How to avoid domain name registration extra charges?

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Sir, I have a question about purchasing a domain name. I recently hired a local company to take care of the domain name and to build a website for a new business I want to start up. In a nutshell, I paid out just over $4,200 and got nothing for my money. Now I am forced to build a website myself. But when I started checking on getting my domain name registered I find all of these sites that offer a $0.99 to register my domain name, but then they have all of these additional charges that show up when you go to pay for the service. Isn’t that “Bait and Switch?” Why can’t I just registered the domain myself? Isn’t there a way around all these extra charges?

– James

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Alex Schenker (Admin)
Hi James,

Excellent question. The domain name industry is, unfortunately, renown for “hidden fees.” We have several articles on this topic, but a good one that will answer this question and others you’ll come across during the registration process is 5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying a Domain Name. In short, the registrar we recommend is Namecheap.

James Bailey
Alex, thank you for your answer and I think I will use Namecheap as you recommended. Now, if may, I would like to ask you a couple more questions, and maybe you want to pass these questions on to your readers, which you can now count me as one.
1) Is the agency who domain names are filed with part of the US Government or a private company? Who has provided them with authority to collect fees for anything dealing with the Internet?
2. Why can an ordinary citizen of the United States not simply file their domain request with the agency in place of all these predatory domain companies like Go Daddy and others?
Thanks again Alex for your help.
Alex Schenker (Admin)
This is great, thanks for asking these James and welcome to We Rock Your Web! Glad to have you on board 🙂

I’ll do my best to answer these:

1) The organization responsible for the management of the namespaces on the internet is ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit. Until just a couple years ago (specifically Oct 1, 2016), it was under the oversight of the DOC (U.S. Dept of Commerce). This was a historic document in terms of internet oversight and long overdue.

2) The question here (which a lot of people ask), is basically “Can I file my domain registration directly with ICANN?” The short answer, unfortunately, is no. ICANN does not sell domain names, they only “approve” registrars, which in turn are authorized to register names on behalf of customers. The approval process obviously has it’s loopholes, because there are plenty of shady characters that slip through, as you’ve probably noticed. The only way around this, as far as I’m aware, is to become a registrar yourself. The hurdle to this approach is that this is not an insignificant cost. To keep this organized, I’ve created a new reader question for this: Can I become my own domain registrar?