So up until recently I thought it was just me who was utterly confused by the different workings of the numerous Drop Catch services out there, the rules seemed ambiguous, the guidelines seemed murky and to be honest I struggled with the flexible dropping dates and how some expired domains after they have dropped simply vanish..
With more and more companies joining the race to catch those dropped domains for you, the cost is going up, and it is certainly debatable whether the success rate has increased… With the likes of companies like Huge Domains and Domain Monster using powerful drop catch software it is not only the the desirable key word .com, .net Tlds that get vacuumed up after dropping, it is pretty much any combination of domain and TLD that get snapped up leaving the more traditional drop catch services used by the general public out in the cold.
Earlier this year the newest drop catch service to join the race was released, aptly named www.dropcatch.com, this service is the public version of the software used by Hugedomains who also happens to own this new service. The software powering www.dropcatch.com was hugely successful in securing over a million domains with a .com and .net Tld for Huge Domains but how is it working out for the general public? Simply claiming that when you backorder a domain that is in the pending delete status there will be two likely outcomes if they are successful in catching the domain:
- Your backorder was successful no other person tried to place an order on the domain so after a one time fee of $59 the domains will be yours.
- More than one person tried to back order the domain you wanted therefore it will go into a PUBLIC 5 day auction where you can bid on it.
Ok so number 2 is new isn’t it? They caught the domain on your behalf but because more than one person wanted it they opened it up for a 5 day auction…? Remember these are now domains that have dropped and have already been through the Pre Release Auction cycle. Further more if the winner of the auction does not pay the fee in the allotted time frame, the domain will not be offered to the second place bidder a whole new auction will begin…
Yes www.dropcatch.com has done everything they can to further monetize the drop services they offer, and yes it could be argued that once they agree to try and back order a domain on your behalf, the main goal should be to secure it for you their client and not for themselves to publicly auction off. But with all that said is what they are doing really a bad thing? By publicly auctioning these dropped and expired domains on a daily basis through a transparent, usable, and intuitive process it is opening these domains to hundreds if not thousands of additional people who may not have had an opportunity to acquire them in the Pre Release cycle.
With the likes of the more traditional drop catch services such as Snapnames, domain monster and name.com still going strong and highly effective in securing some specific Tld’s, let me know what you think – what do you think the future of the domain drop catch service looks like? And does it need to be more closely scrutinized?