Rather than just write a new single subject story each time, Domainer is also going to reintroduce a regular news bulletin of snippets relating to domains in Australia. By regular, this means perhaps twice a week at this stage! We used to do this some time ago.

Drop.com.au reintroduces some transparency into the expired auction process

In an email sent to its customers late on Friday, Drop has announced that a new auction format is going to be in place as from today. Apparently we are now going to be able to see all bids made on every domain name. Given some of the transparency issues that have dogged Drop (and the resultant bad publicity), this is welcomed by a lot of people. There are some other tweaks in place as well. Please let Domainer know what you think of the new system.

auDA’s new charges for external review of complaints

auDA has revamped their multi-level complaints and appeal processes. These changes come into effect today. Probably the most significant change is to the final step of the process. This is the “External Review”. Once costing the applicant just $250 + GST (which was refunded if review was successful), it has now increased to a minimum of $2000 + GST (no success refund mentioned!). auDA and the applicant will share this cost 50/50. Full story here.

Monetisation and the new .au licensing rules

For those unsure of the new rules in relation to monetisation, this auDA blog article could possibly help. One thing Domainer takes out of it is this statement:

To ensure you remain eligible to hold your domain name you may need to update the basis on which your name meets the allocation criteria. 

While you will need to assess what is best for your own circumstances, you may wish to register a matching business name to ensure you meet the allocation criteria.

A little bird has told us

Is there a competitor to Drop in the wings? We have good reason to believe so. This rumour has been around for a little while now – and will no doubt be welcomed by many people – including probably auDA. 🙂 Competition is a great thing!

More soon …

23 thoughts on “Domain News Snippets

  • Avatar
    April 12, 2021 at 10:20 am
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    A new drop catching competitor? Hallelujah!! Obviously it will be great to see a second drop catcher appear on the market to keep the drop catching game fair.

    Good to see Drop.com.au is about to upgrade their system in a few hours, bringing transparent bidding back is a good step in the right direction for the domain name industry and Drop.

    But, Drop still haven’t explained what happened to Help.com.au and ic.com.au over the past few months, with what could be considered insider trading. It would be nice if Drop came out and were transparent about what happened.

    I’m sure we’ll all be watching for more “buried” domains on the new transparent-bidding drop list by Drop to see “who” buys these names and if the shenanigans continue…

    Today is an exciting day for Australian domain names with auDA’s new Licensing Rules going LIVE. auDA have written a blog article about this today here – https://www.auda.org.au/news/audas-new-licensing-framework-goes-live

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  • Avatar
    April 12, 2021 at 1:55 pm
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    Without the monetisation rule surely a lot of names are going in the crosshairs for deletion?

    For example if a name is caught in drop (short of registering dozens of business names like it is 2001 again) how would a domainer be able to validly hold that name?

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    • Avatar
      April 12, 2021 at 2:50 pm
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      Snoopy, it is now easier than ever (under the new policy that began today) to monetize most generic .com.au and .net.au domain names.

      This is explained in this interview featuring expert domain name lawyer and auDA director Erhan Karabardak

      https://domainer.com.au/domainer-show-episode-34/

      FROM THE POLICY:

      com.au and net.au namespace
      2.4.4 A Person applying for a licence in the com.au and net.au namespaces must be

      a commercial entity; and
      the domain name applied for must be:

      (f) a match or synonym of the name of:
      (i) a service that the Person provides;

      1.4 DEFINITIONS
      In these auDA Rules:
      Service includes:
      8. a service providing information or a referral to another provider which relates to
      goods or services used by the public or a sector of the public.

      https://www.auda.org.au/policy/au-domain-administration-rules-licensing

      Those who have a generic keyword name and a basic page that satisfies the meaning of ‘Service’ under 8. above will feel confident that any complaint made about their registration will be knocked down as invalid.

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  • Avatar
    April 12, 2021 at 2:13 pm
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    Choice and competition are essential in any industry.

    I hope this is more than a pipedream.

    Jeff

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    • Avatar
      April 12, 2021 at 3:11 pm
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      Even if a competitor was to emerge, it would still fail. Don’t forget that Melbourne IT owned Netfleet faltered after Anthony Peake left.

      To be a competitor, the auction platform would need to register expired domains faster than Drop.com.au. To do this requires having more registrar connections.

      It’s a bit like the game of Risk, where 3 x the troops are needed to successfully invade an opponents territory because the odds are against them.

      The problem is, Drop.com.au already has a swagger of registry connections, and it is not commercially feasible for someone to set up a drop catcher because this would mean having several accredited .au registrars. Accreditation and compliance is expensive and there are annual fees payable.

      So like I’ve said twice before, there is no money in it.

      Even if a competitor did emerge, bidders would still need to bid on both platforms. High bids on Drop.com.au (that are now public) would influence bids on the other platform.

      So what are you seeking? Cheaper domains? It’s just not going to happen. Best thing you can all do is realise that the best way to build a portfolio these days is to buy from others, ie weak hands.

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      • Avatar
        April 12, 2021 at 3:16 pm
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        I don’t agree with pretty much anything you said here Charlie. Bring on another drop catcher!

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        • Avatar
          April 12, 2021 at 3:48 pm
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          I hope a high profile domainer starts their own drop catcher as then they will not be able to bid on the drops and secondly every $1 they throw at such an enterprise is $1 they cannot spend buying names.

          So yes, bring it on!

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          • Avatar
            April 12, 2021 at 4:03 pm
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            That’s a pretty weird thing to hope for?

