Most of the domains that I have purchased over the years have been on the “expired domain auctions”.
Back in the good old days, there were 3 drop-catchers competing with each other. All had different methods of operation. The wise thing to do was cover yourself and bid on all three platforms. Occasionally you would pick up an absolute bargain because one of the less successful operators would “catch” a name for you.
When Anthony (surname deleted) left Netfleet to found Domain Shield, he quickly became competitive on a few names each day. He is one smart operator when it comes to the art of drop-catching! Because I was one of his earliest clients, occasionally I would win a name for $200 on his platform that had a 4 figure bid on Netfleet! Yippee.
Fast forward – Anthony is back at Drop (owned by Trellian), and they are the only drop-catcher in town.
Netfleet (also now owned by Trellian) is no longer drop-catching. So if you want a domain, you have no option but to bid on Drop and pay whatever increment is going (if it is within your budget). That’s a monopoly.
Last week, I had to bid $5k on a 2-letter domain. If I didn’t grab that, the next bid level was $10k. Ouch.
That’s why I am so supportive of Cameron Bell and Dropcatcher Pty Ltd in their long-standing application to become a registrar and a drop-catcher. Whilst Drop will still be the one to beat, the team at Dropcatcher will start winning a few – and at substantially lower prices. Just like Domain Shield did some years back.
Cam and his team don’t expect any special favours – they realise they must comply with auDA requirements. All they want is a “fair go”.
If this doesn’t happen now or sometime soon, auDA will effectively be allowing one registrar an unhindered licence to print money.
Competition is good!