Snapnames and Namejet: an Important Difference in the Bidding Process

Buying Domains, Domain Auctions, Domain Catchers March 8th, 2008

an important difference between Snapnames and Namejet

There are a number of important differences between Namejet and Snapnames, two popular domain drop-catching services. But there’s one difference in particular that you need to watch out for. It has to do with the auction process. is, of course, the new domain name drop-catching service that has stolen a lot of business from Namejet now gets the domain names that expire on Network Solutions or eNom, while Snapnames picks up expiring domains from dozens of other registrars all over the world, large and small. When I want a domain name, I always back order it at both sites, as well as, just to be safe.

When Namejet first debuted late last year, their interface was very buggy, but they seem to have worked out the glitches.

Another point on which Namejet lost to Snapnames was that on Namejet you could not see who you were bidding against when a domain went to auction. They have since corrected this problem and now, once you’ve back ordered a domain name, you can see a complete bid history showing each bidder’s handle, bid amount and time/date of bid.

Watch out when back ordering on Namejet, though. Their back order process works differently from Snapnames.

On Snapnames you can bid the maximum amount you’re willing to pay and the amount will not be displayed to other bidders. Snapnames will increase your bid incrementally as you are outbid, first by increments as small as $1, then increasing to $10 and eventually $20 as the bid increases.

I like this system, because I can look at and say to myself, “I’d pay as much as $5,000 for that, not a penny more.” So I put in my bid at $5,000, even if it’s still only at $70, and I walk away. Once the auction starts Snapnames will walk up the bid for me incrementally. If I end up getting the domain for $1,000, great. If it costs me $4,500, ok, I was prepared for that. If I get outbid and it goes to someone else for $5,100, well, that sucks but I said in advance that I wasn’t prepared to pay that much, so my absence has enforced a sort of unconscious discipline on my bid.

Namejet does not do this. If there are five current back orders at $69 each, and you order the domain for $5,000, the bid is immediately increased to $5,000 and that is visible to everyone. If you win the auction you will pay $5,000, even if none of the other bidders go above $69. That’s awful. Maybe the other bidders would not have paid more than $1,000, so that’s a wasted $4,000 you did not have to spend.

What that means it that if I really want the domain name I must be present when the auction starts, and I have to sit there, manually increasing my bid by $10 at a time or whatever, until the auction ends.

I don’t care for that system and I have asked Namejet to change it. I will continue to place back orders on Namejet because of the quality of the domains dropping there, but I am careful with my back orders.