Auctions Bidding Guide

The Domain Auction is a brand new platform within our Domain Market that lets you bid against other users for your desired domain names.

Select a section to learn more:


How to get started


To participate in the auctions and place your bids you’ll need to complete two easy steps:

1. Log in to your Namecheap account.


Start by logging in to your account on Namecheap.

If you don’t have an account yet, you can create one here. It’s completely free and only takes a minute to sign up.

2. Subscribe to Namecheap Market


Once you’re signed in to your new Namecheap account, navigate to your Market dashboard and click on the Settings tab:


You’ll need a subscription to bid on auctions through Namecheap Market. This helps to prevent fraud by authenticating the identity of each bidder.

Subscriptions only cost $5 per year. Click on Subscribe under the Your account section to get started:


Keep in mind that subscription fees are non-refundable and renew automatically each year. You can turn off automatic renewal using the instructions found here.

While you’re in the Settings tab, you may also want to customize your Display name:


This name will be used to identify you as a bidder across all Namecheap domain auctions. Once you set a custom Display name, it cannot be changed.


Who can bid?


Anyone who has a Namecheap account and a subscription to Namecheap Market may bid on domains.

To bid, simply browse through the Market to find domain names. If you find one you’d like to buy, click the Bid Now button to go to the bidding page:


You’ll see the minimum bid required and have the option to enter any bid that equals that amount or more. Once you’ve entered your bid amount, put a tick by "I agree to pay if I win this domain" and click on Place Max Bid:


To see all the auctions you’re currently bidding on, go to your Market dashboard and click on the Bidding tab:


NB: If you see the Buy Now button next to the domain name, this domain can be purchased immediately for the listed price. Learn more about the Buy Now domains here.


Maximum bid and proxy bidding


A maximum bid represents the maximum amount that a bidder is willing to pay to win an auction.

When there is a new maximum bid, the auction system will automatically create new proxy bids for the next minimum bid amount. The proxy bid stays in place until a new bid is higher than the previous maximum bid.

For proxy bidding to go into effect, the maximum bid must be greater than or equal to the minimum bid plus the bid increment.

Here’s an example of how this works for you as a bidder:

A domain has a minimum bid of $10. You decide that you’re willing to spend up to $50 to buy it. This is your maximum bid.

When you go to place your bid, enter $50 and click Place max bid. The Namecheap Market auction system will automatically create a bid that is equal to the minimum bid ($10). If the auction ends and no one else bids, you win the domain for this amount.

If someone else bids, a proxy bid will automatically be placed for you at an amount equal to the new minimum bid plus the bid increment amount ($1). So if someone bids $20, a proxy bid for $21 will be placed for you.

This continues until the auction ends or someone places a bid that is higher than your maximum bid. If someone bids over $50, you can increase your maximum bid if you wish to stay in the auction.

Additional notes about maximum bids

  • If two bidders have the same maximum bid amount, the bid that was placed first will be the winning bid.
  • Bidders may not decrease their maximum bid amount once it has been placed.
  • If a bid is placed in the last five minutes of an auction, the auction’s remaining time is extended to five minutes.


When a new bid is placed, it must be equal to the minimum bid plus the bid increment amount. The bid increment amount is determined by the current price.

Current price
Bid increment
$0–$50
$1
$51–$100
$3
$101–$500 $5
$501–$1,000 $10
$1,001–$2,500
$25
$2,501–$5,000 $50
$5,001–$10,000 $100
$10,001–$25,000 $200
$25,001+ $500



Some bidders believe that waiting until the last minute to bid is the best way to win a domain auction. The idea is that, by bidding late, other bidders won’t have a chance to outbid you even if they’re willing to pay more.

However, Namecheap Market works to prevent this practice (often known as “bid sniping”) by automatically extending the auction's remaining time to five minutes whenever a bid is placed with five minutes or less remaining in the auction.

Therefore, it’s actually better to place your bid early and allow the proxy bidding system to do the work for you. You choose the highest amount you’re willing to spend on a domain and set it as your maximum bid.

Then, the system creates proxy bids according to the corresponding bid increment so you stay in the auction as other bidders participate. You won’t pay more than your maximum bid if you win, and there’s a chance that you may pay significantly less depending on how many other bids are placed.

As an added bonus, you don’t have to constantly monitor the site to update your bids, which is especially helpful if you’re participating in multiple auctions.

One strategy that may help is to vary your maximum bid amount so that it is less likely to tie with someone else. For example, if you think $200 might be a popular maximum bid, consider setting your maximum bid at $205. This could potentially allow you to edge out another bidder.


Payment


After an auction ends, the winner will receive an email from Namecheap requesting payment for the domain.

To pay for an auction you’ve won, you can click on the link in the email or go directly to your Market dashboard and click on the Won tab:

Click on Add To Cart next to the name of the domain:


Then, you can check out as usual through Namecheap to complete the purchase:


You must pay for the domain within 48 hours of the conclusion of the auction. If you do not pay within this time frame, the domain will be offered to the second-highest bidder. If the second-highest bidder does not pay for the domain within 24 hours, we will cancel the current listing, and the domain will be placed up for auction again.

NB: By placing a bid, you agree to pay for the domain in case you win it. Absence of payments may be considered an abusive activity and prevent you from participating in further auctions:


Once the domain is paid for, we will add it to your account. Keep in mind that it will take some time for us to approve the sale manually. Until then, you will see the "Marketplace Sale is Pending Verification" alert in your Domain List.


Watching auctions


You can keep tabs on multiple auctions without bidding by using the Watching feature on Market.

When you see an auction you’d like to keep an eye on, click on the domain name to go to the auction page. Then, click on the star next to the domain name near the top of the page:


To see all your saved auctions, go to your Market dashboard and click on the Watching tab:



Namecheap offers an aftermarket customer API (Application Programming Interface) that allows you to set up automatic bidding and track auctions. This is an attractive option for businesses and investors who may want to track a large number of auctions or search the Namecheap Market for certain types of domains.

If you’d like to use the API, you can go to the Settings tab of your Market dashboard and click Generate API key. You can also enter your Webhook URL to alert you when certain events occur, like when you are outbid or if an auction ends:


If you’re an individual user looking for specific domain names or tracking only a handful of auctions at a time, you likely don’t need to use the API. Generally, this tool is designed for users who need to sort through and manage large amounts of data. However, you are welcome to explore it by checking out our API documentation and have the option to use it regardless of the number of auctions you participate in.


Need more help?


If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for, visit our Help Center or get in touch with our service team via live chat.
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