what an incredible place! will domaining get me there?

I recently received an email from eNom notifying me that that they have moved their auctions to NameJet.com, a new service. Of course I immediately checked it out thoroughly. I found things about NameJet that I like, and some that I don’t.

The I email I received reads:

Dear Domain Auctions Customer,

For many years, eNom.com, eNomCentral.com, ClubDrop.com and BulkRegister.com have offered the cream of the crop in aftermarket domains, including pending delete and pre-release names. Starting October 5, 2007, eNom will make these names available for auction at NameJet(TM), a new domain name auction venue which will consolidate an exclusive inventory of deleted and expired domain names from top registrars including eNom, BulkRegister and Network Solutions. Your eNom, eNomCentral, BulkRegister and ClubDrop logins can now be used at NameJet.

I went ahead and registered a new account at NameJet and created a dedicated username there. If it’s anything like Snapnames then the username will be visible on every bid I make, so I wanted to choose one I was comfortable with.

What is the Domain Name Aftermarket?

For those of you who are new to domaining and not familiar with the terminology, when someone owns a domain name but fails to pay the renewal fee, the domain expires. Some call this a “drop,” and the total pool of domains that drop every day is called the “daily drop list.” These expiring domains are then picked up by several companies that specialize in auctioning these domains to the public.

This market as a whole is called the domain aftermarket or the secondary market, and these companies are called aftermarket services, or expiring domain services. Some call them drop catching services or backorder services (because you can monitor and backorder domains that are going to drop soon).

Why Does NameJet Matter?

It turns out NameJet is a joint venture by eNom and Network Solutions.

Until now the leaders in this marketplace were Snapnames and Pool, with eNom, GoDaddy and others claiming smaller slices of the pie. Snapnames was the generally recognized top dog, because they had an exclusive contract with Network Solutions, Register.com and other big registrars for their expiring domain names.

Expiring domains from Network Solutions, eNom and BulkRegister, however, will now go to NameJet; as a result, NameJet instantly becomes a major player in the domain aftermarket.

My Take on NameJet So Far

Pros:

  • I like the fact that on their home page they feature some of the premium pre-release and deleting domains, and some of the auctions that are closing soon. At this moment in the Pre-Release box I see loansdirect.com, freshwater.com and paycenter.com, all of which are great names. I’m curious to see what sort of bids they will fetch.
  • I can add domains to a “Watch List” without actually bidding on them (though I don’t see any way to remove them).
  • There are 81 dot com names at auction right now and most have received few or no bids, perhaps because NameJet is not well known yet. This might be a good opportunity to get some expiring domains at good prices.

Cons:

  • The site is still buggy. I tried three times to back order a Pending Delete name and got the message “No data returned.” Some other functions are buggy as well.
  • Premium domains have higher starting bids. I notice that the minimum bids for loansdirect.com and freshwater.com are $1,000.
  • Minimum bid for backorders is $70 – that’s $10 more than Snapnames.
  • Because most of these names are dropping from Network Solutions, if you win an auction your domain goes into a Network Solutions account; they offer great service and features, but they are one of the more expensive registrars, charging $30 a year for a .com registration.
  • The domains at auction right now are mostly gambling names.

I will be keeping a close eye on NameJet, and monitoring their auctions. I hope they get the bugs worked out quickly. Once they do, no serious domainer will be able to ignore them.



5 Comments to “My Review of NameJet.com, the New Domain Aftermarket Service”

  1. John | October 7th, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    Both loansdirect and freshwater started at least $500 – that’s what they were when I first saw them.

  2. W.H.A. | October 7th, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Ah, I see. So the bids might have started out at $70 like the other domains, but they were bid up very quickly.

  3. Aston | November 22nd, 2007 at 6:39 am

    Here’s my correspondence with NameJet. Maybe someone can explain this logic:

    “Subject: Interface is broken, can’t select backordered domain to remove it

    Response (Gavin) 11/20/2007 01:43 AM

    The reason you are unable to remove the domain name ‘whispr.com’ from your list of backorders is because you have placed more than the $70 minimum amount needed to register an interest in this particular domain name.

    Kind regards

    Gavin”

  4. W.H.A. | November 22nd, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    It’s definitely buggy, no doubt about that. Not as bad as when they first launched, but still enough that I’m learning to work around the bugs.

  5. sam | February 24th, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Useless. Really disappointed with NameJet. Before I signed up, all the promotional materials made it sound like they’ll do whatever they can to help me secure the domain name. However, if you don’t bid against yourself, they won’t bother with you and let your domain name drop so someone else can catch it. Worthless service in my opinion.

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