The Problem is about the Problem. But if you Don’t Identify the Problem, you Can’t FIX the Problem. Problem Solved.

Morning Folks!!

Sometimes the Title says it all. But sometimes the meaning is lost.

'The Problem is about the Problem. But if you don't Identify the Problem, you can't FIX the Problem. Problem Solved.'

There are Four basic things you can do with a 'Problem' after you identify the problem to begin with and that in and of itself is sometimes challenging. You can'Ignore' the problem. You can make the problem 'Worse'. You can 'Talk' about the problem. Or if you are wired like I am, you try and 'Solve' the problem. No matter how big or how small. Try and solve the problem.

I am rarely told I am right before the fact. My critics rarely tell me I was right after the fact. But facts are facts and records are records and on this I just ask you to await judgement while I do my best to FIX the Live Auction process we ALL agree is BROKEN and is a 'Problem' for buyers, sellers and attendees.

The multitude of problems are very deep and multi dimensional. In other's a mess and I will show you why at each and every point. Then you will see that I have a solution that DOVETAILS with each problem. That is the key to all this. It's a recipe. It used to be a SIMPLE recipe and it did well. The recipe got bastardized over time. That's when you must go back to basics first and rebuld.

Here is how 'I' see this and then folks will see each one has been addressed. And if you think I missed something, wonderful. Let me know. Some things you can do all at once, some things take time. Restoring credibility to a broken system takes time. But there will be no doubt about the result after the show. This is about being SERIOUS about a problem and that is what builds confidence.

Folks can talk about one element or another however I am in a unique position to tackle nearly all of them as 'I' see it and actually do something about it and do it in front of everyone because I am going to TRY and explain it each step of the way. I may need to do a video. lol. But this is about as transparent as business allows. These are just the problems I have identified for this blog post. These are some of the biggies. There are several not on this list.

Problem: Live Auction system is broken

Problem: Live auction integrated with Internet is even more broken

Problem: Audience is BORED

Problem: Auction is BOOOOOORING!

Problem: Crappy Domains

Problem: Prices too high

Problem: Prices too high on CRAPPY domains

Problem: Add those together......................Audience does not take auction SERIOUSLY!

Problem: Live auction needs Large Audience

Problem: Live auction needs Qualified audience

Problem: There are 'Auctions' and there are 'Prices' there is a difference

Problem: Ridiculous reserves Make it an 'Advertising Opportunity'

Problem: Add those together......................Audience does not take auction SERIOUSLY!

Problem: Non-Domainers picking Domains to auction

Problem: Crappy Extensions of domains with little to no value

Problem: Add those together......................Audience does not take auction SERIOUSLY!

Problem: Showboat bidders

Problem: Anonymous Bidders

Problem: FAKE BIDS!!!!

Problem: Face saving 'Prearranged sales' at auctions

Problem: Add those together......................Audience does not take auction SERIOUSLY!

Problem: Unreasonable expectations

Problem: Domains prices for end users when no end users are bidding.

Problem: Add those together......................Audience does not take auction SERIOUSLY!

Problem: Confidence

Problem: Trust

Problem: Nobody that can say 'No'

Problem: Ridiculously High to the point of insulting 'Opening bids'

Problem: Money being left on the table for everyone.

Problem: Add those together......................Audience does not take auction SERIOUSLY and that takes away the TRUST that MUST be restored for domains to sell at their full auction value!

Problem: Problem is there are so many problems to be addressed and I have addressed as many as possible at ONE time as I can. FIRST you have to identify some of the problems. I have identified 2 DOZEN areas that are being addressed. Not talking about it. Doing it. Now I can't always control every aspect. But if you are not aware, then you fail automatically. Period.

I will pick the best domains I can from what is presented. I can't hold a gun to folks head. We have had thousands of domains entered so far.

Just for the record. I approached this show as if the auction was not even going to happen. If it did, it had to be driven by itself. I could only set a new course and a new standard. If folks like the direction, they will trust us to try and sell it for them.

They know my record of selling. That I have a purpose for doing what I do. It is well thought out and I can't tell you how many BRAIN HOURS I put into this stuff. Of creating the right conditions for a success. Because I identified the PROBLEMS!

Problem: Add those together......................Audience does not take auction SERIOUSLY and THAT is about to change for the TRAFFIC auctions. I can't control any other auction. But I sure as hell can control this one. And when folks see the result in a HORRIBLE economic time, they are going to take notice.

