The (Initial) .au Gold Rush Is Over – Results

The frenetic cyber “gold rush” to acquire the best and most valuable shortened versions of Aussie domain names came to an initial end yesterday morning. According to industry sources, over 50,000 names were registered in the space of a couple of minutes. Wow!

Names like,,, and are just a few examples of domains that were keenly contested on various platforms.

These names only became available because the registrants who had priority rights to these did not apply. Read that last sentence again – for the sake of around $10 to $20, these previous registrants could have secured the matching .au. But for whatever reason, they didn’t.

As news breaks about this, it will only be natural for past registrants to be disgruntled. e.g. They may question why they didn’t apply?

That said, I have already heard anecdotally that there are some that believe they did apply – and that their application wasn’t dealt with properly. Interesting times ahead.

As with every gold rush in history, there are always subsequent finds and secondary opportunities. My phone has been running hot – as have the emails.


1. As I wrote in my previous article, Drop with their advanced drop-catching software was the favourite and did really well. They made a lot of their clients very happy – and they made a lot of money for themselves in the process. Given the money they have invested into their business, they deserve to in my opinion. Unlike most other platforms, they effectively had an auction where bid levels virtually doubled at each step.

Because of their drop-catching software and number of direct connections to the registry, they will win the lions share of dropping domains.

Writing on DNTrade, they believe they would have won even more had they not had some tech issues with some of their registry connections.

2. The most popular winner though would have to be Synergy Wholesale.

They take only one order per name. They also have registry connections, So if you are lucky enough to get in first, you have a chance.

They charged a flat fee of just $24.95 per domain pre-registration order, and so it was a case of first in; best dressed. And the absolute beauty of their system was that if they didn’t catch the domain, they would refund the $24.95.

I think they surprised themselves with how well their systems worked, because they caught a lot of domains for clients at just $24.95. e.g. they caught one for me that I had bid $2500 on at Drop. What a saving.

If I were them, I’d be giving serious thought to becoming a regular drop-catcher. They have developed their tech, and it would surely be easy to implement? Competition is good!

3. The surprise winner was domain register Terrific. They acquired a good number of domains. e.g. quite a few of the middle value domains that I had initially “won” on Drop were picked up by them. Not sure how their ordering process worked though?

4. auDA and Afilias. They made a lot of money out of what many people believe was simply a cash grab.

Putting that to one side, I take my hat off to them for the “tech” that went into making this happen relatively smoothly. Well done to everyone involved – particularly auDA’s COO Bruce Tonkin.

Wrap Up

Now the fun begins.

  • How will the new extension perform on the aftermarket? Will the value of the premium domain be affected?
  • Will there be fraud, complaints and legal action in the future?
  • Will .au be any more popular than the .nz and .uk counterparts (which historically have not done well)?

Time will tell.

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