Earlier this year, it was announced that Verisign will be increasing the wholesale cost for .com domain name registrations and renewals (this includes domain name transfers). The price increase will be implemented in less than a month on September 1, 2021. Verisign has the contract to operate and manage the registry for .com domain names.
The wholesale cost, paid to Verisign by domain registrars like GoDaddy and Namecheap, will be raised to $8.39/year. The current cost is $7.85/year. The wholesale price does not include the domain registrar’s mark-up, nor does it include the additional $.18 fee charged by ICANN.
Domain registrars set their retail pricing based on many proprietary factors. Some registrars treat domain name registrations as loss leaders for higher margin products, and they offer special deals and coupon codes to reduce the price of domain name registrations, renewals, and transfers. As a result, it is difficult to predict how domain registrars intend to pass down the wholesale price increase to customers.
I have begun to receive emails from domain registrars to notify me of upcoming price increases. For most domain investors, the price increase from registrars will likely be close to the 7% price increase charged by Verisign. Domain investors tend to be price sensitive, so a change that is not in-line with the price increase could lead to attrition.
Domain investors may consider renewing domain names in advance of the price increase on September 1.