As Seen on Twitter-outside domainers subbing to contests

SH posted on Twitter that outside domain investors can now sub names they own to certain contests… and they gave a link to a current contest that has over 2,000 entries now. The person who subs the name will automatically have a SH account and the domain will be listed as a standard listing…

I have to say I am surprised to see this because SH didn’t post this here. Not sure how I feel about it in terms of participating in contests.


hemmmm things getting harder right


I am totally against this innovation. We’ve earned the right to be the force creative bite of the SH community for years. Many of us have gone through rigorous testing to be allowed to enter the contests. In addition, if the customer is not satisfied with the contest entries, he can turn to the SH domain marketplace. Why hire third-party domains if our market is overcrowded? Hopefully the SH team will reconsider their decision on this.


for now certain contest, later on well probably all contest, imagine that.
We know that submitting name to a contest from outside sh marketplace is against the policy ( unless mention in the contest by ch ), and now this rule. hmm


Right! I forgot about that! So we are at a disadvantage, not being able to sub names from outside the marketplace that we don’t own.


We have always allowed a very small number of contests to accept names from outside SH Marketplace. Previously the creatives had to add a suffix such as “External” or “SeeComments” to the name to bypass the availability check.

This option is only offered to certain contests under the Managed plan where the CH has explicitly requested to see submissions from outside SH.

This option will continue to be offered in a handful of contests (less than 3%). The only change with the new feature is that there is now a different form available to submit these externally owned names so that they are not automatically visible to CH. The names will be first screened by the branding team and will only be presented to CH if they align with the contest brief. If the contest accepts such submissions, the creatives can also submit their standard listings or names they own which are listed outside SH using the same method. In future, we may update the brief section to include this link in a separate section.

Our goal is to always have the CH pick from the contest submissions/ premium listings however in some situations, it is necessary to source names from outside SH platform if the specific needs of CH can not be met by what is available in the marketplace.

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I also saw it on Twitter. I was wondering @grant - if a name is submitted using this form, it gets reviewed by SH and then accepted as a standard listing and pitched to the CH, what’s the commission if it’s sold? Is it 20% as if it were a standard listing with the added marketing exposure option? Or is it the regular 7.5% for a standard listing?


Grant, we all know about contests in which it is allowed to submit domains from SH outside. But this is only the right for creatives. Why publish an invitation on Twiitter to the entire public? What advantage would third-party suggested domains have? You understand that the majority will withdraw standard domains from the SH market in order to take advantage of this loophole and offer theese domains from outside. I think such innovations should always be discussed with the SH community.


@grant ,

I appreciate the clarity you’ve provided on this subject. I agree with Edukar, such changes should have been discussed in the forum with the SH community. SH use to do that with the SH community and would ask for input when it came to making changes of this magnitude. I hear and understand your explanation of the benefits SH would reap from such a measure but I disagree with this decision. But please listen to this perspective,

I realize the clients are the main focus and how better to serve them for successful outcomes. I understand this. But such a decision ends up stripping the personality, the humble roots, the original focus and charm of SH for creatives who pour out their hearts, souls, hard work and time into providing amazing names for your clients. This was a place where names we worked hard at would be rewarded by selecting a winner from among us. Now, SH has slowly pivoted away from contest winners , to a more global (for lack of a better word) focus in allowing names from outside of SH, to be be included with our hard work. I see a Pandora’s box in the works here. Creatives made this business successful from the beginning, but now seems we will be no longer needed further down the road. Am I wrong? I’m probably not explaining this well.


Thank you, you express yourself very clearly and voiced all our concerns about this.Hopefully the SH team will hear the creatives’ opinions.


Thanks for the feedback. There is no change in SH strategy when it comes to contests.

When a customer is not happy with the contest submissions received , we go out of the way to ensure they find a name that works for them. Oftentimes, this is done by providing additional branding consultation at no charge to help them update their brief or shortlist relevant entries. However, in some specific cases, we source names from outside the SH platform if we believe that the customer has a specific need which can not be fulfilled by the contest or our Marketplace.

The only change is that instead of us trying to source these names manually via outside channels or using hacks such as “SeeComments” prefix, we have created a simple form to streamline the collection of names in these rare situations. The creatives participating in the contest have access to the same form, and the link to the form is available in the contest brief for such contests.

Regarding the specific question about commissions for externally submitted domains, it is more likely that a customer will end up purchasing the domain from outside the SH platform since the domain is likely not pointing to SH name servers. However in the event the name is purchased via SH platform, the standard listing commissions will apply (7.5%)

As a business, an important goal for us is to ensure that the customers walk away with the name that they are happy with, and in some rare situations, we will use this external submission method to source names from outside the SH platform if we believe that it is necessary in that situation.

As a context, we have run about 30,000 contests, and have only allowed external submissions in less than 100 contests. This ratio is not expected to change going forward.


Grant, thanks for always hanging in with us in conversations like this.
All we ask is for a level playing field and I see that my post caused a change for the positive on this particular issue.


that mean we can submit from external source to those contest? which open for outside domainers?

can we also submit from external source? to those contest? thanks

andd it would be awesome if we can submit our names to outside contest too maybe ??

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I blue buttoned and you can only submit outside domains if you own them. It’s different from being able to submit - where with that we could submit any domain we saw for sale.


I had what I thought was a perfect name for a client. Came up with it by doing research in context of contest. You know those names you fall in love with and that have perfect meaning? Anywho went to register it and darn someone got there first. 2nd contest comes along and I think its perfect, but ya just never know as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, was hoping it was ours. Would have submitted it if it was. While the issue per grants explanations sounds less ominous Than I thought, I get the concern. The more competition we get the less likely a return on our work is. Initially reaction was, maybe I should not bother with white label. Maybe, comission re finders fee is the answer. Those of us in this a while are not just domainers, though I want to be one that’s for sure. We have a real feel for branding and matching our clients needs.

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Copy that edukar, thankyou.

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Sorry, I will not explain anything, as this forum is read by people not related to SH