2010-5-5 Update: Bido ran out of runway and put itself on the auction block today (details here).
Since discovering and testing Bido over the past few months, I’ve decided that it’s the best way to quickly and easily trim down my domain name portfolio, especially sub-$500 domain names (that’s because Bido has no minimum commission, whereas Sedo has a $50 minimum).
While Bido is still young, with it’s share of little bugs, it’s developers are rapidly iterating and improving the site, which is one reason why it’s growing so fast, taking market share from the larger players, such as Sedo. They’re also friendly and helpful and will respond rapidly and personally should you have any questions, comments, etc.
How Bido works
- Sellers submit domain names for consideration by the community.
- The community votes to send names to auction.
- Bido runs the auctions and provides the escrow service for the Buyers and Sellers.
That’s basically it (there are more advanced features to explore later). To reward the community for participating in the selection process, Bido has created an innovative system that works like this: Every time an item you voted for sells, you get a percentage of the sale price. The earliest voters earn the most, and you can earn up to 0.77% of the sale price.
What I have listed on Bido right now
I know I titled this blog post “Bido vs. Sedo,” but, for my use case at least, there is no comparison. Bido works, Sedo doesn’t, especially for domain names sales under $500, where Sedo’s $50 minimum commission is always higher than Bido’s 10% commission, with no minimum.
That said, if you have a super-premium domain name, you should contact all the big players and invite them to a beauty contest (i.e., have them make a custom presentation and offer). What you need is maximum market exposure through a polished, professional, and personal sales team and process. You also want a tiered commission structure that aligns interests properly (see “Bootstrap or Die” for my colorful rant that touches on that point, among others). They should each give you a custom presentation, in person and/or by video/web conference, laying out their strategy and sales process for your particular domain name, who will execute it, how, when, and for how much. A clear winner should emerge from that process. Then negotiate and sign the deal (I use EchoSign.com to get documents signed electronically — works great and is free for up to five contracts per month).
For those of you selling medium value names, I see no clear Sedo/Bido winner. If you do, please share your experience and reasoning in the comments section. Thanks.
Note: If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, or a serious domainer, and you are selling a valuable domain, you should probably be running your own “direct to end user” sales process, such as described here: “Domain Sale to an End User” (also see Elliot’s other articles and links).
April updates (on my recent sales and coming inventory):
- LoanManager.com auction just sold for $451, after receiving 29 bids. Bido took a $45.10 (10%) commission.
- FatBuzz.com sold $300 on Sedo after a brief negotiation. Sedo took a $50 (17%) commission. That is why Bido is better for sales below $500.
- Someone just pre-bid LaunchOrDie.com at Bido. That auction is on May 3rd at 12:36 PM EST time. I’m also selling BootstrapOrDie.com.
- More domains going on the block next week. Check the Bido links above (under the “What I have listed on Bido right now” heading).
- Next, I’ll be putting together a prospect list and selling 20009.com to a Realtor in my old hood in Washington, DC. Even back in 2004, when I bought that name to sell my co-op directly, Realtors were calling and emailing about it. That name, and the crude website I built and hosted there, sold my apartment for $30,000 more than the highest offer the Realtor brought me before I “let her go.” So $30,000 is the minimum I will consider accepting.The top Realtors — individual people — in that zip code sell $20+ million in real estate each. The top companies in the hundreds of millions. The most natural buyer is, therefore, a company or a group of Realtors. Maybe I will put it into a company and sell them shares in the name, which they can trade freely. Hmmm. Could be good for my mortgage names as well. Form a company or cooperative and sell rights or leads to loan officers or companies, who can themselves buy/sell those rights (and pay a transfer fee for that). I’ll pool their resources to get good prices on media buys to drive traffic to the website. Will need a means to collect the annual marketing budget (membership fees or commissions or what). Maybe a cooperative or association structure. Hmmm.