Flippa adds Request Reserve button, allows Reserve Price to be shared Automatically

request reserve

Flippa, a marketplace to buy and sell websites and domains,  seems to have added a new “Request Reserve” button for auctions.

I noticed the new Request Reserve button after checking the website for any domain or website deals. Where you used to see the “Request Reserve” button it would read “Reserve not met”.

For those unfamiliar with Flippa you can set a reserve price, meaning you will not sell your digital asset below that amount, in an auction.  According to the Flippa Rules for Sellers;

The reserve price may not be made public by any means.

That means if you set a reserve price you can’t publicly state what it is. However the marketplace does allow you as a seller to tell a user the reserve price privately if they request it.

If you have ever sold or bid on any auctions on Flippa perhaps you’ve experienced asking or being asked “What is the reserve price”? ūüôā It is quite common for buyers to ask before bidding so they know if they even have a shot at winning the auction.  Sellers can disclose the reserve price if they wish but are not required to do so.

Flippa must have realized the amount of private messages going through the system was so great,  why not build it into the system. Hence the Request Reserve button seems to have launched something in the past week.  I can’t be sure though as I don’t check Flippa every single day.

One of two things will happen if you click the “Request Reserve” button on Flippa. You will get this message;

If the seller decides to disclose the reserve price of this listing, you will be notified by email automatically.

Obviously if the seller wants to tell you the reserve price you will get it. This is without you having to private message them and ask. 

The alternative is you will get a message like this.

The current reserve price is $1000. Bidding for this auction currently starts at $1.

This means the seller has chosen to show the reserve price automatically.  This will probably save Flippa lot of resources and storage space in the long run.

A pretty nice new feature for buyers of websites and domains on Flippa.
What do you think of Flippa’s new “Request Reserve” button? Do you think this will make buyer and selling more convenient on the marketplace? Will you use the “Request Reserve” feature as a buyer and seller?

GoDaddy now has over 1 million .UK registrations

godaddy logo

GoDaddy, the world’s largest domain name registrar and web hosting company, now has over 1 million .UK domains under management.

GoDaddy announced the milestone earlier this month. ¬†According to the press release GoDaddy put they claim to have 25% of the .UK domain market. ¬†Nominet stats put the entire .UK space (.co.uk, .me.uk, .org.uk, .uk) at over 10 million domains. Isn’t 25% of 10 million 2.5 million domains? ūüôā

The .UK domain extension is the country code top level domain (ccTLD) for the United Kingdom. The .UK extension is widely used in the United Kingdom for personal sites to large corporations.

Something important to point out is most of the .UK registrations with GoDaddy are for .CO.UK. A well known .CO.UK domain investor pointed this out to me. Likely the GoDaddy press release was written by an American.

Back in 2014 Nominet, the .UK domain registry, introduced the the shorter and more direct availability of .UK domains. As of August there are 10,031,000 third-level .UK domains, meaning .CO.UK, .ORG.UK, and .ME.UK.  Nominet shows .UK domains to 612,733 .UK domains. It is important to note that .UK domains registrations have been going up. Third-level .UK domains numbers are going down.

It’s not entirely clear though if people are defensively registered the corresponding .UK domain. ¬†Nominent is givingi .CO.UK registrants¬†Right of First Refusal (RofR) to buy the matching .UK domain to their .CO.UK domain(s).

GoDaddy Surpasses 1 Million Registered Domains in the United Kingdom

Accelerates UK Market Growth as More Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses Go Online

LONDON, Oct. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY), the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures, today announced that it has registered its 1 millionth .UK (1) domain in the United Kingdom. As more UK entrepreneurs and professionals decide to turn their ideas into reality, they are choosing GoDaddy to establish a successful online presence. In fact, an estimated 25 percent (2) of Britain’s most popular domains are now registered through GoDaddy.

Every day in the UK, new domains are registered by individuals starting new ventures, established firms planning to launch new products and software developers ready to launch the next must-have smartphone apps. Both .co.uk and the most recent .uk domain extensions represent two strong elements of recognition in the UK and abroad, offering an element of national pride and trust. Entrepreneurs are demanding more from their digital technology providers as they seek to make their mark and GoDaddy is committed to developing innovative solutions that meet these needs and help grow Britain’s SME industry.

