Owners Of High Premium New gTLD Domains Trying To Sell Them By Hiding Renewal Cost?

newgtldI noticed an auction at Flippa for the domain USA.Vacations that ended a few days back.

High bid was $800 and the domain didn’t sell but what is quite interesting are the comments.

It seems that the seller didn’t reveal the renewal price at the description of the domain name. And he never actually said what the renewal price was.

The domain is a premium one with a renewal starting at $4,000 at the cheapest registrar and going up. I saw it at a registrar at $4,500.

An interested buyer asked about the renewal price but the seller said that he was on his iPhone and couldn’t remember. I say that it seems pretty hard to forget paying for a $4,500 premium domain just a few months back. The seller said that he thought that it was a $1k premium domain like a few others he had. The interested buyer eventually found the renewal price on his own and posted it in a comment.

But even if the seller forgot, he never revealed the price when he had the chance.

He slowly lowered the reserve from $9,999 to $1,199 and then just a bid above what was the current bid: $800. Nobody bought the domain.

Then he relisted the domain and the high bid is now $175 and the reserve is probably $200 and the bin is $500. The renewal fee is still not shared in the description. This is what the seller says now about the domain’s renewal price when asked:

I bought the domain for $3,600.00 before release- just spoke with Donuts and they said 1k-3.6k renewal for this premium domain- they said all renewals are being considered and reconsidered all the time so no definitive answer but could be at low end of that 1st year or higher end depending on what they do.

I don’t think that Donus will be lowering renewal prices. I think that the seller is confused between premium renewal prices and EAP prices. EAP fees are paid only once. So that is why a domain that he paid for $3,500 now has a $120 renewal fee. Donus didn’t lower the renewal fee.

A bidder now wants to cancel his bids as he didn’t know about the high renewal prices:

I was naive and had no idea about the renewal fees. Obviously I should have looked them up before I made the bids on four of your domain. Is it possible that i cancel this?

Sorry for wasting your time, I will check this out carefully in the future!

It seems that the seller is trying hard to unload this extreme premium domain name by taking what seems like a huge loss in 7 months. New gTLD domain renewals are a killer.

People are still debating if they are going to renew these high premium domains or not.


About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.


  1. Konstantinos, the Seller raised the BIN to $50K !!

    Looks like most of the so called premium gLTDs are going to be dropped after their first year.

    – A

  2. All these guys even some of the die hards are trying to unload their premium renewal GTLD’s.

    This USA guy his name is Bill, he has spammed me before thru my GTLD purchase of a similar domain trying to sell me his crap. He got in over his head, and now it is time to pay up, with no buyers, who is going to take this burden on, it is like a ex wife, every year she want’s her alimony.

  3. I’m not sure he is confused, international.futbol is listed as having a renewal fee of $2,985 at 101domain, so Donuts might have lowered that one to $120

    • Not sure I understand what you say.

      BTW, .Futbol is a Rightside string, not Donuts.

      • Right it’s a Rightside string not Donuts.

        I was saying, the renewal fee can’t have been $120 all along, since it is listed as $2,985 at 101domain, which must have been the renewal fee at the time the domain was bought. Most likely 101domain hasn’t updated it, since according to the guy the renewal fee has now gone down to $120.

        Bottom line, he probably didn’t confuse EAP price and premium renewal, which would imply the registries are changing the renewal fees A LOT, $3000 down to $120 and $40 up to $500 for some of his domains.

      • What domain name are we talking about?

      • international.futbol, that’s the one he mentioned, that went from $3000 renewal or so down to $120.

        He didn’t say which ones went from $40 to $500

      • Now that I think about it someone at Namescon talked about Rightside lowering their renewal prices.

  4. These sort of stories are going to occur quite frequently in 2015. It is difficult enough to sell short brandable .COMs or EMD .Nets, .TVs or .Info domains. The general public still views domains as a $10 commodity. Try adding in TLDs most people have never heard of and ask them to pay $XXX+ annually – forget it. In most cases despite the real estate analogy people just don’t relate to why they should have to pay a premium price for a domain – at least not yet.

  5. Well, I was wrong, the first “Premium” New G I just renewed increased 20%….I will be adjusting my strategy going forward as a consistent increase in renewal fees every year makes this unsustainable for domain investor’s and quite possibly end user’s……

    • Aaron, how can they raise the price without informing you? 2% whatever, 20% in one year, something is wrong? You need to disclose more, and call them out on this.

    • Is this a registrar or registry increase? Did you shop around?

      • It would not matter to shop around, I was unable to transfer a Premium New G several months ago to a client . The premium price command would not allow for an EPP to be accepted..Not sure if the problem is fixed but it was not possible at that time to transfer a premium New G..

