GoDaddy customer reviews : Great idea to pay for GoDaddy?? Non-Paying Bidder on Afternic -- Can I sue them?

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This is the first NPB I have come across in my 2+ years of domain selling. Unfortunately, it came on a $10,000 sale. The sale occured on Afternic, and due to non-payment, Afternic closed the transaction, terminated the buyer's account, and relisted the name. They also gave me the buyer's contact info. I have sent an email to see if perhaps an emergency came up and the payment was merely delayed longer. My questions related to this situation are:.

1. Would I be able to sue this buyer at any point after the contract they committed to on Afternic was broken or am I out of luck?.

2. If I can sue the buyer, at what point should I sue them? To explain, assume the buyer either doesn't respond to me at all in X amount of time or that they do respond, commit to paying, and then don't pay for X amount of days after I initially contacted them.

This is new to me and while I'm not a fan of simply suing people, this is a large transaction and more repercussions should be available besides a measily terminated account, which in the case of a buyer only account, is $1 lost for them. I mean otherwise, why even call it a contract? Why not call it "happy fun document" and give no false impression as to what it amounts to legally?..

Comments (18)

No, you can't sue. What has he done beside not complete a deal and not pay for the item. He did not steal anything correct. Did he cost you any fees? Probaly not. So why should you sue because something maybe came up or he can't pay. That's not right but he should send you a apology for not paying.

Good luck next time. Best of wishes!.

Also what was the name?..

Comment #1

If he signed a contract saying all of his bids were to be payed then yes you can sue him for breaking a contract...

Comment #2

Yea you have the right to sue for breaking the contract, but then it costs you. Is it worth to waste money on gettin these bidders prosecuted?. There are hundreds & thousands of such ppl.. Best thing is to simply move on...

Comment #3

Uhh yeah he can. Binding contract when he made that offer.

Take him to small claims!..

Comment #4 And I probably wouldn't sue, simply because the time and money vested into doing such would be too much, especially since the buyer lives in the UK. The legal system is "open and shut" case takes the same amount of legal processing as something with a legitimate argument on both sides. So in the end, people can just throw bids around on people's names with no need to pay and no repercussions...

Comment #5

Yes you can sue...should you sue is another question. It's your call.....

Comment #6

That wouldn't be small claims - generally small claims court has jurisdiction over civil cases in which the plaintiff is seeking a money judgment up to $2,000 or recovery of personal property valued up to $2,000.

The best thing to do is contact the person and offer to settle out of court. Otherwise that would be your only other option. If it does go to court and you win the case he would have to pay your attorney fees, court costs, etc. So it would be good to explain to the person who broke the contract that it's probably in their best interest to pay up.

~ stormhelix..

Comment #7

Actually, small claims court go up to $5000, or maybe it depends on the location of jurisdiciton...

Comment #8

Assuming it was a binding contract (which it should be), yes, you do have a claim. The remedy/damages will be the tough part for you. Can you force the buyer to go through with the sale? Maybe. Will a court force specific performance? Possibly. Will the court award damages? Yes, but they may be nominal. An attorney may take this case on contingency fee for you. If you decide you want to sue, you may want to look into that option...

Comment #9

It's a moot issue...the dude signed up to Afternic with an invalid address in the UK, invalid phone number, and had a email address which I heard something regarding used for scammer emails a lot or something. He won't respond to email anyways, so I've got no way to get ahold of him or really find him. Even the name he gave seems to be fictitious (if memory serves me it was John Speed).

What I'm wondering is why someone would waste their time doing that? He has absolutely nothing to possibly gain from trying that crap at Afternic...

Comment #10

Hopefully Afternic got his IP address and has banned it...

Comment #11

They certainly terminated his account...I'm not sure if they banned his IP but I would hope so...

Comment #12

You have every right to sue. I just dont know if it would be worth the lawyer fees to go through with it. Im sure you will have another bidder soon...

Comment #13

Read the Afternic rules. If you were to take any action it has to be through Afternic. They were the ones who set up the deal. If anything sue Afternic...

Comment #14

That seems bizarre because:.

1. The bidder is the one that is agreeing to a binding contract.

2. What exactly would I sue Afternic for? I don't think it could be for the amount of the bid, because whether the bid is for $10,000 or $10,000,000, the same action is happening. Afternic is not responsible for creating the bid, so I don't see how the value of the bid would affect the amount of the lawsuit, and therefore wouldn't even know where to begin. Even if I tried suing for damages from expecting the money from the sale and the non-receipt of that money causing certain consequences, a judge would probably simply say "Don't count your chickens before they hatch" and dismiss it.

Also, in my opinion at least, Afternic did not cause the situation. It could be argued that the bidder signing up with a fake address and fake telephone number shows holes in Afternic's workings such that they open the door for these NPBs to run wild. However, I think people who are out to scam others will always find a way to do it. Still, with nothing to gain, I'm wondering why the NPB would even bother with making a bid fully intending not to pay it...

Comment #15

While I haven't read the terms and conditions of Afternic, I would assume a court would treat them just as an escrow agent. Assuming a court would treat them as an escrow agent, their duty is to act impartial between the partiesnot guarantee an offer is 100% foolproof. Unless there are some terms in the TandC that would extend a fiduciary duty from Afternic to Crooky (other than impartiality), the court would not rule against Afternic...

Comment #16

Did anybody besides me read that the two parties are in 2 different countries?.

It's not easy at all to sue someone in another country...

Comment #17

You are correct. It will be more difficult to sue, but not necessarily impossible...

Comment #18

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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