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Here’s what NameJet is doing about shill bidding

Company releases statement including changes it is making.

Domain name auction site NameJet has posted an update about allegations of shill bidding and what it’s doing about it. You can read the full statement here, and here’s a summary:

1. NameJet has suspended some accounts that were bidding on their own domains.

2. The company made a technical change to prevent bidders from being able to bid on their own domains. (It’s surprising this was ever a possibility.)

3. It’s creating an activity tracking system to detect shill bidding.

4. It has created a dedicated email address (report_abuse at for people to report questionable activity.

5. It is suspending the “next bid wins” practice whereby sellers were able to lower their reserve so that the next bidder would win. This seems to be more of a perception issue than an actual shill bidding issue.

I think these are good steps in the right direction. I’d also suggest verifying ownership of domains before they can be listed and only letting the owner list domains, not a third party. Letting a third party list domains opens the system to abuse.

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Author: Andrew Allemann

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