Domain Spotlight:

Conference Auctions Still Have a Long Way to Come

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 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.


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29 Replies to “Conference Auctions Still Have a Long Way to Come”

  1. dude, is this awards thing a joke, I will arrange a confernece and will give stupid awards like ” get it award” LMAO.

    To be honest, there has been NO Update from RICK, he talks blah blah blah, but what happened, ALL THE MUTENESS????

    anyone has update on the names sold???? even traffic auctions??

    Latona was better in handling auctions, but he is also a jerk????

    In order to organize a better organization, lot of other people need to be involved instead of “friends” hahaha

    and on the top of that, RICK was a joker by having the poster of Marcello Chavez, and discussing it and displaying it in front of the room.

    I think this was not auction, it was just attention for the RICK, preety much, it was auction about Rick, and domains!

    Good thing you did not go , buy a domain for 2000 usd.

  2. Hi. “it makes me even more thankful I sell my names on Namejet”. And I thought Namejet was where you purchased names.

  3. I agree 100% but the real question is would you actually have the cojones to write this post if you were actually at the Traffic conference? Hmmmmm?

    1. Henny,

      You obviously don’t know me very well. I only write what I would say to someone’s face. The difference between me and most of society is the ability to take full responsibility for my actions and words. That means in person or behind a computer. I say I’m sorry when I screwed up and thank you when somebody has helped. I usually wait 24 hours until I write a post to make sure I feel the same late and not just riding an emotion (thus the day later post here). I will admit that I wouldn’t have written it though. I wouldn’t have because I too frickin tired to write when I’m at the conference. I need my sleep and I get none at the conferences. There is a lot of drinking and I don’t drink very often.

  4. Excellent Post with some Excellent Points.
    Most of the conferences I have seen are made up of domainers. Still very few end users.
    That’s not good.
    I think the Blogs in this industry do a much better job of educating the end user and domainers.
    Online Bidding is an absolute must for any conference as well as good video.
    Show some of the events people are missing live.
    Talk to consultants or former employees of Sotheby’s. Talk to Pawn Shops. Talk to Coin Dealers. Talk to Stock, Option & Futures Traders.
    Go to a University and talk to their School of Journalism. Kansas has some Campaign Classes where a Senior Class works on a Campaign for a Business for an entire semester and presents to the Business a complete plan. It’s Free. Some of these Journalism Schools can run a Network.
    Think End Users and Hedge Funds. How do you engage them? How do you get them to BUY & SELL. A fund or trader wants to hit the Buy button like they do for a stock, option or futures contract or at least have an easy 123 step process.

  5. Henry

    Shane is one guy so far I know who has guys to speak up for what he believe in. . Shane is entitled to his opinions n can’t be pressed down

    I again say Rick auctions are not even worth attending so he needs to stop saying blah blah n name are selling

    These named can sell a lot better on name jet n auction was stupid it was just like going to party with no business and spend 2000 entry haha

    I think Patrick had better biz conference than self promoting Rick

  6. Mr. Cultra, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in domaining is now dumber for having listened to it. May God have mercy on your soul. …
    i hope you realize i’m just friggin’ with you… you’re my third favorite domain blogger.

  7. Riddle me this mr. cultra – do you think Namejet or Latona could have sold a lot of 100 city area .COM names for $500?!!

    Of course not. You see, the DOMAIN KING keeps PIGEON SH*T domains out of his auction, which is why he was able to generate nearly $5 per domain for the seller. Beautiful names like Think about that – you buy something for $8 and then the DOMAIN KING sells it for $5 for you. It takes INSTINCT to make that happen.

    Do that a few hundred times and I might just put your name in a blog headline in between Rick, Frank and AAPL!!!

  8. The auction was painful watching, these guys had no idea about domains, get some young youthful talent, not guys butchering domains. I mean I have seen better auctioneers used office furniture, this was a glitzy event, have some refined talent.

    Some names I would have bid aggressively on, had their been online bidding, was just to lazy to do the telephone thing.

    You are marketing to guys who bought some great generics for $100 a pop, they do not want to go on vacation, and spend end user pricing on half ass names, no way, you are going to get the big boys to throw $20k, on a possible 25k end user sale name.

    Sure the conference helps people network, new ideas, keeps the industry going, this is simply a black eye on a great event. Bring it to Vegas, lots of techies out in CA, you want an auction add the online element. Not some 100 year old auctioneer who probably still uses dial up.

  9. Shane said what everyone else was thinking but didn’t have the balls to say.

    Mike too.

    The auction was a flop. I tried watching it. The sound worked, the video was black. Tried multiple times on two computers. No-go. Could barely make out what the auctioneer was saying, the microphone was no good.

    No online bidding means very little interest from serious buyers. Business buyers don’t have time to sit on the phone for hours, especially since the video feed didn’t work.

