Shortlists - how real are they?

Grant, I am saying this with respect for you and for Squadhelp and all that it has accomplished. And also recognizing that creatives (and domainers) helped make that happen - in really big ways.

It is a mistake for a company to tell people to “go elsewhere” when they express criticism. This is something you’ve taken to saying fairly often, along with something along the lines of SH will just remove a feature if we complain. I would recommend you rethink this strategy, which is clearly a conscious strategy.

Gravy trains run dry. But good relationships with customers (which includes creatives and domainers) never do. Relationships make money. And trust is something that SH is responsible for building with its customers - including domainers like Anton and everyone else.

Most of the time, you are impeccable in your communications with us and are great at explaining things to us. That is greatly appreciated and I really like and respect you for it. But what I have outlined is something that will hurt SH’s business (and us). I wouldn’t want to see SH tank, right when I and others are finally making headway.

I told a domainer once on another platform not to “defecate where they eat.” And that was in defense of SH. So now I am basically telling you the same.

Just sayin’

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@Commulinks Yes, of course there is a mechanism for standard listings to be shortlisted. The option is not available only for WLM landing pages. It’s available if you set your standard names to use SH landing pages. I don’t know what settings you are using. Maybe this is where your confusion comes from.


Go to “Configure Marketplace” from your dashboard menu. If you use first option shortlisting will be enabled. If you use second option shortlisting won’t be possible.

I can’t show you a landing page for a standard listing with shortlists at the moment, because of SH updates. Shortlists are not visible currently on landing pages - for neither premium, nor standard listings.

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Low bow to You, I thought no one would say that. The team must understand that we have been working here for many years and are partners of the SH. Our well-being depends on the Squadhelp. And the SH profit of entirely depends on us. The main thing is to contain emotions and not cross certain boundaries. Constructive criticism is the key to the successful work of any team. The existence of this forum is already a great success. However, if there are problems, they need to be solved. Who, if not us, will help our site.

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OMG, Anton, thank you! I will check that out! I did not even know this! I wish I had a while ago!

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Thank you @Edukar.
We as a community are people of thousands of backgrounds, with thousands of life and business experiences. Somewhere in my deep past was a LOT of customer service training (which I created and implemented for a nonprofit company I worked for over 10 years.) I am an ole lady now and have had my own business for decades. But I still remember…

We’re all grown-ups here. With tons of life in our histories!

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@Commulinks I tried WLM landing pages for 2 days at the very beginning and I saw that they were missing most of the features you would otherwise enjoy, so I abandoned them completely. WLM pages are not only lacking the shortlisting feature, but also the “Hear name” feature. They also look messier in general, and quite often they don’t update properly. (Some of my names are still showing scheduled price increases from back in May this year).

The WLM is not a real white-label marketplace with such heavy Squadhelp branding anyway, so I prefer to use SH landing pages instead. They look much better.

The only thing I use my WLM for is to showcase my portfolio. I put the link to it in descriptions on my profiles on social media for example. Or I send it when somebody wants to see my full portfolio.

Don’t forget that the WLM is a free feature, and just like everything else that is free, is very basic. It cannot replace a properly developed website, but it serves its purpose – especially when you don’t have to pay for hosting or maintenance. And it’s linked to the SH checkout page which is great.

What I am trying to say is - see if you can use the WLM for something very basic since it’s free - but don’t rely on it for anything more serious. If you want a proper WLM, better pay somebody on Fiverr to build a website for you. Something like a WooCommerce-based website and upload your names as affiliate products to lead to SH checkout page, or elsewhere (depending on commissions for instance). It will cost you money and time though and I can guarantee you that most likely it won’t pay off.

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Thank you, Anton. It is so thoughtful of you to share so much. I do have my own website but I did not know that very particular thing about the settings. I was using my WLM site for landing for only certain domains - plus my website. But nothing happens with those names. Nothing at all.

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It seems the WLM indeed doesn’t update automatically properly and you have to manually hit the “clear cache” button regularly for updates to take place.

About the “real” aspect (or lack of) of shortlists, I asked myself this exact question pretty quickly after starting to list premium names on SH. To me, the “shortlists” directly felt not very real, IMHO. They seem more designed to make sellers “feel good” and wait patiently until a sale happens, without being discouraged (but yes, sorry, a big portion of them feel kind of fake). Maybe it isn’t the case, but this is the sensation I got. I have some troubles believing the “some are counted immediately, some later, once or twice a day”. Maybe it’s me. But the immediate ones indeed feel like he real ones.

