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Name Guy

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I just wanted to warn everyone, this hit piece from from Verisign is about to raise it's ugly head again;

"But there is also an unregulated secondary market – led by domain speculators – hiding in plain sight. There, some speculators buy domain names at regulated low prices, then sell them at a far higher price. This secondary market is as old as the domain name system itself. However, since the wholesale price cap was imposed on .com in 2012, the secondary market has expanded in ways that exploit consumers.

Look at the website HugeDomains.com – owned by registrar TurnCommerce – where nearly four million .com domain names are warehoused and offered for sale:

None are offered below $195, and 90 percent of their names are priced above $1,000.
The average price is roughly $2,500 per domain – a markup of more than thirty thousand percent (30,000%) over the regulated wholesale price of $7.85.
That’s a profit margin of over 99 percent on each sale
At these prices, the value of the HugeDomains’ inventory is nearly $10 billion
Many of HugeDomains’ names have incredibly high price tags. Here are a few examples from their website, as of November 1, 2018:
NeighborhoodWatch.com for $1.25 million
Margin.com is $3.5 million
Glossary.com is offered at $7.5 million
Even the fluff in their inventory isn’t cheap – Fluff.com is listed at $325,000
And yet, TurnCommerce has been actively lobbying our government to freeze the wholesale price of .com domain names. When they can buy .com names at capped wholesale prices, and mark them up to $2,500, $50,000, $1 million, or even $7 million, does anyone believe they are lobbying for continued price caps in order to protect consumers?

Even traditional registrars like GoDaddy have become big players in the secondary market and hold large portfolios of domain names for resale. GoDaddy’s public filings show it has spent over $100 million buying domain names for resale purposes. GoDaddy holds these domain names and then offers them to consumers and small businesses at prices that are often thousands of times the wholesale price. There’s nothing in GoDaddy’s public filings about its profits from this practice, but GoDaddy claims its domain name portfolio is worth $2.5 billion.

TurnCommerce and GoDaddy are not the only ones profiting from .com price caps. Domain speculation, or “domain scalping,” as some call it, has become a highly profitable industry unto itself. In fact, one of the top domain name speculators in this market reports a net worth of $500 million. These speculators even have their own lobbying group, the Internet Commerce Association (ICA), where TurnCommerce and GoDaddy are members via their subsidiaries NameBright and Afternic.

Ironically, in this speculators’ market, the price control on .com domain names serves only to reduce the cost of domain names bought by these speculators. Domain speculator Frank Schilling stated that the .com price cap “…has given the [domain speculation] industry a shot in the arm,” in a Jan. 2017 podcast interview. Flipping domain names or warehousing them to create scarcity adds nothing to the industry and merely allows those engaged in this questionable practice to enrich themselves at the expense of consumers and businesses.

So how large is this market? The answer may shock you. Verisign estimates that over $1 billion in annual secondary-market sales of .com domain names can be documented through publicly available data. Several domain speculators believe the size of the total market is $2-3 billion a year. Perhaps $1.5 billion is closer to the actual number, which is about equal to the total annual pre-tax domain name revenue of all ICANN registry services providers combined, including Verisign.

Recently, some who profit most from the unregulated secondary domain market have been lobbying our government to freeze .com wholesale prices. They say their goal is to protect small businesses and consumers. But their business models and domain resale prices show that their real goal is to preserve the profits they earn from .com price caps. In fact, the real opportunity for consumer savings would come from reducing or eliminating the more than $1 billion per year in scalping fees that businesses and consumers pay today.

The bottom line is this: Since our government continues to regulate .com prices, then we should make sure that price regulation actually benefits consumers, instead of contributing over a billion dollars to domain speculators every year.

How can we ensure that the intended benefits of the .com price caps actually accrue to consumers? Stay tuned – that question will be tackled in my next blog post, where I’ll explore this question with industry experts. You’ll be surprised at how simple and effective some of the answers will be."
 

Name Guy

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ABOUT VERISIGN
Verisign, a global provider of domain name registry services and internet infrastructure, enables
internet navigation for many of the world’s most recognized domain names. Verisign enables the
security, stability, and resiliency of key internet infrastruct ure and services, including providing
root zone maintainer services, operating two of the 13 global internet root servers, and providing
registration services and authoritative resolution for the .com and .net top - level domains, which
support the majority of global e - commerce. To learn more about what it means to be Powered by
Verisign, please visit Verisign.com.
FOLLOW US
HOW MUCH COULD BUSINESSES
AND CONSUMERS SAVE IF THE
BENEFIT OF .COM PRICE CAPS
WERE PASSED ALONG TO
CONSUMERS?
NOVEMBER 2, 2018 • BY JEANNIE MCPHERSON • DOMAIN NAMES
Hint: It’s at least $1 billion every year.
 

Name Guy

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MapleDots said:
Are you close to the action or are you the action?
Both, and one of your members here who has been stalking and harassing me for the last three years may be close to the action as well....please stay tuned.
 
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