Pool.com Doing Scheduled Maintenance June 14-15

Pool.com will be doing scheduled maintenance on June 14-15 so their website is going to be offline for 24 hours. Any closing auctions, or auctions scheduled to begin, will be postponed by 24 hours.

Here is their notice:

Between 20:00 GMT (4:00 PM EDT) on Friday, June 14, until approximately 20:00 GMT (4:00 PM EDT) on Saturday, June 15, Pool.com will be offline for scheduled maintenance. This maintenance is part of a series of improvements being made to our service.

During this time, auctions and bidding will be paused. Any closing auctions, or auctions scheduled to begin, will be postponed by 24 hours, and then resume normally.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you require special assistance, please contact our Customer Support Team at service@pool.com or +1-613-221-1210.

Pool’s domains transferred away from NamesBeyond with old AUTH CODES

Pool announced on the 20th of December that it is shutting down many of it’s registrars effective January 10, 2013. Pool’s move to shut down registrars left thousands of domains in limbo. All domains affected by this shutdown and the 60 day registrar lock should be free to transfer by now.

Pool announced that all the affected domains would be moved to the registrar Names Beyond after an ICANN decision. I received a couple of emails welcoming me to Names Beyond and the transfer process from the de-accredited Pool registrars has been completed but I haven’t received my login and password yet. I guess you have to contact support to get the login details.

Instead of contacting support I tried my solution to the Pool problem that was transferring the affected domains without waiting for these credentials. And it worked perfect.

The domains, now registered at Names Beyond, have been transferred to my preferred registrar. I had unlocked all domains before these were transferred to Names Beyond and I had gotten the auth codes. The domains remained unlocked after the registrar transfer to Names Beyond and the auth codes were not changed. Furthermore the domains don’t have the 60 day lock that a normal registrar change to Names Beyond would have. All domains were transferred out successfully.

My 4-figure domain name purchases at auctions in 2012

Here is a list of my 4 figure domain name purchases at drop/expired auctions in 2012. I also buy domains from other venues like Sedo or Buy Domains and directly from the domain name owners but I haven’t included these purchases here. I think that it would be interesting for some people to see what I have bought in the past year at auctions. I will not post the exact purchase prices but all domains were bought for more than $1k and less than $5k. Of course I haven’t listed any of the domains that I bought for less than $1k that make the bulk of my purchases. Here is the complete 4-figure list:

Namejet:
EggWhite.com (drop)
Recordable.com (expired)
Colours.org (expired)
CityRadio.com (drop)
LondonTV.com (expired)

Pool:
Comedy.info (drop)

Go Daddy:
Charity.info (premium .info Afilias/GoDaddy auction)
SmarterHome.com (expired)

I bought another domain name at Go Daddy for $1,005 but the auction was reversed and the payment was refunded. I didn’t make any 4 figure auction purchases at Snapnames and Backorder Zone although I use their services frequently.

As you can see I don’t buy many brandable domains and certainly not for 4 figures. What do you think of these purchases?

NamesBeyond welcomes Pool’s domains but transfers are still in process

Today I got an an email from the registrar NamesBeyond.com with the subject “WELCOME TO NAMESBEYOND!”. NamesBeyond is a North American registrar, and has been accredited by ICANN since 2001.

All affected domain names from Pool’s registrars will be automatically transferred to NamesBeyond in the next few days, at no cost. Once the transfer is complete, NamesBeyond will send login and password details to manage the domains.

Pool announced on the 20th of December that it is shutting down many of it’s registrars effective January 10, 2013. Pool’s move to shut down registrars left thousands of domains in limbo. Then Pool.com announced that all the affected domains will be moved to the registrar Names Beyond after an ICANN decision.

Here is the email I got today from NamesBeyond.com:

January 19th, 2013

As you may know, ICANN has de-accredited several registrars under Pool.com as a result of a compliance action. ICANN has authorized the safe transfer of all affected Pool.com registrar domains to NamesBeyond.

NamesBeyond is pleased to have you as our customer and look forward to serving you.

NamesBeyond is a North American registrar, and has been accredited by ICANN since 2001. NamesBeyond is focused on providing a safe and secure environment for our registrants.

Your domain name(s) will be automatically transferred to NamesBeyond in the next few days, at no cost to you. Once the transfer is complete, NamesBeyond will send you login and password details to manage your domains.

You may visit http://www.namesbeyond.com/poolregistrartransfer to check on the status of your domain name transfer. You may also call us at + 1 877 321 1356 or + 1 817 564 2994 or + 1 215 750 2660. You may also send an email to support@namesbeyond.com or info@namesbeyond.com to reach our technical support team.

We hope to make this transition as smooth as possible. Your support and understanding during this process is greatly appreciated.

