As a background, when the marketplace was first introduced, the main intent was for SH to offer a mechanism for creatives to protect their high quality, unregistered names so that they could continue to submit them in contests without worrying about registration. By having the name listed in the marketplace, the names would also offer an additional monetization option for creatives.
When the marketplace was launched, we saw an exciting opportunity to build a very unique Brandable Domain Marketplace. At the time, there were two options for brandable domain marketplaces:
- Passive platforms with little or no marketing or traffic sources to support the sale of listed domains.
- Transactional platforms where the investment risk is taken by the Creative (appraisal fees, listing fees, registration fees) with tons of competition within huge databases of domains.
Many people don’t realize that with these approaches less than 10% of the listed names actually sell.
- Zero upfront investment for the Creative (all the risk taken on by Squadhelp for SH registered domains)
- Less competition due to a highly curated marketplace
- Ability to pitch premium domains to highly receptive prospective buyers (Contest Holder)
- Unmatched marketing spend, piggybacking on the success of our Contest platform
Since the inception of the marketplace, SH has invested over $500K in building out this concept (a large portion of that investment is marketing and technology costs).
By investing in significantly higher ongoing marketing costs, and by allowing creatives to present their names to several hundred prospective Contest Holders every month, we believe we can offer a much better potential to sell the names in a relatively shorter timeframe - while Squadhelp takes on 100% of the financial risk for each and every domain accepted.
With all this said, we still understand that the current commission rates offered for SH registered names do not work for several creatives.
We would like to address this by making a few changes:
- While submitting a name, Creatives will now have the option to specify upfront a minimum commission rate that they expect for that domain.
- Creatives will also be able to specify their willingness to register the name themselves (in case SH is unable to meet their commission expectations for SH registered option). In that case, the creative would also be able to provide a minimum commission percent and selling price for creative registered option.
- SH will approve the name if we are able to offer the commission rate expected by the creative (either as a SH owned domain or a creative registered domain). If we are unable to meet your expectations, we will reject the listing so you can continue to submit it to contests as an unregistered name or explore other avenues outside SH to list your name for sale.
We will also make an update to our renewal terms. To reiterate, our current renewal terms are $10 for an additional year of listing at the originally approved commission rates (in which case the $10 renewal fee is paid through your Squadhelp account balance, so the fee is only paid by you when you continue to earn from Squadhelp), or in some cases SH may waive the $10 listing fee in lieu of a slightly reduced commission rate. However, moving forward, we will ensure that the commission offered in lieu of the $10 listing fee will never drop below 20%, even after multiple years of choosing the in lieu of option. Also, you will continue to receive the greater of the contest award amount or marketplace commission if your name happens to win a contest.
We believe SH owned option offers a great way to protect your names from registration, continue to submit them in ongoing contests, prevent other creatives from submitting those names, and achieve additional monetization opportunity via a marketplace sale. By allowing you to decide what commission rate works for you, you now have complete control and flexibility to benefit from this avenue under your own terms.
However if you still believe this avenue is not a good fit for you, you can explore other channels to monetize your creativity (e.g. participating in naming contests or only listing creative owned domains).
These changes will go in effect later this week.