  6. The top bidder wants to retract their bid now.

  7. @Aaron, are you saying the registry or the registrar increased the renewal fee ? Which gTLD is it btw ?

    I think also that some confuse the EAP pricing they pay to be also the renewal. They should look at the Golive price which is usually the renewal price no matter what they paid in EAP1-5.

    And yes, newbies (etc) will always be around who might make some costly mistakes, it’s not like this is breaking news in the domaining industry 🙂

    • Robbie, Pax – The domain is Computer.Technology… First, let it be known the Premium renewal price is not outstandingly high as some of these New G’s are….Last month I could have renewed for $119, yesterday I paid $140 to renew (less than 20%, but still significant on a percentage basis)…. I am not sure if it is a registry or registrar increase……Regardless, it is a concern because we do not know where the limit is??…Could the renewal price be $1000 next year? Where is the line? If I build out the site and it becomes high ranking, will it cost more to renew? If it sells to a profitable company with endless supplies of cash will it increase further?…..Are increases in premiums going to supplement the losses of general availability on a yearly basis?….. ?????????……

      • Aaron, are you part of Godaddy’s domain discount club, if you are not this could be affecting your pricing,

        Honestly looks to be godaddy pricing issue, but there is nothing in the Donuts contract that caps price increases, so if they wish to make it a $10,000 renewal next year, it is pretty much fair game. Where as verisign has a contract that caps renewal rates 5 years out, and it is usually a few percent, in line with inflation.

      • Yes I am in GD Domain Discount .Club…..I stay there because they sponsor Danica Patrick (heard her contract is up soon, hint, hint)…

      • It seems to be that there is no limit. The only thing that stop them is public outrage and the fine balance between renewal price and renewal rate.

  8. Everything wise people said last year about the GTLD space is coming true, line for line, world for word.

    I bought a few, just to play, wasted a few bucks, learned a few lessons, time to move on.

  9. New TLDs are only going to hurt this industry.

    The sellers of these new TLDs are just barfing on their own customers. It won’t be long until they start to suffocate themselves and panic sets in because the word gets out about how they treat their own customers.. Greed people, greed.

    The new TLDs are worse than a ponzi scheme. It’s really sad to see.

  10. I asked a few new gTLD registries about this during NamesCon, because it seemed to me like something that could happen. What I learned was that there doesn’t appear to be a way to check the renewal price of a domain without phoning up your registrar to ask.

    • “”…there doesn’t appear to be a way to check the renewal price of a domain without phoning up your registrar to ask.””

      Now there’s an intelligent strategy (not!) to encourage your registrants to drop or not renew their domains. The drops this year will be littered with non renewals, and the gTLD registries will have no one to blame but themselves.

      • It is a secret society, all the names attempted to be sold off now, which seem like very good phrases have a silver lining behind them, 3-4 figure renewals. It is unrealistic for small businesses, and domainers to justify such fees, when they have $10 options.

    • There might be a way to see but it doesn’t work on all registrars.

  11. Renewal for premium domains in .tips, .technology, .center were in fact lowered compare to last year ( as of last month ) and were at .7 of their original Premium ( non-EAP ) price. That is $200 domains were $140, $70 were at $40 and so on. This was at GD.

  12. @K, exactly, was thinking the same before reading !

    A few other things in general;

    – Premium domains can be pushed to another account but most cannot be transferred
    – Some are lowering prices (either registrar and / or registry)
    – New registrations can sometimes be lower in price than renewal, especially promotions

    For the rest we should be careful as some people seem to hate them so much that they live only to spread disinformation, sad but true.

    I will be renewing most and if i notice a different renewal price than expected i will post or email K for example which might be useful for these articles.

  13. As I said many months ago on DomainPicks, many people will get burned with these newGs … when you speculate on junk names usually you end losing your shirt … lol … and the real showdown has yet to start … 😉

  14. For what it’s worth, renewals for .CLUB premium domains are at the GA (General Availability) price – typically $10-$15/year – regardless of the initial registration price. That’s been our policy from the beginning.

    • Thanks Jeff.
      Yes, there seems to be 2 New gTLD registry camps. The ones with the premium renewals and the ones without.
      By talking to a few of the registrars and registrants at NamesCon it seems that the the premium renewals are causing a lot of unnecessary trouble to registrations, renewals, transfers and of course domain name sales.

    • I think .CLUB is one of a very few new gTLDs doing things right. They’re not getting greedy and they are doing a good job of marketing their name.

  15. i think it is an amazing domain , USA.VACATIONS, so much potential, I see a big travel company taking over this domain in near future. I think 4000 renewal still worth it.

    • matthew12 – you can buy us.clothing for 500$ at name.com for example, but most of the domains are not sold and not without reason IMHO. All this stuff reminds me of paradoxes in Max Bazerman’s books.

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