            But, even if a domainer did start their own drop catcher, perhaps they could just start another entity called Buzzini? That model seems to work and be allowed…

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            • Avatar
              April 12, 2021 at 4:34 pm
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              It’s only domainers who would think (hope) drop catching could somehow be commercially viable for a new entrant.

              So no, it’s not a weird comment at all. I simply cannot see anyone with business nous starting a drop catcher right now.

              But then again, domainer blogs and forums aren’t always profit making enterprises and they exist (and thousands of hours put into them), so anything is possible…

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              • Neddy
                April 14, 2021 at 5:02 am
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                “Charlie”, you really are sounding like someone associated with Drop! 😉

                Personally, I think with the introduction of new rules and the advent of .au later this year, it is perfect timing for a new drop catcher to enter the market. Some great opportunities exist which I intend highlighting in a future standalone article.

                I also happen to believe that right now auDA would welcome another drop catcher to counter the real lack of competition.

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                • Avatar
                  April 14, 2021 at 5:37 am
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                  I’m not associated with Drop, I’m simply telling it like it is.

                  The auction prices will remain the same whether or not there is another competitor to Drop. This is because Drop now publishes the current highest bids live. Since only one platform can win, having a competitor to Drop will offer no greatly utility to consumers.

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      • Avatar
        April 12, 2021 at 4:25 pm
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        Have to agree with Charlie – there’s not a huge amount of money in Dropcatching in the AU space and the set up costs are high. The big issue is that dropcatchers have no control over the inventory – if there are no good names dropping, then they don’t make any money. With a few exceptions, the quality (and number) of domains dropping is not what it was 10 years ago…

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        • Avatar
          April 13, 2021 at 9:49 am
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          Comparatively, creating a drop catcher is not a particularly expensive endeavour. You just need the right people.

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      • Avatar
        April 13, 2021 at 5:14 am
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        Sounds like you welcome anti-competitive practices Charlie.

        There are UK based registrars that regularly beat the local drop-catcher in the tiny market in NZ. It’s not what you got, it’s how you use it.

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        • Avatar
          April 13, 2021 at 7:17 am
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          No, it really is what you’ve got. That is why Drop / Domain8 had to acquire other registrars when Netfleet began drop catching.

          There really is no profit in someone setting up another drop catcher. I don’t care whether a new one emerges or not, I’m just telling you how it is.

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          • Avatar
            April 13, 2021 at 9:54 am
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            Now that the users have forced Drop to be a bit more transparent, maybe someone will collate a truer picture of just how “unprofitable” a successful drop catcher is.

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            • Avatar
              April 13, 2021 at 12:29 pm
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              I don’t think users have forced Drop’s arm at all, the changes coincide with the introduction of the new .au policy and I know Anthony has been wanting to make these changes for some time.

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      • Neddy
        April 14, 2021 at 5:17 am
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        The problem is, Drop.com.au already has a swagger of registry connections, and it is not commercially feasible for someone to set up a drop catcher because this would mean having several accredited .au registrars. Accreditation and compliance is expensive and there are annual fees payable.

        Not any more “Charlie”. Under the new registrar agreement, registrars can now purchase blocks of additional registry connections at commercial rates. This was such a sensible move by auDA. How much easier for annual compliance and cost is it to have just one registrar?

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        • Avatar
          April 14, 2021 at 5:48 am
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          Time is the most costly input for any business.

          Most domainers don’t appreciate this, hence rarely cost time into their selling prices.

          It’s the same with a drop catching business.

          By the time a registrar accreditation is taken out, compliance is implemented and maintained, customer complaints and customer billing issues are resolved etc, there’s just no money in it.

          Don’t forget all the other things that go with running a company like legals, tax, IP, telephony, hardware, insurances, wages & super etc

          Also there’s always the opportunity cost. eg does one sink 400k into starting such a business and blindly hope that somehow the registrants of tomorrow will be stupider than those of yesterday and let great names expire left right and centre?

          Or is it better to recognise that good names are rarely dropping anymore, there’s no real money in it anymore and 400k would be better used elsewhere?

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          • Neddy
            April 14, 2021 at 6:09 am
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            Charlie, are you glossing over the fact that any new drop catcher doesn’t “necessarily” need to acquire multiple registrars to become competitive in terms of registry connections?

            That is what you said previously.

            P.S. For sake of transparency, I have subsequently added the word “necessarily” into my comment above.

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            • Avatar
              April 14, 2021 at 6:19 am
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              A good cost saving indeed but not enough. I suspect Netfleet was not even profitable before being taken over by Drop. They weren’t catching names competitively that’s for sure and if memory serves customer service had declined significantly.

              Enough talk, bring on the next drop catcher! It’ll be funny. I’m keen to know who might be so fanciful.

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              • Neddy
                April 14, 2021 at 6:25 am
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                I suspect Netfleet was not even profitable before being taken over by Drop. They weren’t catching names competitively that’s for sure and if memory serves customer service had declined significantly.

                Spoken like a true insider “Charlie”. 🙂

                May I suggest you spare your further comments on any potential new drop catcher – my article on this possibility is coming soon.

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  • Avatar
    April 13, 2021 at 7:42 am
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    I don’t like the huge increments in higher price groups…. equals market manipulation.

    In private enterprise, people can price things how they want… when the product is a licence issued with semi government authority, I think the market should set the prices not the auctioneer…

    A $5000 bid should be able to be beaten by $5001 not a forced $10,000

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