Displaying archives for the month of "February 2014"
Between reserved domains, name collisions, premium pricing and awkward domain name registrar interfaces, it’s just a pain in the ass.
I’ve written before about how new TLDs are coming out with a whimper. They are severely handicapped coming out of the gate thanks to lack of registrar support, name collision uncertainty, poor registrar search experiences and a whole host of other reasons.
Earlier this week I wrote about my experience trying to register 17 domain names. I was unable to register most of them because they were either registry reserved or on the name collision list. Those I wanted to register had premium prices.
Since I wrote the previous post about going 0-for-17 I’ve continued to research domain names that I think make sense to register. That’s because I think you can make money buying and selling new TLDs. I want to register a select few. But I keep running into the same problems.
On the rare occasion that the name isn’t on the name collision list and isn’t registry reserved, it comes with a premium price.
If WordCab.com sold for $2,000 a couple years ago, I’m not going to pay $200/year to register Word.cab. I think it’s a very long term bet to think that Word.cab will become more valuable than WordCab.com. If it does later on down the road, how much have I spent in registration fees?
My other issue is with registrars. I primarily use three registrars for my domain names: GoDaddy, eNom, and Moniker.
Scratch Moniker off the list because they aren’t selling new TLDs yet.
That leaves GoDaddy and eNom, two popular registrars.
GoDaddy does the best job I’ve seen of laying out your options for registering new domains. For Donuts domain names GoDaddy does a nice job laying out the Early Access Program options compared to regular pre-registration.
There are two problems with registering new TLDs at GoDaddy, though. First, its prices seem to be about 25%-50% more than many competitors. Second, you may face more competition in pre-orders. GoDaddy is absolutely creaming other registrars when it comes to new TLD registrations. If you pre-order at GoDaddy you’re more likely to end up facing off against another person that pre-ordered the domain and thus paying more in an auction.
eNom has done a better job than most with search for new TLDs. But I find its pre-ordering options rather confusing.
First, I don’t see where you have options for the various Early Access Program days for new TLDs. If you search for a domain during EAP you can order it on the day you’re on, but I don’t see how you can do something like a day 5 pre-order.
Also, if you search for a domain during its EAP and you just want to place a regular pre-order, you have to go to a special pre-order page. If you search for a domain on eNom.com that’s not available yet at all, the search box will change it to a .com domain and not even link to a pre-order option.
For example, if I type thisdoesnt.work into the search box, it changes the search to thisdoesntwork.com.
Even the regular pre-orders on the special page are a bit confusing to me.
The terms state “Fees for Pre-registration will include only the registration fee. If you are not awarded the domain, this fee will be refunded.” Yet when I place a pre-order I see both a “Fee” of $10 and a separate registration fee. That doesn’t look like “only the registration fee”. Are both refundable if you don’t get the domain name?
I suspect you’ll face less auction competition at eNom than you will at GoDaddy. But here’s how eNom says it handles multiple pre-orders for the same domain:
Domains with multiple applications in our Pre-registration queue that we are successfully able to register will be awarded either by sending it to private auction to be bid on by those submitting an order, or it will be awarded on first come, first serve basis. You would be notified of the auction details by our auction platform provider should it go into auction.
Wait, so eNom will just decide later whether to send the domain to auction or give it to whomever placed the first order? That doesn’t seem right.
If someone like me, who lives and breathes domains, finds this all confusing then I can’t imagine the typical end user.
The good news is that domainers who think they have a good plan for registering new TLDs will continue to face less competition as long as the process is so hairy.
Domain name investor pays top dollar for a .tips domain name.
A .tips domain names has sold for $8,200 at GoDaddy.
purchased by London-based Domain Invest Ltd. [Apparently I looked up the whois record of HorseRacingTips.com, not HorseRacing.tips. The latter is under whois privacy. Sorry about that.] Domain Invest Ltd appears to own a lot of gambling related domain names.
This is the highest price I’ve seen so far for a GoDaddy auction to resolve multiple orders for the same domain name. It’s not the highest known price for a domain under a new TLD yet, however. Some companies have paid to get domain names on day one of Donuts’ “Early Access Program”. That costs at least $10,000.
.Tips has has just over 10,000 registered domain names so far.
Some other recent new TLD sales on GoDaddy include Pizza.today for $4,005, Stockmarket.Tips for $2,075, Headline.today for $1,886, Palestine.today for $1,525, Nano.technology for $1,425 and Istanbul.today for $1,325.
Domain companies setting up shop in Austin later this week.
SXSW Interactive kicks off in Austin on Friday. Among the 30,000+ attendees will be at least
910 domain name companies.
Here’s what I know so far about domain name companies in attendance. Drop me a line if you’re a domain name company missing from the list. Feel free to post a comment if you’re making the trek to Austin.
Domain.com: Domain.com is holding a party in Brush Square Park Saturday night for the second year in a row. It will highlight .ORG domains and feature a graffiti wall where attendees will be encouraged to collaborate on and draw up social movement ideas with chalk paint. Cocktails include “The Domain Fire” and the “Refresh-ORG”).
.CO HQ: .Co is going big with its own headquarters Friday through Sunday. Read more about it here.
.ME: .Me is exhibiting. It’s also getting some nice branding from other companies in attendance. Drupalize.me is an exhibitor, and the big opening night party Friday is presented by Join.me.
Public Interest Registry (.org): Exhibiting and co-sponsoring the Domain.com party.
.Uno: Giving away 5,000 .uno guitar picks. .Uno is focusing more on the music festival later in the week, which will feature more than 2,000 bands.
Name.com: Name.com wants to get 10,000 high-fives during the conference. It will donate a nickle to the Austin Children’s Shelter for each high-five it gets.
Sedo: Jeremiah Johnston gives a 15 minute presentation titled “The Discussion’s Over: New Domains Are Here” on Monday.
Igloo: They don’t have big plans, but my suggestion to them is to give away frozen margaritas for branding purposes. Say 2 PM Sunday at Iron Cactus? Let me know.
.Club: They’re sponsoring Brand-Innovators SXSW at Lamberts Restaurant March 7-11.
Ad claims Yahoo! helps “domain squatters” build websites.
Nat Cohen sent me some screenshots of an ad Yahoo! is running to promote its webhosting services. I think domainers will get a rise out of the message.
Slide 1: Although Nat wasn’t able to capture the first slide, it says something to the effect of “Jerry registered a domain in 2006″.
So there you have it. Yahoo! has helped thousands of “squatters” create their websites.
At least they didn’t say “cybersquatters”.
DomainSponsor’s annual domain name conference is just a few weeks away.
This year’s date-shifted DomainFest conference is less than a month away, kicking off on March 31.
I just booked my travel for the event, which is one of many domain conferences I plan to go to this year.
With a very busy conference circuit, I’m being selective about which events I attend. Ultimately I included DomainFest as one of them for five reasons:
1. The show has a long history of putting on a professionally run event.
2. Given the long list of sponsors, I think the event will be well attended (even if smaller than in previous years).
3. The agenda includes a number of sessions and speakers I’d like to see, including Akram Atallah.
4. It’s in L.A., which is an easy (and cheap) trip for me.
5. With everything going on in the industry as new TLDs launch, I feel like waiting for the next conference is just too long.