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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    453

    It's all going to change...

    Well, I suppose that I can be the first to say that I might have been wrong about something. At this point, while I still don't want to see WLS happen, and I'm still not entirely sure that it will happen, events of the past 3 weeks or so have me second-guessing, and thinking that it may, indeed, come to pass. Steamroller-like, if you will.

    If it does, I stand to lose 2 bottles of good scotch in a bet

    But, if it does, the whole landscape is going to change. WLS slots, because of the blackout, are going to become the new drop.

    And dropped domains will still continue, for those that didn't get WLS slots, but they will all, by definition, be worth less than $24. Why go for a chance in the drop when, on the day before the 5-day drop stage, you can get the WLS for $24?

    Registrars who are now catching drops, but don't have NameStore access (and that's quite a large number of them) will be out of luck. Pool and NameWinner and the larger drop-catching companies will be out of business. Sure, they might spend the money to get NameStore systems up, but then they'll be going for those WLS names that go into blackout and have value coming out of the blackout. And guess what? The model is completely different. The advantages given by having lots of registrar credentials isn't nearly what it is now in the drop. The playing field will be leveled amongst WLS-drop-catchers (though not for consumers, who will still have to go through that process, including the auctions that will surely occur).

    Predictions of a level playing field for consumers are, in the proposed model, just wrong. And I don't see the model changing. If WLS happens, it'll happen as currently ammended (see ICANN's letter of a few days ago).

    Meanwhile, all of the larger companies with inside knowledge (surely you've read the essays on why WLS gives advantage to the larger registrars) and cash on hand will grab all of the better-value WLS slots for themselves. They'll auction them off, either immediately for high prices, or after they ripen, for astronomical prices (simply because they'll be auctioning the domain itself at that point). Perhaps a few well-connected speculators will get a piece of the pie.

    Same game, different model, same players.

    Does anyone disagree? I'm open to alternative opinions...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Langley, BC
    Posts
    396
    Registrars who are now catching drops, but don't have NameStore access (and that's quite a large number of them) will be out of luck.
    There's a teensy little fact you overlooked here

    But looking at the rest of your statement I'm at a loss to understand what you're driving at. Perhaps you could be a little more specific privately?

    gmartfin@shaw.ca


    Gordon
    "Country Codes Only" The cctld sales newsletter @ http://DropWizard.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    453
    No, I don't think I overlooked anything.

    Those registrars can partner. That's what you're getting at?

    If no, then perhaps I did overlook something. Care to clue me in?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    MA, USA
    Posts
    4,582
    I don't think I believe in a "level" playing field in the sense that everyone will be happy, frolicking in the fields, and just giddy all over. I think "advantage" will be astronomically increase toward those who do their homework. It will "surely" be more "level" than now in terms of "capital" needed to actually guarantee a "ripened" name will go to you. For instance, the person who purchased "culinary.com" recently... had they been watching the name for over a year, they might have put a WLS slot on it (if WLS had been in effect a year ago). It would not have cost them an OUNCE of additional money to procure the name. While I understand that WLS takes away incentive for people to think they can profit from seeing an opportunity and *waiting* (driving many WLS-less competitors for a name to the PHONE), I don't think that will be as effective as others feel it will be. Even the so-and-sos that go around "renewing" names, just because... won't be too numerous (at least I'm hoping).

    I think the net effect will simply be cheaper prices and a more plannable model for saavy resellers/drop-chasers or consumers looking for good quality expiring names, or names that fit their needs and appear to have been frivolously registered sometime in the past.

    First-round expired name resellers will either pay a SMALL price for a WLS sub, or a SMALL price for a company to drop-catch. They can mark-it-up all they like, but considering that first-round catcher's resources will not have been squandered with so much "chasing" effort, their ROI will be MUCH improved, and I'm inclined to think someone profit-minded would pass that on to a buyer. A "broker" or second-third round reseller will charge end-users the market rate, as they've always done.

    Would a name like Native.com be offered up, starting at $10,000 or so in this new reality... or will it be more like $20,000 or $25,000? I think that's a complicated question. I'd say NO. It will go for MORE. Why...? Not because prices are being hiked up because of a lack of competition... I think the NameStore model will serve to boost visibility for these names, as intended. The first-round drop-catcher will get more money because more points of sale will be opened up, and used to promote the product.

    I think this moves more positively toward the notion of having people get fair-market value in a short amount of time, something I think resellers would really like. I have a lot of faith that people will adapt. Those that don't will figure out a different nitch to exploit, or move on.

    These days, I see names all the time that have no snaps, look "prime" for dropping (bad contact info, no website, non-answering phone number)... and are long away from their expiration. I'm really anxious for that to matter... or for me to realize whether I need to become more skilled at drop forecasting than I already feel I can be.

    ~ Nexus

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    453
    Very nice insights. Food for thought.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    238

    Post Im back

    Cambler, tell us how you really feel.


    god bless human nature...without it our investment goals would have been much harder to achieve

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    453
    How do I really feel?

