Do discounts demote the value of domain names?

I don’t understand the logic of promoting discount prices to end users.

“Hey, you lookin’ for a good deal on a domain? I’ve got options.”

Many times a month I get promotional emails from domain name registrars. The newsletters are filled with special offers on domain name registrations.

Get this extension for only $1.99! This one is half off—just $4.99! Or save big on this extension, just $9.99 for the first year!

I understand that price is a factor when people search for domains. If they see a domain they like in two different new TLDs, they will probably pick the less expensive one, all things being equal.

Offering discounted sale prices for the first year clearly works, judging by how many registries offer these deals to registrars.

But the idea of someone seeing a special price in a newsletter, clicking through and registering a domain because it’s on sale? To me, this devalues the role of a domain name.

A domain name is a critical component of one’s web presence. It’s the only component that’s hard to change after it is selected. Promoting that certain extensions are on sale demotes the importance of domain name selection.

Now, if that newsletter is targeted to domain investors, there is some value in telling them they can get extension .abc at a discount so they can buy a few. Same goes if you want a spammer to register a thousand domains at discounted prices.

But if it’s geared to end users, it doesn’t make sense to me.

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