The X.Ventures Story: If It Wasn’t For Godaddy’s Screwup The Story Would Be Much Different

Feb 24 2014

On February 5th 11:15 AM Gary Epperson was excited he had just registered his first new gTLD, X.Ventures.  He had just received a confirmation email saying he was now the owner of for $47.   Garry was now a new gTLD investor.

But the next morning he received an email from Godaddy stating they were going to have to refund his money. No explanation, just that he was going to get his money back and that would not be the owner of the domain. Garry immediately called Godaddy to find out what had happened. Customer service said only that they believed there was a trademark registration on the name so he wouldn’t be awarded it. But they weren’t exactly sure what happened. Satisfied with the answer until later in the day when he saw a comment on DomainInvesting that is was now available for sale for $1000 by Aaron Strong. The registration date? February 6th, the day after Garry originally had registered the name. Like any of us he was sick to his stomach for having at least $1000 taken away from him.

What happened? Nobody really knows. After consulting a lawyer, Garry was told that it was too easy for Godaddy to claim a glitch in the system and that the legal battle would cost more than the value of the name. A value that has been established because was claimed to have been sold for $1000 already, but still sits in the Aaron Strong’s name. It also proves that in this industry sometimes luck plays the biggest part in making money.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. MikeS

    This happend to many many godaddy customers, there was musical domains played with first day registrations. There was a whole slew of pre registrations, that did not get caught on GA opening. They were hand registered, paid for, placed in accounts, titled upon whois registry, then poof, like magic, they were all reassigned back to the pre registers that were sold. No explination given, put the word out Gary, and you have a class action suit, no joke.

  2. Ms Domainer



    Ha! That should have been his first clue. If it’s too good to be true…

    These single-letter were priced at low $XXX with the same amount for renewals.

    I wish Go Daddy would be more honest about such glitches instead of shirking responsibility and trying to place blame on the customer.


  3. MikeS

    Well what godaddy did was they reassigned all the domains, back to who put the order in first, I had 5 names taken away, and was awarded 2.

    If this theory would hold true, he is the right register of

    He simply paid whatever the registry returned on the registration inquiry.

    Customer service had no clue, even middle level management had to refer up, no comment from them, probably on the advice of legal. This is not an isolated incident.

  4. Aaron Strong

    You are an embarrassment to this industry. I have done nothing to deserve this sort of harassment from you Shane. You have resorted to new lows trying to put me in a legal issue….It is your credibility that should be questioned. Your ethics and morals are shameful. …This is an absolute embarrassment to your sponsors and readers as you continue to harass an entrepreneur who is investing in domains. I have had much respect for you and continue to be disappointed, as you paint me for what I am not. Don’t bother apologizing to me, apologize to your industry professionals who you have just let down.

    Aaron Strong

  5. Ms Domainer


    Looks like Go Daddy didn’t have the domain in their custody in the first place, and if it did, it had jumped the queue, so it was taken away by the registry, not by Go Daddy.

    The domain is registered at enom, not Go Daddy, so I agree that Adam Strong is getting a bad rap here.


  6. rj

    Aaron, I didn’t see anything here implicating you in any irregularities. He clearly attributes your registering the domain to LUCK and Gary’s misfortune. If anyone is being questioned here it’s GD systems and processes.

    1. Post author

      Thank you RJ,

      This whole article is on how Godaddy dropped the ball and you make it about you. The only part where you come in is that you were lucky and got the name and sold it. It never states that you did anything wrong. That is until you told my advertisers to leave and said those terrible things about me. Now you may have some issues.

      Reminds me of the story of the guy that punches the shark in the face.

  7. fred

    I always though Aaron Strong was mentally deficient for touting all these Gtlds. Now I get it,..there is something wrong with his cognitive skills. More confirmation to stay away from the Gtlds’s.

  8. Mike

    This must be very upsetting for Gary. But I am sure that Godaddy has some sort of legal disclaimer to protect themselves against something like this. Something similar has happened to me before when buying a dot com. Domaining is still the “Wild West”….we are still years or even decades away from having an “efficient market” for Domain Names.

