Paul Nicks is the VP & GM, Aftermarket at GoDaddy. I interviewed Paul back in 2012 and it generated a lot of interest and comments. Paul is in charge of one of the most important aftermarket sites for domain investors.
In this interview Paul answers questions about Huge Domains, Api access, Afternic fast transfer and more…
Q1) 2020 was a trying year around the world due to Covid-19. How did it affect your day to day work life?
GoDaddy, like most companies, shut down our offices around the world. I got off lucky since I don’t have any direct reports where I live in Iowa anyway, so talking with my teammates via zoom was already something I had grown used to. I miss travelling, though. In any given year I’d make several trips to Cambridge, Phoenix, China and the Caymans for face to face time with my teams; it’s been over a year since I’ve been on a plane and it’s driving me crazy.
Q2) Afternic fast transfer is a popular feature, any chance of more extensions getting approved to participate?
Fast xfer is the key tech behind Afternic, so we’re always looking at ways to improve it. While most dev these days is centered around security and stability we are trying to find the right TLDs to allow in so we can grow the network. There has to be the perfect mix of customer demand for a TLD along with ease of integration, i.e., no residency or transfer quirks and right now I can’t say that we’ve found a next good candidate to add.
Q3) Many believe that Huge Domains has an unfair advantage when participating in expired auctions. Can you comment on the validity of the belief and are you concerned so many think this to be true?
Of course I’m concerned that people believe it to be true. The simple fact is that in an auction setting the highest bidder will always win. For every domain that HD wins, they pay more than what the second highest bidder was willing to pay. That isn’t unfair, it’s just a matter of them valuing the domain more than other bidders.
Q4) How many different registrars are now sending their expired inventory to GoDaddy auctions?
Nine, if you include GoDaddy
Q5) You started releasing some sales data in 2020, any chance of a weekly report like Sedo reports in 2021?
I’d like us to get there, but the restrictions around being a public company and disclosing any sort of numbers like that will always get in the way. I know the community wants data so I’m doing my best to give as much as I can.
Q6) API access for bidding on auctions, is it open to anyone? I have read conflicting reports on Namepros and would love to know if you can clarify?
It’s not open to everyone right now because we’re rebuilding it as part of an overarching Auctions re-build. Once we have it available then it’ll be live for anyone with an Auctions acct to sign up and use. The existing one is very limited and isn’t able to handle the load of many users.
Q7) A reader asked me to ask, what is the min portfolio size to be considered for a buyout by GoDaddy? I would imagine certain quality requirements need to be met. Can you give any insight into that?
We’ve only looked at very large portfolios so far, I think we’ve told people >20k names or >50k names depending on our appetite at any given moment. I’ve recently opened a position that’ll be responsible for operating the portfolio, and I can see us getting better about automating the purchase process in the future.
Thank you for your time Paul