This must be one of the most surprising things I have discovered about New gTLDs. I have been following New gTLD launches for a year now, and even before than, and this somehow escaped my attention. I have not seen this written anywhere else so it is probably not just me that didn’t know about this.
It seems that the Rightside New gTLD domain name renewals prices are not the same as the registration prices. That is the case for 99% of the domains of the earlier TLDs that Rightside launched. In fact renewals are only half the registration price or even a small fraction of the registration price. Sometimes renewals it is even less than a 10th of the initial registration price.
(Based on feedback from registrars, Rightside made the decision to change to flat renewals, beginning with the launch of .LAWYER and .ATTORNEY.)
I found out about this just a couple of weeks back and I have been trying to find more details about this. It has been difficult. I first got a clue when someone said that the renewal fees for a couple of his Rightside domains were discounted. At first I didn’t believe him because a registry wouldn’t just reduce a renewal price but it seems that we were both confused. The renewal price was never set at the same rate of his registration fee. But he only found out about this almost a year after he registered the domains.
First of all this seems like a complete marketing failure. Everybody has been saying the Rightside domains have registration/renewal prices of up to $60,000 and Rightside has not made a single comment to refute this. And has not made any statement or published a press release to explain how its pricing works. Maybe Rightside was expecting that the registrars will do this (educate buyers) but most of them didn’t.
I have written about these $60,000 domain names several times and so have done other domain name blogs. Yet Rightside has not made a single comment from what I know. I am sure that if people knew about this, Rightside would sold a lot more domain names.
I discovered that the Rightside model is a hybrid model between the Donuts premium model, where registration prices equal the renewal prices, and the non-premium model followed by Uniregistry and the .Club registry where they charge a high acquisition fee and then a flat low renewal price. At least this is how the first New gTLDs launched.
The renewal (and transfer) price of a premium domain name from Rightside depends on the registration price but as I said renewal is only a fraction of it. Except maybe for a few sub $600 domains that have the same registration/renewal prices.
Here is an example of a .consulting domain name with a $699,99 registration price and a $149,99 renewal price at Go Daddy. I am not sure if the renewal price was displayed correctly since the time the first Rightside strings were launched or if this is a recent correction. Please let me know what you have seen this in the past few months.
The only reference I have found anywhere on the internet that the Rightside registration prices are not the same as the renewal fees is this webpage at Dynadot.
The renewal & transfer price of a premium domain from Rightside depends on the registration price. See the pricing breakdown below.
Rightside domains include the following extensions: .ACTOR, .AIRFORCE, .ARMY, .ATTORNEY, .CONSULTING, .DANCE, .DEGREE, .DEMOCRAT, .DENTIST, .ENGINEER, .FUTBOL, .GIVES, .HAUS, .IMMOBILIEN, .KAUFEN, .LAWYER, .MARKET, .MODA, .MORTGAGE, .NAVY, .NINJA, .PUB, .REHAB, .REPUBLICAN, .REVIEWS, .ROCKS, .SOCIAL, .VET.
But even Dynadot says that “Please note that these numbers may not be exact as prices may change.“. And the prices for available domain name are changing as I have been told. More on this on a future post.
And registrars are confused too. I tried checking availability for the domain money.reviews at Go Daddy but it says that the domain is not available. Yet is is available, as it should, at 101domain.com:
Name.com, a Rightside owned registrar, also displays the correct price:
I then checked one of the famous $60k domain names that have been registered: Injury.Lawyer. These are the domain names that Rightside refers as the Platinum domain names that have a registration price set at about $60,000 per year.
I found different renewal prices on Injury.Lawyer that were at $600 at one registrar and at $60,000 at another. I think that the $600 renewal price is the correct one. Or maybe not?
Both the registries and registrars should be making New gTLDs easier for people to understand. But the different registry pricing models are making this a nightmare to accomplish. Rightside changed models after a few TLDs were launched and this confused even more the registrars.
I reached out to Matt Overman, VP & GM, Aftermarket and Premium Domains, and these are the answers I got regarding this issue:Can I find any details on this (registration/renewal pricing structure) on the Rightside website?Information about this and many other specific topics is available to our registrar partners via our online registrar portal. We have clearly communicated the renewal pricing of all premiums to our registrar partners.
Are the registrars informed about these tiers? Yes, all registrars have access to our premium pricing tiers as well as information about which Rightside tiers are utilized for each specific TLD.
Are they treating the tiers correctly or are you seeing problems?Most are treating them correctly but we are aware that some have displayed Year 1 or renewal prices incorrectly. We are working with those registrars to resolve the issues as we become aware of them.
Some registrars are reporting the same registration and renewal prices while others have the correct prices. Are you aware of this problem? Based on feedback from registrars, we made the decision to change to flat renewals, beginning with the launch of .LAWYER and .ATTORNEY. A couple examples of the before and after are below: