Domain Industry Derailed by Scandal. An Inexcusable CRIME spills on Everyone.

Morning Folks!!


Okay, this is a barn burner of a post. As usual, I will say things others won't. Others can't. That is why they are so much smarter than me. Grab a cup of coffee and have a seat. The events of this week has and will affect your futures. Each time I go to post this, new news breaks.


The Sad Day in the Domain Industry continues. I think it takes time for all the ramifications to settle in. The entire industry needs to be paying attention and listening to the tales of woe. I see and hear anger growing not subsiding while the company tries to paint a happy face on this breech of trust.


First I got aphone call about the scandal. I knew it was big and had huge ramifications the moment I heard about it. One sentence was all it took. I knew it would takes hours and days to figure out. Next I receive an email in which the Snapnames Exec messed up andposted something not meant to be posted:


'Below the double line is the customer communication for use in proactive disclosure on industry message boards. A statement needs to be published on each of the boards copied in the attached e-mail from this morning. Disclosure time is 9:30 a.m. PT, concurrent with all other disclosures.


Please monitor the boards going forward and let me know what the feedback is like. If you need help on this, Corinne is available.
My understanding is you will primarily speak for the company in these forums. To that end, let’s coordinate closely on what’s being said and how to reply.
Let me know if you have questions from here. Thanks.'


Larry Fischerwrote some of his thoughts. 'I commend Oversee for dealing with the issue, however their reputation is tarnished.' I can’t imagine
what it must be like to know you may have overpaid by tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, even millions. He could have put his kid through college a dozen times on his losses alone. Now multiply that. Franky,Kevin, iReit, just go right down the line. Each with losses that affected their businesses and lives. They could afford it you say? Ok, but how about the ones that can't? Much more of them and they are pretty pissed. Besides when you get scammed, it does not matter how much you have or don't have.


The entire sales history of the industry
has been skewered and voided because of how many times this happened. 50,000 is
an incredible number and until everything is transparent, we would have to
assume it is much more. The calls for publishing those back auctions has a lot
of merit and I think that is a must as a first step. The fact that it even ever came off screams the wrong message and we all know it! Update: According to 'Rob' with Oversee support, the info is coming back online)


This scandal affected the entire futures of domainers that
participated. Their destiny changed forever because maybe they did not have the
$$$ to buy that next domain. That is the unknown and invisible damage that
trumps all others.


This is just one of those things that as you read more and
more blogs and comments on those blogs, that this is laced with unintended
consequences far beyond the first look.
Lawsuits, class actions suits, and arrests. Yes, I think there will
eventually be arrests. And to that end, maybe even give Nelson immunity so we can hear the entire unedited saga and how far reaching this is.
I don't know that anyone wants to see him in jail, however I can't speak for those that might and either way,I am sure everyone wants the full details. Full and unvarnished. Problem with that? They can't. The liability of the truth and all the details would be devastating imo. Nelson the fall guy? Could be. We have yet to hear any comments from him. Was a deal made to protect others to keep from being charged with a criminal act? Fact is, I don't know. What I do know is it is the #1 question folks are asking.


In an unrelatedpost a couple weeks back, I talk about how
much business a company can lose before it collapses.


Morning folks!!


This is for businesses 3-5
years or older.


During a recession if you
can manage to “Flat line” no growth……
You are doing GREAT!


During a recession if you can manage to just lose
10% year over year.....You are doing GREAT!


During a recession if you can manage to just lose
15% year over year.....You are doing Pretty Good!


During a recession if you can manage to just lose
20% year over year.....You are doing about average!


During a recession if you lose 25% year over
year.....You are under great stress!


During a recession if you lose 30% year over
year.....You are under great stress and scrambling to stay alive and pay the
bills.


During a recession if you lose 35%-40% year over
year.....You are GREAT TROUBLE!


During a recession if you lose 50% year over
year.....You are probably out of business
!


It is all
about numbers. So a poll was done yesterday on
DNW


If I plug in the results of that poll and if I use my table
as a baseline, you can readily see the peril.


At the time of this writing with over 227 votes, 34% say
they will not do business with them again. 17% say that they just don’t know. So I take 50% of the latter number to
give me another 8.5%. Total 42.5% of customers lost on this one episode.


You would also have to factor in 2009 business. So if
business were good, it would offset that number. If business took a hit in 2009
during the recession, you can add that to the above number.


That does not count any other fallout that may or may not
happen throughout their empire. They may recover, it may get worse depending on the news to come and if we see missteps where they take data offline that was there before to try and further cover up things. Cover up? Well yes. They did take their time in going public. Yes, they are making folks sign a waiver for a “Credit”. Yes they did remove the historical data. Yes we are watching damage contol of something that is not controllable.


My numbers do not factor in the size of the domainers
they lose. So when you just deal with the numbers and the lawsuits that are sure to come, I don't see them surviving. That is what the numbers say without knowing squat. Without knowing who. But their competitors should not be too gleeful, they too will pay a price. They too will be suspected. They too will have to answer some tough questions and do more investigating.


One question I notice popping up is whether domains are safe at
Moniker? I believe they are. I still have my domains there. I have no plans to
move them. Larry Fischer also addressed this.


It has really taken me a few days to get my head around this
and I am still far from figuring out all the ramifications as I am sure many of you are. I don’t quite understand why
Nelson is not be charged with this criminally unless there would be a lot more
to come out. That is why I believe Nelson would be “Deep Throat” should that
come to be and I expect this will be beyond the control of Oversee once
domainers figure out the full impact of what was done to them, their businesses
and their futures. I say that because we live in a business where we are
dealing with “Unique opportunities in time”. So you also add into that equation
a limited pocketbook. So for guys
spending small dollars or big dollars, it affected their NEXT purchase. So if
you had $10,000 less or $100,000 less to work with, all those domains you could
have bought, were not. No biggie? Are you kidding?? Multiply by your lifetime earnings and how
much bigger your income could be today. Somebody will make that case. Many may
make that case. SnapNames won’t survive that. I expect they have no better than a 1 in 3 chance to survive collapse and/or bankruptcy. When I started this post I figured just a 1 in 4 chance of them going under at all. 48 hours later, the bleeding is getting worse. After hearing about the class action I discuss below, I think it just went much lower. I think now the question becomes how much damage does it do to Oversee? I think Snapnames will fold. It is to the point that I don't know how they survive. The damages exceed the value of the company.


Now please, these are my personal opinions based on all the
pitfalls and perils I see. I started working on this post on Thursday night. I let it sit and edit all day Friday and all morning today. This is a snake pit of problems and it will affect
more than just SnapNames. There is major fallout coming here. For example, all
reported sales involving “
Halvarez” auctions need to be recalculated and we should get a REAL number of the total fraud that was committed. I feel and see anger building. No company can control the anger. They may be able to control some, but not all. How does anyone defend the indefensible without just painting a happy face?


Well that Happy Face just got 1000x harder to put on. The latest is the Class Action Website reported on by Adam Strong who had the funniest comment so far. 'Too bad Edelson doesn’t have an affiliate program'. This is game changer. There is blood in the water and everyone knows it. Do they go after just Snapnames who may or may not be in business in the days ahead or do they go right for Oversee?


Ever pick up a large rock that is melded into the dirt and
when you don’t expect it, you dislodge it and thousands of ants come out and other things with lots of legs? That
is what I see here. A weaker company would have already collapsed.


Shill bidding is one of the single oldest and worst problems in this
industry. From the days of the infestation of the old Afternic to nearly a
decade later. Only difference is the size, scope, magnitude and organized
manner. Isolated? I doubt it. Will
it end? Probably not but this will stem the tide. Will more come to light? Not a doubt in my mind. Do other
companies do it? If discovered will they collapse instantly? Should they collapse? Sure. Why not. Somebody will always come to pick up the pieces. What makes this such a big story other than all the obvious things is that we are talking about an officer of the company. An executive. Not some low level schmuck.