    I feel like I need a month on a sandy beach. But that's neither here nor there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    14,877

    Re: It's all going to change...

    Originally posted by cambler
    Registrars who are now catching drops, but don't have NameStore access (and that's quite a large number of them) will be out of luck. [...]
    I own approximatly 500 names which, according to the 2003 Q1 SOTD report, means I own more names then 20% of ICANN registrars have registrations. I know Domain State members that have around 5000 names which means they have more names then 42% of ICANN registrars have registrations.

    Assuming 5% of DomainState members have 500 names and 0.5% have 5000 names this give a total of about 100,000 names or more than 80% of ICANN registrars have registrations.

    Morals of this story:

    1) Most ICANN registrars don't matter ....
    2) Most of the best WLS slots have allready been prereg at NRR ...


    Meanwhile, all of the larger companies with inside knowledge (surely you've read the essays on why WLS gives advantage to the larger registrars) and cash on hand will grab all of the better-value WLS slots for themselves. They'll auction them off, either immediately for high prices, or after they ripen, for astronomical prices (simply because they'll be auctioning the domain itself at that point). Perhaps a few well-connected speculators will get a piece of the pie.
    Your still ignoring the issue I keep bringing up: TIME.

    DomainState members almost instantly found the NRR site and started placing pre reg orders. WLS does not exist and yet there is interest. Sex.com does not expire for years yet the NRR is not available.

    BFL:

    1) Individuals will *ALLWAYS* be willing to purchase WLS further out that large companies can afford to do in bulk.

    2) Individuals will now be far more likey to gain the most valuable domain names and large companies will be left with the middle of the road names on down -- They simply can't afford anything else. The fact that the first year "is only a test" (sic) will reinforce this positioning even more ........
    Last edited by ILikeInfo; 09-12-2003 at 04:18 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    453
    Yes, but having a pre-order at NRR means nothing.

    They're merely one of MANY registrars who will be attempting to get those WLS slots on day one.

    If you have a pre-registration there, your chances of getting the WLS slot are, I would venture, about 3% to 5%.

    Expect other registrars to be opening their own pre-registration queues shortly, as well, and it'll be quite an interesting land rush when WLS opens for real.

    Now... of those NRR pre-registrations taken - how many do you think are taken by individuals, and how many by "players?"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Wales (UK)
    Posts
    24,745
    I'm not so sure its as clear cut as that.

    sex.com was always going to be wls'd - purely for bragging rights. commercially the wls on that domain is all but useless in real terms.

    I have trouble buying the argument that an army of speculators willm on a whim, throw money on names that in all likelihood will never drop.

    The wls's with the real value are those that *are* likely to drop and have some kind of obvious value (traffic/recognition). If people just throw their wls allowances on any old domain - regardless of how good the domain is, they're not going to be causing much damage to anyone and they're not going to be helping themselves either by locking their money into something which doesn't carry a good return.
    When using google for counts - use double quotes for usage counts for multiword terms and set "match type" to "exact" for all search volume lookups. Click here for more info

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Wales (UK)
    Posts
    24,745
    unlike the current drop the doors for wls are opening with a clean slate. that means that how the chasing registrars structure their lists compared to their competitors will have a very material impact on their success.

    this means that registrars that sort their queue by auction bid amount etc are, imo, going to fare substantially better than those that don't on the better names because they'll be front of queue. those nrr slots on the obvious top tier likely to drop names are relying on the placement on nrr's queue - and given theres no difference between sex.com and ahsjdhsajd.com pricewise theres no real reason for nrr to take any of this into account.
    When using google for counts - use double quotes for usage counts for multiword terms and set "match type" to "exact" for all search volume lookups. Click here for more info

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    14,877
    Originally posted by safesys
    sex.com was always going to be wls'd - purely for bragging rights. commercially the wls on that domain is all but useless in real terms.

    Agreed, however I think the bracket that includes sex.com also includes many other names that individuals will purchase the WLS for and thus over time individuals will control the best names .... Only individuals will be stupid enough to throw that much money away on that much risk.


    I have trouble buying the argument that an army of speculators willm on a whim, throw money on names that in all likelihood will never drop.

    I see an aweful lot of valueless names for sale at high amounts here in the sales threads of DomainState .....

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    453
    For sale, yes. But sold? Not really.

    The speculators might pay $6.95 to have them for sure, but will they pay $24+ to *maybe* have them?

    I think that's safesys's point.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    238

    im back, but not for long..

    regarding sex.com, it wont suprise me if kremen will loose this name again.


    I do not agree at all with Cohen stealing the domain...that was wrong.
    BUT at least Cohen had a clue about what to do with it... Kremen has taken the single most valuable piece of Adult Internet real estate and has managed to take it down in value quite considerably....
    He might "seemingly" have high, lofty moral values, but he don't know **** about business.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    14,877
    Originally posted by cambler
    For sale, yes. But sold? Not really.

    All that matters is that someone purchased them thinking they could sell them. Nothing else matters .... Hope, dreams, and emotion will allways affect enough people that WLS slots will be purchased far beyond what makes sense logically.

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