GoDaddy, better than anyone, realizes that the margins in domain sales are slim and getting slimmer. Economics teaches us that in a perfectly competitive market, there is no profit in the long run. Domain registration is rapidly approaching that level of efficiency. How can GoDaddy leverage its substantial market position, both as a leading destination for prospective buyers and “owner” of a substantial portfolio of registrations, registrant data and associated relationships — all of which are, however, completely vulnerable to the devastating encroachment of the Internet’s efficiencies?
Well, how about going crooked, and adding a markup? Here’s the scoop on how GoDaddy is now claiming to help prospects evaluate the name value of obviously trademark infringing registrations, from the “The Domains” blog (via Randazza):
We have discussed on numerous occasions, TDNAM (Godaddy) is allowing the sale of trademarked domains on its site.
However today they have gone further.
They have hit a new low.
Not only are they allowing the auction of cnnnews.tv though the TDNAM platform but they have actually issued a â€œCertified Domain Appraisalâ€ for the domain.
They can no longer claim ignorance or simply state that they canâ€™t be expected to review each domain submitted for auction to see if there is a trademark violation.
Here the domain was basically thrown in their face when an appraisal was ordered.
Godaddy gave the domain owner a range of what they determined the domain was worth, in their certified opinion, as the worldâ€™s largest registrar.
What should they have done?
The right thing.
Just what you or I would have done if someone came to us with the domain, tell them square and true, hey buddy this domain violates a federally registered trademark, its worthless and we are not going to help you sell it or have any involvement in it and hereâ€™s your $15 back.
Instead Godaddy took the $15 for the certified appraisal, the domain owner with Godaddyâ€™s blessing and opinion that the domain has value, put it up for sale on TDNAM where is now has 2 bids with over 2 days to go.
Anarchy has always been a subtext of the Internet, but this really does take chutzpa, daddy. We can’t wait for this shoe to drop.