Like others, it is still sinking in. Great damage has been
done to more than just a company. An entire industry painted by a broad brush and that makes me angry. As you have read in
TechCrunch, this has been hoisted and blamed on ALL domainers and the entire industry. Domainers getting blamed for what domainers had no control over. That is where I fall off the deep end. That is where my anger grows. A great trust has been broken. It is a sad event. I think what the
question is becoming: Should it and could it have been prevented? What was the
largest deal that Halvarez bid in? Total dollars involved? The questions are
just starting and the answers will tell the future. This industry is based on
one word. TRUST! We have seen TRUST broken on a small level. We have NEVER seen
it broken to this magnitide before we even find out the entire story and entire history. Thousands of domainers
each with their own story and own anger to deal with. Sorry, but this is bigger than just a company inside an industry even if it is the biggest in the space. Bigger because it is the biggest company in the space. This is akin to the
Black Socks scandal in baseball. It affected the entire game. Unfortunate as it is, this affects the entire industry in ways you would probably rather me not articulate. Some will excuse and some will minimize but make no mistake of thefallout that has yet to happen. Like nothing we have seen to date. Already thesecond TechCrunch article has been released in just 3 days and expect more to come from even bigger media.


What we have seen so far is the part of the story that would be allowed out in an effort to cover everyone's ass. So you can either worry about helping to cover their asses or start to start covering your own. Each company and each domainer has a responsibility to be good stewards of the industry. How we handle this may determine our destiny. Lord, I hope this is just a bad dream.


Rick Schwartz


UPDATE: For further Play by Play updates,TheDomains.com has been on top of this and also one of the largest victims to come forward so far with actual numbers of over 12,000 auctions that may have been affected. Plus a poll is there that suggests the bleeding is much worse than what I indicated above in an earlier poll I used. So anger is still growing and I don't think anybody knows where this train will end up. I feel bad for so many folks that are affected due to no fault of their own. Lawsuits are already flying and more are coming. This is a mess beyond anything that any one of us could have imagined just a few days ago.




46 thoughts on “Domain Industry Derailed by Scandal. An Inexcusable CRIME spills on Everyone.

  1. andy kelly

    Great article.
    I think the info released is just the tip of the iceberg. Who knows how endemic shill bidding is on all the major domain sales platforms. Hell for all we know there are still a few at work on snapnames.
    The ramifications of this are imeense, class action lawsuits will be rife unless snapnames handle the fallout from this debacle as fair as possibly.

    Reply
  2. KD

    Hello Rick,Do you know if snapnames is going on with their monthly showcase auction.I have not seen any info about names and the auction starts Tuesday.I hope they do because they should be doing business as usual and not miss a beat,Your thoughts please.

    Reply
  3. Leonard Britt

    I posted the question in one forum as to whether what happened to Arthur Andersen could happen to Snapnames. Noone responded. My personal loss from this scandal was not substantial but it is unfortunate this widespread fraud continued for so long despite many complaints. In the end the big winners from this will be the lawyers. Having received class-action settlements on fraudulent financial reporting cases well below my personal loss, one might consider that taking the reimbursement offer assures at least an acceptable compensation. While treble damages are a possibility, if the lawyers tear the company apart, reimbursements might be less than the actual loss sustained.

    Reply
  4. Shane

    I for one will take the money and sign the deal only because I hate lawyers and almost penny paid by Oversee will be kept by the lawyers and I won’t see any. . Snapnames as we know it is done. The biggest thing that makes me mad is they absolutely knew it was going on, let it continue and risked the future of their company.
    PS: I’m going to buy the company at the bankruptcy auction for a $1 and call it ShaneNames

    Reply
  5. BullS

    I knew all the time-it is all a big F scam!!!
    As you said many times- over and over, look at the numbers.
    They can throw a big party on one hand and the other hand–stealing your wallets.
    LMAO

