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Shill bidding : NameJet suspends accounts, announces changes to domain marketplace



NameJet has announced immediate measures to ensure the domain marketplace remains a destination of choice, following allegations of misconduct by a number of sellers.

Effective immediately, several domain bidding accounts have been suspended, and the full measures can be seen in detail below:

Shill Bidding Update And Platform Improvements

Friday, July 21, 2017

Jacksonville, FL

Our thanks to members of the domain community that have brought to light concerns regarding suspect bidding activity on our platform. NameJet has never promoted, encouraged, or condoned shill bidding on our platform and we are taking steps to ensure that our customers are properly protected at all times.

As to the current issues, we have confirmed that there was suspicious activity relating to certain names being sold on NameJet, and have taken actions to ensure that the integrity of the platform is maintained. We determined that the initially identified domains were owned by a bidder, which is a clear violation of our terms, and as such we have suspended the related accounts. We continue to investigate the additional allegations raised and will take further steps as needed.

Going forward, we want to assure everyone that we maintain a zero-tolerance policy on shill bidding. In order to improve buyer and seller protections specifically directed at shill-bidding activity, we have done the following:

1. We have made modifications to our user account system to prohibit the ability of a seller to bid on a name they have listed.

2. We are suspending the ‘Next Bid Wins’ practice. For those unaware, sellers may set their own reserves and may lower their reserve during a live auction provided the new reserve is not at or below the current high bid. Sellers may often lower the reserve to allow the next incremental bid to meet the reserve. We recognize this has created an unintended perception of suspicious activity, and therefore, we will suspend this practice until further notice.

3. We are working on improved bid-tracking reporting that will help identify unusual bidding and buying patterns so that we can more quickly identify instances of shill bidding and take the necessary actions.

4. We will be updating our Terms of Service with additional rules regarding shill bidding, to clearly express what activity is prohibited and the penalties involved with violation of such terms.

5. We will be enhancing our seller onboarding process to ensure that all sellers affirm that they have a clear understating of the rules and policies for selling domains on NameJet.

6. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have created [report_abuse@namejet.com] as a means for people to report suspicious activity on our platform. While the previously-mentioned changes will be beneficial, nothing replaces the power of community oversight.

The integrity of our platform is critical to us and we want to make sure we maintain the trust of our customers and the community at large.

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