NamesCon Q&A with RapidFire’s Tom Gallagher

Everything you need to know about RapidFire as you prepare for the domain auction.

Get the background on our low-reserve domain auction.

In a NamesCon first, we’re featuring a fast-paced low-reserve auction during NamesCon Online, run by RapidFire. This auction is super-friendly to new investors, and some of the names on auction will benefit Entrepreneurs for Knowledge, building schools for disadvantaged kids around the world.

But what is RapidFire? The NamesCon team reached out to Tom Gallagher, who co-founded the RapidFire domaining community with Michele Rae, to find out.

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The RapidFire Domaining page is quite mysterious in terms of background. Tell the NamesCon community a little bit about yourselves.
We are a community of over 1,000 people primarily based on Clubhouse. [That’s a voice chat application, for those not already in the know.] Our flagship events are live domain auctions, but we also run a range of domain-name-related events that support experienced members and newcomers to the domaining industry.

Which did you get into first: domaining or auctioneering?
We got into domaining first. Auctions are relatively new to us.

Do you have a pre-Clubhouse auction history?
None, unless you count eBay!

What made you choose Clubhouse as a platform for an organized auction series?
Clubhouse has seen huge growth this last year, and there were a number of ad-hoc auctions happening there as people were finding more interesting uses for audio chat rooms. We built our own auction platform (VoiceAuctions.com) to run alongside the Clubhouse chat rooms out of frustration, as spreadsheets and shared documents were not up to the task of managing a live auction.

We saw some of the names on your replays page.
BedForYourPet dot com… We smiled.
BlazedMonkey dot com… We laughed.

BallWaxer dot com… We winced.
What criteria drive your selection process?
Haha, yes! There are some great names there… We have a wide range of categories and the selection criteria are relatively straightforward. Single- or two-word names do well and we prefer .com, but we also accept .net, org, .io, .club, .live, and other popular gTLDs.

Ultimately we’re looking for good quality names that we know will be interesting to the buyers on the day. If an auction has lots of names that don’t sell, then it’s no fun for anybody.

What’s the highest figure a name has sold for in the Clubhouse auctions? What’s the lowest?
$22,500 has been the highest so far, and $25 has been the lowest.

What has surprised you the most about running auctions in the Clubhouse environment?
The vocal aspect of Clubhouse creates a really authentic level of connection between our members that can last well past the final hammer of an auction event. Some of the names that have been sold in our events are being built out by people who found each other on Clubhouse but have never actually met in real life (this is also true for us!).

What are you most looking forward to as we approach the RapidFire Domain Auction at NamesCon Online?
We’re extremely excited to be running our event during NamesCon Online, it’s a huge opportunity for us and we can’t wait to sell high-quality domain names and raise lots of money for good causes.

What common mistakes do you see investors make during the auction process?
Pricing a domain can be quite difficult for the most experienced of investors, but is especially difficult for newcomers. We often see names with a reserve that is too high for wholesale that would probably sell if the price was more reasonable for the category and quality of name on offer.

So now you know more about RapidFire than you did five minutes ago. We look forward to welcoming these new faces to the NamesCon community, and they’re sure looking forward to meeting you. Be sure to register for NamesCon Online and join us September 22-24. You’ll be able to use what you learn during our expert sessions in the RapidFire auction—get ready to make some moves!

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