    Reply
  6. Mike

    Hi Rick,
    I think all we’ll effectively need to do is to keep an eye on sales and drops within the next two to three weeks. If it slumps then it could be a sign you’re right, perhaps. If not, then its more or less back to business as usual, in a certain sense. as you say, the news is still breaking so we may not have the clearest picture yet or the full story. still, I think that saying the industry has been ‘derailed’ is a bit of an overstatement. I don’t see where any area of domaining has come to a grinding halt as a result of this. I’m sure that while the smoke is settling there are many domainers still quietly mining the drops at this moment and perhaps even picking up some gems while everyone else’s attention is diverted towards the controversy and hesitant to participate.
    the fact is, domainers are going to continue to dropcatch. If they choose to go elsewhere beside Snapnames to do so, won’t that also possibly present a competitive advantage to those who remain? (i.e. since the herd will have been thinned there)
    for the record I am not one who has been personally impacted in the sense that I never had any involvement in a Snap auction, and so i’m not attempting to minimize the impact to those that have. I can really see your point about changing someone’s investment trajectory based on limiting their available funds due to inflated auction prices, and how they would have missed out on certain other opportune investments that could have multiplied in value by now. That is a damn shame I will agree and something that can not be regained.
    and yes, trust has been seriously shaken. We should all come out of this a little more vigilant.
    It’s just that in my honest opinion, I feel the domain train is still slowly chugging down the tracks, maybe this unfortunate incident was someone pulling the emergency brake and we’re decelerating for the time, but I don’t see that we’re completely off the tracks or sitting in a pile of twisted metal just yet.
    another aside, i was glad to see a lot of good domainers step up to comment in the TechCrunch article. the content of many of those comments did reflect a type of personal integrity that we all know we are capable of and which I only hope shows through to the average reader there

    Reply
  7. Marcia Lynn

    I would also define shill bidding as:
    At an auction during a conference, where the paddles in the room aren’t raised, yet the auctioneer points to the audience for the camera and increases the bids, having the bidders online believe there is interest and bids on a domain, yet no one has bid, other than the company holding the auction.

    Reply
  8. Fero

    It is just one company of the domain industry ! If the domain industry rely on just one crooked company then the domain industry should not exit at all !
    My thoughts !

    Reply
  9. Rob Sequin

    I want all the Halvarez domains where I was the underbidder.
    How about that?
    I didn’t just lose money in this crime, I lost domains too.

    Reply
  10. Robert Fern

    Quote at NP by kjel
    “SnapNames Inc. does not participate in the auctions that we run. To do so would be both very illegal and wildly unethical. Further, we have a strict, well policed policy against SnapNames employees or agents of employees bidding in auctions we facilitate. It does not happen.”

    Reply
  11. Dave

    The worse part of the whole problem was that Snapnames kept standing up and saying – hey no problem, no shill bidding – when it was pointed out by various people on forums.
    Keep digging and working the phones on this one Rick. I think alot of people are going to be taking the next plane to Panama in the next few days. Immediately booking extended vacations.

    Reply
  12. Rob Monster - Epik

    Good post Rick.
    I had an opportunity to work closely with Snapnames in early 2007 when I took a serious look at buying Snapnames as part of an investor syndicate. My group was outbid by Oversee. I knew then that”things happen for a reason” and sure enough I now know the reason.
    What most folks don’t know is that the circumstances of why my group lost out actually had a lot less to do with having submitted an inferior bid. It had much more to do with a culture of self-dealing by company management. The word”kleptocracy” comes to mind.
    So, what goes around comes around. While I don’t know if this will end in any type of criminal indictment, I feel badly for the folks who were gamed and for blameless employees at Snapnames whose Snapnames resume entry may not be the asset it once was. I also feel badly for our industry — but the industry will be fine. This is the industry purging itself of what needed to be purged.
    As for Oversee’s handling of the situation, so far, I think Jeff and Craig have done a textbook job of cleaning up this mess. Whether this offer of settlement was made under duress, we may never know. If this incident at Snapnames takes out all of Oversee, that would be truly a tragedy. The problems were almost certainly isolated to Snapnames and the financial losses should stop there. This will hurt but it should not be fatal to Oversee.
    On Thursday I had an opportunity to chat at length with Steve Brown, the General Manager of NameJet during an evening hospitality event put on Demand/Enom. Steve is a quality guy. He also brings vision and professionalism. He is also backed by deep-pocketed Demand as well as surrounded by some of the highest integrity people in our industry. So, in all likelihood, Snapnames’ loss will be NameJet’s gain. So be it.
    Finally, I received the Snapnames settlement offer and will pass on it. There is no way of knowing what we don’t know. It is far too early in the discovery process. I am not sure if there is a way for Snapnames to”turn lemons into lemonade” but, in this situation, for starters I would probably err on the side of being generous. If they are going to offer to pay out in the form of”store credit”, then do it at a 10X multiple and a $500 minimum. That is the surest way I can think of to get people back to working with Snapnames auctions. In the long run, it could potentially save the company. If the Federal Reserve can do it, so can Oversee.

