What is a premium domain, and how does it work?
There are so many domain names, and you’re probably wondering what makes some domain names “premium”. Let’s dive straight in!
A premium domain is a domain name made up of dictionary words and common phrases. It is typically short in length, which makes it easily recognizable. You’ll remember namecheap.com over namesthatarereallycheapandgreat.com.
As they are recognizable, premium domains are easy to market, which gives your brand an advantage over competitors. They are a wise investment option as you’re likely to be able to sell them in the future.
So how do you get one?
Premium names can be sold by their existing owners or the Registries. The main difference between the two lies in the pricing and purchase process:
1. Domains sold by their existing owners usually have a one-time purchase fee, and their maintenance cost (renew and transfer) does not differ from the regular cost for other domains with the same extension. When you purchase such a domain, we arrange a deal with the current owner and provision the domain to your account with no additional action necessary from you.
2. Registry premiums are often new domains selected as “premium” by the Registry due to their potential for high value and popularity. In many cases, Registry premiums have special pricing not only for acquisition but also for renewal and transfer.
The distinction between these types of premium domains often becomes blurred, as Registry premiums can easily be put for sale by their existing owners.
What happens after the purchase?
When you purchase a premium domain with Namecheap, we will first try to register or transfer the domain of choice for you:
- Registry premiums will be provisioned to your account right away.
- Domains sold by existing owners may need some time to be transferred to us since a third party is involved.
Let’s review the stages the purchase undergoes before the existing domain is added to your account.
1. Once the order is placed, the domain name is booked for you in the system of our marketplace partner. As we work with different marketplace platforms and sellers, it may take 24-72 hours to validate the legitimacy of the purchase. We may contact you during this process, so we highly recommend checking your mailbox for emails and being ready for a phone call.
2. After everything is confirmed, the status of the order changes to “purchased” and our support specialists begin to communicate with the marketplace vendor’s team on all the ways to deliver the domain name to our system.
The speed of the transfer and the process in whole depends on the so-called “fast” transfer option availability for the domain you purchased:
- If the domain name is with a Registrar that supports the “fast” transfer, the domain will be carried over to your Namecheap account within several hours after the initial 24-72 hour verification process. As soon as the transfer is complete, you will receive a corresponding notification from us.
- If the fast transfer option is not available, the regular transfer process will be followed. It may take up to 10 business days to prepare the domain for transfer on the side of the seller before we actually start the transfer. Once the transfer is initiated, the domain name will be moved to Namecheap within 5-7 days. No special action is needed from your side.
In summary, if a regular transfer process is used, the worst-case scenario in terms of transfer waiting time is up to 20 days. Upon transfer completion and domain delivery to your account, our team will always notify you via email. However, you can always check the status request with our support team. As always, we are available 24/7 for you.
PLEASE NOTE: If the domain you purchased was registered less than 60 days ago, we will only be able to deliver it after the 60-day period is over. It is a general restriction assigned by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to the majority of existing top-level domains in the world. As soon as the waiting period is over, we will carry out the transfer process, as described above.
This is how the process of premium domains purchase and delivery is handled, including the timing associated with each stage. If the domain name is not transferred for some reason, we will issue a full refund according to our Registration Agreement.
Frequently asked questions
Is a premium domain worth it?
Now that you’re more informed on the subject and know how to get one, you may wonder whether you should buy a premium domain name. If you’re building a brand, it’s worth it. A short domain name and uncomplicated words or phrases mean it’s easy to spell and easy to remember. The more memorable you are, the easier it is to build a brand and stand out in your chosen market.
Why are premium domains so expensive?
Premium domains come with a premium price tag because they’re highly sought after. Short domain names that use known words are what everyone would ideally choose if they had the chance. They can help improve your consumer trust; if people trust you, they’re more likely to buy from you, making them well worth the cost.
Who can own a premium domain?
Anyone can own a premium domain! All you need to do is search for a domain name, or keep an eye on your inbox — at Namecheap, we often let you know when there’s a premium domain opportunity on the horizon.