— Sam Biddle (@samfbiddle) April 15, 2015
Sam Biddle, a Senior Writer at Gawker Media, posted this tweet about Network Solutions showing a price of $10,000 for the unregistered SamBiddle.com. Biddle opted to register the domain name at Hover for $13 instead of paying the exorbitant price listed at Network Solutions.
After seeing the tweet, I tried to replicate the registration process at Network Solutions. I was unable to find another unregistered domain name with a premium asking price. I dug in a bit further, and I believe I found the issue that caused the unregistered SamBiddle.com domain name to show up as being for sale for $10,000.
If you visit Afternic and search for “SamBiddle.com,” you can see a listing for that domain name with a $10,000 asking price. Network Solutions is a partner of the Afternic Premium Promotion network, and the registrar lists Afternic-listed domain names in its results when an exact match is searched. My guess is the former owner of SamBiddle.com had it listed at Afternic before it expired, and after the domain name expired, the listing was not removed from Afternic. Consequently, the Premium Promotion network price was listed instead of the standard registration fee.
Although it appears that this was more of an innocent mistake than anything else, it does make the registrar look bad by listing a premium price for an unregistered domain name. I don’t think Network Solutions is at fault in this situation, but there should be some way for Afternic or the registrars to regularly check listings to ensure that the listed domain names are at least registered.
On a separate note, kudos to Biddle for registering SamBiddle.com.
Thanks to Ken Schafer for sharing this via Twitter.