    Reply
  13. Bill Roy (TheBaldOne/Billbo)

    I am not directly ‘hurt’ as I never used SnapNames, but the anger as a domainer I feel is beyond measure. This industry as Rick states is solely based on TRUST, and small guys like me and hundreds or thousands of others abide by that 24 hours a day 365 days a year! Then these creatures destroy the very fabric of our industry by not only breaching that TRUST but by sinically touting it against those who can be ttrusted.
    Rick, I am not as elegant as you, perhaps I am vastly too nieve, but the posts I have on NP and DNF are squat to how you have explained the situation and the feelings in this post. Well done mate, knowing one ‘Big-un’ up there feels the anger of us small fish helps a lot.

    Reply
  14. Bid

    Thank god there was no shill bidding at all those .mobi auctions in the past. I could have paid a fortune over the odds.

    Reply
  15. search engine

    does everyone think moniker is safe? i mean if snap goes pearshaped is moniker safe?
    im worried almost all my domains are there
    what are everyones thoughts????

    Reply
  16. steve fox

    The lawsuits will crush Snapnames if people decide to file.
    Thank go you sold candy.com before this broke.
    I had just put up snapnames affiliate ads on my site. Time to take them down.

    Reply
  17. Rob Sequin

    Did Brady ever sell a domain?
    Did that person know that Brady worked at Snap?
    Did they know the domain was dropped and won at auction?
    Did that person know that Brady was not allowed to bid on domains?
    Did they choose to ignore any of this?
    Now you’re talking conspiracy and now there is another shoe to drop.
    PLUS, I want the domains where Halvarez outbid me. Those are my domains.
    Cash rebate is only half the offer.
    What about the domains he won and sold or monetized? I want that money too.

    Reply
  18. Domainer

    For now, I hope Sedo is not into such thing..
    I once put a proxy bid for $45,000 on Sedo and I won that domain for $44K! How will I ever know if there was no fraud in that auction??

    Reply
  19. M. Menius

    What I am most curious about is EXACTLY how management discovered the fraud. Who said what … to whom … and when?
    This incident raises the importance of clearly defining what safeguards auction houses are taking to protect their customers (from inflated shill bidding). What exactly is the new accountability mechanism moving forward? The good old boy network wild west atmosphere is never sufficient. Now that potentially 50,000 auctions have been scammed, time for professionals to act like professionals.
    Regarding the above comment about winning a domain at $44k with a 45k proxy bid. Deja vu! That scenario has been occurring many, many times in online auctions to the degree it is statistically improbable (if not impossible) for it to have occurred without manipulation behind the scenes.
    We’ve been suspecting shill bidding, but there was just no avenue for exposing what goes on behind the scenes.
    These suspicions have been proven a grim reality.

    Reply
  20. Bill Roy (TheBaldOne/Billbo)

    On DNF and NP other bidding accounts are now being flagged as highly suspicious, some seem to follow the same pattern as the ‘Halverez’ account!
    Also coming out is the ‘refund’ or ‘credit’ that Nelson was able to give the ‘Halverez’ account (apparently on many occassions). The question now is who else is getting these ‘refunds/credits’? Would this not be illegal? And just to drive the knife deeper into any person/company who took part in these unlawful activities it is being questioned as to whether or not these persons/companies declared these ‘refunds/credits’ on their tax returns?

    Reply
  21. James Radley

    This reminds me of the College.st scam that the poster above me was involvd in. Bill Roy The Bald One…Billbo…..you are one of the biggest scammers in the industry.
    Remember your little scam trying to say that College.st was sold for $11,750? You even had Ron Jackson publish it and then went around trying to use that as part of your .St sales pitch.
    Now, get lost you scammer.

    Reply
  22. Altaf

    SOME OBSERVATIONS
    Dear Rick,
    Good Morning & Greetings. Though I am a little domainer, I never miss(ed) your postings since a decade & the valuable comments from the experts around you. Because I wanna learn from my teachers. However, regret to inform you that for many months neither I could open the comments links nor read any nor say/post my views (though not valuable in relation to others). I did not stop there, to reach you I came to your Twitter and marked this point for your kind attention.
    I thought my browser got some problem or internet server problem. As I am working with the local ISP provider I checked with them & found NP. Today I decided by any way I need to read the comments. Then discovered that your blog starts with http:// i.o. www. while all the links are created by webmaster as http://www. That made the users not get comments & its box from the links therein. I do hope other users got the same experience.
    Kindly for your attention please.
    Sincerely,
    Altaf

    Reply
  23. The Observer

    So does this event mean that the shill bidding on the auctions for your TRAFFIC conference and others like it will also end? (I doubt it)

    Reply
  24. Steve Cheatham

    Get ready for a major shake down in drop auction business and consquentially all domain name auctions.
    Snap Names is gone. Pay the claims and close the doors.
    And we will regroup and move forward without the crooks.

    Reply
  25. ScottM

    Anybody else familiar with GoDaddy’s procedure for expired domains? Happened to me 3 times now in the last 2 years. When a registrant doesn’t renew a domain, GoDaddy apparently goes in and extends the expiration date to show its the next year so it doesn’t show up on external Whois as an expired domain, where other name drop services would capture it and show it expired and/or in pending delete.
    The only way to get an expired domain that was registered on GoDaddy is to watch it close to the expiration date and if it shows up on GoDaddy’s Whois as being extended another year but mysteriously there is no registrant contact information listed that may be a clue. I lost the opportunity to get an expired domain because of that 2 years ago, but now I know the drill and check GoDaddy daily when a domain is about to be expired, then backorder it.
    Doesn’t seem like GoDaddy’s procedure for name drops should be allowed by ICANN, almost as bad as shill bidding because it prevents any competition from other name drop services or registering an expired domain anywhere else except GoDaddy. If other name drop services don’t flag a domain as expired because the expiration date is extended then they lose out and so does the potential new registrant’s freedom of choice of registrar, albeit for the first 60 days at least.

    Reply
  26. James Radley

    Hey Bill Roy, Billbo, The Bald One, why did you stop posting? Do you still want people to believe that you sold College.st for $11,750 a few years ago?
    You know I busted you back then, and yet you cried like a baby and got people banned. The name was still registered to you for months after your hoax. You scammer. Then, you forwarded it to some dumb community college site when I called your bluff.
    Now, I see, it looks like there is a new owner who is parking the name at Sedo.
    Why don’t you ban yourself from everywhere? What ever happened to your negotiations to Qwest regarding your name Qwe.st. You clown. You remember….you started a thread telling asking people if you should take the $5,000 they offered for Qwe.st. You are a joke and a fraudster, and now scammers like you are being called out in public.
    Funny, how offended you are about the Snap Names ordeal, and yet your whole existence is based on fraud. I’m not sure you ever sold a decent name, with your .st and .mobi scams. See ya.
    Of course, everyone lets you run wild on the boards.

    Reply
  27. Bill Roy (TheBaldOne/Billbo)

    Scott M, I have just noticed that a domain I was waiting and expecting to drop at GD seemed to have been extended for a year, now I think I understand why. I will definately now keep an eye on it. Thanks for the Heads Up on this, it is much appreciated.
    And sorry about the idiot poster trying to cause trouble Rick, he has been repeatedly banned on DNF and NP, he obviously is not an Anglophile! :)

    Reply
  28. Bid

    I have my communication from Snapnames.
    I’m putting my overpayment to the class action firm. Simply because Snapnames must have known (In my opinion) that this bidder was defaulting on wins, and his likely take up of wins against his defaults would surely have been enough to have him banned. Furthermore, any winning bids would have his details as the winning buyer and all sorts.
    There must be additional alias’s being used as well (In my opinion).
    I need $1000 USD to get me interested in a non legal route.
    I think pool.com is next. They will be mentioned to the attorneys.
    Lets get ready to rumble!!!

    Reply
  29. Nelson Alvarez

    This person with the name”Nelson Alvarez’ might also be investigated for possible links with”Halvarez”. Nelson alvarez owns many domains and he mainly stays”underground” making deals with other forum members.

    Reply
  30. ScottM

    Bill Roy;
    Your welcome. On GoDaddy, wait at least 5 days until after the domain expiration date before back ordering it. Otherwise the registrant may come back within a short grace period and renew it, then you’ve given GD $18.99 to use until you select another backorder. After the 5th day or so if you see the domain registration has been renewed another year but there is no valid registrant contact listed, just showing Go Daddy, then backorder it at that point. If the registrant doesn’t come back and no one else has back ordered the same domain (if so it would then go up for bidding instead) you should get the domain in your GoDaddy account on day 23 or 24, shorter than any other registrar. Just make sure you are in good standing with GD have an account set up and you also get their update service I think it’s included in backordering fee.
    Good luck!

    Reply
  31. AlanR

    Just like someone mentioned earlier, how would Snapnames not know anything about Halvarez since he participated in over 50,000 auctions. I bet Snapnames had a profile on all the other big time bidders and probably knew them all on a personal basis so I find it hard to believe they didn’t know anything about this guy and didn’t take an interest to investigate him much earlier since he’s been around so long. Especially since so many people were already suspicious of him years ago. Even if they didn’t catch on earlier, this was a sloppy way to run an auction knowing full well that shill bidders are common. I know they are smart enough to know better so their explanation on what happened doesn’t cut it with me. I think there is a lot more to this than they want to admit. At the least, they didn’t do their”due diligence” for all involved in such a high stakes business. No matter what happened, due to their carelessness at the highest levels, they let their customers down in such a large scale that they don’t deserve a second chance is how I feel.

    Reply
  32. C

    Chalk me up as being in the minority who doesn’t believe this is NEARLY as big a deal as the blowhards are making it out to be. It seems to be a case of a catastrophic breach of internal protocol resulting in a what may amount to serious, one time financial loss…
    There’s an old story about American Express and Salad Oil… Once upon a time, American Express used to underwrite surety contracts for commodity products. A particularly large trader in salad oil cheated by taking loans against his tanks of salad oil that were really filled with water. He defaulted on the loans, the creditors moved to seize the oil and found the tanks to be full of water… American Express, as the underwriter of surety, was on the hook for a sum that totaled much more than their annual revenue. Their stock plummeted. The blowhards blew… The end of the entire industry was nigh.. then, over time, the debt was repaid and an otherwise solid company put the affair behind them and went on to become something much better (and in the meantime, people like Warren Buffett scarfed up as many cheap shares as possible, recognizing the difference between a one time event and a secular trend)
    There are those who say that the Snapnames/Halvarez fiasco is emblematic of something deeper and larger. I don’t think so. I think you have a company that endured the ‘worst case scenario’ for any information age company; their chief-egghead decided to screw them over, using his unique skill-set, knowledge base and unlimited access to perpetrate the fraud.
    In time, the embers of this will die down. If Snapnames lives through this event- and indeed, Halvarez isn’t a harbinger of a yet-to-be-discovered, rotten corporate culture at Oversee- I believe this will eventually be rendered to the dustbin of”remember when”… Never forgotten, but it’s long term relevance is probably being unduly magnified.

