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Wait, Pool.com is still in the drop catching business?

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.

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Reader Interactions


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  1. Adam

    If you are chasing a pending delete, don’t rule out any of the options. Backorder everywhere you can, including pool.com

  2. Acro

    On the contrary, I’ve witnessed nothing by failure from the new SnapNames outfit and success from Pool. How’s that for a biased article?

  3. Acro

    Andrew, your definition of “best” is subjective. No doubt, domains that don’t drop are best grabbed at NameJet or GoDaddy, but if a domain drops, then the game is open. I have found, time and again, that Pool beats SnapNames in that game. However, this latest news affects the future of my business with them, as they passed the ball onto ICANN.

  4. Mike

    I would not trust Pool.com to catch domains.I backordered a domain about 3 months before it dropped. It dropped and did NOT go to auction at all. It then suddenly appeared as owned by a “Jason Newbie” with a fresh registration date and with a Registrar controlled by Pool.com Now what happened there ?. They clearly fixed it. As for Snapnames. If you Backorder a domain that is registered with Register.com but expiring ,they ,Snapnames, will offer it to you for thousands of $ on “Buy Now” basis, owned by Register.com or one of their cohorts. I dont trust either of them anymore.

  5. ChuckWagen

    Mike, you’re obviously one of those crazed conspiracy theorists.

    Either that, or at least partially if not entirely correct.

  6. Mike

    Must have touched a raw NERVE I meant to say. Don;t do conspiracies, only reality ,and what I posted is 100% real.

  7. Joseph stein

    Pool won’t even pay domainers for domains they sold on their platform. Maybe they need every penny for this GTLD program.

  8. Josh

    I am with Mike, my story is even worse though. At one point (maybe still) a leading member of NameJet’s board also works for a registrar they have an agreemet with (I will not mention the rar but its a big one). Guess who gets to decide complaints made to the registrar in which that man decides if you get your name or his other employer gets to auction it off and make thousands! It is a clear issue of bias and a slap in the face to customer service for corporate greed.

  9. Richard

    Hey Mike, I’d like to look into your issue of a name that was acquired by us (I’m the CEO at Pool) and somewhow did not go to auction. Our systems are pretty much automatic and so for something like that to happen would require manual intervention and fankly we just dont have the cycles to do that.

    Andrew, your observations about the dropping domains hame are pretty accurate. There are a lot of really good names that never make it to the drop. I wonder sometimes if anyone were to ever challeneg that process if they might have a chance of winning given the RGP process (which the names you are iedntifying never get to) was(is) meant to protect registrants who simply forget to renew.

    In any case, Pool.com will still be in the drop business using partner threads. And indeed we regularly see a gen slip through the cracks.

  10. Mike

    @Richard I would be interested to know what your answer is. I can say without any shadow of doubt that the domain name in question was in our account as Backorder and there was no reason it should not have gone to auction. I was told by Pool at time that Pool/Namescout had no connection whatsoever with Whois server: whois.namegame.ca OR Referral URL: http://secure.bellnames.com .Below is the whois info at the time it was caught;

    Domain Name: CLSC.COM
    Whois server: whois.namegame.ca
    Referral URL: http://secure.bellnames.com
    Name Server: NS1.VOODOO.COM
    Name Server: NS2.VOODOO.COM
    Status: ok
    Updated Date: 17-jan-2012
    Creation Date: 14-jan-2012
    Expiration Date: 14-jan-2013

    registrant_name: Jason Newby
    registrant_email: cmacmanson@hotmail.com
    registrant_address: 1363 Woodroffe Ave, Unit B, Box 33057
    registrant_city: Ottawa
    registrant_state: ON
    registrant_zip: K2C 3Y9
    registrant_country: Canada
    registrant_phone: 6137152950

    namegame.ca pointed to Namescout.com at that time . Lets see what answer is.

  11. Richard


    I can see where the confusion came from. Pool.com sold NameGame.ca Inc (the registrar in question) on June 1, 2011 to a third party. Namegame has not been part of our drop catching program since then. I have no less than 16 current backorders for the name CLSC.COM and can assure you Pool.com has never caught it. I wish I had, it probably would have been good in auction.

    Namescout continued to provide management services as long as there were still names in Namegame that belonged to Namescout (and Pool) customers.

    Sorry for the confusion.

  12. Nick

    Come on people, cant you see that DirectNIC / anything involved with that sleazy outfit is behind this? It hasnt stopped yet. They’re still stealing domain names, just under different shell companies.

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