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What an Internet Provider should be.

TBR bidding system;

Our TBR System


Our TBR system combines three business models: our original first-come first-served retail ($12.99) pricing model, a pre-registration auction for interesting domains (having a selling price of less than $200), and a post-registration auction for valuable domains (selling for $200 or more).

The logic for all these models is fairly simple. We have a long history of being one of the "bulk" TBR registrars, and we very much want to keep that business. For interesting domains we want to register the domain directly to the winning bidder, as this is simpler and puts the domain into the winners hands quickly. For valuable domains where the bidding is going to get serious, we want to know we actually registered the domain before we ask for high value bids.

Using the system

The system has a simple interface for ordering domains (one or many), and an optional maximum bid (called "max bid").

WARNING: WORK IN PROGRESS. With the EPP cutover, the old concept of a registrant has vanished. The new system system WIL ask for a pair of contact IDs (one for the registrant, one for the admin contact, they can be the same). The system WILL help you create these contacts if needed. As of Oct 27th, 2010, this is NOT YET implimented. This isn't critical as under the new system TBR registrations are all done to a temporary "registrant" and the registRAR (that is us!) re-assigns the domain to the appropriate contacts after the TBR run.


Max Bid needs to be explained. The auction format we are using is called "second highest price". This means that the bidder with the highest bid (or the first bid if there is a tie) pays the price bid by the next highest bidder. For example if two clients had max bids of $75 and $50, the domain would be registered to the client with the $75 max bid, and they would be invoiced for $50. (More examples below.)

There are lots of reasons and advantages to using this auction format. It allows you to bid what you think a domain is worth, and still have a realistic chance of getting it for a much lower price. It allows you to set a bid price and not have to watch and monitor to see if anyone "bid you up" at the last moment.

We should mention that the system will display the 2nd highest bid as the "winning price". This means that no one (except the high bidder) knows what the high bid is. Bidder ids are "obfuscated" with a new ID each week. You CAN tell if you are bidding against the same bidder in multiple auctions but you (and they) won't know anyone's identity, and the IDs will be different next week.

There are a couple exceptions to the pricing rules. If there is only one bid, the winning price will be the opening bid price ($50). (Retail orders aren't considered to be bids.) If there are two bids for $200 on a domain, bidding is closed and the domain will be scheduled for the post-registration auction (if we manage to register it to a proxy registrant) (you can still place an order for the domain, and you should do that so you can take part it the post-reg auction. We just don't want folks wasting time bidding in a high value auction for a domain we might not successfully register.)

Post Registration Auction

The most important detail of the post-registration auction is that ONLY CLIENTS WHO HAD ORDERS IN THE SYSTEM WILL BE ABLE TO BID. A retail price order is sufficient to allow entry into the post-registration auction. (We believe our job as a registrar is matching registrants to domain names, not hording domains for later sale... so the role of the post-reg auction is simply to determine which of the existing orders we will complete.) [ We will make an exception and allow late entry to a post-reg auction for the prior owner of a domain.]

The post-registration auction uses the same interface and auction format as the pre-registration auction. The first client to have placed a $200 bid in the pre-registration auction is considered to have the opening bid for the post-registration auction.

Auction Close Times

The pre-registration auction closes 15 minutes before the TBR run starts. As of March 2019, CIRA has locked the TBR to 19:00 UTC, which means the system stops taking orders at 10:45 am (pacific) during standard time (winter) and 11:45 am during daylight time (summer). (That's 1:45 pm and 2:45 eastern).

The post-registration auctions close 45 minutes into the next TBR run. We chose this time thinking that it should work well for most folks. It provides a week to load a max-bid for the post-registration auction, it puts the close in a time that should not overlap other registrars, and occurs on a day when folks should already be checking their TBR orders.

Anti-sniping policy: any high bid received in the last hour of a post-reg auction will extend the auction close time by 24 hours.

Some examples may help make these times more clear. If we assume there is a domain scheduled for the January 3rd 2007 TBR run, we will stop accepting orders for that domain at 10:45 am (pacific, 1:45 eastern) on January 3rd. We will then attempt to register the domain (either to the winning bidder or a proxy registrant if the bidding went high enough) during the TBR run (on the 3rd). If the bidding pushed the domain into a post-registration auction and we manage to register the domain, then the domain will be placed in a post-registration auction which closes at 11:45 am (pacific, 2:45 pm eastern) on the 10th (a week later). If a new high bid is received after 10:45 on the 10th, the auction will be extended to the 11th. If a new high bid is received after 10:45 on the 11th, the auction will be extended again.


Payment for domains registered through the pre-reg process will be collected shortly after the TBR run. Payment for post-reg auctions will be collected before the domain changes ownership. We reserve the right to request extra security when collecting payments for high-value post-reg auctions.


        A      B     Winning price
Bids    200    200   domain moved to post-reg auction
Bids    200    100   100 (domain registered to A)
Bids    100    75    75 (domain registered to A)
Bids    75     100   75 (domain registered to B)
Bids    75     75    75 (and registered to whomever placed the first $75 bid)
Bids    200    -     50
Bids    -      50    50
Bids    -      -     Retail ($12.99)

The "Bid History" for an auction is shown if you click on a specific order. It displays the history based on the winner and the price they would pay.

Price by Winning Bidder
YOU    id 1    id 2    bidder   timestamp
       $50             id 1     2006-05-27 23:46:57.40313
                $50    id 2     2006-05-29 14:26:14.85013
$100                   YOU      2006-05-30 14:39:39.19868

That may require some explanation. In this example there are three bids shown. The opening bid was $50 by "id 1", the second bid was $100 by "id 2"... which changed the winner but not the winners price, and the 3rd bid by "YOU" is $150 or $200 and is currently winning this auction. The winning price is $100 as that is the second highest bid. Make sense?


We understand that some clients have seen "suspicious" bids at other registrars push the selling price up close to their maximum bid price. All we can say is that very few of our auctions go for the "max bid" price. With the exception of domains which get pushed into post-reg auctions, it is more common for a domain with a $200 bid on it to be sold to the winner for $50 than any higher price. We also provide a full bid history (not that it would be of any help if we were cheating).

As with all systems in active use, our TBR system is a work in progress. Please! Help us make this system work better for everyone. E-mail feedback and suggestions to domains at!

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Last updated: Wednesday, 13-Mar-2019 09:38:44 PDT
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