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Flat Fee-pakket

Flat Fees: what’s it all about?

A while ago Openprovider started promoting the so-called Flat Fee Packages. These packages have become extremely popular in a very short time. As the concept is quite unique, we have received many questions concerning it. In this blog post I will try to answer the most frequently asked questions.

A Flat Fee is nothing more or less than an annual subscription fee that allows you the possibility to register a number of domain names and SSL certificates at cost price.

Not all domain names are included in a Flat Fee, but the most popular ones (like .com, .uk, .eu and .net) are, as are many others.

Very recently we added a number of SSL certificates to the Flat Fee Packages. The certificates that are included in the Flat Fee can be ordered unlimitedly at cost price, which is an important difference to the domain names.

To clarify a number of issues I’ll answer the most frequently asked questions below:

Why Flat Fees?
The domain name market is changing and domain names are moving towards a commodity product. As a registrar we do not add extra value to a domain name, and in markets where little value is added, margins tend to drop towards zero. We have anticipated this trend by removing the margins and just charging an annual subscription fee.

Are there any other reasons why you sell your domains at cost price?
Yes: there are quite a few registries that make a lot of net profit and do not lower their prices in order to pass this profit back to their customers. As long as that money is invested on improving the domain extension, we’re fine with it. But if the profit is not spent likewise, our opinion is that the money belongs to you and your customers. That is why we try to be as transparent as possible; that is why we try to convince registries to lower their prices as soon as possible, for the benefit of your business. The moment our cost prices drop, so do yours!

How does Openprovider earn money if the domains are sold at cost price?
We earn money from the annual subscription fees and from products that are not included in the Flat Fee, like the hundreds of other domains, SSL certificates, Parallels licenses and spam filtering.

Will Openprovider earn enough money to continue existing?
Since 2010, the turnover growth of Openprovider is 275% and we have always made a profit. The figures of this year are the following:

  • January: turnover growth 39% and margin growth 28%
  • February: turnover growth 41% and margin growth 37%

Openprovider is a rapid-growing and extremely healthy company. We do not have external funding like bank loans or other debts and we do not have external investors. We do have long term goals: the closest goal is to manage 25 million domain names by 2023.

Are there examples of other companies with a model like that of Openprovider?
Absolutely! Amazon with Prime, Netflix, Spotify and Costco are all companies running a similar business model to Openprovider. Costco (a supermarket chain with a 40+ billion turnover) has a business model that matches Openprovider’s the most.

Why is a Flat Fee profitable for you?
You save money and you are sure to pay the lowest price. Whether you’re big of small doesn’t matter, we always help you save money.

Can I use the Flat Fee amount to buy domain names?
No, the Flat Fee amount is Openprovider’s margin. Managing domains after that is at cost price.

What do I pay for domains that are not included in the package?
Domains that are not included in the Flat Fee Package are charged at the regular price of our tiered pricing model. Refer to your control panel for more information.

Do the domains in my Flat Fee Package count towards the tier of my account?
Yes, the domains in the Flat Fee Package count towards your domain total just like any other domain. Based on this domain total, we determine your tier.

If I do a big deposit and buy a Flat Fee Package from that amount, am I still assigned a higher tier?
Yes, the higher your deposit, the higher the tier that you’re placed in. See the price list in your control panel for more information.

What happens if I pass the limit of my package and want to buy more domains?
There are two options if you have more domains than your package allows:

  • You pay the normal price, based on your account’s tier.
  • You upgrade to a larger package, which allows you to buy more domains at cost price.

Which domains are included in a Flat Fee Package?
At this moment, 24 extensions are included in the Basic, Professional and Expert packages: .com, .net, .co.uk, .be, .nl, .frl, .eu, .es, .de, .fr, .org, .it, .info, .nu, .se, .biz, .ch, .at, .dk, .com.es, .cat, .pt, .me and .co.za. Each package defines a limit to the number of domains that you can buy at cost price.

The New gTLD Flat Fee Packages contain all of the new domain extensions.

The Supreme Package contains all domains that Openprovider can deliver, including the new gTLDs, all without limits to the number of domains you can buy. Furthermore, a Supreme Package allows you to buy all SSL certificates and Parallels licenses at cost price.

Will more domains be added to the Flat Fee Packages?
Yes, we will regularly add new domains to the Flat Fee Packages. The New gTLD Flat Fee Packages will be extended with new gTLDs as soon as they enter their General Availability phase. Some new gTLDs will be added to the regular Flat Fee Packages as well. Recently .frl was added, and also .amsterdam, .barcelona and .madrid will be added in the future. Regarding the ccTLDs, .mx (Mexico) will be added soon.

Which SSL certificates are included in the Flat Fee Packages?
The Supreme Package contains all SSL certificates that Openprovider delivers at cost price, without limit.

The Basic, Professional and Expert packages have a slightly different structure: there is no limit to the number of SSL certificates that you can buy at cost price, but the types of certificates are limited:

  • Basic packages:
    • GeoTrust True Business ID with EV
    • GeoTrust True Business ID Multi-Domain
    • Thawte Web Server Wildcard
  • Professional packages:
    • GeoTrust True Business ID with EV
    • GeoTrust True Business ID Multi-Domain
    • Thawte Web Server Wildcard
    • Thawte Web Server
  • Expert packages:
    • GeoTrust True Business ID with EV
    • GeoTrust True Business ID Multi-Domain
    • Thawte Web Server Wildcard
    • Thawte Web Server
    • RapidSSL
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