As an official statement from NameJet – our policy is clear that sellers cannot bid on their own domains, period. The integrity of our platform is of utmost importance to us and we do not condone shill bidding of any kind. From an ethical standpoint, it is unfair to the other participants, and from a practical standpoint, a few extra dollars on a few sales is simply not worth the potential damage to our reputation and business. Again, our stance is clear and we take immediate action whenever we have any reason to believe that there is inappropriate activity occurring on the platform. Bottom line – we take these matters very seriously!
With that said, it is my understanding that Andy and James Booth are not the sellers or current owners of the domains at issue. Andy did own them recently, but per him (both to me privately and in this thread) the domains are no longer his to sell, and he was interested in reacquiring them at what he felt were good prices. However, the WHOIS still reflects Andy as the registrant and that has made this whole thing confusing and problematic.
And while I have no reason to dispute Andy’s claims, we will cancel the remaining auctions involving these domains. To put things in perspective, there are not many domains involved, so it is not some large coordinated campaign to improperly inflate auction values. And it looks like they won nearly all of those domains auctioned, which further speaks to their legitimate interest in them – and for anyone negatively impacted we will look to address that.
Moreover, we will take steps to further outline and clarify our rules around this over the next few weeks to help eliminate any ongoing confusion. In the meantime, we will continue to investigate and monitor this issue (as well as any others brought to our attention) to determine if any further action is necessary.
Thanks everyone and have a good evening.
The above just doesn’t smell right at all. Seems to me you verified the truthfulness of him not owning the domain based on his words. What are the facts? When exactly did those domains change hands, and WHO owns them now — and this who MUST be the one who is auctioning those domains right now.
I cannot auction my domain without changing my registrant AND prove I own it by either changing the registrant’s email or changing the records in the domain’s records themselves. So how in the world could the current owner(s) able to put their domains in auction without even changing the registrant’s info?
Tuesday July 18th at 10:15 PM EST – NameJetGM posts a clarification to statement from NameJet:
Sorry if I wasn’t clear – they are definitely not the seller of the domains. It is 100% a different seller.
I have spend hundreds of thousands of dollars @ NJ. This response does not sit right with me. It calls into question the integrity of the auction process itself.
I am sorry but the facts are that the whois shows Andy Booth. Why are both Booth brothers bidding on domains that are still in their WHOIS info?
Were you provided any records to show the domains were actually sold? Why was the WHOIS never updated?
I think you need to come up with a better answer than that.
Are you being serious with this post? We all know they weren’t the seller on NameJet, what we are all concerned about is the obvious… Did they transfer the domain to another account in order to be auctioned, so they themselves can shill bid on the auction or do you have verifiable information to assure us all that they did in fact sell the domains to another party and are now trying to take advantage of the fact that its at a no reserve auction and trying to get them back cheap?
Also, the fact that you cancelled the auctions shows some type of admission of guilt…. why take them down if nothing is wrong? If they verified they actually sold the domains?
Can you go into more detail on how you verified, well… anything here?
First of all, thank you for your business.
And we are continuing to look at this in order to verify the facts and cancelling any ongoing auctions in the meantime to make sure no one is negatively impacted. We do not tolerate any kind of shill bidding at all, so you can rest assured that our auction processes in general are not compromised.
MovieZone.com and Airlinejobs.com just both went to private registration. Good way to try to cover up.
A bit late, no?
How did you verify that “a different seller” own the names even to accept them for auctioning? Don’t you check that the seller info and the domain info are the same?
Obviously, there is a conflict of interest here with NJ too, as shill bidding is good for your business, until it is uncovered. Higher prices = higher commission.
Please disclose a) who the seller is; b) if you have seen any proof of purchase by seller and what kind of confirmation of ownership had you used to accept names from him.
Anyone finds it unusual, weird, unnatural etc. that Booth Bros bid against each other on a domain they want? This would never happen, you’d think in normal life.
To me this is another indirect proof of the shill bidding.
I would also investigate “seek” and hemant24, as I find it also highly unusual that they absolutely share the same taste for domains as Booth Bros.
I’d argue that either they are colluding or are related parties. If I were NJ, I’d look into it, but then again NJ doesn’t seem too eager to get to the truth.
Another “fishy” point.
Who pays end user prices to Booth Bros (I assume this guys don’t trade for “reseller prices) for “brandables” which normally don’t fetch even 1/50-1/200 of their end user price at reseller auctions, and then turns around and puts them all for no reserve auctions?
Let’s say the guy bought them for $3K average, was he really expecting to sell them at $3.7K+ each to make a quick flip in few days??
Are any of you buying this story? Please please share this guy’s details, I’d love to deal with him. Man, this is such a B.S.!
A Key Point is made by Michael from NameBio.com
Your commission on NameJet is 10% so if you bid $10,000 you are really bidding $1,000 because you’ll get $9,000 of it back when they settle up with you next month. That puts you at a distinct advantage over legitimate bidders because you’re only risking that you marginally increase your cost-basis in the name.
Let’s use actual numbers to make this more clear. Say you get lucky and score an LLL.com for $15k from an original registrant that you feel is easily worth $25k. You throw it in a no-reserve auction on NJ, and towards the end the bidding is at $20k and you’re freaking out, so you decide to bid yourself.
You successfully drive the price up to $24k and leave someone holding the bag. You made an extra $4,000 and at your last bid of $23,800 you only risked adding $2,380 to your cost basis in the name. Although to drive the price up from $20k to $24k with one other bidder you’d have to risk more than $2k twelve times which is a little crazy. But if you’re really good at maxing people out without winning (backing down before reaching psychological thresholds like $10k etc) or your mini-war causes other people to jump in, it could be really profitable for the seller despite the risk.
That isn’t free market capitalism, that is an incentive to place fraudulent bids. If this rule existed, sellers would be bidding in their own auctions hoping to get second place, pushing proxy bids, etc. not submitting honest bids because they believe the market value is higher. Plus it wouldn’t be clear to the other bidder(s) that the seller was participating, and they wouldn’t know the “social proof” was bullsh*t.
Just set a reserve, or be willing to accept what the market decides it is worth without you “influencing” the results. Your example of forfeiture auctions doesn’t hold water because the government or bank is the owner at the time of the auction. What it would actually be more akin to is selling your house, and telling someone who submits an offer that you received a higher offer when you actually didn’t, just because you think the house is worth more.
Here’s an example of a Real Estate agent being fined $10,000 for making up phantom offers:
So yea… I would say that is frowned upon and is an ethical violation.
Time to get back to reading the thread, only on page 3 out of 11. Just had to chime in on this.