On achieving the milestone Andrew Low Ah Kee, Executive Vice President, GoDaddy International, said, “Reaching 1 million .UK domains demonstrates the value GoDaddy brings to customers by helping them create powerful digital identities. What is even more exciting to us than the milestone itself is the fact that we’ve grown our .UK domains under management by over 50% in the last 24 months. Our organic growth is a reflection that our purpose-built product and exceptional customer care resonate strongly with the UK market. We’re committed to growing our UK business and are excited to continue supporting the digital revolution taking place in the UK.”

Russell Haworth, Managing Director at Nominet, the official registry for UK domain names, commented: “It’s a significant achievement to reach a million .uk and co.uk registrations, and the rate of growth is impressive. Like GoDaddy, we are committed to making the case for more businesses having their own space online, helping create new opportunities for us all.”

Localized Products for UK SMEs
The 1 million domain milestone reflects GoDaddy’s unwavering commitment to help UK customers build and manage their online presence. This includes offering entry-level businesses affordable and easy to use do-it-yourself (DIY) solutions to make the first step of going digital less daunting.

As GoDaddy customers succeed and grow into larger businesses, its product line scales up with them. GoDaddy offers a full range of virtual, dedicated and cloud servers as well as comprehensive security and productivity solutions. GoDaddy also empowers the growing community of UK web developers and designers to scale their services through time- and money-saving tools like site monitoring and client management, advanced hosting, and a dedicated rewards program.

While GoDaddy seeks to help first-timers establish a unique online presence, it also offers practical and impactful solutions to experienced digital marketing practitioners and addresses many of the most difficult challenges that businesses face when they go online, such as security, brand building, social media, and online marketing.

Dedicated, Local Customer Support
GoDaddy’s portfolio of purpose-built products is complemented by a dedicated team of customer care experts who deliver award winning customer care. GoDaddy opened its customer care centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 2014, giving its UK customers the added advantage of working with specialised support teams located locally and in the US. With a direct phone number available 24 hours, 7 days a week, customers receive personalized assistance as they create their digital presence.

About GoDaddy
GoDaddy powers the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures. With more than 14 million customers worldwide and more than 63 million domain names under management, GoDaddy is the place people come to name their idea, build a professional website, attract customers and manage their work. Our mission is to give our customers the tools, insights and the people to transform their ideas and personal initiative into success. To learn more about the company, visit www.godaddy.co.uk.

1 .UK domains refer to the ccTLD domains of the United Kingdom: .co.uk, .uk, .org.uk and .me.uk
2 Based on external and internal information available for the most popular selling domains in the UK, including .UK domains and .COM domains.

Donuts & Rightside are Cybersquatting on NameCheap’s Domain Name

donuts cybersquatting namecheap

Recently I reported that NameCheap, a domain name registrar, suddenly stop supporting .XYZ domains. Along with the new .XYZ extension NameCheap does not support .RENT or .COLLEGE.  All three extensions are run by the same domain company, the .XYZ registry.

The article on the sudden business break-up between .XYZ and Namecheap has been widely shared. The .XYZ extension has over 6 million domains registered (this is mainly due to 1 and 2 cent promotions). NameCheap has been a big .XYZ supporter and¬†has over 1 million .XYZ domains under management. ¬†NameCheap is also one of the largest and most well known domain registrars in the world. The drop in .XYZ support ¬†has left many many domain and web hosting industry observers with unanswered questions. Specifically… Why did Namecheap make this move?

While reading some of the comments on my story I noticed someone had linked to the domain – Name.cheap. Not Namechap.com, but a .CHEAP domain. (Yes, pun intended.) ¬†I clicked through the link assuming that NameCheap owned this domain name. ¬†The domain redirects to NameCheap.com… but that is not the interesting part. ¬†The redirected URL contains a¬†Commission Junction tracking code on the URL. Commission Junction is a large affiliate program operator. ¬†Whoever is redirected the domain is earning a commission if someone buys a domain name, web hosting account, SSL certificates, etc. from NameCheap.

You can see the URL redirect in this video.

NameCheap Affiliate Link URL Redirect

I thought it was interesting that someone had bought this domain and redirected it to NameCheap.  I went to do a Whois lookup, which contains information on who owns and manages a domain name. When you do a whois query for the РName.cheap Рdomain name, you get this whois query response.

This name is reserved by the Registry in Accordance with ICANN policy.

So what does that mean? Basically what it says. The registry, in this case Donuts, isn’t allowing the registration of ¬†Name.Cheap by the public. This is in accordance with ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) policy to protect Trademark Holders. This includes the domain name registrar¬†NameCheap.

Editor’s note – If you can’t see the¬†Name.cheap forward this is why websites like Archive.is, which captures webpages,¬†exist. You can see the Archive.is¬†page here with the Commission Junction affiliate¬†URL.

So who’s redirecting NameCheap’s Domain?

I am under the assumption¬†Donuts, a new domain registry services company, is redirecting the NameCheap URL. This would be quite an odd move for Donuts. Why? NameCheap is Donuts biggest registrar and promoter of new gTLDs. (Of course after dropping .XYZ support we will see.) ¬†Also it could be considered “cybersquatting” depending on who you ask.

Donuts operates almost 200 new generic top level domains (gTLD) and many of them are not selling well at all. For instance if we take the .CHEAP domain extension according to NameStat and NtldStats, websites that track the new gTLD industry, it only has about 3,000 domain registrations.  Perhaps Namecheap customers are too frugal to spend $25 + on a .CHEAP domain. (Ypu had to use that again.)

I’ve tried doing the redirect using different DNS resolvers, different browsers, and different Internet Service Providers (ISP). ¬†It worked at friend’s house and the local library. Both of which user different ISP providers then myself.

The domain doesn’t have any active nameservers or DNS records. At least as far as I can tell. ¬†However the registry could engage¬†have some sort of wildcard redirect.

So did Donuts go to Affiliate Summit¬†or something? What’s the other possible explanation?

ISP Zero Click?

The other answer to why РName.cheap -is being redirected is zero-click program with ISPs.

The term Zero Click refers to being taken to somewhere without clicking on it by the user. 

It is possible though that a few different internet providers are doing the same thing with new gTLD domains? Have they built an automated script that takes corresponding domains that match Commission Junction affiliate programs and redirect them?

Honestly I’ve never this with my local ISP and if I had I would have switched providers. ¬†If you type in a NXDomain (non existent domain) into the browser you get an error message “NXDomain – Domain Not Found”.

I’ve tried typing in many different corresponding Donuts domains and other new gTLDs that match brands with affiliate programs, but are not registered.

Why did I find? None of those domains redirected to affiliate links. So what is going on with Name.cheap? If you see the video above it is quite odd.


I imagine after reading this article¬†Richard Kirkendall, NameCheap’s CEO and Founder, will ask Donuts¬†Paul Stahura, Donuts CEO and founder, what the deal is.

It is entirely possible NameCheap and other registrars will drop support for other new gTLD¬†extensions, if this is a registry thing. If this is an ISP thing… WTF?

I’d love to hear from my readers. What do you think of this? Is this Donuts redirecting the NameCheap URL or the ISP? Have you ever seen something like this before with new gTLDs?

Would it make sense for Donuts want to jeopardize registrar relationships for profit? Do major ISPs engage in this type of redirection and use affiliate programs?

Neustar to host Virtual Townhall on .US domains

.us townhall

Neustar, the company that manages the .US domain extension, will be hosting a Virtual TownHall meeting to talk all about .US domains.

