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What ways are there of automatically purchasing gTLDs?

Specifically - some domains under the new gTLDs set to be released will be extremely popular, and ideally I would like to order some as close to the very second they are released.

What options are there to do this? Is it possible to do so programmatically? Are there any PHP scripts which could do it, for example?

From what I can tell, for example, as described here, companies offering pre-registration cannot guarantee you will get the domain you pre-register for. Why is this the case? Is it possible, in theory, or not?

  • Since more than one entity can choose the same name to "pre-register" (at the same or different registrars) why could you think this is guaranteed to work? Obviously if 100 people pre-register fantastic.example, 99 at least will see their request being denied... – Patrick Mevzek May 3 '18 at 6:54
  • Technically what you seek is possible, ask any good registrar. But it does not work like that: before the gTLD goes live you do not know its eligibility restrictions or other constraints, so you can not just blindly buy domain names. Manual steps are needed. – Patrick Mevzek May 3 '18 at 6:56
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When you pre-register a domain name with a registrar (essentially an approved reseller) they are not actually reserving it for you at that time with the domain registry but simply taking note that you would like that domain and adding it to a list for the registrar to try and automatically purchase as soon as the domain registry makes the new gTLD available in the General Availability (GA) phase for registration, at which point anyone can register domains.

One of the reasons it is not possible for a registrar to guarantee you will get the domain you pre-register, is that multiple registrars may have taken pre-registration orders for the same domain name, and in which case the first registrar to get their order in with the domain registry will be successful for their customer.

In some cases the domain registry will accept lists of all pre-registration domains from registrars just prior to opening the General Availability phase, and if more than one person or business is trying to acquire a particular name they may put it to auction with the interested parties with the highest bidder winning the name, or they may award the names on a first come first serve basis given the date and time of the pre-registration.

The method followed is not consistent between domain registries so I would not be able to clarify further without knowing the specific gTLD you are referring to here.

If this is important to you it is always worth reading from the domain registry's website what their process is for the Pre-Registration phase and how they allocate their domains in the event of multiple parties trying to register the same name.

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