Checking in on AuctionpusMike Sullivan
Auctionpus hit the scene last year and I talked to founder Andrei Polgar back in May. I thought it would be interesting to check back with Andrei and see what’s new, what’s changed, and what he has learned in the short time he’s spent in the auction space so far.
Mike: It’s been a few month since our last discussion. What have you learned about domain auctions in that time that has passed?
Andrei: I’ve learned the most important lesson after adding the marketplace and noticing that we’ve been moving a lot of inventory as of that point. Most people would rather simply drop by every once in a while and analyze a large-ish list like the one we have at our marketplace than visit the site each day. All of our domains are priced to sell and I’m glad to see that I’ve managed to generate quite a few win-win situations through Auctionpus, especially after adding the marketplace.
Mike: Who do you feel is your competition in the auction arena today?
Andrei: The thing is, each auction site pretty much has its own niche and Auctionpus makes no exception. In my opinion, the existing platforms complement each other and that’s great for the industry IMO.
Mike: Are you seeing any consistencies in the types of domains that are being submitted? How about the types of domains being sold?
Andrei: To be perfectly honest, most of the domains that are being submitted wouldn’t sell and since I don’t want people to lose money by listing domains which probably won’t receive bids, I prefer to simply not list them and focus on my own portfolio instead. My company owns a lot of great domains, mostly two and three-word exact match dot coms and I price them to sell, so focusing on my own portfolio makes sense at this point. Relying on third party submissions is tricky because most people either submit domains with no inherent value or decent domains priced unrealistically.
Mike: Has there been any change in the average sale price you are seeing?I noticed that today’s bidding reserves were all set at $45. Have you found that to be the most effective reserve or are you still experimenting?
Andrei: the average price of the domains we auction daily is $45 and as far as the marketplace is concerned, you can either buy domains directly at $65 or send them to auction at $55. Most of the domains are bought directly through our marketplace and as a result, $65 can be considered our average sales price. Back when starting out, I was aiming for an average sales price that was about 8 times higher than the current one but you know what, if “investment grade domains at wholesale prices” ended up being our niche, so be it. Investors get to buy great domains which they can easily flip and we move inventory, so as long as win-win situations are being generated, it’s all good.
Mike: What has been your best sale to date?
Andrei: We’re not even listing high priced domains anymore and while we might experiment with some 4 or 5 figure domains in the future, I’ve decided to brand Auctionpus as the place where you can buy investment grade domains on the cheap even though that wasn’t my initial plan. At the end of the day, we’re here to keep buyers happy and if it’s wholesale they want, so be it 🙂
Mike: What are your plans for running and promoting AuctionPus.com for the rest in 2011?
Andrei: Branding Auctionpus.com as the #1 place where you can buy domains at wholesale prices is the name of the game. Some platforms focus on keeping both buyers and sellers happy, we focus exclusively on keeping buyers happy by pricing our domains to sell. As long as we’re moving inventory and generating win-win situations while we’re at it, the business model will definitely not change.