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While it seems to me that if there ever were ones the eras of free or unified pricing for either ccTLDs and gTLDs are gone; I assume that there still might be some criteria to ensure that a price of an informative domain will always be minimal (both when buying it and renewing it):
The lowest price one can find for a domain, as long as this criteria is/are valid.

Until today I bought around 30 ccTLDs but not even one gTLD.
I assume that a lot of knowlege might be in the web about how to purchase gTLDs "smartly", but I don't have experience with the purchasing (and marketing) of them and I feel I should advice first as I worry that purchasing gTLDs might often be somewhat different than purchasing ccTLDs.

I ask the following question because I am afarid to buy some gTLD that in one year or two years become containing at least one phrase which has since then become "prestigious" and thus at least in theory, the domain will cost me much more to renew than how it costed me when I first bought it.

How to ensure I always buy an informative domain in the lowest price possible?
In other words: How to avoid a price gambling when buying a domain, especially gTLD?

  • "While it seems to me that the era of unified pricing for either ccTLDs and gTLDs are behind us" That never existed. Or show some references if you want to claim that. – Patrick Mevzek Jan 3 at 10:35
  • I wouldn't call that "unified pricing". com domains were free before being run by Network Solutions (not exactly the same company as the one today with same bame), which does not mean all domains were free, ccTLDs certainly weren't. And if they were, they all became not free, and all at a different time. But at this era we talk about, basically noone was using the Internet and the web barely existed. So comparing this previous time with today is kind of completely different things. – Patrick Mevzek Jan 3 at 10:39
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How to ensure I always buy an informative domain in the lowest price possible?

You can't, specifically if you aim to guarantee future lowest prices. End of story.

You seem to have multiple questions recently all around TLD pricing, always with some strange views or references to one specific TLD that does not have a place in most questions.

The domain registration business does not work the way you seem to think it does; In short, prices are free, and can change (mostly) at any time. This mostly reflects the economical worldview most countries currently have which is, as you know, supply and demand - putting aside the different moral views about it.

There are restrictions (gTLDs are under contract with ICANN, ccTLDs operators are under some kind of contracts with the respective governments, all of these contracts may have sections about prices or price changes), but to summarize for end users the fact is that no price is guaranteed, neither increase nor decrease nor time frames.

If you want a low price at any given time, you shop around then and do your best. Whatever TLD you choose you have no way to be guaranteed its future renewal price, the registry can change it at any time after your registration.

The current .ORG sell from one non-profit to a for profit company, and the related ICANN contract change just before that allows basically the registry to increase prices as it wish (and some very strange interviews from people in charge show that they claim that 10% increase per year is "customary" and "not a problem") is an example of the kind of unsettling situation indeed we can be at: everyone having capitalized on its .ORG domain name is now in jeopardy as it can have its prices increase (for no real technical reason), without a realistic way now to switch to another domain. See https://www.eff.org/press/releases/eff-icann-stop-org-domain-registry-sale-private-equity-firm for one example of people pushing back against this.

Typically, gTLDs registries increase their domain name prices regularly (like yearly or less), because they can and market that for better services and security. ccTLDs may decrease prices because some are under contract that forces them to be run in a non-profit fashion (ex: .FR) but even in this case you can have creative accounting or starting a foundation as many ccTLDs did, that basically means the price can not be reduced, and has to be increased each year even if the volume of domain names increases too.

On the contrary, when there are huge promotions (like Afilias did back in the days for .INFO) where basically a domain name can be brought for close to 0, this is not necessarily good (for this specific case, a lot of spammers and nefarious users jumped on the occasion to have many throw away domains, which had the consequences that .INFO got a lot of bad press at least, and was even completely blocked by some sysadmins at worst), and certainly not something that will last (that promotion was for one year registration, and one year later you had to pay the renewal at normal prices and the TLD dropped its volume significantly).

Also, as discussed on other questions already, you have specific cases like EAP (higher prices at the start of a TLD) or premiums (higher prices either just at registration and not at renewals later, or higher prices just for any future operations), and for all of this again you just have to shop around and be knowledgeable.

Why would things be different for domain names than anything else? If you buy a web hosting package don't you have the exact same question (and the exact same answer even in larger proportions)?

If you want to believe it, some companies acting as registrars, claimed they will deliver domain name registrations "at cost", without margins. One may still have to see this claim be delivered as for now it is not, and one has then to clearly think about how the company runs if it does not make money out of domain names.

purchasing gTLDs might often be somewhat different than purchasing ccTLDs.

There are no real user-visible differences besides the underlying contracts as explained above. You can read ICANN master contract with registries (the 2012 batch, the legacy ones like com, net, org, etc. have their own specific contract) at https://newgtlds.icann.org/sites/default/files/agreements/agreement-approved-31jul17-en.html About pricing, look specifically at section §2.10.

As for ccTLDs, you would need to get access to the contract between the relevant government and the TLD operator, which is not necessarily public. Relevant sections of it may be incorporated in the registry-registrar agreement (which may or may not be public either) and again parts of it may be included in the registrar-end client agreement, which you agree to when buying the domain, so you should read it before buying any name.

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I have been a domain reseller for many years and I have yet to hear of a registrar charging a renewal price based on the actual domain name. I suspect it would be a spectacular marketing failure. I am not sure what makes you think any business does that.

Firstly it would likely be too hard to manage all the domains and different prices and secondly, if a business tried that, I would simply transfer the domain to a company that didn't do it - i.e. almost any other registrar.

You might find .whatever domain cheaper from registrar to registrar, just like you might find milk or socks cheaper in different stores. The answer to your question is that you need to do your research - the obvious players (the massive businesses) are generally the cheapest as a loss-leader i.e. they are hoping you will also get your hosting through them.

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  • One comment - domain transfer from one seller/reseller to another can be a bureaucratic pain in the ass, can't it in your opinion?... – user58733 Dec 31 '19 at 5:16
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    The domain registry manages a domain overall. Then there are authorised registries who sell the domains. Most of them sell direct to the public or they sell wholesale to people who resell those domains .i.e. resellers. You seem to have many misplaced ideas about the whole system, transferring a domain is as simple as getting the EPP code and applying to transfer the domain. Yes, there are some restrictions e.g. not within 60 days of .com purchase, but they are trivial and don't affect the scenario you are talking about (renewing). You seem to be overthinking this whole thing. – Steve Dec 31 '19 at 6:04
  • You seem to have many misplaced ideas about the whole system I find that totally false - what are the "many" "misplaced ideas" on the gTLD "system" you recognized, please count them by <ol> so no one gets "misplaced". seem to be overthinking this whole thing; again, a statement I recognize as demagogue. Rejecting my edit that removed further demagogue phrasings was not a good move, in my opinion of course. – user58733 Dec 31 '19 at 6:14
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    I am not sure you understand the meaning of the word demagogue: "A leader who obtains power by means of impassioned appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace." – Steve Jan 2 at 11:08
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    "to hear of a registrar charging a renewal price based on the actual domain name" and yet it happens because some registries handle premiums with a price being higher not just at registration, but at any later renewals. So yes, the price can depend on the domain, in a given TLD, and of course registrars are free to choose their margins also differently between premiums and non premiums. – Patrick Mevzek Jan 3 at 11:09

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