    The ‘awards’ were a joke. Just a bunch of Ricks friends and sponsors congratulating each other. Sedo as “best overall platform”? LOL

    I don’t even know why serious domain investors go to TRAFFIC. It’s just the same old gang of hustlers talking about how amazingly successful they are.

  10. Someday …there will be End User auctions.

    What’s happening meanwhile may serve to help work all the bugs out Before that day comes.

  11. I wonder if those at the conference where even aware that “domaining” as we know it died on October 6 with the google EMD update? It seems the impact of this change has not swept onto our community yet, but expect the next few weeks to see the biggest shift domain values since 1995 (when i started) and the news of the carnage to dominate the domaining blogs and rss feeds. I can stress enough how significant this event is! Its domaining’s ELE (extinction level event)


  12. Hello Shane,

    A couple of quick points. In the main I agree with what you have written and I am sure, even though I dont know the man, having read everything he has blogged Rick will be disappointed with the results, yet I am also sure he will try again and again cause thats what winners do whilst everyone thinks they are insane.

    My quick points:

    “Domain investors are supposed to be people at the forefront of the Internet”

    No they arent. Domainers love to use the land example, so if you see the value of beach front property rising in Miami and you buy up tons of beach front property in Miami it doesnt make you a great architect, it makes you the owner of tons of unused land. The internet is about websites that users get value out of, domaining bears no relation to this whatsoever.

    The second point is if I can get 5 end users to bid on a domain why would I pay someone a commission when I can direct those end users to an auction on Sedo? End user auctions are like a mythical fairytale I do not ever see transpiring.

    What Rick is trying to achieve is difficult but it is easier to knock than to try, this isnt directed at you Shane just generally.

    Love the blog as always,


    1. Anthony,

      Solid points. Thanks for sharing. Now that I think about it you are right. The people that build out the sites are the true pioneers not the domain investors. And I agree, you have to keep trying to get it right otherwise you have 0 percent chance. I guess its the brashness of the attempt that makes people criticize.

  13. @Jim Breel
    Re: EMD

    you’re so dramatic.
    there really is nothing new about this latest google update other than the fact that is was actually announced. The penalty on EMD’s in the new update is for sites with LOW QUALITY SCORES – nothing more – and this, again is nothing new . “Content is King” still rings true, except now – it’s ‘Official’ according to Big G, so please – enuff with the Domaining Doomsday garbage.

  14. I strongly agree with the technical issues being a major set-back! There are a lot of reliable, yet affordable software and hardware solutions to pull this off.

    That said, an auction like this is definitely tough to manage. Maybe there just needs to be more collaboration and people involved to support the effort. I for one would be interested in helping Rick out, but I can never get a hold of the man.

  15. “I wonder if those at the conference where even aware that “domaining” as we know it died on October 6 with the google EMD update?”

    Might be the dumbest thing I’ve read today. Besides EMS still ranking fine, it was crap sites that took a hit. And end users typically think beyond just the Google SERPS.

  16. Shane,

    Dont let these rathead or stupid head put you down.

    I read the acro comment on ricksblog, ACRO is just as stupid he can be, like he commented about you on ricksblog.

    I will say that ACRO is ass licker, and let him lick his ass, and you stay up bro. Keep up the good work.

    Its not like they are earning the monies for you and you are depended on them.

    Dont put down your opinions.

  17. I just read this on Acro’s blog

    “Creating a better event for the participants and the domain industry is not just a rewarding challenge, it’s also a reaffirmation that we, as humans – from every country in the world – still have hope to co-exist harmoniously and constructively.”

    It sure sounds like he works for Rick now. Is this true? I heard it in the rumor mill. He’s the one that should have bought from the auction. He could put a picture of his ass licking face next to Ricky. LOL

    1. Henry and others,

      Acro is not a bad guy. He simply is excited about the conference. He had a great time and was proud to be there. People that work by themselves every day and don’t interact with people personally each day really enjoy conferences. There is nothing wrong with that. I don’t take to heart anything he says and it’s simply in fun. Take it easy on the guy. He’s an ass sometimes but so am I.

    2. PS. I was a phone bidder on Out at 2 thousand and evidently didn’t sell. That is part of what confused me. When I told the phone girl I was out she said goodbye and let me go. I didn’t get to hear the results

  18. “I was a phone bidder on Out at 2 thousand and evidently didn’t sell. That is part of what confused me. When I told the phone girl I was out she said goodbye and let me go. I didn’t get to hear the results”

    Shane, just for the record. That was because the girls on the phone followed my instructions. When a phone bidder says they are out, the call should be terminated. There is no reason to have the call go on and they had to get to the next call.

  19. @Rick,

    Shane wanted that girl to keep talking to him, he was getting turned on may be .,,lmao

    Shane may have found her attractive sweet voice, or what not, wanted to be friends with her lol

  20. @rick

    Jokes apart, Shane might have been curious, that girl should have told her that he should bid more.

    He owns nursery, basically, he is a salesman, so he expected a salesman call, someone telling him why he should bid more than previously

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