More Expiries Due to Furloughs and Layoffs?

17

I noticed a high profile domain name hit the expiry stream recently. The domain name is owned by a pretty big company, and if it is not renewed within the next several days, it will be auctioned to the highest bidder. When I saw the domain name in auction, I started to wonder if we will see more high profile domain name expiries due to corporate layoffs and furloughs at companies throughout the world.

If companies lay off or furlough employees, they will either no longer receive corporate emails or will no longer have an interest in checking their corporate email accounts. Domain name expiration notices that are sent to furloughed staff won’t be answered. Domain names that are set to auto-renew might not get renewed if corporate credit cards on file are canceled because those key employees are no longer employed.

My guess is that we will see some valuable domain names expire. Depending on the domain registrar, these domain names will either hit the auction block or get sucked up by the registrar’s portfolio company and kept by the registrar or a related entity.

I can offer four pieces of advice for larger companies that have an IT staff handling domain names:

  • Use a generic corporate email address for domain name registrations, such as domains@corporation.com or IT@corporation.com. These email addresses will not get deleted if someone on the IT team is laid off or furloughed. The forwarding of the email address should be of critical importance and known by multiple team members.
  • Have a corporate credit card on file at the registrar that is not associated with a specific team member in the event a team member is laid off and the corporate card is canceled.
  • Ensure all domain names are on auto-renew.
  • Work with a corporate domain management firm like Brandsight, CSC, or MarkMonitor to ensure corporate domain names are looked after by a team whose primary focus is domain names.

Depending on how long the economic turmoil lasts, we may end up seeing quite a few valuable domain names come up for auction.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Valuable domains should be renewed for at least 2 years in advance. Any company that doesn’t do it really doesn’t care about it’s domains. Also now a days there’s not a good benefit of buying domain in expired auctions because prices are almost at end-user levels.

  2. Could be disgruntal employee changing the registrant info to unreachable info.
    Most companies look at IT as a liability, not bringing in the revenue money to the company rather than an asset.

  3. Corporate domains actually should not be tied to a corporate email that matches the domain itself. When that domain goes into redemption it will effect DNS and in most cases email tied to that domain will go down. IN this case they won’t receive the renewal messages. Better to tie to a personal email address (owner of the company) in my opinion.

  4. I have few of my best domains renewed for 5 years or more. This makes sure I do not lose domains to accidental expiry. And tells anyone checking whois that domain is not going to expire or drop soon.

  5. Hasn’t Markmonitor reduced its workforce? No doubt its clients in the retail and hospitality sectors have been hammered.

  6. Very few people take advantage of the multiple address in a registration. Corporate clients for whom I function as the Chief Domain Officer, I typically recommend I take the admin role with my email address designated for client domain management purposes, registrant role goes to some official corporate contact higher up on the executive ranks, or their intellectual property lawyer through a redirect, technical contact goes to an IT person, normally, and the billing role goes to a corporate CFO or assignee. It helps to have more than one person and email on record so nothing slips through the cracks. ~ Tasha Kidd

  7. “get sucked up by the registrar’s portfolio company and kept by the registrar or a related entity.”

    No doubt this activity will increase.

    It may be a bit of work to retrieve a valuable domain after the fact yet reaoonalble under the circumstance
    we all face. Buyers should consider this or contact the owner if possible.

    Tasha Kidd – spot on.

    Cheers

  8. Also worth mentioning,
    My clients don’t keep corp cards any more. They use 1 time use “digital” cards for additional security measures.
    auto renew may not be viable for corps going forward and minimum renewal periods may change at reg. to reduce operational costs associated.

Leave a Reply