    Mike Maillet

  9. Wrongo

    Shane is one of the best in the industry, not an embarrassment. Get it straight. He was not trying to embarrass anyone with this article. Shane was just telling a story, an interesting one at that. In fact, this could have been a better post if it was turned into a longer story to flesh out the details. So don’t be oversensitive or weird about it. Frankly it sounds like you are making some kind of veiled legal threat against Shane and that’s not cool. Domain Shane pretty much provides a service for this industry. So show him some respect. Besides, if anyone should be po’d it seems like it should be Gary Epperson.

    1. Post author

      Thank you Wrongo. I thought for sure when I read this it was my Mom defending me but she’s on the other side of the country from this IP. 🙂 As for more details. Unfortunately Gary talked to someone on the phone and not via email so there’s really not many more details. I was hoping may come in…but it was hijacked with Aaron thinking it was about him

  10. Konstantinos Zournas

    Aaron is not to blame here and Shane didn’t blame him in the article. Aaron bought the domain legally.

    Go Daddy is to blame when they mixed up their prices. The correct price was $399 but Gary was charged for $47.
    Instead of asking him if the wanted to pay the difference, they told him some bullshit excuse and released the domain.

    The point is that the domain is gone. Gary can only sue them for damages. Actually I believe that Go Daddy is recording phone conversations. That is what the rep told me when I was having a problem last week.

  11. Garry Epperson

    Thanks Shane for getting this out there in the open. I talked to a couple of bloggers and asked them what they would do in this situation. I sent Elliot an email and he didn’t bother to respond. I emailed Rick also and he said I should post it to get it public. I appreciate you being my voice in this because I don’t blog.

    I don’t know what Aaron’s so pissed about. He’s the benefactor in all of this. I would have let it go and not thought about it anymore if I hadn’t seen the name all over the place. That’s the worst part of it, knowing I got screwed out of the name and they couldn’t offer a plausible explanation as to why. They gave me a refund so I didn’t lose any money but it’s still shitty.

  12. Garry Epperson


    I agree with you completely. This has nothing to do with who got it next. My problem is with GoDaddy and the way they handled it. I spoke with a domain attorney and he said I could take action against them but it would be expensive and it wouldn’t work. They would claim it was a glitch in the system.

  13. Konstantinos Zournas

    The proper thing to do for Go Daddy would be to:
    1) Apologize (but they are never wrong)
    2) Offer you $399 as credit (the correct price)

    That is what a serious company would do. Nothing more nothing less. You may believe that you lost a lot of money and maybe I do too but there it no way to prove it.

  14. Aaron Strong

    Gary, Shane,

    Why did you not just contact me? I am here, we can talk. As for the domain, I mentioned in my very first post at DomainInvesting my issue with the registration. I do believe you should review what I said. I would have been more than happy to explain the situation. As for me being defensive, it is because I have had Shane stalk me on other blogs with false accusations and I have an email with a threat….Since Shane has honored his Mother above, I will do the same for my departed Mother…She taught me that, “anger is the biggest waste of time in life.”

    Aaron Strong

    1. Post author


      This story has nothing to do with you other than you were the lucky person that got the name. What in the world would there be to talk about? It’s between Godaddy and Gary. If you want to scream from the mountain about the “New Gs” then be prepared to be cheered or booed. But this article had nothing to do with that. You can ask Gary, we’ve been discussing this article for a week.

  15. Elliot Silver

    “I sent Elliot an email and he didn’t bother to respond”

    @ Garry

    Three points:

    1) I was out of the country on vacation when you emailed me, and I didn’t get back until several days after your email.

    2) You said you contacted a domain attorney in your email to me, so I assumed you would get sound advice. I would trust a lawyer’s expert advice on something like this over a random domain investor (me).

    3) If I did give advice, it probably would have been “to let it go,” because I wouldn’t think the time and money spent on legal fees would be worth it, even if you did prevail. However, it’s easy for me to tell someone else to “let it go,” and I don’t think it would have been prudent to give that advice without actually spending time looking into your situation, and I was on vacation and you already contacted a professional about it.

  16. Garry Epperson

    Sorry Elliot I didn’t know you couldn’t get email out of the country. 🙂
    Seriously I went back and read what I wrote and it did sound kind of snotty so I apologize for the disrespect.

