My favourite day in the domain investing calendar is coming this week! While I am sure a number of domain companies will roll out Black Friday deals, my favourite promotion is that offered by Namecheap. In this post I introduce you to how their promotion works and offer tips on making the most of the experience.
Game of Deals – How It Works
Although Namecheap promoted it under the new name Game of Deals this year, it sounds like the event will be similar to the coupon-based Black Friday Namecheap promotion held last year. My description will be based in part on my experience with last year’s event, along with and what we have been told so far about the 2018 Namecheap Black Friday promotion.
The Game of Deals event will run for 24 hours and it begins at 12 AM on November 23. Get up early (and/or stay up late)! Each hour Namecheap will reveal a set of deals. The deals may include domains, hosting or other product (like SSL certificates). The promotion will be repeated on Cyber Monday.
The description for 2018 say that there will be domains at up to 98% off, hosting services at prices discounted up to 97%, security at up to 90% off and private email up to 95% off. Even though the price reductions are ‘up to’ and indicate the best deal offered, if a product you want is offered these are almost certainly the best deals you will find this year. Note that “Discount percentage is calculated from the difference between the highest selling price for each domain, and our sale price.”
… domains up to 98% off, hosting discounted up to 97%, security at up to 90% off and private email up to 95% reduced…
At the beginning of each hour a set number (2000 in most products) of coupons will be offered. You need to be signed in to your Namecheap coupon and act fast to get a coupon, especially in the more popular products such as .com domain names that almost certainly will last only a few seconds. Their page helpfully displays a countdown to help you be ready for the next hour. Apparently this year each hour will have two offers; you can choose one or both.
Get your coupon(s) at the start of each hour (they go super fast). Once you have a coupon, you have 48 hours from issue to use it.
Once you have a coupon, you have up to 48 hours to actually use it. Timing starts at the exact time of issued of the coupon. For example, if you get a coupon for an .online/.tech domain name you don’t need to immediately choose the specific domain name or even if you plan to use it for a .tech or an .online domain name. If you have not used a coupon within the 48 hours it will disappear.
You can only get one coupon per deal for each household. This means if exactly the same promotion is offered in two different time slots you can only get it once. However, two deals which partly include the same domain names are not counted as identical, so you can get both. For example, if .com/.co is offered in one time slot and .com/.me is offered in another, I could get both coupons. However if .com/.co was repeated in another time slot I could not get a second coupon for identically the same coupon.
On the day of the promotion remember to sign in to your Namecheap account and then go to this page to see the deals. You need to be at the page marked Deals Central to be ready for the next hour’s deal.
How many coupons can I claim?
“You can claim one of each deal per household/business. If one deal has a cluster of TLDs within it, for example ‘com, tech, and me’, only one of the three TLDs may be bought per household/business.”
Can I use coupons for domain transfer or renewals?
I understand that one or two cycles may be for transfers. Not sure if they will have any renewal specials. They did not last year.
What do they mean by cluster of TLDs?
Last year the domain offerings were frequently provided as a set of three – e.g. a cluster might contain online, site and tech. That means that your coupon can be used for one domain in one of those TLDs. I think the clusters will have two options this year.
So there is no way to get two domains in the same TLD?
It is possible to do this in some cases. Sometimes the same TLD is offered in two different clusters and you can get a coupon in each cluster. For example, if you get a coupon in a cluster with online-site-tech and in a different hour another coupon in a cluster with design-store-online you could use both coupons to get two different .online TLD domain names, if desired.
What TLDs are being offered?
Namecheap will not release these until the promotion is about to start. Last year some of the TLDs offered included com, co, me, pw, cloud, design, life, online, shop, site, store, tech, website and world. This is not a complete list, and almost certainly the details will be different this year.
How often will .com be offered?
We won’t know until the promotion starts, but probably only in a few slots.
Can I know the deals in advance?
Once the promotion time starts, Namecheap will show the deals for the current hour and the next three hours coming up. This is really helpful as you can decide which you want to be sure to try to claim.
Can I extend hosting with a coupon if I am an existing customer?
The coupon is only for those who do not currently have a hosting plan.
Is Namecheap a good registrar?
While GoDaddy is much better known due to extensive advertising, Namecheap is a well established (18 years), popular (second largest retail domain registrar) and highly rated registrar. They are particularly strong in the new extensions, where they offer more options and have more domain registrations under management than GoDaddy. Namecheap already offer competitive prices on both hosting and domain names and this promotion make it even better! I have more than 100 domain names registered with them personally, and have used their hosting, so can speak of the quality of their interface which is supported by timely and courteous customer service.
What if I miss out on Black Friday?
Perhaps you have family or travel plans and miss out on Black Friday. No worries, essentially the same promotion will be repeated on Cyber Monday. Note that I believe it will be possible to get coupons on Cyber Monday that you also got on Black Friday – i.e. they are not considered identical coupons.
So what do you need to do to get ready. I suggest the following.
- Set up a Namecheap account (at no cost) since you need to be logged in to your account to get coupons.
- Become familiar with Namecheap pricing so you know how good the various deals will be. Some TLDs are already reduced to good prices, whereas others are not routinely reduced. This allows you to make the best choice from each cluster.
- For TLDs of interest to you, use TLD-list to research prices at other registrars so you can evaluate which are particularly good deals.
- Establish a list of domain names that you are interested in acquiring (and that are currently available) using criteria such as these.
This promotion is an excellent opportunity to get started in domain name investing without risking much money. With your portfolio you can use the Namecheap Marketplace to easily offer your domain names for sale without up front costs and with automatic transfer and reasonable commissions (10%, no minimum). I will review their marketplace in a future post at NameTalent.
This promotion is also a chance for seasoned domain investors to try out a few different extensions with minimal risk. As a domain investor you can grow by trying new things. I urge having a diversified domain portfolio. If you mainly invest in legacy or country code domain names why not use this as a chance to try out new extension domain investing? If you are a new extension investor, the .com and country code deals with provide an inexpensive way to diversify a bit into other TLDs.
This promotion is an opportunity for seasoned domain investors to try out a few different extensions with minimal risk, thereby diversifying your portfolio.
Of course the promotion is not just for domain investors. Many tiny startups get their online start by registering a domain name at a sharply discounted rate during this promotion. The winner in the recent Namecheap 18th Birthday $1000 giveaway got her online start with last year’s Black Friday Namecheap promotion.
I hope that you get all the coupons you desire on Black Friday, and then put them to good use in building your domain investing portfolio! Don’t forget on the day of the promotion sign in to your Namecheap account and then go to this page to see the deals. Note that from that page, and after you are logged in, you must click the link to Deals Central. You should see the current and forthcoming deals, and the screen, with a timer countdown, should look as shown in the image.
When you get to using your coupons to register domains it is important to remember that you can just use one coupon per transaction, so put a domain in your cart, put in the associated coupon code, check that the price is as it should be, an then check out. To use another coupon repeat the process in a separate transaction. Only a single domain registration is possible per coupon.
When using your coupons to register domains it is important to remember that you can just use one coupon per transaction, so register each domain in a separate transaction.
Disclosure: While I have used Namecheap domain, security and hosting services, I have no association with the company other than as a customer and being part of their affiliate program. I was not encouraged, or received any compensation from Namecheap, to write this post. The post does not contain any affiliate links.
Edit: Apparently this year there will be two offers each hour, only one of which can be selected. I have updated the article to indicate that. Also other minor changes to make clear that in the case of identical coupons you can only get them once.