View Full Version : Devaluation of Premium?

20-07-12, 04:19 PM
Hi all, I wanted to introduce myself and open up discussion on a subject that's interesting for me personally. I'm Head of BizDev in EMEA for Afternic, the largest domain marketplace and distribution network. In my day-to-day work I interact both with registrars, domain investors and end buyers, and one of the discrepancies I see is the use of the term "premium". How do we reconcile this?

On the professional domaining front, "premium" isn't any odd domain, it's a good-quality name with at least a 4-figure price tag - which often means a relatively short, one-keyword generic. People argue about why certain medium-quality names are being called premium.

On the other hand, to an ordinary joe, all domains are equal in value unless they're "premium", meaning they cost a premium over standard registration cost. In this perspective, the whole domain aftermarket is "premium" names, it helps registrars and brokers explain the value of a resold domain name regardless of its quality rating on the domainer scale. People feel better about purchasing a Premium Domain Name rather than a domain that's for sale, maybe because they don't want it any more.

So how do you talk about names you sell? And what do we call the category-killer generic names if even mediocre names are "premium" from the client's perspective?

20-07-12, 06:45 PM
It's worse than that, because many domain sellers call absolute junk "premium" - it's one of those expressions that has become meaningless through abuse as well as its double meanings.

Perhaps things like:
- exact match
- descriptive
- generic
- high quality
- top quality
- first class
- five star
- high grade

could be combined together to concoct a new descriptive term that would do the trick...

Oh, and by the way, hi! :)

20-07-12, 07:05 PM
Hi and welcome

Yep, I agree the word has been abused and lost all sorts of meaning in this sector. I watched an example on ebay years ago of gold telephone numbers, when people start abusing it and calling anything gold telephone numbers it then went to platinum, then that got abused and moved again and again. God only know what they call it now but the whole process seems to be very moveable and relative.

But whatever they choose, it lasts a bit and gets abused and onto the next thing. But i suppose that being in the industry we would know, if yyou are asking what it means to the public then that is a different question completely, can't help you there.

20-07-12, 07:12 PM
Hi Edwin, GreyWing, good points. The "premium" term can mean just about anything that's registered by now. I've started using "super-premium" to mean expensive generic names, but that's somewhat cheesy and american. Looking for alternatives...

20-07-12, 10:20 PM
Hi Nadya and welcome. There's another term that has been used for decades in the car number plate business, and I see it now in the mobile number market: "cherished". I've not seen it used in the domain business much, but it works for me as an alternative, certainly for the .uk market. I think it conveys the meanings of the terms in Edwin's list but adds another important one: "aged".

No doubt there's a score of similar superlative adjectives, but "cherished" hits the spot for me.

21-07-12, 11:01 AM
I wouldnt even call 4 fig names premium, there are some mediocre names at that level.

5-6-7 figs usually covers it but when thinking along those lines to compare a 20k name to a 200k name seems crazy in itself - so perhaps that answers the question!

I think there needs to be a top down approach in terms of the likes of Afternic to perhaps tell people that their names are not premium ;) I realise that might dissuade someone looking pay listing, appraisal or somethingelse fees but the reality is that the majority of names are rubbish.

There are good names in the middle mind, and that could be the area for a rebrand. Buy a decent or great name, realising there wasn't the budget for a premium but hey, at least its not a utterly rubbish one!

22-07-12, 03:17 PM
Dale, I like "cherished" for super-premium names, a good-taste alternative to an American-style "category-killer" name great for negotiations. The only potential issue here is that the more expensive generic keyword names aren't always personal enough to be "cherished" - unlike a cool number plate that may say something about the owner. Businesses buying Social.com or Beds.co.uk don't necessarily cherish the names :) I'll keep looking for more terms.

Interestingly enough, in Russian domaining they often talk of "sweet" domains, meaning generic keywords. Somehow in Russian it makes sense...

Rob, my personal feeling is that "premium" as a term is beyond saving for the top-quality 200K names you're talking about. Registrars around the world have adopted the term to mean any name costing more than the registration fee, and that helps them sell more aftermarket names. When GoDaddy and 123Reg and everybody else engaging consumers and businesses worldwide uses the term, it seems futile to try and change things. And I don't necessarily object all that much. I mean, if we all sell more names to more customers, we get more cash and a more educated audience that will invest more in domains as time goes on. It doesn't matter how registrars explain it to their customers, as long as it's a uniform term and we have alternatives to use for describing tiers of domain quality.

And finally on your remark re educating sellers on domain pricing, we do have some checks and alerts in place to help people get real. On the one hand, our minimum commissions and average sale prices are an indication of quality of inventory on the network, and there are certain types of names we simply wouldn't take. And on the other, we try and alert customers of over-priced listings especially when around 5-6-7 number price tags. Sure, it takes time and effort and I can't claim there's nothing more we can be doing in this regard. Still, anything that's above $25K simply cannot be in Premium Promotion (automatic transfer for purchases at fixed price), and larger portfolios have their Account Managers helping them define pricing strategies that's in line with their goals. Hmm, that last bit sounds a bit too smooth,..

Anyway, I agree there's a lot of room between "premium" names as professionals understand them, and "rubbish" names not worth renewal fees. And I love your "decent name" term for those mid-range domains!