2020 in Review: Domain aftermarket innovation

Aftermarket companies introduced new features to help domain investors sell more domains.

This is the fourth in a series of posts about the domain name industry in 2020. Read the others here.

2020 started with concern about GoDaddy acquiring Uniregistry, consolidating a low-cost domain aftermarket platform. But I’d argue that 2020 was actually a great year when it comes to investor choice and features in aftermarket platforms.

Yes, GoDaddy has a strong lock on the registrar channel for aftermarket sales, followed by Sedo. But upstarts are offering solutions to help sell domains in other ways.

Dan.com introduced a bunch of new features this year, including flexible domain financing. It also announced partnerships with Bodis to generate parking revenue and MediaOptions to help close more sales. Dan.com is becoming the aftermarket stack.

Efty introduced a marketplace and partnered with Dan.com for closing sales. DomainAgents reported a huge uptick in offers. DNWE came onto the scene, giving domain investors a way to offload domains at wholesale prices while continuing to market them to end users are full fare.

But I’d say the most (and fastest) innovation came from SquadHelp. SquadHelp helps businesses select names. Until this year, domain investors could only use the platform by giving SquadHelp an exclusive and paying a 30% commission. In 2020, SquadHelp introduced white-label marketplaces. Think of it as the ability to create your own domain store and use SquadHelp’s landing pages and transaction system to close sales.

With 7.5% commissions, the ability to tap into SquadHelp’s marketplace for logo designs, remarketing ads, and live chat, SquadHelp has a lot to entice domain owners. It also iterates quickly in response to feedback, with features such as Google Sheets editing, adding new features, and negotiating options.

Ultimately, these companies are giving domain investors more choice. Yes, investors still need to go through GoDaddy’s Afternic or Sedo to get into the registrar purchase path, but they have lots of options for selling their domains through other channels.

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