09 January 2019
At time of writing ripoff.UK does not actually exist, but it sums up what I found when I recently decided to look at historical domain name prices. I found that 123-reg has invoices going back to 2006 in the client login, so I decided to see how the price for various suffixes has changed over the years, and the results are shown in the table below. In most cases I registered domains on two-year cycles, which is why some of the data points in the table are missing, but for comparison the amortised price for a single years is shown. I have also excluded VAT as I suspect the VAT shown in the older invoices may be incorrect.

Domain .uk .com .org .net .eu
2006 2.59 2.59 8.99
2008 2.79 2.79 8.99 8.99 8.99 6.99
2010 2.99 2.99 9.99 9.99 9.99
2012 3.29 2.99 9.99 9.99 9.99 9.99
2014 3.49 3.49 9.99 10.99 11.99 11.99 10.99
Feb 2016 3.49 10.99 11.99 10.99
March 2016 6.99 6.99 11.99 11.99 11.99 11.99
2018 9.99 9.99 9.99 15.99 15.99 15.99 11.99

There are some interesting price differentiations that I had forgotten about such as & in 2012, but the main thing is the huge hike in 2016 — a doubling of prices, and then a further 50% increase by 2018. In the time I have been registering domain names a UK domain including VAT has gone from £3 to £12, and from what I gather much of this rise is due to Nominet upping wholesale prices. I am pretty certain that the non-UK domains would be significantly cheaper if I used a non-UK registrar, but most of my ire is reserved for the huge hike in UK domains.

A trend I noticed when I was still in the UK is a business model that centred around overcharging a few customers — shortly before my former flat in Bristol was disposed of I got a quote for redecoration, but it was a piss-take £25,000 at a time when builders ought to be begging for business. Nominet’s price rise is a page out of the same book, which is delusion about the supposed value of the service to its customers. For me personally the value of UK domains has gone south since I left the country six years ago, and the sheer scale of the price hikes jinxed me in such a way that I have decided to simply dump the vast majority of them and just keep the non-geographic domains.