For the .US Town Hall Neustar will have several members of the .US Stakeholders Council and representatives from the company participate. This includes;

  • Scott Blake Harris – Host, Chair .US Stakeholder Council
  • Shane Tews – Host, Co-chair .US Stakeholder Council
  • Crystal Peterson – Director, Registry Services Neustar
  • Kimberly Miller – Associate General Counsel Neustar
  • Becky Burr – Deputy General Counsel Neustar

The panel will discuss .US stats, updates on the state of the domain industry in general, the current situation with .US, and considerations for .US growth. Basically the .US Town Hall meeting will give the public the opportunity to learn about the .US namespace directly from the .US registry.
Topics of note on the .US Town Hall meeting include:
1. State of the Domain Industry
2. State of .US domain extension
3. New .US policy proposals under consideration.

Specifically, the .US Town Hall will want the .US community input on
‚ÄĘ Allowing .US Privacy
‚ÄĘ Releasing Premium Domain Names, including 1 and 2 character¬†.US domains
‚ÄĘ IDN (internationalized domain name) registrations in .US.

If you are interested in providing input or hearing about more about the .US, I’d recommend you sign-up for the .US virtual Town Hall. ¬†It seems like Neustar is actively trying to grow the .US domain extension and respond to¬†.US registrants. Directly from

Neustar introduced the .US Town Hall last year to reflect our commitment ‚ÄĒ and the Commerce Department commitment to the bottom-up, multistakeholder model of DNS management. The public forum is an important part of ensuring that .US continues to be a vibrant namespace that reflects America’s diversity, creativity, and innovative spirit. This is an opportunity for stakeholders and enthusiasts to collaborate, sharing expertise and ideas and providing feedback for everything related to .US and the Domain Name Industry. It is also an opportunity to share the policy work of the .US Stakeholders Council over the past 18 months.

The .US domain extension stands for “United States” and is the official country code top level domain (ccTLD) for America. The .US extension was¬†the first ccTLD to have been introduced in 1985. It was one of the first domain extensions to be introduced along with .com, .net, .org, .edu, and .gov. However the .US wasn’t open for public registration until 2002. Before that the .US namespace was reserved for government entities and school districts.

Since 2002¬†registrations have gone up but¬†usage rates of .US have always¬†languished. While other countries ccTLDs have grown and per population size, have much¬†higher usage rates and is more recognizable. If you look in North America .CA, Canada’s domain extension, is in wide use and popular for small business to large corporations.

.US recently past the 2 million registration mark. This was mainly due to the fact that Uniregistry, the domain registrar started by Frank Schilling, sold .US domains for 10 cents.  They boosted domain registrations by 300,000 in only a few days.  This was a move by new gTLD (generic top level domains) such as .XYZ.

As anyone will tell you registration numbers don’t mean much without people building sites on the domains. ¬†The .US space has found meaning for domain hacks and URL shorteners but that isn’t enough to grow the space.

One of the issues that many people have with .US is that it does not allow domain privacy. Again in comparison .CA does allow domain privacy provided by the registry.

It’s nice to see that Neustar will be addressing the issues of .US domain privacy. ¬†Many believe that is a big hindrance to growing usage of the .US extension. What are your thoughts? Have you heard of seen complaints about .US domain privacy in the past?

I’d hope Neustar would actually put marketing muscle behind .US domains. Neustar bought out the company that ran the .CO domain extension. Marketing for .CO doesn’t seem as voracious these days. I don’t see them highlighting companies as much as .ME does for instance. ¬†Neustar manages several other top level domains including .BIZ, .CN, and .NYC. They are also the technical backend providers for many other TLD extensions.

The virtual .US Public Stakeholder Town Hall Meeting is going to take place on¬†October 26, from 3pm – 4:15pm Eastern Standard Time (EST), or 10am –¬†12pm Pacific Standard Time (PST). ¬†The meeting is expected to last for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

For those interested in participating in the .US virtual TownHall sign-up here.

Will you be particating in the Town Hall? What do you think of the state of .US? Do you think Neustar should put in more marketing effort?

New Domain Registration Numbers are falling, Beginning of the End?

new domain registrations

NtldStats.com, a website that tracks new generic top level domains (gTLDs), recently showed that the total number of new domain names is falling.

On October 11th there were 24,798,469 total registered new domains according to NtldStats. On October 12th the tracking website recorded they were 24,784,485. That is a loss of 13,984 domains in one day. Just shy of 14,000 domains have been deleted from the total number of new gTLDs.

