Registrars are still marking up our domains without authority of any legal right to do so.
Many if not most domainers add their names to Sedo and Afternic who in turn work with their distribution networks to make those names available for sale at their registrar parteners. This can be fast transfer or manual transfer.
Some registrars decide to mark up the buy it now price you set on your domain name. These registrars share in the commission with Afternic or Sedo so they are not working for free. Some have and continue to mark up another 15%.
This is not cool and as someone told me last night they are contemplating legal action and will look to seek class action status if they go in that direction.
Unlike most of the sneaky horseshit in a lot of agreements most don’t even know they agree to just by opening an account or logging in, neither Sedo or Afternic make their customers aware of this practice. It’s not something you have agreed to.
Promoting domains on the SedoMLS Premium sales network lets you sell your domains much faster by getting instant exposure to thousands of new potential buyers! By activating your domains for SedoMLS Premium you agree to the following special Terms & Conditions:
- A 20% commission fee applies if your domain is sold on the SedoMLS Premium partner network. Domains listed within SedoMLS Premium are charged the regular 15% commission if sold on Sedo’s standard marketplace. Minimum commissions may apply.
- You agree that after Sedo receives payment from the buyer your domain will be instantly transferred to the new owner and removed from your registrar account, without any further approval.
Now let’s look at the poor customer experience, hypothetical startup wanting to acquire Already.com.
Hello boss, I know you said we had a $200,000 budget, but it seems already.com is priced at $230,000.
What kind of idiot are you Johnson? It’s $200,000!
That’s right Name.com is looking to pocket $30,000 and then share the 20% commission with Sedo on the $200,000.
Within Sedo’s network it does not matter if you agree to fast transfer, some registrars that are partners at basic level promotion still mark up 15%.
So take a name of mine DNProtect.com, listed at Sedo basic promotion for $1,111. The domain is registered with GoDaddy so not eligible for Sedo MLS.
Again we see Name.com taking 15% and Dynadot not taking 15%. Not to single out Name.com, Epik also marked this name up 15% while NameSilo did not and kept my price of $1,111.
Now here is another name of mine, it’s Sedo MLS active and registered at Epik. Listed at $2,888. Epik will not mark this one up because it’s registered there.
But Name.com is right there again marking up my product, basically changing the price I set for my property.
So now let’s take a look at a name I own at Afternic and not listed on Sedo. Start-ups.org listed at $999. Registered at Name.com.
So unlike Epik, Name.com is still marking my price up even though it’s registered with them, so at least Epik doesn’t do that when you are registered there. Enom you see also with the mark up and Dynadot no mark up.
When you add a domain to Afternic you get an email,
Thank you for choosing GoDaddy as your Afternic Premium Network registrar.
Before your domain name(s) can be listed for sale on GoDaddy and other Afternic resellers, you must authorize your participation in the Afternic program. Please click the button below to log in and authorize.
When you click that button to authorize they should make it known they are adding a markup and if you wish to participate.
Andrew got a comment from Afternic Chief Revenue Officer Bob Mountain two years ago:
Select partners are testing markups on Afternic domain names. There hasn’t been a fundamental shift, we’re just working with some of our partners at their request. If you would like to have your names removed from being listed at these markup resellers, please contact Afternic customer service.
Why do we have to contact them? I also want to say before any fanbois jump in, “Oh I am happy to pay whatever these companies are allowing me to spend my days sitting on a beach sipping Mai Tai’s” Congratufuckinglations, that still gives no registrar the right to add a kicker for themselves without the owner even knowing it about it, let alone sharing in the increased price. If that’s cool then maybe all the people so upset by people selling domains they don’t own should get on board with that too.
I want to make clear there are several registrars doing this not just the one’s I mentioned.