Godaddy.com is now taking Pre-registrations for domain names on 14 of Donuts new gTLD’s
The new names are .ESTATE, .PHOTOGRAPHY, .VENTURES, .GURU, .BIKE, .CLOTHING, .GALLERY, .SINGLES, .CAMERA, .LIGHTING, .PLUMBING, .EQUIPMENT, .GRAPHICS and .HOLDINGS.
Godaddy is accepting normal Pre-Registrations starting at $24.99 up to $99.99 which varies by the extension, but the real story is Godaddy is offering 5 other levels of Priority pre-reservations for each of the 14 new gTLD strings for up to $12,569.99 per domain.
Donuts previously said that after the Sunrise Period (which is required by ICANN for trademark holders) it would not hold a land rush period but go directly to general availability.
However, the tiered pricing system that is live on Godaddy, makes it clear that Donuts, while not conducting a traditional Land Rush, is looking to take in premium dollars for early access to the registry.
If you want just a pre-registration then you pay the normal price which varies by extension.
On the low end on the pricing scale is .Gallery, .Equipment and .Lighting domains which are priced at $24.99 for a pre-registrations.
The next level of pre-registrations is priced at $39.95 for an .Estate, .Bike, .Guru, .Camera, .and Clothing./
The highest price Donuts gTLD of the first batch offered for pre-registration on Godaddy.com are .Ventures domain names at $69.99 and .Build for $99.99.
However, if you want to jump the line, kind of like a traditional land rush, you have to pay a premium fee.
Unlike a traditional land rush, where applications have a single application fee, the Donuts model has 5 different price points for 5 different time frames.
The more you pay the earlier you’re application is submitted to the registry by the registrar.
Here is how it works:
There are five levels of Priority Pre-Registrations for each of the Donuts Strings: (example for .Ventures)
Phase 1 – Starting at $12,569.99 Ends: Thursday, January 30, 2014 4:00 PM UTC
Phase 2 – Starting at $3,194.99 Ends: Friday, January 31, 2014 4:00 PM UTC
Phase 3 – Starting at $1,269.99 Ends: Saturday, February 01, 2014 4:00 PM UTC
Phase 4 – Starting at $719.99 Ends: Sunday, February 02, 2014 4:00 PM UTC
Phase 5 – Starting at $219.99 Ends: Wednesday, February 05, 2014 4:00 PM UTC
So for each extension, the dates change but the prices do not.
If you do a priority pre-registration at the higher than normal pre-registration rate, you’re application still will be superseded by anyone who applied for faster access at a price.
The only way to have a true first shot at any domain is by paying $12,569.99.
Your credit card is charged today.
However that doesn’t even guarantee that you will get the domain.
Other registrars will also be taking pre-registrations for Donuts new gTLD’s, as well, so you only get the domain name if the registrar you put your application with gets the domain name when the registry opens for business.
So you could put in a $12,569.99 priority pre-registration at one registrar, and still not get the domain if another registrar lands the domain when the flood gates open.
Moreover like a traditional land rush you can still wind up in an auction for the domain name even if you place a priority pre-registration.
Assuming more than one person places a priority pre-registration at the highest level its placed at, and the domain is caught by that registrar, then there will be an auction.
For example if two people put in a level 3 registration at $1,269.99 without anyone putting in a priority pre-registration at level 1 or 2 then those two applicants in level 3 would go to auction.
I’m told by Godaddy that all fees are refundable in the event the applicant does not get the domain, although the site currently indicates otherwise, changes will be made in the next day to two that clarifies that there is no ‘application fee” and the entire amount paid be it $24.99 or the $12,599.99 will be refunded if the domain is not obtained by the person who ordered the domain.
It should be noted that although priority registrations run as high as over $12,500 many domains are still not available at that price and look to be reserved by the registry.
A quick check of i.personals or joint.ventures reveal neither is available for even a $12,500 pre-registration fee.
Finally it should be noted as far as Godaddy is concerned if you applied say for level 3 priority pre-registration and pay $1,269.99 you wouldn’t know if someone already had a level 1 or level 2 higher priced pre-registration, meaning that you would be literally tying up $1,269,99 for 6 weeks or more although you could not possibly get the domain since someone already had a higher position than you.
Likewise, as of publication, if you place a pre-reservation at any price level you would not be notified by Godaddy if your level of registration had been exceeded by another applicant , not giving you the chance to increase your pre-registration level.
Personally I very happy I went to Law School and can read all the fine the print.