Domain Sales Exposure Through GoDaddy Premium Listings Vs. GoDaddy Auctions

It’s hard to know how different sales avenues work for you until you try them. At the very least though, you should know exactly how they help you sell your domain.

We’ve previously discussed GoDaddy Premium Listings, which we recommend for selling your domains if they are registered on GoDaddy. If your domains aren’t registered on GoDaddy, then listing them in Afternic or Sedo will include them in GoDaddy Auctions, which is GoDaddy’s robust sales platform.

Both avenues do increase exposure to your domains for sale through GoDaddy. We’ve made many sales through both avenues (GoDaddy Premium Listings and GoDaddy Auctions via Afternic listings) so we can attest to the fact that both are indeed effective at finding buyers.

You might wonder however with Premium Listings taking 30% commission whether it’s worth it to take that 10-15% hit in your sale over Afternic or Sedo fees. After all, what more does a Premium Listing do for you than a GoDaddy Auctions listing?

Before we dive into our findings on that, bear in mind that GoDaddy’s domain search defaults to .com, and people rarely select a different extension in that drop-down. So all the following examples will be showing when the TLD searched is .com. A matching TLD means your listed name is .com and different TLD could be .net or .org.

4 GoDaddy domain search scenarios: GoDaddy Premium Listings vs. GoDaddy Auctions

1. They search for your exact domain (the name and the matching TLD)

GoDaddy Premium Listings:

GoDaddy Premium Listings, exact match domain and TLD

GoDaddy Auctions:

GoDaddy Auctions, exact match domain and TLD

Differences: For both Premium Listings and GoDaddy Auctions, the name showed in the most important primary area at the top. There’s a difference however – you can simply add the Premium Listing to your cart and proceed with buying it just like you would registering a domain. With Auctions, there’s a link to view the listing and it appears to actually be an auction vs. a mere sales listing given the end-date.

The Premium Listing also has 2 additional spots on the page – right below the primary area and in the lower Premium Listings area. The Auctions listing merely shows in the primary area.

Verdict: While they both give the most important space on the page, the difference of being able to add the Premium Listing to cart is notable. It’s seamless to how domains are normally registered on there, which may more easily entice the typical GoDaddy customer that just wants that one domain for their business or personal site.

2. They search for your exact name but in a different TLD

GoDaddy Premium Listings:

GoDaddy Premium Listings, exact match name, different TLD

GoDaddy Auctions:

GoDaddy Auctions, exact match name, different TLD

Differences: The Premium listing shows right under the primary top area and in the lower Premium Listings area. The Auctions listing…doesn’t show anywhere. The searcher wouldn’t even know there’s another extension of the domain for sale on GoDaddy (the domain we were looking for was LearnFromHome.org).

It’s important to note that the all-important primary top area says nothing in either case. Again, given .com is the default extension on searches, this means .com listings get far more exposure both for Premium Listings and GoDaddy Auctions.

Verdict: A Premium Listing makes a huge difference in this case – 2 spots on the page vs. none.

3. They search for a similar domain in the matching TLD

GoDaddy Premium Listings:

GoDaddy Premium Listings, similar domain, matching TLD

GoDaddy Auctions:

GoDaddy Auctions, similar domain, matching TLD

Differences: Now there is no listing right below the primary top area since the premium listing isn’t an exact match of the name. However, the listing still shows in the Premium Listing area. Note that this may not happen in ALL cases of similar domains since there’s only 4 spots showing there. Once again, the GoDaddy Auctions listing is nowhere to be found (the name was NightWatchers.com).

Verdict: 1 spot on the page (albeit far down the page) vs. no spots – clearly the Premium Listing still makes a big difference. Keep in mind too that end-users may seriously consider alternatives in .com – if a name is similar enough and works for them, they might consider paying more for it just to save having to come up with a new idea for a name.

