Coming Soon: A secure place to Buy/Sell/Trade Short Domain Names

BQB.com 

 I’ve been working on this project now for just over 2 months and it’s been at the back of my mind as something we needed for alot longer… With millions of domains listed at popular sites like Sedo and Afternic, let’s face it… It’s bloody hard to find what you’re looking for.

I hope to revolutionize that with BQB.com – a marketplace strictly for domain names of 5 characters or less. This won’t be no conventional marketplace… Endusers will be given the boot in favor of domainers. In other words, this marketplace will be largely D2D — Domainer to Domainer. Making offers, Dutch Auctions, Regular Auctions, Fixed Price Listings, and many more features will grace BQB and set it’s feature set above anything currently on the market.

Some of the features that will be implemented:

  • Zero commission: Zero, Nil, Nada… Call it want you want, it means big savings for frequent sellers.
  • Zero Listing Fees: I bet you thought that was going to be the catch, but it isn’t.
  • Feedback system similar to what eBay used to have in place for Buyers and Sellers

Now the “catches”… And you knew with such an incredible feature set there had to be some right?

  • The marketplace will originally be open to members by invite or application only.
  • We will require interested parties to fax us a document containing their credit card number (showing the actual physical card on the faxed sheet) and 1 other piece of ID which contains their signature. Interested parties will have to sign their name agreeing to our terms of service which includes among other caveats that they agree to pay for all purchases (or at least get in touch and arrange payment for all purchases in the event of transactions proceeding through Escrow.com) within 48 hours. Buyers will have their email address verified and at our discretion, their phone number should we deem it necessary. Sellers will have both their email address verified and will need to email us back an authorization code we’ll be mailing to their physical address to truly confirm that they are who they say they are. Only domain names that exactly match their physical address will be permitted on BQB. Buyers and Sellers agree that their personal information will be turned over to the other party in order to complete the transaction. I strongly dislike NPB (non-paying bidders) and I can guarantee you that they’ll be given the boot at the first opportunity. There will be no bullshit or excuses about anything… Fail to make payment and you’re gone. Sellers will be held to the same high standards… Fail to sell a name you agreed to sell and you’ll find your selling privileges suspended — potentially permanently.

In short, this will be a marketplace for domain name professionals and aspiring domain name professionals. If you conduct yourself in a professional manner, complete purchases and sales on time, and have a good track record, we’d love to have you as a member.

We’re going to be very strict with who we admit as verified sellers initially.. We want BQB to start off on the right path and the best way for that to happen is to make sure we have a dedicated community of trusted domain name professionals conducting all sales on the site.

A low membership fee of $99/year will entitle buyers and sellers to all privileges denoted above… It would only take $1,000 in domain name sales annually at Sedo or Afternic to make this a better value and when you consider what additional benefits we’re offering… I think buyers and sellers will be more than satisfied. Paypal will not be allowed whatsoever on the site, so if you’re interested in applying when we release the initial beta in a few weeks time, I suggest you sign up for a Moneybookers account now.

March 27 strikethroughs done upon further discussion with several interested parties.

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~ by Reece on February 28, 2008.

23 Responses to “Coming Soon: A secure place to Buy/Sell/Trade Short Domain Names”

  1. So, the secret project is finally unveiled. Well i gotta say man this sounds amazing. You seem to have put alot of effort into making this the most secure market place for domains. Congrats and best of luck

  2. I guess I’ll give this a good try!

    Shenron

  3. Sounds great! I’m a little down about the paypal thing. But that is alright. Money is still money no matter where you receive it.

  4. Thanks for the positive feedback guys 🙂

    The big problem with Paypal is that someone can begin a chargeback even 1 or 2 months after the purchase was made. By that time, you’ve already left them a positive feedback for the transaction and maybe even forgotten about it. I might look into allowing payments by PayPal MassPay. I don’t know much about the service, but I’ve been told you can’t do chargebacks with it. The one big downside there is that you cannot fund your balance with a credit card — it has to come directly from your back account which means big delays if a buyer’s PayPal account wasn’t pre-funded at the time of purchase.

  5. It all sounds very interesting Reece! Good work! The only thing that concerns me a little is that the heavier the restrictions you impose on a marketplace the more you limit your taget audience… If there arn’t enough buyers, sellers wont list domains for sale… they will be able to get higher prices for their names else where.

