Godaddy Opens Up Pre-Registrations on 14 Donuts New gTLD’s With 6 Levels Up to $12,569.99 Per Domain is now taking Pre-registrations for domain names on 14 of  Donuts new gTLD’s


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.

You might remember that Donuts said they were not going to do a land rush period for at least the first batch of its new gTLD’s
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 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)

Priority Pre-Registration

Phase 1Starting at $12,569.99 Ends: Thursday, January 30, 2014 4:00 PM UTC
Phase 2Starting at $3,194.99 Ends: Friday, January 31, 2014 4:00 PM UTC
Phase 3Starting at $1,269.99 Ends: Saturday, February 01, 2014 4:00 PM UTC
Phase 4Starting at $719.99 Ends: Sunday, February 02, 2014 4:00 PM UTC
Phase 5Starting 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 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.

Got it?

Personally I very happy I went to Law School and can read all the fine the print.




  1. Dominator says

    I know one of the concerns for critics of new gTLDs was that they would create mass confusion for consumers. Well, it seems that that confusion pales in comparison to the confusion encountered by trying to figure out how to register a new gTLD domain in the first place.

    I don’t think there is a need for all these new extensions. And, as a result, I think they are bound to fail. Irrespective of the need, though, these registries are not doing themselves any favors with the way they’re rolling out the extensions.

  2. says

    Judging by the standard of True or False, not Right or Wrong, or even Good or bad, this is a brilliant strategy by Donuts, Marketing-wise.

    I still go back to the push back we gave Mr. Stahura in Re: Registry/Registrar behavior when it comes to TLD launches. He the left the impression that even single letter strings would go for around $137, such as So. it’s a surprise to say the least.

  3. Grim says

    If only they would do this kind of pricing with .COM. The .COM extension doesn’t feel that special to me anymore if I can’t register new ones or renew the ones I have for at least $17,961.37 each year. Visitors will begin to see .COM as the ‘ghetto’ extension of the Internet, since they can be renewed for only $10. That’s almost free! Time to start a petition. Time to bring .COM back to its former glory!

  4. says

    I think it’s important to remember that the target market for the New gTLDs is not domainers; it’s corporations of all sizes. From that perspective, while the GoDaddy application process is no doubt confusing at best and extortion at worst, a corp like Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers would drop $13 large to ensure they got Or more accurately to ensure someone else didn’t.

  5. Grim says

    Craig, I think you got the extortion part right. But should a corporation that has long held a .COM for their company be concerned enough to register every new gTLD that comes along that might have some relevance to their company? (This question applies even more to smaller companies that may not have a lot of excess cash to throw around.) Personally, I’d say no, for the same reason they might not own .INFO, .ME, .TV or .NAME, among many others.

    For these companies, .COM is so deeply ingrained in the mind of the average Internet visitor, who will likely not even be aware of other extensions much beyond .ORG, .NET and .GOV. But I’m sure a good number of companies will still feel wary and paranoid, so they will go ahead and register other gTLDs regardless. Fear is always a good motivator when trying to sell anything.

  6. says

    Agree with Page’s comments. Well said.

    Some people might think gtlds will be good for the domain industry. Yeah right.

    Why? Because the registries will be pumping lots of money into advertising their new extensions? Great. How does that help the domain industry?

    Wait until the nightly news picks this up…. $12k to buy a domain name and that’s all people will hear.

  7. says


    “Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers would drop $13 large to ensure they got”

    How would they get the domain for $13 when the cheapest possible registration is $70?

    If they have a TM and apply to the TMCH they can apply during sunrise but then its $229 (plus the cost to file with the TMCH).

    They also risk someone paying more for the domain and jumping them in the cue so they may have to spend $12,500 for the domain

  8. cmac says

    @craig: why .ventures? why not also .corp, .web, .holdings, etc, etc, etc. it seems much easier and cheaper for corps (and anyone else who has an established .com) to just ignore these gtlds. if they plan to own their name in every extension that applies, they will need to hire some additional staff just to deal with it not to mention keeping up with all the releases over the next 50 years. and lets not forget that these won’t be the last, the way has been cleared for umpteen more of these things, potentially costing tens of millions of dollars for those who think its a good idea to try and buy them all.

  9. says

    They really going for the jugular on this one, if anyone is interested in these new gtlds, remember the time value principal of money, these registars basically have one year to get something happening… if nothing happens in terms of success, they will slash prices, or decide to fold. You can buy better .com’s than you can register .crap gtlds for $13K…
    Don’t let them make a fool out of you, anytime in history when there is hype, prices are at their highest, smart money sells into the hype… Don’t be a bagholder, and the butt of everyones joke…

  10. mary154458 says

    When is the general availability date for .ventures? I am trying to understand how these dates in the article compare against the general availability date.

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