I had an idea hit me in the head yesterday and I think it is brilliant and worth 3 minutes of your time to read, so let me get to it.? I am not a fan of the expired domain name auction process.? I do not believe the registrars deserve the right to auction an expired domain name off for hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars.? What exactly did their business do to deserve this right?? Nothing in my eyes.? So they pocket a ton of money and the consumers lose out.? It also isn’t a level playing field because if you don’t have a ton of free cash you can’t compete in these auctions for a solid domain name.
I’m also not a fan of having domains just drop and anyone can register, because when this is how it worked in the past you had guys program drop catch scripts so they hoarded all the good drops.? This isn’t fair to the non-programmers out there who never had a shot.? And this shouldn’t be allowed anyways.? This is the same thing that was happening to ticket sales at Ticketmaster… guys were automating the process and hitting the Ticketmaster site with thousands of pings a second so they could grab the front row seats, turn around, and sell them for 10x their cost while the average consumer got screwed.? This is actually illegal now and Ticketmaster did prosecute for this.
So complaining about something without offering a solution is nothing more then whining to me… so here is my proposed solution.
There should be a landrush… a landrush to reserve domain names.? The landrush would be similar to the dot co landrush where if multiple people wanted the same domain it would go to an auction.? If only one person wanted it they would get it.? So to clarify, all domain names would have the ability to be reserved in the event the domain ever expired.? This means if the domain ever drops that the reserver has the right to buy the domain at the regular registration price.
If I’m confusing you let’s do an example.? The domain name TLD.org, you want it but today I have it.? If it drops you will have to pay Namejet or Snapnames a few thousand dollars in an auction.? And if you don’t have the cash then you have zero chance at getting the domain name.? But let’s say this landrush comes.? Let’s say you are 1 of 100 people who want to buy the TLD.org “Reserve Right to Purchase”.? Now there will be an auction where all 100 of you will bid on owning this “Reserve Right to Purchase”.? How much would you be willing to bid?? Certainly not thousands of dollars because you aren’t buying the domain, you’re only buying the Reserve Right to Purchase in the event the domain ever drops.? So maybe you can win this auction for $100.? It is like buying a lotto ticket, maybe that $100 will cash in sometime in the future and maybe not.? And if no one else was interested in reserving TLD.org but you, then maybe you would only need to pay a minimal $10 fee to reserve it.? You get the point?
Why does this work?
1.? It truly levels the playing field more then anything else could.? A regular guy who only has $100 extra in his bank could literally wind up with a domain worth $XX,XXX or more in the future.? It will distribute the wealth so that there is more then just 10 or 20 huge players in the market. No more expired domain auctions where when a premium auction comes around it is the same 5 guys bidding $XX,XXX for the domain.
2.? A lot more people would become interested in domains and domain investing because now people have the shot to possible get a great domain name and not have to spend 10 years of salary to do so.? This is good for everyone.? It would bring excitement to the industry.? Imagine getting to relive the 1990’s in regards to domain registration.? Not exactly the same, but as close as anyone will ever get.
3.? There is no more Halvarez, there is no more Snapname expiring auctions where something was set to expire but instead of me going to auction I get an email saying I could buy the domain at Snapnames for $3,000 (which I still don’t understand the process of what is happening there, but it seems shady to me).? It is an open system.
4.? The registries would collect a lot of money up front today.? Companies love this.? Positive cash flow, they earn interest on the money, etc… And the registry companies are not the ones benefiting today from expiring domain names, the registrar’s are.? Huge incentive for the registries to enact something like what I’m proposing.
5.? The Reserve Right to Purchase is a ton of strategy.? How many people would bid on the Reserve Right to Purchase a domain like sex.com?? I know I wouldn’t because this domain will never expire.? This gives it an element of fun (at least to me). And it will let people who are savvy but not necessarily rich have an opportunity to make some good investments.
There are over 100 million domains registered.? The growth of domain registrations for the TLDs has peaked and it will eventually plateau.? How will the Registries drive more business?? Well, you just read it.? And coincidentally it is good for everyone else… or at least I think so.