    Reply
  33. Bill

    You guys are all, and I mean ALL FOOLS.
    You should thank”Halvarez”, drop your knees open wide and thank him the only way mouth wide open and eyes looking up can!
    He has been raising prices for domains for the last 4 years, 1 guy has raise this XX industry percentage points!
    Think about it. Your domains are worth more because of him. If anything he helped you all get the true value of your domains.
    I think”Halvarez” should be domainer of the year!

    Reply
  34. Bid

    Bill
    You’re an idiot.
    Raising prices at wholesale doesn’t improve the sales margin gained from the end user.
    Gheeze, this industry has some stupid people in it thats for sure.
    Perhaps car dealers should pay more at auction to help sell more cars.
    LMAO… get a brain.

    Reply
  35. Curtis Neeley

    The entire domain industry is a fraud in my opinion. My lawsuit will have more of an impact on the fraud you are calling an”industry” than companies publishing data about prior bids. No published prior bid should be considered truthful unless verified by the bidder.
    ——————————-
    —————————
    http://www.NameMedias.com
    ————————–
    Malicious cybersquatting and refusal to return two TM’d domains after being notified will soon blossom into a case that adds Google Inc. and Network Solutions Solutions Inc. for exactly the same two domains. See it detailed at the protest URL above. The case will end the domain”industry” fraud because there is one”monetization” fraud besides”expiring” domain auctions that registrars will now use to inflate the profits they can get and when this fraud is addressed the bubble that the”business” the fraud actually is will finally POP.
    ————————–
    An industry creates something? What does the domain industry create? Fraudulent profits by helping turn the address bars into just another way to google? Watch as they license domains so that the address bar of browsers become another search entry and leads accidental users to their own advertisers.

    Reply
  36. James Radley

    Bill Roy, Billbo, The Bald One. Was the College.st sale you had published in Dn Journal for $11,750 legit or not?
    You know you are a scammer. You may have got me banned, but it turned out I was right. You are a fraud.
    The name is parked at a Sedo page now, with a new creation date. I know that you expect people to sweep this under the rug, but it is this exact type of behavior that turns the domain industry into a FRAUD.
    When honest domainers ask legitimate questions about totally horseshit sales, then the ones that should be banned are the fraudsters, not the ones uncovering the fraud.
    If you continue to run wild on the forums I will show up and embarrass you until you either 1) Retreat and shut up, or 2) Admit that the sale of College.st for $11,750 never happened.
    You scammed Ron Jackson at Dn Journal on that one and then you started making threads about the sales listing with your crap .st names. Like the one where you asked people if you should accept 5K from Qwest for Qwe.st.
    You are a loser, and I would have written you off as a loser, but since you show up in these threads I figure you might have another scam up your sleeve.
    Billbo (Bill Roy), you are a fraud and those who let you roam the boards knowing full well that you scammed and cheated (while getting others banned) should be embarrassed.
    If you don’t shut up I will keep reminding you of your scamming ways. The College.st scam was in the summer of 2006. I see you went on to .mobi and also three-letter hyphen names.
    You are the worst. Now run along and send emails and PM’s to those who run forums and try to get threads deleted and people banned. It won’t work again, sucker.

    Reply
  37. Bill Roy (TheBaldOne/Billbo)

    Hi Scott M,
    Your time and advice is much appreciated. I will follow your advice and ‘hopefully’ pick the domain up. In any event I owe you a pint! :)
    Bill Roy

    Reply
  38. Dan

    Rick, you’ve just spelled out what has been on my mind and I’m sure others since the news broke out. As you said, you are probably the only one qualified to say it because others won’t or can’t. I’m glad someone has the balls.

    Reply
  39. Online Business Plan

    Hi.
    If we want to run everything effectively and successfully then it is necessary, to keep an open mind on sales and expenses of your business. This will help you to run your business in a best possible way.
    You have shared good and really informative post Rick on the domain industry. I think the sad day in the domain industry never ends, it’s better to take measures before anything bad occurs. This will also helpful during the times recession.

    Reply

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