Over the past year or so I’ve been looking at domaining among other potential ways to turn my interest in websites and operating systems into income producers. At least enough income to make it a self-supporting hobby. One of the ways to make some money with domains is to put them up at a domain auction.
While there are several domain auction houses and brokers a relatively new service, Bido, caught my attention recently. I’ve bought a couple domains domains through Bido and now I’ve decided to try and sell a few through Bido.
More about Bido in a moment, let’s get the sales pitch out of the way first. The current list of domains I have scheduled for auction are listed in the right sidebar and are available for pre-bids. The following three are scheduled for auction this week – HairRestorationProduct.com and CareerInPhotography.com are both up for auction on January 6th shortly after 12:40 EST. PEIShores.com (short for Prince Edward Island in Canada) will be up for auction at 12:42 EST on January 7th.
The folks at Bido have made a lot of changes (for the better in my opinion) to their platform since launching it about a year ago but they’ve always had a bit of the Web 2.0 social aspect to domain auctions. So don’t be surprised if things are different a few months from now. Buying and selling on Bido is fairly straight-forward. In either case you’ll need a free Bido account. If you’re going to be selling you’ll also need to submit (online) a 1099 for the IRS if you’re in the US.
If you’re buying domains you can just browse through the active or upcoming auctions and place bids. If you bid on an upcoming auction it’s an “absolute” bid and that’s the bid that will be submitted when the auction starts. (There’s a rebate if the pre-bid is for over $100 and wins the auction.) If you submit a bid when the auction is live it can be a proxy bid and the system will bid up to the amount you specified as needed to top any other bids. Like most auctions, bids placed in the last moments extend the auction another 5 minutes.
All that is similar to other auction platforms. What makes Bido different is how the auctions get listed:
- Domains are in live auctions that last for an hour (plus any extension forced by last minute bids).
- There is a ticker that scrolls messages about auction opens and closes, bids, pre-bids and other information. The information displayed is configurable.
- Domains offered for auction are screened by the community. If you have a Bido account you can vote on auctions you want to see offered for auction or that you think will sell. There’s a rewards system in place so that if an domain sells anyone who voted on it gets a kickback. This is intended to enhance the quality of the domains being auctioned.
- It is possible to “accelerate” a domain and bypass voting by paying a few. The fee is refunded if the domain sells but is lost if the domain fails to sell which should keep the garbage out. Sellers also have the ability to set a “buy it now” price”. So with these features Bido is similar to other domain auction platforms.
For domains that actually sell Bido collects the money and facilitates the communication between the buyer and seller. Bido itself doesn’t handle the domain transfer.
Bido provides a unique domain auction platform thanks to its social aspect. In theory the voting on domains for auctions should lead to better quality domains. But the bottom line will be how well domains sell on the platform.