Over the last few weeks, I have written several post involving, directly or indirectly, domain parking.
All the comments I received to these posts can be categorized into three camps.
One group basically says; we don’t park our domains, parking is dead get over it.
The second group basically says; develop your domains, parking is dead.
The third group basically says, parking is off 50% but its still a huge moneymaker.
My concerns are with the first two group of commentators.
It troubles me that so many people so willing to causally write off the parking industry.
Whether you park your domains or not, domain parking has a huge impact on the domain industry in many ways.
Take the upcoming TRAFFIC show.
Almost every major sponsor of this year’s show is a parking company.
Actually almost every major sponsor for every TRAFFIC show has been a parking company or a company which a substantial part of its revenue comes directly or indirectly from parking.
Of course most of the other major domain shows are put on by parking companies such as DomainFest, DomainRoundTable, and the Domainer Mardi Gras.
How many developed sites have stepped up to sponsor a show?
So I think its fair to say at this point, without parking companies, there are no domain shows.
No domain shows, no live domain auctions.
Love them or hate them, live domain auctions generate publicity for the industry, domain names in general, and have produced in the past, over $10 million dollars in sales in just a few hours.
Live domain auctions have gone from over $10M in sales to under $2M in less than a couple of years, and has at its root cause, the drop in parking revenues.
If parking goes away, the domain resale market will continue to dry up.
End user buyers will always be there.
Matter of fact as we have discussed on many occasions, end user buyers are growing both in dollar volume and total transactions.
Yet the ability for domainers to liquidate part of their inventory through live domain auctions and online domain auctions is heavily dependent on domain parking.
Take NameJet.com for example.
Months ago there were so many five figure sales, that some weeks I had to write two posts a week to cover them all.
According to my records, I have to go all the way back to the beginning of September to find a .com which sold for five figures.
Sure if your buying domains, reduced parking means lower acquisition costs, but it also means lower sales prices if you have to sell into the domain marketplace.
For domain registrars reduced parking revenues are going to mean less registration and a lower renewal rate on existing domains.
The last time VeriSign reported on the number of parked domains, they reported that approximately 7% of all .com and .net registration were parked.
If parking goes away, that is going to lead to millions of domains not being renewed effecting registrars bottom line.
Moreover since registrars get a share of dropping domain auction revenues, their revenues will continue to decline as as parking revenue decline as there is less cash in the domain channel for acquisitions.
Finally there are a LOT of people in this industry whose livelihood is tied into domain parking.
We have met these people at shows, see them online on blogs and in forums.
Behind all these companies there are great people whose ability to feed their families depend on the continuation of domain parking.
Bottom line, realize that domain parking has widespread implications throughout the industry and effects all domainers whether they park their domains or not.
Domainers should not be so caviler in proclaiming the death of domain parking or take any joy in it.