Those worried about a domain not bringing in the most money must be forgetting the FACTS about me. I am sure I have left $$$ on the table. But I am also sure it was much less than most would leave on the table.

Quality audience, that takes the venue seriously and TRUST. Folks lost trust because the way the auctions were done before, during and after.

The 'Guaranteed Placement Program' has exceeded our expectations. For the FIRST time ever, the domainer REALLY has some control. Those that believed in their domain, paid up front and as you can see, some are very interesting and all are priced right and many will sell. But they added an ingredient. 'Certainty'. They took control out of MY hands and put it in their own hands. Frankly, they have all been a pleasure to work with because they understand EXACTLY what they are getting and they LOVE it!

Some are very actively marketing their domain to new channels. They can point to a top notch venue to give credibility to their asset. They have a date and time certain to approach their prospects. To look professional. To advertise and use social media to circulate. They have the true opportunity to target end users. THOSE are the folks that we are targeting to be on the phone. They supersede a domainer. Wouldn't you think? But they still have the most qualified audeince in domaining right there in the room.

It's ALL on ME folks. So why is anyone worried? All on me in front of everyone in the industry. Again! I have fixed what needed to be fixed and the rest is out of my hands. But I have faith that if you have a clear formula and do things right every step of the way, then the chances of success are EXPONENTIALLY higher. That is what I believe. That is how I do It. That is why we are at the Ritz Carlton. EVERYTHING and EVERY ingredient, MUST be right and as good as you can get. I won't argue that point with anyone.

Rick Schwartz
CEO & Co-founder T.R.A.F.F.I.C.


12 thoughts on “The Problem is about the Problem. But if you Don’t Identify the Problem, you Can’t FIX the Problem. Problem Solved.

  1. Bill Roy

    Firstly, ‘I love the Title’.
    I don’t have the type of domains you’re after for the auctions (unfortunately), so being an outsider in this instance I feel I can be totally unbiased here. (I normally try to be but I am human.)
    It is unfortunate that the various recent conference auctions have taken a mighty beating, unfortunate but absolutely deserved. All too often ‘favours’ were apparently done by those accepting domains into auctions whilst rejecting what were generally deemed to be far better domains. This must stop, and hopefully you are leading the way (again) and we can only hope that the ‘other’ conference auction organisers follow your example.
    The one really major aspect that you have not addressed is that of gaining access to the end-user (don’t shoot me yet, hear me out first please). I realise of course that it is up to domain owners to try and get interest in their domains in auction, and in no way am I saying that should be diminished, but would it not be possible in future to access major publications with an info-advertisement prior to the conference. This would not be possible for this conference but possibly the next? Obviously this would not be cheap and I haven’t done any costings, but if the cost was shared between many domainers and TRAFFIC could it not bring in a good ROI?
    (Now you can shoot me if you want.)

  2. Owen Frager

    Stop the presses you overlook the very criteria you always preach.
    Meet me for lunch noon thur Mizner where we first met 13 years ago — where you ruined my day with the pigeon shit intervention.
    I will bring the folder I had in your house when you and howard were looking for traffic ideas five years ago
    We couldn’t come to terms so I walked out without you ever seeing the contents
    On thurs I will agree to your terms given the above logic, and share what’s in the folder
    And on Friday no one will ever call either of us crazy again

  3. SF

    One of the problems listed contains five words that reveal the most critical problem for the entire domain aftermarket industry:
    Problem: Domains prices for end users when no end users are bidding.
    It is the last five words.

  4. owen frager

    @howard iphone facetime or skype works for me whenever you are ready. Sometimes we forget now that we are all Apple users we have new and powerful ways to work.

  5. Theo

    few months ago, i think it was domainfest barcelona the online auction broke down.
    personally i find that unacceptable.
    Such an importanted auction do go down due to techincal issues.. nah not gonna fly . least not with me.
    So this is a wise choice. and i think it will payoff. the people who put the money on the table willbe rewarded as i posted when this setup was announced.
    quallity.. nuff said

  6. Ben

    “The Problem is about the Problem. But if you Don’t Identify the Problem, you Can’t FIX the Problem.”
    I totally agree with you.

  7. Kevin Davis

    Always glad to hear like it is from Rick,You da man Rick.I wish nothing but big success at TRAFFIC.

