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If I ordered a domain from a registrar company for 2 years, then my domain became very famous and it's market value increased very much, what prevents the registrar from asking for very high fees for renewing my domain ?

  • Couldn't the domain be transferred to a different registrar? I would think that if the domain had so much value a fee increase wouldn't be much of a problem, anyway. – Andrew Myers Sep 21 at 20:17
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    Not sure from a legal standpoint, but this practise would otherwise be very "deceitful" as they would be essentially holding you to ransom. If word got out of their behavior then it would be very bad for their business - I think that alone would be enough for them not to do it. ("Market value" of a domain name is also very subjective.) – DocRoot Sep 22 at 14:49
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    @AndrewMyers I would think that any registrar that unreasonably increased the renewal fees could equally slap on a huge transfer fee. – DocRoot Sep 22 at 14:50
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    I don't think registrars have the ability to charge when a domain name is transferred away from them. See hostway.com/blog/… I think they can only charge a transfer fee when transferring from some other registrar. – Stephen Ostermiller Sep 22 at 20:46
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    @StephenOstermiller I've encountered several registrars in the past that charged an additional fee to "transfer-out". None that charge to "transfer-in" (except perhaps for a standard "renewal" fee - depending on TLD) - which wouldn't really make sense from a business point of view IMO. – DocRoot Sep 23 at 0:15
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Besides the fact that your question may depend on the TLD, the answer is "probably nothing", except that if this practice becomes known I think it would attract bad buzz and hence clients going elsewhere.

Also as comments hinted at, you are free to transfer your domain to another registrar at any time (after 60 days) and since you are also free to renew at any time (at least for all gTLDs and most ccTLDs), you can easily see if there are problems on the price. Again, in gTLD world and many ccTLD you can register or renew your domain for up to 10 years, which can shield you quite a long time from price changes: if your domain is famous or even if it is not but at least as soon as it is the basis of some business, it makes no sense to renew it from one year to another, it should be registered for at least 5 years in advance.

Note however that registries, at least in gTLD world are mostly free to change their price at any time and obviously these changes of price will get passed on by registrars to end clients. Things also depend if the domain was a premium from the beginning or not: some premiums will renew at standard price, some as premium registration price, this all differs from one registry, or TLD, to the other.

Also, a recent change of contract for .ORG basically allows the registry to no set prices per domain, if it so wishes (their communication for now is that they won't do that). See http://domainincite.com/24458-org-now-has-no-price-caps-but-no-specific-plans-to-raise-prices for example for some details on this.

  • Thank you very much, so there is almost no legal protection :( – Accountant م Sep 23 at 17:36
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    There are none also in many other areas: when you contract for one year of web hosting or DNS hosting, there are no protections against change of prices at the end of the year... And web/DNS hosting companies will have far more metrics at hand to see if your domain is "famous" (starting with volume of traffic to it) than a registrar. – Patrick Mevzek Sep 23 at 17:38
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The first reason is competition. The registrar cannot force you to stay with them and there are tons of registrars. If they charged you 10 times their public price you'd just go to the next one.

The second reason is economics. If your domain is famous, you probably need a lot of other stuff : emails, servers, IPs... If they lost all their big customers, it would be a terrible business strategy. Doesn't make sense economically.

The third reason is practicality. A good registrar will manage hundreds of thousands of domain. It is very hard to keep track and know which domains actually drive good traffic. What is a "famous" domain? It's hard to define this programmatically. And there's no point in doing it by hand to charge 100€ for its renewal.

  • Thank you very much, I agree with you in the first reason. Regarding second reason In my case I ordered a domain from a company, but I chose another company for hosting, so my registrar only sell me domain name registration service. – Accountant م Sep 23 at 17:35
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    Then your registrar won't know what traffic goes to your domain (easily) so you don't have to worry about it... However, domain prices tend to go up every year or so (by 1€, 50cts, 2€...). If you want to secure your domain price, you might want to renew for 5 years... At least you're sure they can't jack up the price. And in 5 years when you renew, either you're rich and you won't care to pay a little more at renewal, or your company/project will have crashed and you won't need to renew :D – EdouardF Sep 24 at 7:24
  • Yes, longer renewal >= 5 years should be the solution. I asked this question because I ordered a .auction domain a year ago for 40$ from a well-known domains company, and when I came to renew they asked for 704 € !!!! I contacted the support team, and they told me it's a technical issue, and apologized for it, and told me they don't set the fees based on individual domain names, but they may change the fees for all the domain they have. – Accountant م Sep 24 at 7:32
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    Ok yes for those special gtlds, prices tend to be way higher than regular extensions (like .com or .org). When the new gtlds came out (.pizza, .auction, .bar, .cloud...) anyone could apply to buy them and set them up. The cost to apply and manage an extension is super high and they're free to set the price. So they tend to put crazy prices on them. – EdouardF Sep 24 at 7:36

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