This wouldn’t be anything to get concerned about under normal circumstances. However new gTLDs are not operating under normal circumstances. They operate under separate rules from legacy generic top level domains (gTLDs) and country code top level domains (ccTLDs). These new new gTLD registries hold back premium domains, take back domains at will from registrants, and raise prices when/as they please. The new gTLDs are not what consumers and companies are used to.

Often domain registrations can ebb and flow whether they are legacy gTLDs or ccTLDs like .CA, .UK, .AU, etc. However new gTLD operators often uses NtldStats total registration number as a ‚Äúsign of success‚ÄĚ. The total number of domains on NtldStats is a highly cited figure.

The upcoming deletions, domains that will enter availability for anyone to register, are over 1 million. That is roughly 4% percent of all new gTLDs according to NtldStats. The falling numbers should concern new registries and registrars that champion new gTLDs.

If these numbers continue to fall, they can’t claim success. Even if there are some bright spots in the industry. These new gTLDs companies rise and fall together. Whether they want to admit it or not.

Many domain registrars are running current promotions selling new gTLDs for under $1 dollar. So you would expect to see registration additions to outpace domain deletions.

Does this mean the new gTLD market has become oversaturated? Are people just tired of seeing buying new domain garbage? Hopefully this is the case and people are coming to their senses, realizing that new gTLDs are not worth a $1 registration fee or any renewal fee.

I think it is a bad sign that many of these domains can’t generate interest to be registered. The only way to get domain investors interested is to offer teaser domain registrations. Many consumers drop domains when they get the renewal email one year later. Discussion forums are full of people making these complaints.

Will we see more domains dropping vs new gTLDs being registered? Is this the beginning of the end for ngTLDs?

Namecheap drops support for .XYZ registrations and transfers

.xyz domains

Namecheap, one of the leading and largest domain registrars, has stopped allowing the registration of the new domain extension .XYZ for customers.

It’s not clear when this decision was made by Namecheap. There has been discussion on several web hosting forums about it. Users have posted they had noticed the change by Namecheap recently. Ending support for .XYZ seems to have taken place over the past couple days or week.

I asked in a Namecheap support chat about why they are not allowing .XYZ registrations anymore. Here is what I was told;

Dmitriy O.: Yes, regretfully, Namecheap does not provide the registration of .XYZ anymore.

Adam: You will accept renewals though?

Adam: When was this decision made?

Dmitriy O.: This was implemented recently, maybe week or two ago. The renewal of existing domains will go through without any issues. Regretfully, this decision was made on the top level and we do not have any info regarding this

So if you currently have .XYZ domains at Namecheap they will continue to support the extension and allow renewals. You will not have to move or transfer your .XYZ domains to another domain registrar. They just won’t be allowing new registrations.

In another chat I asked about transferring .XYZ transfers into Namecheap. The domain registrar is not allowing inbound transfers of .XYZ domains anymore either.

Adam: Was wondering if are allowing .XYZ transfers?
Adam: You do not allow .XYZ registrations now.

Anna Kh.: Could you please specify the domain name(s) in question?
Anna Kh.: Oh, so you mean incoming .XYZ domain transfers.

Adam: Just any .XYZ domain, do you allow transfer INTO Namecheap?

Anna Kh.: Unfortunately, we do not support them either.

Adam: You do not support .XYZ transfers?

Anna Kh.: Unfortunately, no.

Adam: Ok so no registration or transfers of .XYZ domains?

Anna Kh.: We do not provide registrations or incoming transfers of .XYZ domains at Namecheap indeed. I am sorry for the inconvenience.

The first thing that ran through my mind when I heard about this was, ‚ÄúWhy are people complaining about not being able to buy .XYZ domains? Are people actually using these?‚ÄĚ ūüôā

My second thought was, ‚ÄúThat is very interesting.‚ÄĚ

Namecheap has pushed a lot of new domain extensions since the roll-out of hundreds of new domain extensions in the past couple years. Specifically they have been pushing .XYZ quite a lot. Promoting .XYZ domains on the homepage of Namecheap on many occasions. I even had family members ask me about .XYZ because of the fact Namecheap put in on the homepage and were selling first year registrations for 88 cents. (8’s are considered lucky numbers by the Chinese.)

