Reasons Against Domain Registrar Front Running

Domain registrar front running is when a domain registrar tracks the domain name searches its customers perform, and when the customer does not register the domain name, the registrar registers it. The registrar would then attempt to sell the domain name back to the customer at an inflated price or would prevent the person from registering the domain name at a different registrar. TechCrunch published an article about front running back in 2008.

Over the years and since that time, I have seen dozens of public complaints about domain registrars reportedly front running domain names. I have also received quite a few private emails about this along with blog comments accusing registrars of doing this.

There are numerous reasons for why it doesn’t make much sense for a domain registrar to front run its customers. Over the weekend, Marc Köhlbrugge shared why it is not likely to happen:

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. There are lots of “shady” and “sleazy” practices by ICANN-accredited Registrars and ICANN-contracted gTLD Registry operators, a REAL problem in “Domain Abuse” IGNORED by incompetent, corrupt & captured ICANN — apparently backed by its inept “community” — ever hear of SSAC, or ANYONE at ICANN Org, or its GNSO, complaining about the gross abuse of both the DNS and gTLD domain name REGISTRANTS by the “contracted parties” of ICANN? How about “domain stuffing”? We all know about the infamous domain stuffing practiced by new gTLD .XYZ and Network Solutions (under its prior ownership). Unfortunately the new owners of Network Solutions have engaged in the same practice (my Network Solutions account was “domain stuffed” in December 2022 with an unwanted and unregistered new gTLD .SITE domain name — looking at YOU Radix! — I had “opted out” but my Network Solutions account was “domain stuffed” anyway. I objected, but to no avail. I just looked up this “stuffed” domain name on and it still shows up as a “registered” domain name, with my LLC as “registrant.” Don’t believe ANYTHING ICANN says about wanting to eliminate “Domain Abuse.” ICANN is the biggest and worst enabler of “Domain Abuse” in the global DNS because ICANN is INEPT as “coordinator” and “manager” of the DNS.

  2. registrars registered the domain and sell to you for high prices and even put in auction and for sale sign -on the 7th day( 5 mins before the clock ends) , they removed the domain. So no money loss to the registrars.
    ***You got 7 days grace period to remove the domain after you registered and the registration fees money will be refunded to you*****

  3. ” ICANN is the biggest and worst enabler of “Domain Abuse” in the global DNS because ICANN is INEPT as “coordinator”
    I agree 100%. Couple of months ago I did have an issue with Epik.
    I did have two domains expiring in 2024. Epik decided that my domains were expiring in 2023.
    I did contact Epik showing that according to ICANN the renewal was in 2024.
    No respond at all. I contacted ICANN explaining the issue. What they did about it?
    Long story short, just plain nothing at all and I lost my two domains.
    I already transfer my domains away from Epik.
    Regarding “domain registrar tracks the domain name searches its customers”, I don’t use any registrar. Since 2001 I use this link to check them out:

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