Domain scams and cons are not uncommon, front running, stolen domains and shill bidding are just a few of the many cons that domain investors have to be on the look out for.
With whois going away, we might just be entering the Golden Age of domain scams. It’s going to be harder for people to track down stolen names, with the potential changes to transfers there will be more attempts by bad actors to steal your names.
I think it will be much easier to pull off domain shilling schemes, places like NameJet and GoDaddy will have to be on their game when it comes to public auctions.
Even Namepros will see an uptick in shill bidding in my opinion. Access to whois history will be important but will eventually get stale.
A long time industry veteran said the following to me about front running,
I think the fallout is going to be far and wide, but won’t be seen until WHOIS history truly becomes stale. Obviously domainers will have to start getting more proactive about using the domain itself to make it clear that it is for sale. But even take the issue of front-running auctions. If you can’t easily spam potential buyers in bulk you can’t profitably scale that nonsense. I think front-running is a big part of why auction prices have been so crazy the past few years so it’ll be interesting to see if it dies like I hope/expect it will.
It’s going to be interesting times, I think Elliot touched upon one of the few areas of optimism with his post here.
Those with ok names, sellable but not stellar are going to have to start working harder. It will also get harder to buy names privately away from the action and mania of domain auctions. If you really spend the time to track people down you could have a leg up on your competitor, just sending an email from whois is not going to work as well and eventually will be off the table.
Making sure your names are on the sales platforms is going to be even more important. The aftermarket exchanges and landing page platforms will matter more now that there won’t be many if any whois email inquiries.
I also think GoDaddy will be a winner here as a lot of end users like GoDaddy and if transfers are going to be a problem, it makes sense to have your names at a preferred registrar so you just can do a push.
I also think a lot of domain owners are going to demand that a buyer have an account where the domain is registered, I think a little * noting *Will not transfer, push only* could become a common thing.
If you are being even more paranoid about your account safety and worried about transfers it only makes sense to deal with pushes only.
I think we will see domainers using fewer registrars as all these extra hassles are not worth it. We always say domaining is not a get rich quick business, it’s going to become an even tougher business. Thanks Europe, ICANN and the U.S. government for giving up control of ICANN.