Free Money

How I Received Free Domain Privacy from GoDaddy

When I buy domains as a Domain Investor I never choose the option for Domain Privacy when it is offered.  I want people to buy my domains, and in order to do that, they need to know who owns the domain, and using Whois lookup is one way to find out who owns a domain.  Recently I went to list several domains on sedo.com, and in order to verify I own the domains I wanted to list with them, Sedo provides at least 3 options.

Copy your verification ID, log in to your registrar account, and navigate to your domain DNS settings section. Often, this button is called “Settings”, “Config”, “Console”, or something similar. Select the record type TXT or CNAME and paste your verification ID in that field (make sure not to paste blank spaces).

I did not like this option since my For-Sale Landing Pages are currently setup through Efty.com – meaning the name servers have been changed to point to Efty name servers.  To do what they’re asking, I’d have to change all the name servers back to my Domain Registrar, add the TXT record, then change the name servers back to Efty.  Lucky for me, there was another option.

Ownership verification may take several business days to complete, and the seller may be asked to confirm access to the Administrative Contact (Admin-C) email address provided in the Whois records for the domain.  To help expedite the process, privacy protection services may be temporarily disabled, or the Whois records updated with the email address listed in the Sedo account. If you are interested in parking the domain, we recommend that you update the DNS settings.

However, 2 or 3 days after adding my domains to Sedo, I got an email stating that they could not verify ownership since I had Domain Privacy turned on.  I immediately thought they were mistaken, so I went to Whois lookup – and surprisingly verified my domains had privacy setup.  My next thought was this was a mistake by GoDaddy – since I opted out of the Domain Privacy offered when I bought domains through GoDaddy, also saving me $9.99 per year per domain.

I contacted GoDaddy via their Chat, and told them the issue.  After a few minutes checking with their technical team, the support person told me that I was part of a group of customers who were opted into privacy as part of a test they were conducting to improve their GDPR compliance.  To be clear, I live and conduct business in the United States.  GoDaddy support went on to say that because of the test configuration, there was no way for them to turn off Domain Privacy for my domains.  I thanked them for their help and moved on to plan B.

I’m never going to complain about getting a free service – I have over twenty domains registered with GoDaddy, which adds up to nearly $200 in free domain privacy – however, in this instance, it cost me about twenty minutes of my time.

Luckily, I was able to bulk change the name servers of 20 domains back to GoDaddy, and add the TXT record that Sedo requested to verify ownership.  However, adding the TXT record meant drilling down 3 pages deep in the DNS Management page of each domain.  Then I was able bulk update the name servers back to Efty.

In the future, when I buy domains through GoDaddy, I’ll go ahead and add the TXT record so that Sedo can verify ownership before I transfer the name server to Efty.  However, I am a bit surprised that GoDaddy would give me this free service without asking – and what about those individuals who pay $9.99 per year for this service?  What are your thoughts on the matter?

Husband, Dad to 4 boys, #SoftwareTester, #domainInvestor, #WebEntrepreneur, and has-been runner.

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