Let’s Talk About The .XYZ Auction On NameJet

The .XYZ and .College Advance Auctions are in full swing with BlackFriday.xyz closing tomorrow and a slew of other premium .XYZ and .College names to follow in the coming weeks. This is a different type of auction, it’s a new concept, and it has definitely seen its fair share of controversy in the domain industry. At first I was confused by the auction and how it all worked but now all the information is out there and I actually think it’s a pretty cool idea.

First let’s clear up a bunch of confusion around this auction and then I want to talk about why I think Daniel is just ahead of his time. Below are a few issues I’ve heard about the auction that I’ve looked-into more for clarity, hopefully this will clear up confusion you have had as well.

Isn’t it against ICANN policy to allocate domains prior to Sunrise?

Yes it is, but there are no allocations going on here. If there were allocations taking place it would be in violation of ICANN policy but that is simply not happening here.

If a buyer ends-up not having a name allocated to them once allocation is allowed will they lose the money they paid?

This is the weirdest complaint I’ve heard because honestly it sounds crazy to me that anyone would think a registry or NameJet would just take money and give nothing in return. If for any reason a domain is not allocated and someone has paid for the rights to have it allocated once that is allowed they will get a refund.

What about potential collisions, won’t that get in the way of these allocations next year?

The names in this auction are from a list of 100 names that the Registry Agreement says registries are allowed to allocate for themselves. That means that unless .XYZ or .College themselves decide to create collisions with themselves then there won’t be an issue.

I think this is probably the most missed point here so let me say it again. The Registry Agreement has given new gTLD registries a list of 100 domains that they can allocate for themselves. This means that the registry has the full authority to allocate these when the time comes, no collisions are going to get in the way.

Last but certainly not least, if .XYZ and .College don’t have a signed contract with ICANN how can they do this?

This is definitely a sticking point for people when I look at comments on other blogs. From my understanding .XYZ and .College are not currently being bid on or fought for by multiple people. Daniel Negari is going to run them and there’s nobody out there saying, “Hey how dare they auction of my domains, I own .XYZ and .College.” If anyone else on this planet was planning to run these don’t you think they would be making a huge stink about this?

Most of my blog readers are NameJet customers, they buy names on NameJet quite a bit and I honestly have almost never found anyone who doesn’t like NameJet. Do you really think that NameJet is going to run an auction that hurts domain investors? That would be terrible for their brand and not worth the risk of auctioning off 40 names. Like Daniel, the folks over at NameJet know everything that is being done here is comfortably within the rules…but here’s the catch, it’s never been done before.

So here’s what I think everyone is missing

Just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it’s not allowed. If you’ve met Daniel or followed his incredible success then you know he’s not some sneaky guy trying to skirt the rules. What he is doing is something that hasn’t been done before, he’s taking 40 of the 100 gTLDs that he will have the power to allocate as a registry and letting people have the chance to bid on them early.

If you look at the prices you’ll see these are not going to sell for tens of thousands of dollars like many of their counterparts in .COM would. Also who’s to say if .NET, .ORG, .CO, .ME, .TV, .APP, or .NYC is better than .XYZ, they’re just different TLDs and at the end of the day it all matters what you do with it. I see the opportunity for startup founders to get the keyword they want in one of the many new gTLDs that is coming over the next couple of years. I personally like .XYZ but you might like .APP or maybe you live in New York City and like .NYC. Everyone is going to like some TLDs and dislike others and most people are only going to like one or two.

If you do like .XYZ this offers the opportunity to lock-in a premium domain for way less than I’ve seen other registries auction off their names for. So many gTLDs have held auction like this and the prices can easily get out of the price range most startups can afford. Daniel is leveling the playing field and offering a real opportunity here.

So I want to understand, who is getting hurt here? There are no other people claiming to be the “real” operators of .XYZ or .College and indicating that Daniel is lying and stealing their gTLD from under them, these are Daniel’s gTLDs he’s worked his butt off in the domain industry for years and will have signed contracts and be running these TLDs, I don’t know anyone who thinks otherwise.

These names come from a list of 100 names that he is allowed to allocate so claims that the names will somehow be involved in collisions or Trademark disputes are just wrong, that actually can’t happen.

I think the end result here will be 40 premium names selling for a lot lower price than they have before in other TLDs. Many Domainers will say “See, I told you, these are worth so little, glad I didn’t invest in them!” And there will be startup founders and small business owners who will get domains that they’ll build great things on and acquire at a lower price than just about ever before.

People are always scared of new things. Sorry folks but like it or not things are changing in the domain world. People like Daniel Negari and Frank Schilling and companies like Donuts are shaking things up and putting the spotlight on the next domain revolution. It might not be your cup of tea and that’s fine, I personally think .COMs are going to increase in value over the next five years and I’m pretty laser-focused on buying .COMs right now.

That being said I am absolutely buying some .XYZs, some .Colleges, .APPs, .NYCs and many other new gTLDs that I believe in. I’m not going to buy thousands of names but I’ll buy a handful of each. Five years from now I think my portfolio will be 90% .COM and 10% new gTLDs and I’ll stay focused on premiums. When startups approach me interested in buying a new gTLD name I own I won’t quote them 10x what I paid or look for a big six-figure price, I also want to see everyone get their chance to carve out their own space on the web and can see myself building on many of the new gTLDs that I buy.

I will ask for a premium for my .COMs and I do think that the one and two-word .COMs I own now I will be offering for more than I am now five years from now. If someone doesn’t like that and wants a deal, that’s where the new gTLDs come in. So let’s get to the root of the issue here, if NameJet isn’t breaking any rules, and Daniel isn’t breaking any rules, and if these 40 names are on a list of 100 names cleared by ICANN for registries to allocate themselves then who the heck is getting hurt? Why would this be anything but a great marketing opportunity for .XYZ and .College and a great buying opportunity for people who want to buy these names at a really stellar price?

What do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton