Time To Charge Higher Minimums For .Com Names?

I’m spending - no, wasting - more & more time trying to find .com matches for CH’s with very specific requests, usually involving a single word or a name with fewer than 10 characters. Certain categories are much harder than others but there aren’t too many options out there. In fact, .com names, in general, usually require 4 or 5 tries before you hit on something available. I believe that many CH’s have unrealistic expectations as to what’s left when it comes to .com names and our ratings suffer. I’m seeing more and more contests with hundreds of “No” ratings - in part, I think, for this reason. It occurred to me that CH contests restricted to .com names, at least in certain categories, should carry a $300 minimum to underscore the effort required. I don’t know how others feels but my time is valuable.


What an interesting suggestion. I totally get what you’re saying about chasing for available dot coms with an ever increasing list of specifics (and an ever decreasing chance of coming up with anything that will even get an On The Right Track rating). I also agree about many CHs having unrealistic expectations (“4-5 letter dot com with a positive meaning, no premium submissions please…”) which lead to no Loves or Likes, and a later abandoned contest. Other creatives have posted similar thoughts on this forum. However, I’ve not seen anyone come up with your idea before, and would hope it gets some serious consideration.


I understand what you are saying but what about the stay at home mom making candles paying $299 for her contest, or the entrepreneur with a great idea for a new business but hasn’t put anything in place yet. When you start explaining to them why things are more expensive to have a better quality name they will leave without starting a contest.

It’s a fine balance, I agree. We don’t want to lose these little guys but we know we are being taken advantage of by the big guys.

The CHs have a tick box option of “10 letters or less” - I’d really like a pop up saying something like “this option is only available for Platinum and above Contests, you can upgrade here” (that’s the $300 contests to you and me). Whether they upgrade or not, you are subliminally telling them that shorter names are more expensive which brings their expectations into line.


I agree with Able. She’s right that we have to be diligent about this in implementation. But, Palp and Can, you are both also right that something has to be done about this. Comments here on the forums about the rock and a hard place prerequisites that CHs come to contests with have been tallying for years now. We cannot push off the businesses that are limited financially but there has to be some understanding that things every day, every month, every year are getting harder for internet real estate. Just as it would not be right to push away perspective parties that are requiring our services and our creative intellect, it’s also not right for creatives to consistently get penalized for there not being an understanding to the hurdles we have to jump in order to help them. Instead of raising base prices, I feel there should be more education and ‘features’ or ‘requests’ that should be considered premium.

I feel the way to do this would be increasing the knowledged base that is available to CHs and should be in a readily accessible location that describes helpful hints, tips, and little informative resources that can help CHs on their journey with SH and conducting a contest. Pop-ups would be beneficial, tool tips and hovers would also be nice, and then an actual CH knowledge base about domains, branding, etc. Information that is purposefully curated to help CHs through the contest process and tips and insights that help but don’t give away the secrets completely of the trade. Next, I feel that there should be more packages. Packages for different contests can create tiers of offerings but also have limitations to what CHs can ask for or require. However, there could be upgrades. Five dollars here, ten dollars there for different options of what they may want and an explanation as to why this is offered as an upgrade and maybe if a CH does decide to do a few upgrades after launch of their contest there can be a discount. A bulk feature. The more upgrades, the less it would be maybe. Or something like that but either way, you don’t have to use the upgrades and you can pick just the base packages that fits your budget. This keeps it professional. It offers more options to CHs with different budgets. There’s always option for more. And it helps creatives by having things be more fair on time and effort in exchange for potential reward.


welll !!! very very welcome!

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Friends, I agree with your sensible suggestions. Unfortunately, it is necessary to educate the contest holders. We are creative individuals, but we have to spend time to make sure of the decency of the customer, go to his profile and see the number of successfully held contests. But this should be done by the SH team. If the customer has two abandoned contests, it is unacceptable to open up a new tender for him. You need to ask him to complete the previous contests by choosing a winner before opening a new contest. And regarding the fee, I will note that we ourselves are free to submit what we want. I will never submit a free 5 letter .com domain for $ 100. I will buy it first: 0)


Yes, I thought that one more expensive category might relate to the number of characters in a name, while others (this is more problematic) might be topic-oriented. Some fields are much more crowded than others. I appreciate the sympathy for the small business owners but, honestly, they are heading into the wrong arena if they can’t afford an extra $200 for a lot of valuable input.


I would like to suggest a “allow premium submissions for less than 10 char .COM suggestions” be the minimum prerequisite for the lower cost contests. That way that particular combo of no premiums and less than 10 chars don’t come together with the lower priced contests.

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I agree with what you’re saying that SH should try and communicate better to CHs what is a reasonable expectation (with contest upgrades offered accordingly). However, one way that SH absolutely does not help manage this CH expectation, is the way that past contest winners are presented. Page after page of lovely names, like “Aura” and “OnPoint” are shown as if they were all dot coms selected in contests. They are not. They are likely “AuraPartners” or “OnPointDevelopers” etc… If the past winners need to be shown at all, then at least they should be presented accurately, so no-one comes here expecting to get offered names like “Aura” for reg fee.


You’re missing out on something, though. It wouldn’t be just $200 extra dollars. Those higher contests that give $300 as a reward actually cost $1000 to the CH. You have to remember that the winner is getting a “commission” or a “percentage” but SH also has to take their percentage as well. Sometimes this is a lot of money to shell out when a CH is not sure of the outcome of a contest or if they’ll be able to use the entries submitted in the ways they would like. So, while you’re right that you would think that a business would be prepared to pay whatever it is that is needed but startups don’t always have a lot of money to allocate to everything at the beginning. Especially if there are si many unknowns of the outcome and how they’ll be able to use submissions with trademarks, social media presence, etc. We have to keep in mind that while we are getting xxx amount of money, that is not the entire price that CHs are paying to conduct the contest. The higher the prize, the more they are also having to give to SH AND creative reward.


Excellent explanation AbleBrand


SH should incorporate a minimum $2k price threshold for all domains. If Karen, 58, Milwaukee can’t afford that, there are other options not in line with the costs involved for a serious machinery churning out good domain options.

SH will lose some weak clients, but on the balance be on par, and be better positioned for stronger clients that hopefully fill that void.

My 2 cents.


In line with this, I also think that there should be a notification/site system for price increases (in parallell with the discount stuff) so that the overall dynamics of pricing do not only point downwards.

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A constant minimum will be great…because premium marketplace afterall. $849 can sell, but it’s a half distress sale. Well, I’ve done a few of that though…Also, a constant minimum means more merit for self promotion as (low to high) will reflect the most promoted first.

I like this idea :bulb:. This will eliminate alot of misunderstanding and will give them chance to choose why they want.


I don’t think this will work as the quality of names varies hugely so the price can range from a few hundreds to many thousands. The way SH markets and showcases names should be worked on so that the high quality ones should be the ones being highly marketed and better showcased. If every kind of name had it’s deserved exposure I feel they will achieve a greater and more satisfactory balance.

At some point, as hobby turns into business, you are going to have to ask yourself what your time is actually worth. It’s very far from just a domain name in most cases.

Try creating an invoice for the steps in each acquisition/sale and you’ll see what I mean. Do include the names projected never to sell in some way. Maybe the projected lifetime cost for them too.

I have experience with consultancy and management services, they charge $2k minimum to reach out to a domain name owner. A hand registration can be $800. Their margins are not insane. They get a lot of clients.

Brandable domain sales are serious skills baked into a serious time consuming package. It incorporates a lot of the stuff that agencies charge multum per hour for. Infact, some buyers are agencies, saving time, and cashing in on your work.

Another point is that we are humans, and pricing is psychology. A 2k minimum will inforce the offerings base value proposition.

Likewise, a product with a higher price is often perceived as more valuable. And in some sense it actually is.

One key point in this is that we are not selling Tires. Sometimes, we have 1 buyer. That buyer has put themselves in the position that they have no other option. It’s why we yell ”how on earth!” when Mike Mann sells ”PotteryBalls” for $48.888. I’m not the exorbitant pricing - low STR kind of guy, but pricing needs to take the unique thing about domains into consideration, in a general and user friendly way.


I agree with this. Sellers are getting less sales overtime due to high competition and the continuous growth of number of domains listed at SquadHelp. If this continues then SH might stop being ptofitable and many sellers will have no other option but to leave SH. The only solution is to increase minimum domain prices to compensate!


I haven’t seen any domains below $1k so there is a minimum pricing already. I don’t agree with the 2k philosophy. It will harm the marketplace more than do it good. From what I have observed so far since Apr 2019 most of their sales is less than 2k and contest hand registrations. That’s end users guys. We can talk all we want about our perspective but in the end it’s all about the end user.

I agree it’s all about the end user. The question for any progress-oriented business though is which end user? The current buyer profile is apparent, as you note. But that is mostly the product of the product years ago.

The marketplace a year ago is not the marketplace now, and hopefully not the marketplace a year from now either.

I don’t sell under $2k. I do fine. I get a lot of lowball offers though. Can you guess why they think that is a strategy that works well?

The function of a low BIN price is to avoid negotiation. It’s already set to go. The price is the price. Yet on SquadHelp it’s like a make offer invitation.

Don’t sell aftermarket domains too cheap ($1000), it’s unnecessary and bordering zero-sum all things considered.