  8. Don

    Exposure, Trust and Time.
    So many auctions go on every day without anyone knowing about them. That is a huge problem. I think 90% of potential buyers have no idea that these type of event auctions even go on. Once someone figures out how to get these buyers to these auctions everything else will take care of itself.
    I also”believe” that if someone is fortunate enough to get into this event auction that they should at least spend at least $1000 dollars on self promoting the domain they have in the auction. Why people are willing to pay an outfit 20-30% for zero promotion on a 100k domain name is beyond me. You end up losing thousands of dollars because no promotion was done. You lose it in the form of lack of exposure.
    Also any true type of auction will give the buyers at least 30-45 days to make a decision. Medium and large companies take time to go throw all the channels on whether to buy a domain name. Exposure, time, and trust I think are 3 main areas that will help make a successful event auction.
    I have not seen the names but I am certain this event will do very well.

  9. Bill Roy

    Glad to see that most who have posted seem to think along the same lines as my opening response (a little unusual for the ‘maverick’ that).
    What I would like to do is suggest that in major business magazines and newspapers the owners and TRAFFIC run an info-article, explaining how the domains up for sale could corner the market and how having them stops competitors from gaining the edge over them.
    I think choosing a few randomly from the listings and hitting the group of companies in print that are either ‘ignoring’ or are ‘ignorant’ of the sale of the domains would work wonders. Imagine pointing out the possibilities with the domain names and what those domains could do for them (or their competitors), the probable loses they incur by not having them, all in a public article, it would not only bring the attention of those particular companies to the sale but also other businesses would start looking for what they are missing out on.
    An example would be as follows. Imagine the domain ‘’, Google reports that it gets 50,000 exact US local searches per month. Well the article could explain that these are usually 50,000 different people month on month because if no site is there people normally do not search for that domain again. Say it receives 20,000 type-ins per month on average, again this could be explained that generally these people will not type it in a second time if no site was there the first time, so that is nearly 250,000 people a year visit that site (that does not exist) or 600,000 people search for a site like that on Google!
    Then the bit about what the businesses ‘Feline Cat Food Inc.’, ‘Meow Diamond Collars Inc.’, and ‘I Love Pussy Inc.’ are all missing out on business wise by not having that domain and having a site on it or even pointing it at an existing site is costing them.
    ‘Feline Cat Food Inc.’ are losing about $1 million a week in revenue from not selling their food through not having this site.
    ‘Meow Diamond Collars Inc.’ are loosing out on probably sales of 1,000 units a month, and averaging $625 each that is an estimated loss for them of $7.5 million a year.
    Well ‘I Love Pussy Inc.’ sell everything in the range, and they could easily be losing $10 million a year.
    An info-article like this would make jaws drop, and I reckon there could well be a rush to register to bid at the auctions, and not only from the three companies mentioned but from a whole lot more in that particular industry. What is more is other businesses would start looking at the list of domains and start asking what about our company, how could we benefit from having a related domain turned website?
    Sorry to go on at length, but if the domainers would cough up to work together (and hell domainers are renowned for not doing that), then the auctions would really bring in new money. But domainers cannot just wait for you to continually lead the way. Why don’t some of the big name holders plan ahead for the next TRAFFIC, get in contact with you and discuss about running ideas like this. It certainly is not rocket science, it is just knocking on the right doors with the right sales pitch, and if the product is good enough you stand a good chance of closing a sale.

  10. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Rick,
    Talk about solving problems. One of the biggest problems consumers face in todays loan markets is getting Finance Approval on their loans and REFIS.
    Fully half of all loan applications in our country right now are not getting APPROVED. This is a huge problem and one consumers are looking for a fix for. Till the banks start being known as loan approvers and not loan rejectors our economy will remain in the dumps. A smart End user figured this out and bought on for 60,000 $. We personally own a category killer in this sector and would like to enter it in your auction. Is it too late to enter?
    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (METAL TIGER)

  11. steve

    Because people are liars Jeff.
    Last year I let two people have domains they begged and begged for.
    Signed a contract stating they would pay for it in a year or give it back.
    Neither has contacted me or made a single payment.
    I got hold of one and he just said he wants to keep the domain.
    People have no ethics or morals.
    I know what they are thinking. The economy is bad and this ruined our chances. So what. You had an agreement.
    They ruined it for everyone else wanting a great chance. But I am sure they don’t give a sh$t about anyone else, just them.
    I made sure they were in the USA in case I want to take them to small claims court and waste their time.


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