Tuesday, November 2, 2010

.CA sale, CIRA changes, Sell & Develop


First, there is one .ca domain sale I saw in the previous month that I can report on:

Spigot.ca - $2,910

The bigger news in the past month is the CIRA change to an EPP system.  Previously, if you bought or transferred a .ca domain, it had to go through your CIRA registrant profile and the whole process involved your registrar and CIRA - and CIRA approvals if you transferred a domain.  You could log into your CIRA account and see your domains listed.  Now, they are just using an EPP system where each domain has a unique transfer code, like is done with .com, .net and .org.  In essence, it's supposed to be a much simpler system.

What I have seen so far is that you better have a good registrar who can handle this switchover quickly and professionally.  I deal mainly with two .ca registrars, and have renewed some domains since the changeover.  Most of the domains renewed but for two years (instead of one).  I'm sure they will catch this and make the change.

Another domain I renewed didn't show up with the extra year until a few days later in CIRA, but it still doesn't show up as renewed in my registrar account.

Another thing I haven't figured out yet, is that before when a .ca expired it went into a 30 day suspension period where you couldn't use the domain, but could still renew it.  If you didn't renew, it expired at the end of 30 days.  I've heard that a registrar can now add time to this 30 day period, but it could come as a cost to the domain owner, and can differ between registrars.

So far my domains are all still working, and I don't think I've lost any, so I'm thankful for that.  We will have to live with the system for a few more weeks or months to really get a feel for how it is working.

Sell & Develop

From talking to a few domainers recently, and reading other blog posts, it seems that many with large portfolios are getting more domain enquiries this fall.  Could this mean the market is picking up?  Or at least staying steady?  From the importance the internet plays in most people's everyday lives now, you can see how the demand for domain names should be keeping up, despite rumblings in the economy.  For many, if you aren't online with your own storefront or sales message, you aren't even in the game.  I am also noticing that a lot more people want to develop their domains and partner with others in development - especially since PPC is falling off.  This is all good and every domainer should have plans to develop at least some of their domains.  But I don't think the importance of a good domain sale should be looked down on too much.  People like Rick Schwartz and Frank Schilling sell names when the price is right - and that price is different for everyone and depends on many different things.  When you have hundreds or thousands of domains, it's hard to imagine being able to develop each one into the best possible website it can be.  And trying to mass-develop this many names is not yet possible in my opinion, at least to a quality degree. 

So while you are learning development or building out some sites, remember that the odd sale can help float the rest of your domain renewals, or pay down some bills, or buy presents for Christmas which isn't too far away!  If you worry about letting a domain go for too little, sort your portfolio into gold, silver and bronze quality names, and set a price range for each.  That way when an offer comes along, at least you'll have put some thought into it beforehand.

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