    I can understand the reasons behind not using PayPal but this could potentially be a defining reason that this project succeeds or the reason it fails…

    Also, asking for a copy of all credit card details?… Members would have to put a lot of faith into you to do this…

    I just re-read all that – I sound very pesimistic don’t I! I don’t mean too, I just want to see this work but I think if their is too many restrictions people will be put off…

    Anyway, keep up the good work Reece!

    Rich 🙂
    Quad Letter Domains

  6. Sounds very interesting 🙂

    I’ll definitely be sure to look at this in detail once it’s up and running.

  7. Thanks for the critique + support Rich and Tristan 🙂

    Here’s where I’m coming from…

    I recently placed a $30,000 bid on a name at Sedo. I wanted to buy this name and had the funds ready to do it.. Another legitimate bidder came along and bid $31,000. Then a third bidder came along and bid $32,000. I was out.. I had spoken to the seller beforehand and let him know that 30 was the best I could do.

    Anyway, true story… The 32 bid ended up being a Non-Paying Bidder, I ended up spending the money on LLLL.coms and LLL.coms since I lost this auction and the seller could have ended up SOL. Lucky for the seller, several days afterwards the bidder who bid 31 got in touch with him, I guess after finding out what happened and they were able to close the deal.

    My biggest problem with the current marketplaces out there is their lack of caring and their lack of accountability… This guy (who’s an absolute class act and very respected domainer) had to literally beg Sedo to release the contact details of the other party just so he could see if there was a reason payment wasn’t being made. As it turns out, the NPB was a 16 year old kid.

    I’m very well aware that some of the rules in place will limit the size of this marketplace and to a certain extent, I like it that way. If I was trying to get rich off of this, I’d be charging a commission on every sale (like eBay), regardless of whether they go through or not, whether 16 year olds are making 6 figure bids or even 7 figure ones (why stop at 6 right?)…

    I got some of the inspiration for such a setup from uBid, a marketplace similar to eBay, but one that has made a serious commitment to eliminating fraud in their online marketplace and have taken the necessary steps. Sellers on uBid are subject to rigorous background checks involving looking up their credit history and banking records, providing detailed information about their company, and providing alot of personal information people generally don’t like to provide (such as their Social Insurance Number).

    Last I heard, uBid had somewhere around 3000 verified sellers whom according to uBid, have sold in excess of $2 billion worth of product over the last 10 years.

    —–

    I could definitely look into an option of only allowing buyers to purchase via Escrow/wire transfer should they prefer to keep their personal information private. This would help keep the buyers feeling safe, yet at the same time, helping the sellers sleep better at night. The thought of allowing people to fund their account (a type of “account credit”) by wire transfer and then being able to use that amount to purchase domain names on BQB has crossed my mind as well… Allowing buyers and sellers to convert account credit into cash (paid via Moneybookers) at anytime would help create a substantially safer trading environment, similar to the way TDNAM operates today.

    Lots of decisions and ideas still to consider… I’m giving my programmers a rought outline of what I want later today. Somehow I think I’ll be spending alot on custom work after the fact 😉

  8. GREAT idea Reece. I like it so much i published your post in my blog along with my comments on the project. I hope everything goes well and pans out how it should!

  9. Reece – What about use noobs who dont use credit cards (if anyone else here is like that)? I am trying to get away from owing “the man” and will only bid on items that I can afford with what’s tied to my bank account. I could of course send my debit card, but then again, it wouldn’t have an actual limit that is set on paper. I kind of like “funding an account” and my bidding could not exceed my account limit unless I add more funds.

  10. Hi Gerald,

    Thanks for the response 🙂

    I’m sure there are plenty of people out there like you and probably an equal number that would prefer not to give out their credit card or debit card (I really don’t recommend ever giving out your debit card!) number.

    I’m definitely going to look into it.. Setting up some sort of account funding ability via wire transfer shouldn’t be a problem. I might look into credit card funding as well, but I’m going to approach that very carefully.. I’ve put aside 25k as a contingency fund but realize that wouldn’t last very long with a few unscrupulous users initiating very large credit card chargebacks… That’s been my main worry since day 1 regarding credit cards. I’m honestly not sure what kind of protection (from chargebacks) one can even get by making people fax in a credit card authorization form showing their credit card, their purchase, and their authorization (with signature) that their card be charged, similar to what Escrow.com does. Considering that Escrow.com only allows credit card purchases of up to $5000 and Sedo only allows purchases up to $500 (without going through Paypal) makes me think that authorization or not, there still is a very real risk associated with very large intangible purchases paid for by credit card.