There may have been changes since the above discussion, but it seems people do NOT need an account to “shortlist” premium names. So, in the end, even if very real, it’s just the click of a button, which can be from bots or random people surfing the site without any real intention to ever buying anything. Even the “shortlisting” idea may be a little overblown, as it’s also "just a ‘like’ "

One metric really makes me wonder if they’re not pretty “fake”, and I would appreciate some feedback from other sellers on this: It’s the ratio shortlists/sales. On my side, I have hundreds of shortlistings across my portfolio without it necessarily resulting in any sale. If they are real, shouldn’t a small percentage of shortlists result in actual sales!? Maybe only 0.5 or 0.2%, but even this ratio doesn’t seem to be reached currently on my end.

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Your assumptions are correct.
Some of my domains with a lot of shortlists have been selling for years. Some domains without shorts were sold within six months after registration.

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Shortlists are fake, yes. Just trust what your logic and reason are telling you. SH won’t admit this of course, but they are fake. And yes, there are changes. Before you needed an account on SH in order to shortlist a name. Now you don’t. Funny they used this as an excuse to not add shortlisting on WLM. But they didn’t add it even after the changes. You can even shortlist your own names - as far as you’re not logged in through your own account. I don’t pay attention to shortlists anymore, because they been compromised. Most metrics you see on SH don’t mean anything - you have probably noticed that your approval rate and portfolio popularity stay unchanged, no matter what.

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I don’t even know where to being on this because if this is true, it is devastating to me personally. I definitely cannot argue about it, because I don’t have any access to data that would support whether or not they are true. I make TONS of decisions on my listings based on shortlists and that means most of my decisions are FINANCIAL decisions.

So, it is very important to me that SH respond to this allegation ASAP. I need to see backup data that shows whether or not shortlists are real.

I could not even begin to calculate what it has cost me financially that I have trusted the data I have on shortlists, except for paying for coins to boost an superboost names that are not performing in a particular month. But it is more than that. I could have been keeping and renewing names that have had no interest in 3 years, for crying out loud. How would I even know?

Anyway, I need answers immediately.

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@Commulinks Quote one of your names here and tell me how many shortlists more you want on it. You will have them within a few minutes. I promise. :slight_smile:

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Anton, LOL. Well, that would just prove they are real… wouldn’t it? Somebody hit the heart, potential buyer or not.

Hitting that heart may do more than that, too. You probably have noticed that if you even view any names on SH, then everywhere you go on so many other sites and places like facebook, that name follows you everywhere. :wink:

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Yes, this is because of SH retargeting program.

What I mean is that I can shortlist your name as many times as you tell me to. Are you gonna take decisions based on my shortlists then? Hopefully not. Of course shortlists are not done manually. Such things are usually a bot’s job to do.

Number of shortlists is not a metric you should trust because of all kind of different reasons:
1.) I am sure for instance that sellers shortlist their own names in order to make them look more desireable. So you can’t compare number of shortlists on your own names with number of shortlists on other sellers’ names.
2.) It’s impossible to know how many of the likes are real, and how many are bot generated.
3.) SH owned names usually get more likes, compared to seller owned names. Again this is done to make such names look more attractive to potential buyers. SH prioritize their own names ofc, because they offer much bigger profit, compared to commissions charged on sellers. There is a normal business logic behind such tactics, and I don’t mind it. Problem here is that SH are being dishonest with sellers on this.
4.) The consistency of numbers is to say at least suspisious.

I’ve spoken a lot on this, so I don’t want to repeat myself. You are free to believe shortlists are real, and you are free to trust them. If it makes you feel comfortable. I been in domaining long enough to know when something is suspicious. The same way I can recognize fake bids in auctions, or fake sales, I can recognize fake likes. Sometimes I wish I could be more ignorant about such things, but unfortunately I’ve seen enough, and I just can’t.

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Anton, just to be clear… I am not arguing with you. You have given me reason to be really suspicious, in fact. But I do have some things to say related to your #s above:

  1. It doesn’t matter to me what others do because I only keep stats on my own names, against one another. There’s no way to keep up with what others do.
  2. I imagine this is true because I know I had thousands of views (not SLs, in fact there were no obvious signs of increased shortlists) by bots a while ago and I reported it to SH. At that time, they told me it was not possible, but later they said it happened.
  3. I have not found this to be true for my names. I checked on this when Edukar brought it up.
  4. Yes, I have seen this as well.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate it because, like I said, I have put a lot of stock (and money) in shortlists.

