a little light on the wizard.
    As anyone who has participated in auctions knows the first step is to submit your domain names to the auction house. Then a mysterious”auction selection committee” decides if your names are in or out. One recent auction had over 100,000 submissions for about 4,000 spots.
    So all things being equal you have a .04 percent chance of getting your domain name accepted for the auction.
    But what if all things are are not equal? What if, as some people claim, their analysis of some past auctions show most of the names in the auction catalog are owned by the auction house?
    What if the reason the offering catalog is dull is because it is larded with house owned dogs?
    All the best,
    Ted Sudol


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