I think fairness has always been an issue in the domain space. People and companies are often able to cut private deals with registries, registrars, parking companies, and other industry companies, and the results of their deals may be looked upon by others with some jealousy and perhaps disillusionment. Whether you agree with private deals or you don’t, they happen in the domain space as much or more than any other business.
One thing I like to remind people is that anyone can try and cut these private deals with other registries, and as long as they aren’t breaking ICANN rules or laws, it could be beneficial. I keep a relatively small portfolio of domain names, so I am not a big dealmaker with service providers, but I don’t see anything wrong with making deals as long as they are ethical and legal.
On DomainInvesting.com, you can see the Radix banner advertising .Website, .Host, and .Press domain names. When you click the banner, you’re taking to a page on the company’s website advertising the various “Super Premium Names” offered by the Registry. You cand find the prices by clicking the name, clicking through to a registrar and searching for that name.
Below this section, there is a contact form on the website to ask questions or make comments. If I wanted to buy specific reserved premium domain names from Radix, I would most likely contact the registry directly to try and work out deals. I would tell the registry reps what I was going to do with these domain names, and I would make a case for them working out a mutually beneficial deal. I think it makes sense for interested domain investors and developers to do the same and try to make deals happen.
— Randy Reddig (@rr) August 25, 2014
As you can see in the tweet above, Randy Reddig announced that he was able to get RR.CO for his website, and he thanked the .CO Registry in the tweet. I believe RR.CO was a premium domain name held by the Registry, and I assume a private deal was struck to buy and use this domain name. It is my belief that anyone can approach just about any domain registry with an idea and an offer, and the opportunity will be considered.
Whether a new gTLD registry has a founders program or not, domain investors may be able to reach out to the registry to cut a favorable deal. I don’t think a registry will cut a good deal just so a domain investor can flip the domain name (aside from very large deals perhaps), but it never hurts to ask.
Instead of lamenting the fact that some domain investors are able to work out seemingly great deals with various domain industry companies, perhaps you should consider taking the steps to cut your own deals.