I’ve got several domain names I’ve collected over the years. For the most part, it’s the first step I take immediately after having a new idea I’m excited about. The hard reality though is I rarely end up getting to a second step. Basically, I’ve become a collector of pretty uninteresting domain names.
Anyway, I’m used to getting renewal notification mails every so often and they’re always pretty much exactly what I’d expect. Yesterday though, right when I was about to archive the mail, the total cost row caught my eye. It’s going to cost me $990.66 to renew my .club domain this year. This is a teeny tiny bit more than the $13.88 I originally paid back in 2014.
I emailed Namecheap’s support and they explained how this is up to the TLD’s registrar and happens from time to time. It seems they’ve now deemed it a “premium” domain which leads to the way higher renewal price. Good times.
In this case, I use this domain solely for a single email address that forwards to multiple other accounts I have. So it’s not at all a big deal for me to bail on the domain. That said, this experience has made me paranoid about the possibility of this happening with other domains I care far more about.
Searching a bit led me to similar stories out there, but it doesn’t seem super common. I did also find articles about .club domains specifically raising renewal rates recently, but not at the scale I’m being asked to pay. Finally, here’s another article with more details on how this is depressingly looking like it may become more the norm over time.