4. They search for a similar domain in a different TLD

GoDaddy Premium Listings:

GoDaddy Premium Listings, similar domain, different TLD

GoDaddy Auctions:

GoDaddy Auctions, similar domain, different TLD

Differences: Despite being a similar but non-exact matching name AND a different TLD, the domain can still show up in the Premium Listings area. Again, there’s no GoDaddy Auctions listing shown anywhere (the name was SupportSite.org).

Verdict: Once again, one listing to none is a major difference. This isn’t as likely a scenario where an end-user would buy (a non-matching non-.com), but nonetheless the name may strike them right at the right time, especially if it’s a better version of the name they were searching.

Overall Conclusion

Is a Premium Listing worth the extra 10-15% commission over the GoDaddy Auction Listings you get through Afternic and Sedo? Yes. I think that’s pretty clear from all of these scenarios in fact.

Just like search ads on Google are one of the most effective ways to reach paying customers with a particular need, ANY space on the domain search results page on GoDaddy is highly beneficial in reaching domain buyers right as they need or want a domain. In fact, it’s an apt comparison since GoDaddy similarly has a huge market share and traffic base.

Given the differences in the scenarios and what shows, if your names aren’t yet registered on GoDaddy and you want to take advantage of Premium Listings, you may find certain names more strategic to move to GoDaddy before others. The first two scenarios show the most benefit towards Premium Listings, so names you expect to be found more often via exact search would be best to move first.

Only time will tell whether GoDaddy will decide to give more space or emphasis to either Premium Listings or GoDaddy Auctions. My feeling is that they will eventually start featuring GoDaddy Auctions a little more – right now the exposure seems awfully low. I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t mention an Auctions listing of a matching name in a major extension.

Premium Listings aren’t without their issues either. We’ve had numerous Premium Listings sales fall through, and successful sales pay out on a ridiculous net 45 schedule (meaning 45 days after the month in which your domain sold, you get paid). In reality, their payout times have varied, but per their schedule you could end up waiting nearly 2 and a half months for your payment. GoDaddy really should reduce that waiting time.

For now though, if you do have domains at GoDaddy and they aren’t Premium Listed yet, look at the exposure it gives you and consider listing them. From our experience, it’s well worth doing. You’re reaching many more targeted potential buyers that likely wouldn’t otherwise know your domain is for sale.

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7 Comments on “Domain Sales Exposure Through GoDaddy Premium Listings Vs. GoDaddy Auctions”

  1. Timm says:

    Excellent analysis. Another issue with GoDaddy Premium Listings is they only pay by paper check sent via snail mail. My GoDaddy account exec assures me this will change in the near future. OTOH, we’ve had good success selling with GoDaddy Premium Listings. I wouldn’t use them for a premium domain (who wants to pay 30% commission on a 4-5 figure sale?) but they’re great for our mid-level domains.

  2. Interesting research. It seems that to reach out to end users, Premium Listings are the way to go rather than Auctions.

    What about the whois services like DomainTools.com? If you list a domain on Afternic/SEDO, then DomainTools whois shows the option to buy it. Does that happen in case of Premium Listings or Auctions?

    • Steve Jones says:

      Hi Prakhar,

      Good question! I know that GoDaddy Auctions listings show in DomainTools. Premium Listings probably would as well since they create a listing in GoDaddy Auctions too.

      -Steve

  3. Amrendra Mishra says:

    Is there is any way to forward the domain to Godaddy Premium Listing page of particular domain?

    • Steve Jones says:

      There isn’t a “Premium Listing” page per se. Having a premium listing does create a listing in GoDaddy Auctions however so you could forward it to that listing. Premium listings are simply the entries created in the search process.

  4. Yes, I Agree, I am trying to find any code which can solve this,

  5. If you incorporate the respective commission schedule’s of Afternic, Sedo, & GoDaddy (15%, 20%, & 30%) into your listing prices you should get the same net payout regardless of the domain name marketplace your domain sells on.


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