bid and reciprocal buy-sell bid auctions, if used prudently, are superior
strategies to one-on-one negotiations and to open-ascending auctions,
the two most commonly used options to sell/purchase domain names.
Below are the standard and two other types
of auctions that DomainMart provides, as well as a description of
conditions under which they are superior.
Auction. The popular domain-name auction sites are AfterNIC,
eBay (used by DomainMart), and Sedo. They provide only one class of auctions, called English auction,
whereby the bidding is open for all participants to view and the
winner is the highest bidder at the end of the auction period.
Sealed-bid Auction. If you are a seller with multiple parties interested in the purchase
of your domain name and believe that bidders are likely to overestimate
each other’s maximum bid, you are better off with a sealed-bid auction
than using an English auction. (Conversely, when a seller believes
that the bidders will underestimate each other’s maximum bid, an
English auction is superior.)
Under the sealed-bid auction, each interested buyer
submits a bid without knowing who else is bidding or how much. The
winner is the highest bidder and the domain name is sold at the
highest bid price. Using a slight variation (known as Vickery auction),
the price paid by the winner (with the highest bid) is that of the
A sealed-bid auction is superior to one-on-one
negotiations if there is only one bidder and that bidder does not
know there are no others.
Reciprocal Buy-Sell Bid Auction. Imagine
that you own a two-word domain name – for example, DomainAuction.com
-- while another party owns the domain name with the permutation
of the two words, AuctionDomain.com. Both of you would rather own
the two domain names. What would be a fair allocation mechanism?
A fair and simple solution would be a reciprocal
buy-sell bid auction, whereby one of the owners, designates a price
for which she would either buy or sell at, and the other owner chooses
which side of the deal he wants. For example, the first owner announces
$10,000, and the other participant says at that price he will buy
The scenario can be generalized to any supplementary
domain names, such as a combination of the same domain name with
different extensions – for example, DomainAuction.com and DomainAuction.org,
owned by two parties.
These services complement several that DomainMart
an appraisal for a domain name to aid a bidder in establishing a reserve price,
i.e., the minimum price the seller would accept. An appraisal
also reduces price uncertainty for the buyer, resulting in making
strategic informed bids.
advice and participating in determining the best auction type
to use and the best negotiation strategy.
as an independent third party to set up and monitor the auction.
Topic tags: auctions
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