John Andrews is a Competitive Webmaster and Search Engine Optimization Consultant in Seattle, Washington. This is John Andrews blog on issues of interest to the SEO community and competitive webmasters. Want to know more?

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Why is GoDaddy Hawking Domains that are Unavailable?

I got an email from GoDaddy offering me Andrews.com for 25% off. That’s right, if I act now, I can get 25% off that wonderful domain name. Problem is, Andrews.com is not for sale. It is an active web site..as far as I can tell. See for yourself andrews.com.

I guess this is just an automated sales scam to incite interest in vanity domains in general, but I would have expected smarter behavior out of GoDaddy. Seems pretty lame to be pitching YourName.com to 6 million plus customers if the majority of the surnames are already owned, operated, or otherwise in play outside of any domain marketplace available to GoDaddy.

Of course I could be wrong. Maybe millions of people get these emails and say “well, looks like I can’t get Andrews.com but look! GeorgePrestonAndrewsIII.com is still available! And only $10.99! Woot!

But then, what do I know, except it is spam in my book and it quickly prompted me to opt out of any further mailings from GoDaddy. I know… I’ve always been a little different.

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16 Responses to “Why is GoDaddy Hawking Domains that are Unavailable?”

  1. Jaan Kanellis Says:

    Yeah probably very automated. Once they start seeing posts like this I am sure they will stop.

  2. Namington Says:

    I have received the same email with my family name .com that I already own. But they offered it 25% cheaper! I was quite surprised.

  3. Dave Davis Says:

    Hey John,
    Got the same crap. I actually remember a Godaddy affiliate (who I believe is now expired from the program) was scraping whois data and sending out emails almost identical to these in the hopes that someone would register a domain or hosting in the 30 day cookie period.

    Looks like GoDaddy learned from their bolder affiliates.

    Unsubscribed myself. Pretty low.

  4. Jamie Says:

    pretty fishy sounding. GD have been getting a lot of negative press in the domain blogs recently, but apparently they’ve take the criticisms to heart and changed some of their practices. Here is a quick summary from this post:

    http://www.thedomains.com/2008/12/31/our-bigups-for-2008/

    Godaddy.com. When it was pointed out by several publications including our’s that employees of Godaddy were bidding on TDNAM auctions, Godaddy put a stop to the practice. When it was pointed out that Godaddy was making money off of trademarked domains by having high starting bids on domains with traffic and earnings, and also on non-trademarked domains basically bidding against its customers, Godaddy stopped the practice and now starts all expired domain auctions at $10. Always on the list of the best private companies to work for, a big contributor to charities and continuously banging away with lots of commericals for domain names on television, put’s Godaddy on our list for 2008. BigUps to Godaddy.

    Here’s another blog that’s been taking them to task as well:

    http://domainnamewire.com/2008/12/17/go-daddy-to-shut-down-standard-tactics-llc/

  5. salzano Says:

    maybe it’s an obscure campaign to promote their domain aftermarket–they want you to make an offer on it while showing the current owner a godaddy appraisal value. or something. or it’s the wine.

  6. xentech Says:

    GoDaddy sucks hard. NameCheap FTW! Every domain I have registered in the last 4 years has been with NameCheap.

  7. Quality Nonsense Says:

    Yup, it annoyed me too. Surely they’d get a far better conversion rate if they were offering domains that were, y’know, available to register.

  8. Anthony Says:

    I think these are domains which are just about to expire. I doubt they could just try and sell any domain

  9. Scott Says:

    I kinda wonder what is up with go daddy. I went to renew my domain and even though I have the email that I last used and the entire receipt from my last renewal, they wouldn’t let me renew with out sending picture ID in. WTF?

  10. J Boyer Morristown NJ Says:

    It is spam, the same way that what inman news keeps sending out is spam. Just a big ball of advertising with little redeming value.

  11. Doug Giles Says:

    Yep, it is pretty low. They offered the .com for my last name … but that domain is registered until 2017. Sheesh.

  12. Clint Lenard Says:

    Ha! I got the exact email this week with “Lenard.com” and I was all excited… only to be let down by the one Registrar I actually trusted. What a ripoff and full on let-down by, what I thought was a great company.

    BS.

  13. Y. Steven Says:

    That could be scam, however you could contact the real owner of andrews.com and ask him to verify it. Else just contact the GoDaddy customer service. Anyway i never got that email so its probably spam message who’s using the same domain as GoDaddy

  14. Hypavera Says:

    I got one of those too.GoDaddy really makes me wonder sometimes. They are always trying to squeeze every last nickle out of people with all the constant upselling too. Very annoying.

  15. Gareth Says:

    I am UK based and bought few through them. Wish I hadn’t now! The site so tacky too. Would you buy a Godaddy leather jacket???

  16. VC Says:

    I got totally ripped by these guys. I registered a domain with them and next thing I know somebody in Belgium owns the name. After I totally build up my site etc. I am unable to do anything with the name unless I pay big bucks, because some jerk off in Belgium actually owns the site. Go Daddy is front. Bad news. I will never get anything throught these rip offs.