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Frank Schilling’s top level domain auction begins today

Domain investor hopes to sell 23 top level domains.

Hands holding bid cards in auction

A three-day auction for Frank Schilling’s new top level domain names begins today.

Schilling’s UNR is auctioning 23 strings without reserves (but with varying starting bids). The domains being auctioned are:

.audio, .blackfriday, .christmas, .click, .country, .diet, .flowers, .game, .guitars, .help, .hiphop, .hiv, .hosting, .juegos, .link, .llp, .lol, .mom, .photo, .pics, .property, .sexy, .tattoo

UNR has lowered the starting bids on many of the domains since it first announced the auction. The price of .link had the biggest nominal price cut from $3 million to $2 million. The .link namespace lost over 15% of its domains under management in a single day this week.

The most obvious bidders for the assets include GoDaddy Registry and Donuts. GoDaddy Registry is acquiring 30 top level domains in deals announced earlier this month and Donuts acquired rival registry Afilias at the end of 2020. [Update: and XYZ, which has already bought some of Schilling’s domains.]

GoDaddy did not acquire Schilling’s top level domain business when it acquired his portfolio and domain name registrar last year, but that was before GoDaddy entered the registry business by acquiring Neustar’s registry business.

Listen to a podcast with Frank Schilling explaining why he is selling the domains.

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    • D. Leet says

      That is the difference between “pending delete” and “delete”. Yes, names that went into pending delete last month were deleted this week.

      • Charles says

        Fair enough but lets tease it out a little bit more:

        The graph shows when the registrar “deleted” their customers domain names.

        The next step, which occurs weeks later, is when the registry “deleted” the domains from the registry.

        The difference is that within those two points in time there were an additional 10,000 registrations making it look like there were less than the 25% deleted.

        History shows very few domains ever get pulled out of redemption. So we do indeed have two “delete” points in time, each giving a different %, so people can pick either one.

        In my mind lack of interest in retaining the registrations is expressed in step one at the registrar.

        In the next couple of days we will see if others found any of those “deleted” domains of value and register them. Then we will have yet a third percentage, that being how many domains the industry thinks are of little value.

        Point of trivia:

        Historically this difference in time was largely to stop people from committing the “perfect crime” by breaking into someones account, deleting a domain, and then immediately registering it at another registrar … Many people can tell you about getting great domains in the old days by just having a program keep trying to reg a domain in case it was “deleted” before expiry. The redemption cycle changes the incentives to prevent this with everyone now on notice and the registrant having had a non functional website alerting them they they need to look into their registration if they still want the domain (changed email, expired credit card, etc). Now its evolved a bit into something a little different.

          • Charles says

            I have never been able to determine where NTLD Stats gets their numbers from, nor how they calculate their numbers. So I do not know.

            There is a type of domain registration that is not fully observable. Those are domains that are registered but not zoned, there are a lot of such domains and includes some great keywords. Without registry involvement there is no way to have that complete list. NTLDStats reg count always seems higher than PendingDelete’s.

            I believe NTLDStats tries to estimate this number of unobservable / hidden regs, PendingDelete does not, which is likely why their numbers are higher than PendingDelete’s (at least when I’ve looked) as it is purely zone based.

            In pondering it through the years I personally decided a domain registration that is not used / hidden (literally) should be ignored. When its a high value keyword that becomes VERY hard to do as the registrant MUST know the value of the domain and its traffic and so why keep it out of use? Many have proxy whois so they can’t be identified to make an offer … I have some thoughts on this but that is for another day ….

            One can do a whois query scan to try to identify such “hidden” registrations and that is how you will discover the great keywords that are sitting unused as those are the first you are likely to scan for. But you will never be able to identify them all, thus there will always be an unknown here.

            To make the issue even less clear, there are a huge number of malware related domains that registries have “regged” to stop that malware (often noted in the whois). In general these are “computer barf” strings. But how should they be treated for a count on NTLDStats or PendingDelete?

            Lets not stop there, many domains are “test” domains used my registries and others to draw in traffic for various reasons. Sometimes a registrar will just runs some tests in the production environment. I believe these are all counted by NTLDStats and PendingDelete. Should they be counted?

            So you see how ugly this can get in a hurry.

      • Charles says

        For the sake of completeness, I should also add, had .link reg count been decreasing over the period, then using the registry delete count would have given an inflated % of the loses incurred at that registrar deletion event.

