Should You Worry About Being A “Reseller”?

Just recently, Anthony from Drop sent me an email about the possible dangers of being a “reseller”.

He sent me links to auDA policy, as well as the Synergy Reseller Agreement.

He subsequently made this post on DNTrade. This is an excerpt.

However under auDA Section 4 Market Conduct – If you are a Domain Investor and active in Drop Catching, it is safe to say that using a Reseller account is in breach and one should seriously reconsider using one. We would even take it further and suggest that the act of having an active Reseller account, even with no domains in it, would still be considered a breach on the rest of your domain portfolio managed by a different Registrar.

Whilst I have the majority of my domains at Drop, I do have around 500 at Synergy Wholesale (Synergy). At this stage, having an account at Synergy automatically makes you a reseller.

So naturally, I was worried. On the face of it, Anthony had raised some good points.

Follow up – Synergy Wholesale

I contacted Synergy for their take on it, and the initial response I got was that whilst it raised an interesting perspective, they felt it was a technicality on words. Just to make sure though, they may build a “I’m not a reseller option” into their interface; and modify the terms to clarify this.

They did finish by saying that they found it funny that their competitor was finding technicalities to scare Synergy customers!

Follow up – auDA

Today I spoke to Bruce Tonkin (Chief Operating Officer at auDA). He was aware of the situation.

In summary, he clarified that individual domain investors should not feel threatened. What auDA is more concerned about are some of the bigger corporate resellers who may pre-emptively register or warehouse domains based on what people may be searching for – and then offer them for resale at inflated prices. And there are also some other possible scenarios.

I then asked Bruce a couple of specific questions.

  • If I bought a domain name on the expired auctions or privately or on an aftermarket platform, and then kept the domain at Synergy or other reseller (with a landing page or at a parking provider), would I be in breach of relevant reseller policies? No.
  • If I as a domain investor created my own aftermarket domain sales platform on my own website (and the domains were at a reseller), would I be in breach of relevant reseller policies? No.

Conclusion

I think it was good that Anthony raised this potential issue. Like a lot of auDA policy, some wording can be confusing and contradictory at times.

As always though, it pays to make your own enquiries. If in doubt, speak to your registrar. Don’t take what I say to be gospel. 🙂

9 thoughts on “Should You Worry About Being A “Reseller”?

  • November 10, 2021 at 8:01 am
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    Smacks of dirty tricks.

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  • November 10, 2021 at 10:24 am
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    As an owner of a number of domains I have never considered myself as a reseller even though I have a number of accounts with registrars. The majority of my domains are with Synergy Wholesale which I have always considered to be a wholesale account which also offers some tools for resellers if needed.

    Personally I have always found Synergy Wholesale domain prices to be very competitive even for those who have a smaller portfolio.

    Perhaps drop has concerns because they are also a reseller for their sister companies, fabulous and yexa as well as being a registrar in their own right. I find this to be slightly odd, but I assume within the rules. Perhaps someone can explain the benefits of being a registrar and reseller.

    PS. Welcome back Ned.

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    • November 10, 2021 at 2:36 pm
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      As always, a thoughtful post Nobby.

      Like you, I consider Synergy Wholesale to be exactly that – a wholesale account with bells and whistles if you need it.

      And then there is TPP Wholesale (ownership now changed). For many years they were the flagship registrar for “resellers / wholesalers”.

      I think the rules and policies around this whole reseller / registrar / domain investor (registrant) business need to be better defined by auDA.

      As I said in my article, in some ways it was good that Anthony raised this issue.

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  • November 10, 2021 at 12:34 pm
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    Concrete clarification from auDA would be useful.

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  • November 10, 2021 at 1:09 pm
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    Great to have you back Ned.

    The recent posts made by Anthony over at dntrade .com .au are misleading and clearly for their own self interest. They’re not fooling anyone by pretending they don’t hold the monopoly over drop catching. They catch 100% of the drop catching market, every day. Do they think domainers are stupid?

    What a new low though, to try and scare domainers into leaving Synergy for Drop .com .au by insinuating its bad to own a Reseller account at Synergy Wholesale. anti-competitive behaviour?

    Bring on the new drop catcher. I can’t believe how long they’re taking though.

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  • November 10, 2021 at 1:16 pm
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    Welcome back Ned.

    Will be good to see some consistent articles happening again on this site.

    I agree with above comment, looks like it was written with an ulterior motive. Thanks for clarifying.

    But what’s that I see in recent top domain saleS? Insurance.com.au !!!!! please explain

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    • November 10, 2021 at 2:13 pm
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      Eagle eyed Gazza! I put it up there to see if anyone was paying attention. You obviously were. 🙂

      I’ve taken it down again, but I am going to do a story about this transaction that took place 5 years ago to the week (I can now talk about it). I was the broker.

      It will make for interesting reading (next week).

      Thanks for your other comments.

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  • November 10, 2021 at 8:00 pm
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    Welcome back Ned 🙂

    An interesting read, the outlook isn’t as dire as the DNT article would suggest.

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