Afternic boasts “more than 100 partners” in its reseller network, and I have found it to be a great way to passively sell my domain names. Domain name registrants can list their domain names on Afternic, and eligible sale listings will show throughout its partner network. Many of the partners include registrars like Namecheap and Name.com, in addition to GoDaddy, the parent company of Afternic.
I have been aware of some partner registrars marking up the prices of Afternic listings, but I just learned that at least one partner offers a small discounted price for Afternic listings. I learned about this when someone asked about opting out from Afternic partners that alter the list price:
Can we have an option @afternic forcing participating DLS registrar not to discount/markup names. @PaulENicks @jjstyler . A lot of effort has been put in pricing the names and I am seeing 15% price variation at some. Just a switch on account/individual level
— dotcorner (@dotcorner) July 27, 2021
A bit of further discussion led me to check out a couple of my sale listings on Namecheap. I have AlmostPerfect.com listed on Afternic with a price of $19,988. This is the price that is shown when someone searches for the domain name at GoDaddy and at other registrar partners, such as Network Solutions and Dynadot.
A search of this domain name on Namecheap shows the domain name is available to purchase there for $19,390, as you can see from the screenshot below. This is nearly a 3% discount off the list price.
When Afternic-listed domain names sell at Namecheap, the seller is credited with the full list price. I presume this means Namecheap is able to discount the price by giving up some of the commission it would earn on a sale.
On the flip side are partners that mark up the price of Afternic-listed domain names. Name.com, Enom, and Epik appear to increase the price of Afternic-listed domain names that are shown to people who search via their platform. For instance, AlmostPerfect.com is listed for sale via Name.com for $22,986.20. This is a 15% markup from the list price. I believe Name.com (and other partners that do this) keep the additional sale revenue.
There could be different reasons for each strategy. Namecheap may look at it as a volume play, and people who shop at different registrars for the best price of a domain name would find it cheaper at Namecheap.
Enom and other registrars that mark up the price, on the other hand, may want the additional revenue to make these sales worth its while. Perhaps the company understands its customers are willing to pay a bit more for their desired domain name and won’t go price shopping. Perhaps their analysis has shown a buyer isn’t dissuaded by the marked up price.
While I highlighted a handful of registrars because I know about their pricing, I am sure there are other registrars and partners doing the same thing, possibly at different percentages. Personally, it doesn’t bother me that some registrars change the price, but I don’t spend a ton of time setting my prices. Some sellers take issue with this, and I understand why they don’t love it. I believe sellers can opt out of selling at partners that change pricing, but that is something to discuss directly with Afternic.