    • Charles says

      .store up 45% in the past year:


      .shop up 25% in the past year:


      .online up 25% in the past year:


      .xyz up 10% in the past year:


      .com up 5% over the same period, with some of the top current keywords in registrations being; Shop, Store, Online (click β€˜flip’ and look right to see the keywords updated daily):


      • David Castello says

        Interesting, but instead of percentages you should list how many registrations each percentage represents. Saying dotCOM was up 5% doesn’t sound impressive until you realize that’s 5% of over 145 million registrations.

        • Charles says

          Percentage is the right metric, we will be adding it to the plots in the next site update.

          Look at the curves, its been going on through the past year for a number of “NTLDs”.

          Have you ever looked through the .COM zone file by eye ball and seen the amount of computer barf it contains? I have. I have suggested for years that well over half the .COM regs could be deleted and nobody would even notice. When someone can explain the value of those computer barf regs to me then I will take the current .COM reg count as being a value metric.

          Here are some samples, they are easy to find, in any other TLD it is not this easy:

          0————————————————————-5 . com

          freeflowvariableinformationsuite . com (zoned by XEROX, does not resolve)

          gardabahanagemilang . com

          jhkaiuya87692978ahjkaoiuamazon-cnoais . com

          jhl119 . com

          lafayette-louisiana-18-wheeler-accident-attorney . com (SEO example, part of huge block, meaningless by itself)

          motiv8athleticstore . com

          rchgif501tb8a8m1s5mci0kd99copi4t . com

          sketchzatura-with-krystyna81 . com

          tuas0jveolju8cbhi790bsjkvi46737d . com

          u1iac5rjeps9q35m1o0q1l81827s2ebv . com

          win—win . com

          I made the domains unclickable in case they are malware related. I did visit each one, and more.

          Did you know the reason why FM radio came out was to create stereo? This is why stations typically own an AM and FM radio station was because they used the 2 for a single stereo broadcast. Then people moved to FM and AM tried to catchup by running digital.

          Did you know that up until the iPhone 6s, Apple included FM radio and antennas designed to support the radio signals on iPhones, but never activated the feature in the software?


    • Mark Thorpe says

      Yep. But Frank already knew he lost right from the beginning, but would never admit it. He still won’t admit that he lost, but everyone knows that he did lose.
      .COM was never AM Radio!

    • Toe says

      John the Turd,

      Why do you post on almost every article, on almost every domain blog? Your comments are mostly dumb or tinfoil; and seriously, most who read these blogs cringes every time we see another dumb post of yours.

      Perhaps you would be well served to read some books or get a hobby.

  1. Shayan Rostam says

    There have been no changes to our starting prices since late January / early February – before any bidders had received access to the data room. The $3 million price you mention for .link was preliminary and we forgot to update it on auction.link before pushing the site live. We promptly updated this and the other incorrect starting prices a couple days later and have not touched them since.

    The drop in .link domains was expected. Almost all of those names were owned by a single bulk registrant. We disclosed to every bidder the number of domains this person has registered and made it clear these domains would not renew.

    • Mike says

      Bulk registrant Uniregistry ?

      Godaddy blocked some of these extensions are they open now? That was when you had huge one year price jumps.

  2. Linda Kasabian says

    He’s selling them because he has reached his target level of success, he wants no more, and he wants to leave something on the table for the next person. That’s the kind of person he seems to be.

    Just as he has enriched the lives of everyone who was fortunate enough to accompany him on his journey, he will be expanding that virtuous circle of generosity to go on to great acts of public philanthropy and kindness.

    Frank has learned to do well by doing good, by giving more than he promises, and humbly yielding the limelight to the talented people he has uniquely inspired to excel beyond their own expectations. The brokerage team he built from scratch, when no one knew how to sell a domain name, are now the top earners and leaders who are transforming GoDaddy from within.

    I’ve never met Frank, but I’ll bet most of the blog trolls, critics and naysayers have never bothered to watch from afar, as I have done, and see a truly great man succeed by never letting those people get under his skin for a moment. It is a shame that some people never see past the shade of their own envy.

  3. steve says

    I likes me some .AM radio…smooth driving with my ride from cars.com, then book a stay thru hotels.com. i likes things simple.

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