We look forward to working with you!

Warm regards,
Uma Murali
President &CEO
www.namesbeyond.com

Pool remains in the dropcatching business but will anybody use it?

Pool announced on the 20th of December that it is shutting down many of it’s registrars effective January 10, 2013. This did not come as a big surprise as Pool has not been very successful catching dropped domains in the past couple of years and registrars are very expensive to maintain. It keeps losing high value domains to Snapnames, Namejet and even Backorder Zone.

Pool actually shut down MOST of it’s registrars. They shut down 80+ registrars leaving them with about 20 left. Pool’s CEO, Richard Schreier, says that they will continue to offer the backorder service, just with a different implementation model on their end. They estimate to have about 20 registrars playing in the drop when this is all over.

I am not sure how they are going to compete against the big auction houses with just 20 registrars when they couldn’t compete when they had 100+ registrars.

Pool’s move to shut down registrars left thousands of domains in limbo. Pool’s domains will be moved to the registrar NamesBeyond as ICANN decided. I haven’t tried my solution to the Pool problem yet but I heard reports that it works.

Will you continue using Pool?

Pool’s domains will be transfered to NamesBeyond

Pool announced on the 20th of December that it is shutting down many of it’s registrars effective January 10, 2013. Pool’s move to shut down registrars left thousands of domains in limbo.

Today Pool send an email with the subject “Updated notice regarding Pool.com Drop Registrars”. Pool announced that all the affected domains will be moved to the registrar Names Beyond after an ICANN decision. Anyone with a domain in Pool’s old registrars will receive new credentials from Names Beyond within the next 24 hours.

I will try and transfer the domains without waiting for these credentials. I haven’t tried my solution to the Pool problem yet but I heard reports that it works.

Here is the complete Pool email:

On December 20, 2012, I contacted you about Pool.com shutting down a number of our registrars, effective January 10, 2013. ICANN has determined that any orphaned domains would be transferred to a single registrar – NamesBeyond. We are sending your relevant domain data to NamesBeyond to facilitate the transfer, and they should be contacting you shortly with your new account credentials.

Keep in mind that you may still have names at Namescout.com that were acquired by Pool.com, as we have not closed all of our registrars. You can identify which names were moved to NamesBeyond by logging into Namescout.com and going to the Domain Manager, where they have been marked with the special status of “Requires Attention”.

You can continue to manage these domains at Namescout.com by activating an expedited transfer, which we are still offering at the steeply discounted rates of $9.50 for .COM, .NET, and .ORG; $7.85 for .NET; and $15.00 for .MOBI. We’ve streamlined the transfer process specifically for these domains to make it as effortless as possible to continue managing them at Namescout.com.

Otherwise, you should be receiving your new credentials from NamesBeyond in the next 24 hours. If you do not, or if you have  other questions, do not hesitate to contact us. NamesBeyond has provided an informational landing page, as well as access to customer service at:

+ 1 877 321 1356 (Toll Free)
+ 1 817 564 2994
+ 1 215 750 2660
info@namesbeyond.com
support@namesbeyond.com.

Pool.com and Namescout.com remain committed to ensuring smooth, orderly and uninterrupted operation of your domains. If you have any additional questions, contact us at service@pool.com.

My solution for the Pool problem – Pool shutting down registrars effective January 10

Pool announced on the 20th of December that it is shutting down many of it’s registrars effective January 10, 2013. I had 12 affected domains that were registered in these registrars in the past few months. These registrars were used for drop catching for the Pool backordering service.

First thing to do if you have domains in these registrars is to transfer all domains that have been registered for more than 60 days to your preferred registrar. (These domains can also be either renewed at Namescout and this will automatically move them from the affected registrars to Namescout.)

After transferring the 60+ day domains I am left with 8 domains stuck in those Pool registrars. Pool was actually still using these registrars to catch domains until at least the 16th of December. That is the creation date of the newest of my 8 domains. I am sure they knew they were closing down all these registrars 4 days before their email on the 20th. They just didn’t care about their customers. Acro has already filled a BBB complaint at Canada against Pool.com.

One of these 8 domains cost me $1,233 so I am not very happy with this “situation”. So this is my solution:

All domains caught by Pool using these registrars are managed through Namescout.com. I logged into my account at Namescout and I unlocked all the domains. I then got all the auth codes and saved them. I can’t start a transfer yet as these domains are under the 60 day registration lock. But as soon as the 60 days have passed I will start a transfer from my registrar. 5 days later the domains will be at my registrar. I hope this will work because the losing registrar doesn’t need to actively ACK the transfers. Transfers get the AUTO-ACK exactly 5 days after a transfer has initiated.

