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I've been looking into purchasing domains through some of the major registrars.

One common theme which strikes me as odd: purchasing a domain for a longer period incurs a higher per-year cost.

For example, godaddy's price chart for .com domains here

One explanation is that by paying more earlier, you're gaining protection against the risk of renewal fees being increased in future. However, this doesn't seem plausible enough.

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2 Answers 2

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Your explanation is quite plausible, actually, since the only prices that go up over time are the ones that are currently discounted. The higher prices for longer registrations take into account the fact that when the user renews, it will be at a higher price. The initial low price is just to get people to register with that registrar to begin with, since changing registrars is a monster pain.

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Not much of a pain at all, if you can find the hidden links to get the EPP codes :). –  gekkz Jan 2 '10 at 14:00
    
When was the last time you tried wrestling a domain away from NetSol? I work for a registrar, I know how hard it can be. –  womble Jan 2 '10 at 14:05
    
Yep - does make sense, I guess. I tried switching registrar in the UK a while back - a horrible pain involving signed paper forms.. –  user30579 Jan 2 '10 at 14:20

They're also covering the rises due to inflation; you'd expect that most things bought five years from now would be more expensive than today, they're just taking that into account.

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On the other hand, future value would probably take care of inflation nicely. –  womble Jan 2 '10 at 14:20
    
there would definitely be rises due to inflation.. but - I would be purchasing in the here and now, which ought to account for inflation in itself. –  user30579 Jan 2 '10 at 14:21

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