Webwork - 8:57 pm on Apr 21, 2010 (gmt 0)
Hi Jon. Good to "see" you. ;)
Most registrars either assign their dropping domains to a specific auction service or run their own in-house auctions, so you kinda have to know who is hooked up with whom. (Sorry, don't have a list of relations handy.)
Worse than this, lately it appears that certain registrars may simply be "hording" all decent dropping domains. This would make sense where a) the domain has traffic that can be monetized; and, b) where the bids in the domain aftermarket are a bit "soft", as they have been for ~18-24 months.
Also, if you're going after domains with any residual link traffic then you are up against some very savvy and capable independent drop-catching competition.
Lastly, the honorable tactice of reaching out to the registrants of expiring domains and making them an offer remains alive . . and effective, perhaps as high as 1/3 of the time.
Re: GoDaddy, the word has long been that unless they're catching their own expiring domains (Doh!) the odds of them catching anything other than flies or a cold is pretty high. That was also my experience when I used to use their service. Mostly I used it as a back-up, just in case hell froze over, pigs starting flying . . and my other dropcatch orders failed me. :P (Maybe geekgirl is on to something though. You never know when players in the space decide to upgrade their services/efforts . . but the game largely remains "rigged" by auctioning deals.)
It's interesting times in the aftermarket. I've been on the sidelines, as have many, conserving cash . . and working on development projects . . ;)