There are only a couple of days left to unlock the domains and get the auth codes. After the 10th of January you will not be able to use Namescout to unlock the domains and get the Auch codes. My only fear is that ICANN might lock the domains making my solution obsolete. This is a first for me so I will test this and find out what happens.

If you do none of the above ICANN will take steps to allocate the domains in inventory to another registrar through a public bid process and will make public announcements. But this could take months and your domain will be in limbo as you will not be able to update whois, nameservers or renew it.

Pool shutting down registrars effective January 10 – Domains in limbo

Pool is shutting down many of it’s registrars effective January 10, 2013. These are registrars that have been used drop catching for the Pool backordering service. Pool has not been so successful in acquiring dropped domains lately and registrars are very expensive to keep. So this seems like a logical move by Pool.

All domains caught by Pool using these registrars are managed through Namescout.com. Pool.com asked ICANN to transfer these domains to Namescout.com but ICANN denied that request. These domains should be either renewed at Namescout (and this will move them from the affected registrars to Namescout) or simply transfer to your preferred registrar.If your domains are older than 60 days you should transfer/renew all your domains ASAP.

These 2 options can NOT be used for domains that have been registered in the last 60 days. ICANN will take steps to allocate the domains in inventory to another registrar through a public bid process and will make public announcements.

I have a few domains in this situation and I will be following this very closely. Here is the complete email from Pool:

Dear ,

The impending launch of new gTLDs has led Pool.com to refocus its business away from an emphasis on the secondary market and to a broader range of on-going services.  As a result, we will be shutting down a number of our registrar threads effective January 10, 2013.  This will have an effect on some of your domains acquired through Pool.com (a list of names is included below).

The names that Pool.com caught for you in the Drop using the registrars we are shutting down are managed through your account at Namescout.com.  Pool.com had asked ICANN that we be allowed to transfer these domains to Namescout.com at no cost to you in order to preserve the ability for your management of those names through the single Namescout.com interface.

ICANN has so far denied our request.  As a result, you have the following two options with regards to your domains provided they are older than 60 days:

1. Login to your Namescout.com account and submit a “Renew Now” order for each of the names listed below. Namescout.com is  offering 1 year renewals at a significant discount which will be applied automatically upon checkout. (com, org, info are $9.50, net $7.85 and mobi $15.00)  This renewal will also transfer your domain to Namescout.com as the Registrar of record such that you will be able to continue to manage them through the current interface without any changes.

2. Submit a routine transfer through your preferred registrar.

If you choose neither of these options in the next few days, ICANN will take steps to allocate the domains in inventory to another registrar through a public bid process.  We cannot predict which registrar they will choose; if all your names will end up in a single registrar; or, whether there will be an interruption in your ability to manage your names while ICANN conducts this process.

Pool.com and Namescout.com are committed to working with you to ensure smooth, orderly and uninterrupted operation of your domains.  Contact service@pool.com if you have additional questions.

Yours truly,

Richard Schreier
CEO, Pool.com

Affected Domains:

Latest .info auction results – twilight.info sells for $266

Drops have slowed down so there are fewer .info domains in the list and the prices are lower. Here is a list of the latest .info auction results from the past week or so:

twilight.info $266 (PremiumSale) Drop
bow.info $235 (PremiumSale) Drop
voodoo.info $227
(PremiumSale) Drop

Please not that my auction lists only include .info sales from dropped/expiring domains plus a few domains sold by their owners at auctions houses. Minimum price is $200. There have been hundreds of other .info info auctions in the weeks but most of the domains don’t make it in this list. These lists do not include .info domains sold in the aftermarket. If you know any more auctions prices for .info please let me know.

Here are the auction prices from last week:
freelancer.info $2,052 (Pool) Drop
brenner.info $454 (Pool) Drop
qtr.info $410
(Namejet) Expired
nas.info $394 (PremiumSale) Drop
lawoffice.info $321 (Pool) Drop
bodybuilders.info $301 (Pool) Drop
lid.info $282 (PremiumSale) Drop
urgent.info $204
(Snapnames) Drop

Latest .info auction results – freelancer.info sells for $2,052

Here is a list of the latest .info auction results:

freelancer.info $2,052 (Pool) Drop
brenner.info $454 (Pool) Drop
qtr.info $410
(Namejet) Expired
nas.info $394 (PremiumSale) Drop
lawoffice.info $321 (Pool) Drop
bodybuilders.info $301 (Pool) Drop
lid.info $282 (PremiumSale) Drop
urgent.info $204
(Snapnames) Drop

Please not that my auction lists only include .info sales from dropped/expiring domains plus a few domains sold by their owners at auctions houses. Minimum price is $300 (with a few exceptions). These lists do not include .info domains sold in the aftermarket.

What do you think of the auction prices?