Domain Kiting & Domain Tasting Explained

DOMAIN NAME KITING

The act of registering a domain name, holding onto it for the grace period, then refunding it before the grace period is up, only to re-register it again and getting a new grace period.

People do this because the registrant can own a domain name without actually having to pay for it. It’s an exploitation of the standard 5 day grace period you get when registering a domain name.

If you register a domain name with Namecheap and ask for a refund within the first 5 days, they will give you store credit.
if you register a domain name with GoDaddy and ask for a refund, they will refund your purchase in cash.

Bob Parsons, the CEO of Godaddy is credited with coming up with this term. It comes from “check kiting” which was an old scam involving check and exploiting the time it took for funds to reach one bank to another.

Why would anyone do this?

To avoid paying the registration fee for a domain. Seems like a crazy thing to do to save a few dollars, but it used to happen so much, the practice got it’s own name, domain kiting. Another reason was to use it for domain tasting.

DOMAIN NAME TASTING

This was a popular practice before 2008, and has all but vanished as of 2009 thanks to some stiff penalties imposed by ICANN.

Domain name tasting is and was the practice of buying a domain name, setting up a web page with ads (or redirecting it to another website) and using that domain for a short time (the grace period) to test the potential marketability for that domain name.

Once the 5 day grace period was over, if the site performed well you would keep it. If not you would ask for a refund of your money.

This practice has come to an end because ICANN only allows registrars to rescind 10% of their registrations now. This is fine for the average person. The grace period exists because fundamentally you should be able to return something you bought. It’s also for the instances where you spell your domain name wrong, or change your mind or whatever.

Where it went bad was people taking advantage of the grace period by buying hundreds of domain names a year and refunding most of them.