The Domain Blog

Not your average domaining blog.

Opinion: Sending Domains to Auction At Sedo

with 13 comments

I don’t know who came up with this idea, but it seems to be a new trend of 2008. Several domainers came up with the idea to send your domain to auction by posting the starting bid at Sedo. Which seems ok when you first think about it. Now the topic of shill bidding arises. Lets take a look at the definition of shill bidding:

A shill is an associate of a person selling goods or services or a political group, who pretends no association to the seller/group and assumes the air of an enthusiastic customer.

Wouldn’t this technically be considered shill bidding? I think so. I’m also happy to know that Sedo doesn’t allow this type of activity. A recent post by Keith from Sedo on NamePros confirms that it is illegal. Will people stop? Of course not. Should they? We all know the answer to that one.

I wonder what long term effects this will have on the Sedo Marketplace…


Written by domainblog

May 14, 2008 at 3:14 am

13 Responses

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  1. It should not have any impact on the Sedo Market Place if it is only as you describe. I don’t think it is shill bidding if in fact there is just only one bid posted by the seller. That is not illegal in Real Estate – the seller is legally entitled to make ONE (and only one bid against the crowd). So why not for virtual real estate?

    Now why to you suppose that is the case? Well it could just be a way to protect the seller in the event that there is little interest on the day of auction – in which case the without a reserve price a million dollar domain name might be forfeited for just a dollar.

    To illustrate the possible situation with a real life occurrence. I had sent a property to auction and it was going before the crowd the day after the 1987 share market meltdown. Guess what happened? No One – and I mean Absolutely No One turned up at the auction.

    So allowing sellers to make just one solitary bid seems fair enough to ensure that a seller does not end up losing a valuable domain name due to unforseen circumstances – don’t you reckon? However that does not mean condoning shill bidding and fakes which are illegal and definitely should not be tolerated.


    May 14, 2008 at 4:46 am

  2. It has begun: .

    Looking through the list of what’s on auction at any time, I think a conservative estimate would be 10% of all auctions there are the direct results of shills.

    Reece Berg

    May 15, 2008 at 1:04 pm

  3. […] Opinion: Sending Domains to Auction At Sedo […]

  4. […] [Source] domainblog […]

  5. Disclosure: is my site.

    First I would like to address your opinion that this process is shill bidding. In your definition it says “assumes the air of an enthusiastic customer.” The idea behind from a buyer’s perspective (as it says clearly near the top of the page in bold) is to only bid if you plan on following through with the purchase. Therefore you are not pretending to be a customer, you are a customer. In fact if you don’t follow through with the sale your Sedo account is usually closed, which is a major deterrent to making fake offers.

    If you place a shill bid you are placing a bid you don’t intend to follow through with for the express purpose of driving up the price. If you intend to follow through with the sale, you simply placed a bid.

    Also, we have made the listings on the site anonymous to discourage people doing eachother favors. If you see a username that is constantly pushing your domains to auction, you are going to be more inclined to make an offer to reciprocate. That is what Keith was worried about when people wanted to do it on the forums, and that can’t happen on is a Sedo affiliate, and to date we have sent over 30,000 hits to Sedo listings resulting in 64 auctions being started. Neither Kevin, nor anyone at Sedo, has asked us to shut the site down and it isn’t exactly a secret. Of the 700+ listings on the site less than 10% were sent to auction… that alone should make it clear that people are only making the signature $60 offer if they are seriously interested in buying the domain at that price. Again, nothing wrong with that.



    June 24, 2008 at 9:49 pm

  6. This is no different than setting a $60 price expectation on Sedo, except now people can find it easier.

    Also @ Reece, I’m surprised you would take that stance claiming at least 10% of the bids are shills considering you pretty much pioneered this process on the forums and do it all the time. Anyway, I hope the site benefits people who are having trouble getting noticed on Sedo with their 11.5 million domains.


    June 24, 2008 at 9:52 pm

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    June 20, 2009 at 4:01 pm

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