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Go Daddy to take $2,500 profit on Donuts’ first-day domains

Kevin Murphy, December 11, 2013, 13:45:47 (UTC), Domain Registrars

Donuts’ pricey Early Access Program for its new gTLDs could prove quite lucrative for registrars.
Go Daddy today revealed that it’s charging $12,500 and up for first-day “priority” registrations in 14 Donuts gTLDs, a $2,500 profit on Donuts’ EAP registry fee, which I believe is $10,000.
The EAP is Donuts’ alternative to a traditional landrush period.
Rather than charging premium landrush fees and then running an auction for contested domains, every available domain has a standard premium buy-it-now price that is reduced every day for a week until the fee hits the standard reg fee.
It’s Dutch-auction-like, with a first-come-first-served component.
The EAP registry fees start at $10,000, go to $2,500 on day two, $950 on day three, $500 on day four and $100 from days five through day seven. Then they go to the base fee, which depends on gTLD but typically translates to about $40 at the check-out.
Go Daddy’s respective EAP retail prices are $12,539.99, $3,164.99, $1,239.99, $689.99 and $189.99.
Complicating matters, these are currently “priority pre-registration” fees, so the company will still have to successfully grab the pre-registered names from the registry when they become available.
While customers are billed today, they may not get the name they want. If Go Daddy fails to secure the name it will issue a full refund.
Complicating matters further, the company is accepting multiple pre-registrations on any given name and will auction it off to the highest bidder if more than one person pre-registers at the same level and Go Daddy manages to grab the name.
So $12,500 may just be the tip of the iceberg.
Complicating matters further further, Go Daddy’s site is currently not particularly clear — at least to this elderly hack — which components of its fees are refundable and which are not.
This slogan, currently in use on the Go Daddy pre-reg site, appears to me to be absolute nonsense.
The 14 Donuts gTLD currently on offer are: .estate, .photography, .ventures, .guru, .bike, .clothing, .gallery, .singles, .camera, .lighting, .plumbing, .equipment, .graphics and .holdings.

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Comments (5)

  1. April Fool says:

    Wait, let me get this straight. Donuts expects suckers to cough up $12.5 K to register one of those crapolla names on the first day? April Fool’s, right?
    Sorry, but I will not be among those lining up to pay, but instead, will take the money and renew my .com domains.

  2. Esophogus says:

    Catastrophic .fail

  3. Drewbert says:

    The results will be an early indication of the success or failure of this whole gTLD expansion (excepting the IDN translits of CNOIB, which should have been treated separately).

  4. Reality says:

    FYI, GoDaddy are not refunding EAP fees, despite their website clearly stating, “Anyone may purchase a domain during this phase which will include an Early Access fee that is fully refundable if you are not awarded the domain.” I may have to do a chargeback on my credit card.

    • Jim says:

      They seem to have many glitches in their system.
      However, I not only was refunded the early access fee for several names which I didn’t get, I also was refunded the prereg fee on one domain for which I later had decided to pay the early access fee.

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