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NameCheap stops selling .xyz domains

Kevin Murphy, October 11, 2016, 18:20:16 (UTC), Domain Registrars

NameCheap may have sold over a million .xyz domains, but apparently it will sell no more than that.

The registrar confirmed to DI this evening that it is no longer taking .xyz registrations. It declined to explain why.

It has also stopped selling .college and .rent domains — two other gTLDs owned by XYZ.com. Other new gTLDs are not affected.

It’s reportedly not accepting inbound transfers either, though existing domains can be renewed.

The switch-off happened at the end of last month, a NameCheap representative said.

That’s just one month after the registrar celebrated its one millionth .xyz registration, which XYZ.com commemorated with a blog post bigging up NameCheap’s user-customers.

The move is peculiar indeed. NameCheap is the third highest-volume .xyz registrar, behind West.cn and Uniregistry, responsible for about 15% of .xyz’s domains under management.

It’s also NameCheap’s biggest direct-selling gTLD by a considerable margin.

NameCheap is well-known as primarily an eNom reseller — it accounts for 28% of eNom’s domains under management and 18% of its revenue, largely from .com sales.

But with new gTLDs it has started selling domains on its own IANA ticker, meaning a direct connection to the registry and more gross profit for itself.

According to June’s registry reports, the million .xyz names accounted for roughly two thirds of NameCheap’s total DUM (not counting names sold via eNom).

The closet rival in its portfolio is .online, which provided the registrar with about 81,000 DUM.

The registrar added about 350,000 .xyz domains in June, a month in which it briefly offered them at $0.02 each.

At that time, the company reported technical issues that led to a 12-24 hour backlog of registrations to process, though its blog post announcing the problem appears to have since been deleted.

NameCheap has declined to comment on the reason for the surprise move, and XYZ did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The fact that all of XYZ.com’s TLDs have been cut off suggests some kind of dispute between the two companies, but the fact that renewals can still be processed would suggest that NameCheap has not lost its .xyz accreditation.

More info if I get it…

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Comments (13)

  1. Adam says:

    Appreciate the link Kevin.

    It is totally odd move. I’ve seen registrars and web hosts drop support for an extension due to lackluster sales. There are 1 million .XYZ domains with NC.

    Perhaps NC isn’t getting fully compensated for promotions? Is there some technical reason? Spam?

    It’s unclear but the move isn’t good for ngTLDs.

  2. Ryan says:

    Well here we go Rightside owns Namecheap, didn’t Negari dump his Rightside stock?

  3. Iger Raminoff says:

    I heard it was because XYZ gave CentralNic their Registrar business too – totally cutting them out of their agreed deal to manage XYZ’s white labeled stores!

    • Anon says:

      Yeah, me too – I overheard a couple of the XYZ boys talking at a con this year saying that. They weren’t very secretive about it.

  4. Anon says:

    I am aware of instances of .XYZ falling out with other registrars due to failing to provide equivalent access to certain promotional/commercial terms that were being being made available to registrars in China…it could be something like that, although that would seem strange, given how closely .XYZ has been working with NameCheap thus far.

    • Rubens Kuhl says:

      A registry giving specific prices to a territory (country of registrant) is non-discriminatory. If it happens that is not legal for non-country registrars to serve country registrants, that might have a false appearance of discrimination.

      • Anon says:

        I understand where you are coming from here, but that is not what I am talking about.

        XYZ routinely makes promotional pricing available to registrars solely based on the deemed operating theater of the registrar and NOT The registrant’s location. In order to be non-discriminatory, the same commercial terms should be offered to all registrars, regardless of location; it is then for the registrar to figure out whether or not it is able to partake in the promotion in any meaningful way. To cherry pick a group of registrars to whom favorable terms should be offered is clearly not adhering to the principal of equivalent access. XYZ is fairly flagrant with this practice and no one seems to care.

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