This is going to be my final article on this matter (unless of course something else major rears its head).
First and foremost, I thank you for responding to my post yesterday – and all the flow on comments. You’ve shown that you have the character to meet the challenges you face head on.
I just hope that you stand up and be counted – regardless of any other pressures brought to bear on you by others (and they must be immense).
You said this in one of your replies:
“I assure you this is a single incident and will not be repeated again in the future”.
That’s terrific – and I genuinely believe you. Whilst this did happen on your watch, I don’t hold you responsible. You are fresh in the position, and there are things that have happened in the past that you are only becoming aware of now.
Your assurances that the future is going to be better are also welcome. But imho, you are never going to be able to convince your core stakeholders (domainers that regularly spend big bucks on your platform) that there is integrity in your system unless you return to a transparent bidding process. Simple as that.
But Netfleet Has A Bigger Problem
Whilst you assure us that what happened on Friday won’t happen again, what I and many other domainers / domain investors are concerned about is what potentially happened in the past.
- You see, many of us don’t believe this was an isolated incident.
We think this type of telemarketing has been going on for ages. Of course, that is just our considered opinion, and we might be wrong. However there have been so many suspicious “incidents” occur since the introduction of Netfleet’s “blind bidding platform” a couple of years ago.
- Because you are new in the chair, you can’t possibly attest one way or the other to this.
In simple terms, the “Blind Bidding Platform” was introduced in order to make Netfleet more money. Nothing wrong with that – provided it was (and is) done properly and ethically.
These are the principles behind blind auctions:
- When bidders on a particular domain in a particular niche see their bid get beaten, the next time a domain like that comes up, the tendency is to reluctantly bid higher (and more than they may want to). They simply don’t want to lose the domain. The “house” wins.
- Similarly, if a “market is created” on another platform for various domains i.e. early bidding on Drop – then this brings focus on these domains, and bidders generally cover themselves on Netfleet. When there are some crazily high bids on Drop, this creates panic in bidders so they consequently make much higher bids on Netfleet (more than they wanted to). If Netfleet end up “catching” these, then the “house” wins again.
There have been some “strange” bids on Drop.com.au in the past – followed by some huge disparities on bids on Netfleet. A lot of us have been very suspicious over this – but once again, have never been able to prove anything.
So This Is Where I’m At
- I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at Netfleet over the years.
- Since the blind bidding has been introduced, I have lost many domains by minimal amounts (generally to endusers). I don’t have a problem with this provided that they haven’t had a telemarketer in their ear first (like last Friday). If I had of acquired some of these domains, it’s fair to say that (given my business model) I could have / would have made some reasonable profits on their re-sale.
- I’ve also “won” many domains. But based on what I said earlier, I believe I have also overpaid for many domains based on “fear of loss”.
Given what happened on Friday, I believe I may have a potential claim against Netfleet which could possibly run into many ten thousands of dollars. Others may feel the same.
I won’t debate that on here with Netfleet as it is a private matter between us.
But one thing I will say on here.
I will never bid with Netfleet again until such time as you return to a transparent bidding system.
Good luck to you Jonathan – you have a big challenge ahead.
Sincere best wishes,