  17. Mike

    Wow, alot of comments about this! First thing, legal action against Godaddy for this would be complete non-sense, they are allowed to make mistakes and the maximum amount you might be owed is the amount quoted by Konstantinos of $399.
    @Aaron, how much are you asking for this name right now and whats the renewal fee?

  18. Adam Strong aka Shane Culture aka Fizzy aka Merle Caufman

    Fizz. You are telling me. I already know far too many Adams in this industry and now I got another “Strong”. Not to mention a prominent domainer once confused me in person with Merlin. I didn’t realize until he carried on conversing with me about all my travels and fine girlfriends.

    Seriously though, now I get emails and calls from people saying they see I’m investing and selling new TLDs because they think Aaron’s posts are mine. I hope when I start posting about my marijuana operations, silk road “gun for hire” exploits and illegal smuggling activities that it doesn’t have any negative impacts on Aaron. It’d be great to prevent that “confusingly similar” thing

    btw Aaron your email address bounced.

  19. Reality

    GoDaddy is a mess. I went to the front page of their site, searched for a new gTLD and entered a pre-registration. The help bubble next to the price says that “all fees are fully refundable if you are not awarded the domain name”, yet they have kept my $650 pre-registration fee even though I didn’t get the name. They also allow multiple people to pre-register, so they’ve potentially made ten of thousands of dollars from people from each pre-reg, regardless of whether they won the name and despite the fact that the registration page says that all fees will be refunded.

  20. ashleigh

    I had the same issue with gd my and the i payed pre reg of £21.99 each which was refunded weeks later , when i rung up they blamed the register for the mistake so i payed about double for both again then that was refunded this was refunded yet again and told it was around £150 each now so i payed it but this was few days before registration to public.

    They seem to just be milking the system but reality’s comments over the pre reg application i was told only via staff on phone wouldn’t be refunded after it would be off another employee total mess really but some of the staff do go way beyond what is needed and some just don’t no what they are doing luck of the draw with the staff i guess .

  21. fizz

    LOL Adam, that’s one hell of a funny post.

    I was wondering whether some were confusing the two of you and an early poster on this thread confirmed it by saying “I agree that Adam Strong is getting a bad rap here.”

    To alleviate future confusion I propose new posting guidelines across the domain blogs:
    Adam “com” Strong
    Aaron “G” Strong

    j/k of course.

  22. Michael

    Godaddy? That was his first problem. Several marketing people that I deal at my company “pre-checked” to see if a domain was available, then requested that I register it. Amazingly Godaddy had already registered it to someone else in the space of an hour. I advised our sales people to NOT pre-check if a domain is available at Godaddy.

  23. jon

    sounds like another satisfied Go Daddy customer.
    saying Go Daddy is allowed to make mistakes and
    somehow be given a pass on this is ridiculious!

    They are the world’s largest and RICHEST domain
    registry, and should be expected to be held
    accountable for there screwups just like well
    everyone else.

    Especially since they had already taken his money
    it is more than just a mistake.

    I have had my fair share of run ins with Go Daddy
    as well and their customer service is HORRIBLE as
    a rule so I can totally share Aaron’s frustration.

  24. D Phillips

    Ditto–happens all the time, unavailable–glitches–missed opportunity , always in the registrar’s favor.

  25. Chadi Ghaith

    Yea, there are still .xxx i registered at Godaddy at sunrise period in ‘pending’ mode (which means only God knows who owns them by now) ! Anyhow, since we’re talking glitches and ‘too good to be true deals’ i must mention my story with the website known as which i thought was credible enough to buy one of its websites displayed as for 2000$. I reached out for the supposedly site owner and he said he could only receive Western Union. I sent 1000$ western union and we arranged that he receive the rest when he unlocks the domain name and provide some info needed for me to complete the transfer. He took my money and turned out to be a scammer who doesn’t even own the site. I reached out to and naturally they said they’re not responsible (they’re only a display platform). I was like ‘so, by such standards, i can go to there platform and display for sale there’ (its all so natural)! Its not like they owe the customer at least not to allow their service to be a fertile field for scammers.

  26. chris

    is this a made for tv soap or what, i have a few crappy domains so what do i know but you guys are laughable.

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