The fact that Namecheap would completely stop support of new registrations and transfers for .XYZ domains is quite surprising.

Back in June there was a big sale by Uniregistry, the domain registrar/registry run by legendary domain investor Frank Schilling, which sold .XYZ domains for 1 penny. This in turn made rival Namecheap run a promotion that was much more expensive, 2 cents for .XYZ domains. The registrations for .XYZ exploded over the course of a couple days. .XYZ racked up millions of registrations.

The .XYZ registry backed this promotion setting aside several million dollars to cover the cost. The promotion was to celebrate .XYZ’s 2-year anniversary. Namecheap was one of the main registrars to drive the .XYZ growth during the summer sale.

According to NtldStats, a website that tracks new domains, Namecheap has over 1 million .XYZ domains managed by them currently. This means they are the third largest .XYZ domain registrar trailing Uniregistrar and Chinese domain registrar Chengdu West Dimension Digital Technology Co., Ltd. Aka West.cn.

Namecheap has over 1 million .XYZ domains and they decided to pull support. I’ve never heard of a registrar doing this. At least support of new .XYZ registrations and transfers. Quite an interesting and surprising move. If you look at the picture above you will see that .XYZ still has Namecheap listed as a supported .XYZ registrar on the Gen.XYZ website.

In July Namecheap was pushing the fact they were offering a 20% off renewal for .XYZ domains. The regular renewal price was $9.88 but with $2 off, 20%, you could renew .XYZ domains for $7.88.  So the decision to drop support seems to have been swift by Namecheap.

Why has Namecheap management decided to pull the plug on .XYZ? Was there some issue with the .XYZ registry and Daniel Negari, the founder of .XYZ?

We can only speculate but I imagine there is quite a lot of spam being distributed on .XYZ domains due to the low registration cost. It makes it attractive extension for spammers in addition to other lost cost new domain extensions. I’ve read and hear from IT professionals they have completely blocked many ngTLDs in company email filters. This is due to the fact they get so much spam email from new domains. Network administrators then set rules to block email from the entire extension. The sheer volume of complaints could be too much for Namecheap to handle. Again this is just speculation.

In addition while it’s good for Namecheap to pump up registrations numbers with .XYZ, domains are a subscription business. The goal is to get people to renew and build active personal or business site on a domain. What are the chances people will renew domains they paid 1 or 2 cents for? What are the chances people will build sites on .XYZ domains bought for pennies? Unfortunately for the .XYZ registry, very low.

Also while Namecheap is a large and well known registrar, I’ve heard from many in the domain industry it can be a pain to manage and onboard so many new domains. New domain registries can update terms and wholesale costs at will. Perhaps Namecheap didn’t like .XYZ terms anymore? There was this story about .XYZ having aggressive takedown policies. I’ve read other stories as well about .XYZ domains getting suspended for odd reasons. Perhaps Namecheap was getting complaints from customers about this?

Maybe Namecheap had issues with CentralNic, the technical backend provider for .XYZ? Again, hard to say from the outside looking in. Only Namecheap management can tell us why.

What are your thoughts about Namecheap ending support for .XYZ registrations and transfers? Do you think this is a good move for Namecheap? Bad news for the .XYZ registry and new top level domains?

UPDATE – I asked Namecheap support about this being a permanent or temporary thing for .XYZ domains. The response

At this moment we have stopped support for registration and transfers of .xyz domains.

We still allow renewal of .xyz domain that were already registered with us.

UPDATE 2 РConfirmed with NameCheap the ban is permanent.  These means .XYZ domains will not be coming back to NameCheap.

Regarding your blog post, you are right and .xyz domain registrations have been disabled permanently at Namecheap.

Others have confirmed Namecheap support said the decision is permanent.

Do you think Namecheap and other domain registrars will stop supporting other new domain extensions? Could this be the beginning of the end for new domains?