Article points to further complexities with new top level domain names.
With new top level domain names now entering their renewal cycle, you might be tempted to transfer domain names from one registrar to another. This could prove challenging if the domain name you bought is a “premium” domain name in which the registry charges higher than standard pricing.
That’s what Kevin Lisota found out while testing out Google Domains:
Google Domains does sell .tips domains, so I tried to transfer a domain that I own called house.tips. I got a lovely error message that said “We don’t support transfer of this domain because it is a registry premium domain.” What the heck does that mean?
After going back to Name.com and looking at my account, the renewal price on that domain is $41.25, which is twice as expensive as other .tips domains. Of course neither of these sites describe this anywhere, but the wonderful error message I got essentially means that house.tips is a more costly “premium” name because it is short and uses a common word, so apparently I must renew this at premium prices at my existing registrar.
Strangely, I’m able to transfer another .tips domain that I own to Google Domains. So essentially these domain registries are playing games with super-secret lists of premium domain names that lock you in to certain registrars at inflated prices. For all the benefits that more gTLD domains could bring, these sort of anti-competitive domain restrictions do no one any good.
Google Domains supports Donuts’ premium priced domains. But it currently doesn’t handle the transfer of these domain names, and it’s not alone. Theo wrote about this issue when he tried to transfer a premium domain name to eNom a couple months ago. eNom had to manually transfer the domain name.
Premium tiers add a lot of complexity, and it seems like many of the registrars that support it are only doing it for new registrations.
Lisota’s comments are intriguing on another level. He had no idea the domain he registered at Name.com was a “premium domain”. Search for Dallas.coffee at Name.com and you’ll see a price, but not that it’s a premium domain name. Same goes for Google Domains. Some other registrars, such as GoDaddy, mark these domains as “premium” and denote what the renewal price will be.
The whole “Premium” domain concept is a disaster. I hate the fact that I have a bunch of domains that will cost a premium to renew. It’s bad enough that they have zero value right now, and that I reluctantly paid more to get them, but paying more to renew each year is simply wrong.
I guess they didn’t work out a way to pass these premium fees when you move to another registrar.
For what it’s worth, I think Premium domain pricing is one of the things hurting the whole new TLD market.
If you don’t believe in premium, don’t buy them, support them, and encourage them by placing orders on them!
To be honest, I originally didn’t notice the renewal fees were inflated too. I hated paying extra for the right to get them a day before general availability, but I did it. Paying extra every year was not my intention.
GreatDomainShop.com (@GreatDomainShop) says
One of the many teething problems with nTLDs…surely more to come and work through as this “baby” grows, sooner the better, ICANN wake up!
This was stated 2 months ago, nobody bothered to care, or do anything about it.
Wild West with gtlds no caps on renewals, everyone does what they want, cash hungry icann waives any rules as long as their is $ in it from them.
Jonathon Hewitt (@gohewitt) says
I was able to transfer my AA+ rated premium .media domain at a AA rating and grabbed up three years, I should have done more because now when I try to extend the registration length it now costs $5,000 per year to renew (retail) but my reseller costs are nearly $4,000 per year if I want to keep my premium .media domain name.
Mason Cole says
Transferring a name between registrars requires a one-year renewal, just as is the case for legacy TLDs.
In the case of a transfer of a premium name, the Donuts-accredited “gaining” registrar must be capable of supporting premium pricing and must acknowledge and accept the premium price. This logic prevents a registrar that isn’t equipped to handle premium names from unexpectedly receiving these names and creating a customer service issue. Also, by requiring such an acknowledgement, the registrar gives additional attention to the transfer of a premium name.
Standard-priced names follow the typical, automated transfer process. With the correct authorization code, the transfer completes without registrar intervention.
Most Donuts-accredited registrars accept premium pricing. To date, very few premium transfers have been attempted.
You paid $12,000 to pre purchase 3 years, because you are afraid they are going to up it to $10,000 per year, only thing if anything it comes down. Most likely like the .tv nonsense that occurred.
Berkens did an article about a guy selling Registered.Today for $5K, well BuyDomains has had RegisteredToday.com listed for sale for $2,988 for the longest time at BIN, and it still sits unsold, and they usually deal a bit on price also. Many of these guys can;t afford their renewals, and are trying to raise cash fast.
Can’t transfer your premium because it is a premium?
I can’t even renew my premium because the thing is a premium and they aren’t set up for it, 2 months to go and still no go on renewal.
Andrew Allemann says
Domainer Extraordinaire says
Premium new tld is an oxymoron.
@DE: Forget oxymoron, anyone who bought a gtld is a regular moron.
It is an interesting discussion: If registrants have some implicit right to “vote with their feet,” can the Registry create policies that interfere with their ability to transfer?
Andrew Allemann says
I don’t think they’ve created policies to interfere, it’s just a matter of which registrars are willing to go through the implementation necessary to accept premium transfers.
Same here with my Gallery domain … took godaddy 2 months to transfer it and now i can’t even extend it …. jeesus … this is a disaster
My partner bid on a .design domain last year pre-landrush and won the auction and was charged $985 thinking the high fee was a one-time charge like a .zone I had bought a year or so before for $350. At no point can he remember Enom saying it was a premium domain or mentioning what the annual renewal on the domain would be. This year we were billed $1010 for the renewal at which point we sorta flipped out.
Enom is refusing to deal with the situation, so I moved nearly 70 domains away from them and we just initiated chargebacks on both charges. What they’re doing may or may not be technically legal, but we’re hoping that they’re not the sort of transactions Visa/Mastercard wants to be involved in.
For starters, there was inadequate notification of the amount to be charged this year, and they’re refusing to cancel the transaction and refund the amount charged even though the renewal period is weeks in the future. (In our experience Visa/MC requires merchants honor “returns”). And the transaction last year did not fully disclose the terms of sale which is also a big no-no for Visa/MC.
So fingers crossed. Honestly, if customers start charging back these fees I think the registrars will just stop handling “premium” domains and the registries will have to change their policies. At least that’s my hope, though I doubt it will turn out that way.