So, I still want to hear from SH. I need reassurance.

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I am not arguing either. But I am skeptycal about SH response. Even if they reply they will come up with the usual stuff. Scroll up the thread and you will see how Grant didn’t actually answer any of the questions. He just wrote a very political statement. So they will use the same script again.

Anyway I am happy to see that more and more people ask questions and search answers in this forum. When I joined a year ago the forum looked more like a SH fan club, not like a real discussuon to be honest. I understand that for some people SH is kinda religion, and SH manager is their guru, but such approach is counter-productive.

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I have been one of those fans of SH because they have sold more for me than anywhere else and I have tried several.

However, right now I am trying out another platform and their shortlists seem to be more in line with another platform I was on. On SH, it is way better than either of them and one of those platforms is one of the most popular platforms.

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@Commulinks I obviously can’t tell you what is and what isn’t, but what it feels like is that there is a predetermined “notation” of your names (based on the ratio of how many “experts” liked your name or not, or SH themselves when they approved your name?) and the once or twice a day SLs are automatically added by SH if there isn’t enough natural ones (the immediate ones).

Question of making sellers feel good and keeping them hooked to leave the names for sale!?

It may be that what some “metrics” seem to show is more what was initially predetermined, than what is actually happening?

Or all this is totally false and everything is perfectly fair and honest, IDK (you still can’t know what some bots on the user side may eventually do. Or some sellers wanting to make their names look better like Anton says. But this is only relevant if you compare your names to other people names, which I don’t do either.)

Just a funny though, which may hint us to the answer you’re seeking: I feel great having a shortlists/views ratio usually around or just above TWICE the SH average, according to what is shown on my dashboard (yeah, where the “portfolio popularity” doesn’t ever change at all). If I am twice higher than the average, then some people need to be far below, as it is supposed to be an … average. How about your shortlists/views ratio? (open question to everybody!) Is it maybe also quite higher than the average by any chance? Are these metrics more some “feel good” stuff than real and honest data!? (I’m not saying it is, just asking myself the question).

[Note: I do have a portfolio popularity below average. This may point to the metrics being accurate and not “feel good” metrics. On the other hand, this doesn’t change]

@x24.onl Here is a screenshot from my dashboard. I have seen that the shotrlists/views ratio changes on a daily basis. Approval rate I think changes very rarely. Portfolio popularity - I have never seen this one changes.

Happy Saturday :slight_smile:

I would like to be as clear as possible to directly answer the questions raised here:

  • SH does not manipulate any metrics in order to make sellers “feel good” about their performance. The data reported in the dashboard is an aggregation of data being collected from our system. For every metric that compares your data to the site average (e.g. shortlist to view %), there are as many sellers below the average, as there are above the average. If the goal was to make sellers feel good about these metrics, then every seller would see an “Above Average” value for their portfolio.

  • It is entirely possible that some of the data is being inflated by Bots or some sellers who may have created buyer accounts. We have technology in place to block such attempts however there will always be cases which go undetected.

  • Shortlists or number of views do not directly correlate to sales. Some domains have sold with 0 shortlists while others haven’t sold even after hundreds of shortlists. Therefore, we do not recommend using this data to make a decision about investment or renewals for your portfolio.

  • At the end of the day, the ultimate metrics that everyone should closely track for their portfolio is their STR, overall sales and domain inquiries.

If you find that SH is able to help you achieve better sales or STR than other platforms, then it makes sense to keep listing your names with SH. If you are are finding a better outcome with another platform, it makes absolute sense to move more of your domains to that platform.

Shortlist feature is primarily intended for buyers, to help them manage their lists and make it easier to find the right name. It also helps our AI recommendation so that we can show more relevant suggestions to buyers.

As with most metrics, we try to be as transparent in sharing our data with our sellers as well. We could have chosen to be a black box for many of these metrics but we believe sharing more information can be helpful in the long run. There is quite a bit of tech/ server investment involved in tracking this data, and calculating the metrics on a daily basis. So far, based upon the comments, it seems like the shortlist data may not be particularly helpful - infact it may be causing apprehension about the overall integrity of the data. If most sellers share the view that the shortlist data is not helpful, we can certainly consider removing it and replacing it with other metrics that might be more helpful.

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