Thursday, May 10, 2007

Auction Fun: In a nail biting, nerve-racking kind of way

So, the auctioning of cobb.com got under way at noon on Monday. By Tuesday evening it had barely met the reserve price. This was set at $5,000 on the recommendations of Sedo, the auctioneers, whose position is as follows:
Our experience has shown that the more accessible you set the reserve, the greater the degree of competitive interest and the earlier bidding wars are likely to begin. I would strongly suggest setting the reserve as low as possible.

By Wednesday night the price had not budged from $5,000.00 and I was "too bummed to blog." (Anyone else out there ever get that feeling? You just can't find it in you to post something, even though part of you is itching to type?)

I had spent much of Tuesday emailing......every news outlet and newspaper in Atlanta--right next to Cobb County, one of the biggest sources of Google Ads on cobb.com. I spent most of Wednesday seeking out as many entities as possible that might want cobb.com, then emailing them with news of the auction.

Believe it or not, this effort was not entirely self-serving. It was only by chance that I snagged cobb.com in 1999 and I would have appreciated hearing about it before I stumbled on it. Plus, some organizations who have expressed an interest in acquiring cobb.com are just not the sort to subscribe to "domain reservation" systems. (Besides, such systems don't notify of auctions, or do they? Is there a unified scheme for letting people know of every possible chance they have to acquire a specific name?)

I was somewhat encouraged to wake up today and find the bid price had risen to $7,700. Still off by a factor of ten IMHO, but at least it was an improvement over five grand. For my pains so far I have learned many things. Here are some of them:

  • Auctions are not good for folk with delicate nerves.

  • There is a company called Cobb Manufacturing that makes one of the world's top-ranked .50 calibre rifles and other very serious looking weapons.

  • One of the top companies for Subaru tuning parts is Cobb Tuning (their web site mkaes me want to buy a Subaru and tune it up).

  • Notice of an auction--where there's no reserve or the reserve has been met--is notification that the item at auction is going to change hands. There is going to be a new owner. This is quite different from "Would you like to by X?" It is more like "Do you want to be the person who owns X?" And also "Are you okay with X belonging to someone other than you?"


That's a perspective on auctions that I never had before, despite all the auctions I've been to and bought from (this from a guy who not only buys on eBay today but helped drive bulls to auction back in the eighties ). We live and learn, hopefully, on both counts.

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