I’m not at the TRAFFIC auction but I’m also not an idiot. Contrary to some beliefs, I don’t have to be in attendance of an auction to know whether it was a success or an improvement. I have talked to several people and watched it on the live feed and came away with this. Domain Conference auctions still have a long way to come.
1. Domain investors are supposed to be people at the forefront of the Internet and we can’t figure out this live auction online bidding thing? It’s ridiculous. I’m not saying that I can pull it off but somebody ought to be able to. Is there not a need for a live auction platform for a other types of goods. Isn’t there something else people are already using? It baffles me that in 2012 we still have this limitation. Online bidding would only add to prices.
2. It is MUCH harder than people think to pull off an auction. Adam Strong has told me 1000 times that nobody knows how difficult it is to manage. And it’s not done after the auction is over. People still have to pay and sellers have to them their domains. I heard Escrow is handling it this year but that is just another added cost. I don’t pretend that putting an auction together is something than just anyone can do
3. Part of the reason people are setting the bar so high is because Rick Schwartz keeps telling everyone he will do it better. He keeps setting a bar that he can’t jump. Quotes like this “As I have stated before, a domain investor starting off with this list would be in the top 10%-20% of the industry. Those that don’t see it that way don’t have portfolios that are better.” I applaud the effort but don’t like being told that I don’t know what I’m doing because I think Insults.tv doesn’t belong in a major auction
4. The auctioneers were very very bad. I have heard from no less that 10 people that they were all over the board and didn’t like their “style”. It’s the first time I have ever heard an auctioneer constantly checking to stay on schedule. I understand a rhythm must be set but where do they have to get to that they were more concerned with time than getting prices? There is real money being thrown around and he kept wanting to rush it. He also had a very inconsistent going once twice pattern. Sometimes he waited, sometimes he was quick. Those two auctioneers cost Rick money, plain and simple.
5. I understand the online bidding process isn’t ready, but I KNOW that we can get better audio and video. If I can get an HD feed from Savannah Firestorm getting naked in her home I know I can get a better feed from a high dollar auction. U-Stream is for a nightly video cast for some guy in his basement. I understand that the people watching aren’t making them money but if you provided a great feed and good phone service you might have more phone bidders. Both audio and video was rough
6. I think TRAFFIC needs an auction panel to help pick out names. That statement about the quality of the package was pushing it IMO. We all could have picked out many names that should not have been in the auction. I’m not sure if I have my info straight but I think I saw that there were some no reserve names that didn’t sell. How can no reserve not sell? Not even $10. You can’t let people buy bad names into an auction. I am sure that a group of ten people could be put together to help put together a list. I think 10 heads would be better than one although Rick does have a pretty big head (I say it in fun not to be mean, I couldn’t help it)
7. There were a lot of sellers upset. The same people that were most excited about being part of the auction seem to think they could have done better themselves. I’m not quite sure that is true but it makes me even more thankful I sell my names on Namejet because I get much higher prices than these conference auctions
8. And that will continue to stay true as long as it’s limited to the small group attending the auction. Trading names around the room is not a good business model. People aren’t going to pay to attend an auction. They want to spend their money on goods, not money to have the right to spend it. People love to spend money from the comforts of their home. Ask QVC if that’s true. And that takes us right back up to 1.
Rick runs a good social conference. The people there seem to be having a great time. Conferences are about people getting together to talk about business. There seems to be no problem there. That is 90% of a conference I know. The auction is merely tinsel on the tree. I wish I was there, I really do. I support TRAFFIC. Heck, I even put a free banner for them up in the corner. I want the auction to be a success. I heard talk of improvement but I saw not one single thing different from last year except worse auctioneers. But again, the real importance of the conference is not the auction it is elsewhere. And that seems to be great. So maybe next year we’ll see some improvement. But I doubt it.