Over the last year Flippa has become one of the top auction houses for domains. An amazing feat when you consider how quickly it happened. I think the hard work of Kevin Fink is much of the reason they have risen so quickly. But with fast growth comes growing pains. In the attempt to scale and add revenue sources there are some issues that need addressed BEFORE they expand and add. None of them are game enders but they are a pain for many users. I have started using the platform more in the last month and I have had good success. But you know me. I like to complain. I call it an opportunity to improve but the people that actually have to do the work to make it better call me a complainer. Here are few “opportunities” for the owners to build on. Some things don’t exist but would be nice if they did .
1. Your Escrow doesn’t communicate well with the users. I am told that it is only me, but I don’t get emails letting me know the stages as the come. I have to go into the escrow page every time to see how it stands. If you have ever been to Escrow.com, Agreed, and even eCop you will see a much system. I love the fact that it is free but at this point free comes with price. Also, I know that California and Texas is very difficult to operate legally. I trust them but escrow needs to be more than trust.
2. When you do get communication from Flippa escrow it defines it by the Auction number. I am selling several names. I have no idea what the auction number was. Nowhere does it list the name. So I have to guess what it is by the price or I have to log in and double check. I only know what the name is. Define it by the domain name. It’s unique so it should work fine.
3. Under my listings that I’ve sold it says “Won”. I certainly didn’t win the name, I sold it. It’s confusing enough but I resold a name I bought at Flippa and everything says I won.
4. The Dashboard needs some revamping. Here’s what I would do. Divide it into Buying and Selling. That way I can tell the difference between the two. Right now everything is mixed together and everything is “won” regardless of buy or sell. Under the buy and sell categories you can do your recent offers. “Your Offers” in one section and “Offers Received” in the other. They have it divided somewhat in the left column before you go to the dashboard but to me that’s what a dashboard is. A summary of everything that’s going on.
5. Add the ability to sell a portfolio as a listing. People are working around it right now. But users are showing they want to sell multiple domains in a listing so give the ability to do so. An owner should always be looking for a way to make the product better as well as increase revenue and profits. It’s pretty obvious what improvement to make when users are taking your product and hacking it to make it do something they want it to do.
6. Don’t charge so much for upgrades. Absolutely have upgrades but make them a bit more affordable so people can really use them and not just the super users and friends of the family. Sure there are people that are paying $400 but cut that a bunch and I’m pretty sure overall revenue will jump. I could be wrong. Or if you’re really sure that the upgrades work then give them away for free and add 5% to the commission rate. But give them a choice. I am going to do a test on a few names to see how much difference it makes but I would be willing to pay an extra 5% and I’m sure many other people would be as well. (*This is an Advertisement: I charge $10 to list your name in my daily list. I think it’s the best advertising money you can spend but don’t believe me because this is an advertisement and you can’t believe advertisements)
7. Give Kevin a raise. The guy works his butt off. He represents, defends, and promotes Flippa all day long. On the blogs, the forums, and in public. As Flippa grows so does his workload. He is human. He answers every email and helps me with my problems. But when I gave him the list above I overwhelmed him a bit.
8. Get better control of the comment sections. It is very hard to control comments. It doesn’t matter what venue. I have one choice. Do I want to receive emails of the comments on the domain I’m watching. Yes, in general I do. But lately I have had sellers comments 30 times per auction. One person, every hour, on the hour for the last day. I want to follow the auctions but somehow there has to be a limit on how often a seller is allowed to comment. I realize this is a small deal but it has been an issue as I use the platform more often.
I love Flippa. I think the owners and their team should be proud of what they built. But now that it is built and successful, they need to take that power and perfect the platform. They have done so many good things, many that nobody else is doing. I love Namejet as well but Flippa eats their lunch when it comes to self listing a name. A successful auction house has good names for sale, buyers that want those names, and a platform that can bring them together. GD, Namejet, and Flippa have all three. Flippa is closest to having the ideal platform for users. The owners just have to not be satisfied with being the best. They need to want their platform to be great, regardless of what the others are doing. Quality names and results are what drives the business. They are not first in that category yet, but if the platform is perfected, they have a good chance to do it.
Have anything you think they should add or fix? Now’s your chance.