Watch Out for the Upsells

No matter what domain registrar you use, it always seems like they are trying to upsell their customers. Whether I am transferring a domain name to a different registrar or I am hand registering a domain name, I almost always see some sort of upsell opportunity. Annoyingly, many of these upsells seem to be added automatically, and I need to remove them before making my purchase.

Here are a few of the upsells I generally avoid:

  • Extra registration years – Most registrars I work with already offer great annual renewal pricing, so it doesn’t make sense to renew for multiple years without a really special deal.
  • Free email services – Most domain name acquisitions are investments, and I have no plans to set up email. Even if I did, I would probably use G Suite / GMail for email rather than a registrar-operated service.
  • Privacy service – I don’t generally use privacy. When I want privacy, I almost always use a registrar like Uniregistry that is competitive on registration costs and offers free privacy.
  • Additional domain name extensions – Yes, I am registering a .com domain name I think will be good. No, I do not want the .net, .biz, or .whatever, but thanks anyway.
  • Website development – Some domain registrar operated services are pretty easy to use and quick to set up. If I am going to develop a website though, I will most likely use a third party option. If you do use the “free trial,” make sure you turn it off in time.

The only upsell that sometimes makes sense to me is Whois privacy. I don’t generally use Whois privacy, but when I want to keep an acquisition under wraps, super cheap privacy is an upsell I might take (some registrars like Uniregistry offer privacy for free though). I don’t really remember taking this upsell, but I would if I wanted to keep a name at GoDaddy for its Afternic network but also wanted Whois privacy.

When I am racing through the checkout page, I try to click on all the “no thanks” buttons, but sometimes the add-ons are already added. This is especially pervasive when it comes to length of registration. I understand that domain names are a very low profit margin product, so it makes sense that registrars offer these upsells. To them, I say, “thanks but no thanks.”

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. I have used over 10 registrars over the years. There are only two registrars (in my experience, you may have different opinion) who have never tricked to sell anything so far. and

    That’s where I kept my domains in last 10 or so years.

    • Epik’s CEO is a known white supremacist sympathizer. Unless you support that too, I’d think twice about putting names there. Search for Rob Monster online and you’ll get the facts.

  2. The majority of their customers aren’t domainers so you know they get a lot of suckers spending a bunch of money of extra money on shit they think they need.

    • Yes, but bad things accompany your frequenting of Epik. For example, you become a customer just like other hate groups Epik supports.

  3. Oh , so registrars should charge a few pennies over cost , give amazing customer service ,100% uptime and slick mobile apps and not up sell any other services ?

    Seriously ?

    • I didn’t say registrars shouldn’t have upsells. I wrote about how I avoid them because I don’t need what they offer and their upsell offers slow me down. Perhaps they should have more relevant offers to investors. When I am paying $8 and change for a transfer and/or renewal, trying to lock me in for 5 years of registration with zero discount (over my discounted rate) makes no sense. Also, trying to upsell an investor email services or a web development tool makes no sense either. Sure, offer it to mainstream customers who might benefit, but I would appreciate a more streamlined checkout without feeling like they are trying to trick me into registering for multiple years. I am sure there is a way to code “investor” into the checkout process and offer better upsell offers that might be more appealing, and if not, eliminate the uspsells.

      FWIW, I use GoDaddy for most of my domain name registrations, and I also have a few hosting accounts, sell (and buy) domain names through their marketplace and Auction platform, have SSL certificates…etc. Notwithstanding their advertising here, I am most likely a profitable customer.

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