  11. exactly what we need!

  12. Good Luck and Hope it goes well!
    You didnt outline what BQB stands for?
    Buy Quick?

  13. Hi Dan 🙂

    You’re a very observant reader! When I first bought BQB.com, the ideas that came to mind were to brand it as “Better Quality Business” or “Better Quality Buyers”. I spent some serious time thinking about what my goals were with BQB and realized that I want BQB to be synonymous with a Better Quality Buying Experience. It’s going to be incorporated as BQB.com Inc provided my name search goes through okay.

  14. Sounds good, will be looking out for it 🙂

  15. Hey there

    How is this different from TDNAM?

    Matt

  16. Hi Matt,

    On TDNAM there is a minimum seller’s commission of 5%. So if someone sold about 100k worth of LLLL.coms like I’ve done this year in example, it would cost them $5000 versus $99 on BQB. For anyone planning on selling more than a couple grand worth of domains in a year, BQB will end up being cheaper. I’m targetting the site mainly at professional domainers and at serious enthusiasts and aspiring professionals — all of whom should find a flat $99 fee considerably cheaper than what they’re currently paying.

    Other than that, it’ll be quite similar to TDNAM, but is being designed to be more “domainer-friendly”. Looking through 20,000 LLLL.coms at TDNAM for bargains can be quite difficult. BQB is being setup to make it easier for members to navigate large amounts of LLLL.coms (as well as other types of short domains).

    For example, rather than go through name after name at TDNAM looking for LLLL.coms that are quad premiums, BQB will have a simple “quad premium” option as a category. I don’t want to spill all the beans yet, but it will be a major enhancement on what we currently see in the domain name marketplace.

    Only 1 downside: It will be extremely enduser-unfriendly. 🙂

    It’s being made by a domainer for domainers… It takes TDNAM and goes one step further. Most of the good features of TDNAM (eg. speaking to a seller before submitting payment or even purchasing a domain) shall be included.

  17. Cool man, good luck with it!

  18. So, when can we expect beta version?

    Btw. this is great idea and I hope it will be one of the best domain market in the future 🙂

  19. Hi Zems,

    My first auction simulation ends tomorrow. Provided this one ends properly, I’m going to test the system’s “real world” capabilities, creating 100 or so more auctions and ending them all within a 1 minute timeframe to test the systems maximum capacity. Being capable to properly handle 100+ auctions per minute would suggest the ability to likely handle a minimum 20,000+ “real world” auctions per day (taking into account the load on the server of members logging in, logging out, browsing around, making bids, creating listings, and the traffic/load spike being greater at different times).

    If that goes well, I’ll be setting up the SSL + firewall, having it beta tested by a few trusted friends, and then open it up to everyone, provided all goes well.

    I’m hoping to have the general beta out in the late April-early May timeframe. A worst case scenario would be late May, although everything is going smoothly so far, so I have no reason to believe I won’t have it released by late April-early May 🙂

  20. Excellent Idea Reece, many people was waiting for a safer market for short domains. Looking forward for it.

  21. hey Reece,

    you’ve quite an amazing project underway and I’m sure it will do wonders in near future for an aspirants in domaining industry by transacting wit pros in the industry.
    it’ll be a learning curve in itself and doing business at the same time 😉 However, I must suggest you to work on the design of the BQB.com to be less flashy & much more user friendly for greater success, you know!!

    Good luck!

    Jay

  22. Hi Jay,

    Thanks for the advice — it’s greatly appreciated 🙂 BQB is still in the development stages, so all advice will certainly be considered before the final product is released.

    Some of the site content is intentionally “user-unfriendly”, such as the choice of using domainer terms like CCC.com, LLLL.com, NNNNN.com instead of using words like “3 letters”, “5 numbers”, etc. BQB’s target market is people already in the domain business or people willing to take the time to learn what it takes to make a serious go in the domain business.

    As you said, it will certainly be a learning curve for many newer domainers. The listing/auction interface is relatively similar to eBay, so people with previous experience there shouldn’t find it too difficult to get used to.

  23. congrats on a super-swish site. how good would it be to sell your domains on your own pumping site? here’s to a bug-free launch.
    ps, let us know on NP if there’s any news on a big (or should we say little?) purchase…
    ; )

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