Pool has long been irrelevant in the expired domain business.
This morning I read Michael’s post about Pool “de-emphasizing” its expired domain drop catching business in favor of new TLD business opportunities.
My first reaction was “Wait, Pool.com still does drop catching?”
Alright, so obviously the first thing domainers think of when they hear the term “Pool” is expired domains. But I can’t think of the last time I’ve used the service or recommended it to others.
When a friend contacts me about how they should acquire an expiring domain, the first thing I do is look up where it’s registered. That’s because most large registrars have an exclusive relationship with either NameJet, SnapNames, or Go Daddy to auction off their expired domains.
And that’s exactly why Pool’s drop catching business is irrelevant. When the market shifted to these registrar agreements, Pool was left on the side of the road. It was left fighting for the scraps.
It always perplexed me why Pool wasn’t able to ink its own registrar deals. In my conversations with registrars over the years, some have told me that Pool didn’t gain much of their trust during the Wild West days of drop catching.
On the flipside, registries that have launched in recent years have told me that Pool was the only company that had the end-to-end functionality necessary to run sunrise and landrush auctions.
It makes sense that Pool is going after this opportunity. That said, with hundreds of domain sunrises and landrushes coming up in the next couple years, competitors have developed the workflow technology to compete head-to-head.