There have recently been a couple higher profile auctions that resulted in closes in the x,xxx and xx,xxx range on Namepros. Names like Fantasize.com and Shelly.com which closed at $16,000, were being auctioned off by a broker. Several members pointed out potential red flags. Eric Lyon finally got to the bottom of what was going on, this involved a new member who was the broker and a dentist who did give him the right to sell his names, but there were price points that had to be met.
We got some comments here and there were a few emails asking about Shelly.com. Eric updated everyone on Namepros:
It has taken us longer than we had hoped, but we finally finished our investigation into Sharjil and the domains that he is brokering.
The owner of S h e l l y . c o m, F a n t a s i z e . c o m, and many other premium domains is Grant. He has authorized Sharjil to be his broker and help him sell his domains.
Sharjil requested that Grant change the WHOIS records of these domains to an email address that is controlled by Sharjil. Grant updated the WHOIS on the domains so that Sharjil could more easily list the domains for sale on marketplaces and field incoming offers.
When we verified the auctions that were listed on NamePros with the registrant of the domains, we did not realize that we were verifying them with the broker, Sharjil.
Grant has informed us that he did authorize Sharjil to sell the domains in any format (auction, make offer, etc.), but Grant has specific minimums for each domain name that Sharjil must reach before the domains can be sold.
Sharjil misunderstood that the domain auctions on NamePros do not have reserves. This is a common misconception that new members have regarding NamePros Auctions: they think the BIN price will serve as the reserve price.
Unfortunately, Sharjil failed to use the “starting bid” as the minimum amount that Grant would sell the domain names, and that resulted in auctions closing below the price that Grant was willing to sell. The first time this happened, we explain the rules and how everything works to Sharjil and the registrant (whom we did not realize was Sharjil). He apologized for the mistake and ensured us that it would not happen again. This happens often with new members, and once we explain the rules, it’s rare for it to happen again.
A few hours ago, it was brought to our attention that this has happened again. As a result, his access to the marketplace has been revoked and the domains that he was brokering will not be allowed to be listed on NamePros by any other private brokers.
At NamePros, we try to give members the benefit of the doubt. The majority of the time, this works out well for everyone, and many of those new members go on to become great contributors of the community. It’s unfortunate when we give people the benefit of the doubt and they end up disappointing us. We apologize for any inconvenience to those involved. In the future, we will do our best to resolve these matters even quicker.
Thank you to everyone who helped in the investigation.
Thanks to Eric for getting the full story.