“Molly. What exactly is ‘Domain Name Tasting’?”
Ivan P. - Moscow, RF
Domain Name Tasting is the process by which Domain Registrars register lots of domain names and then park them at Domain Parking companies and then watch how much revenue they generate for four days. ICANN provides a five day grace period for Registrars to delete domain names and get a full refund on the registration costs.
This allows the Registrars to make money at no risk while at the same time denying use of domain names for valid users. Users may have to buy the domain name at auction or come up with a less suitable name.
In one egregious case, Network Solutions has been accused of locking up domain names by domain name tasting when potential users query to see if a domain name is available. This forces the users to buy the name from Network Solutions at a higher price or wait for the domain tasting period to end.
Thanks for the great question!