Competition for particular domain names will be fierce and pre-registering a domain gives you the best shot at securing your desired domain as soon as the General Availability period begins. When you pre-register a domain, we add your domain request to a list that will be immediately submitted to the registry the moment General Availability begins. After General Availability begins for that particular TLD (Top Level Domain), you will be notified via email as to whether or not we were able to successfully register your domain.
During General Availability a TLD has completed its launch and is now open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.
Unfortunately we cannot guarantee you will receive a domain that has been pre-registered. We are unable to anticipate the demand for a particular domain before the start of General Availability, so there may be more than one person requesting the domain. However, pre-registering guarantees your best chance at securing your chosen domain.
You will be notified via email by Dotster as to whether or not your domain was successfully registered.
If more than one customer applies for the same domain during the pre-registration period, the domain may go to a closed auction. If it does, you will receive an email directly from NameJet, the auction provider, with details on how and when the auction will take place.
If your pre-registration has gone to auction, you will work directly with, the auction provider, to continue the process. They will provide all the information you need regarding access to your auction account, how to bid, and auction timing, etc. This process is separate from the registration process.
Yes! Your pre-registration fee is fully refundable if we are not able to secure your domain.
Unfortunately you cannot cancel a Pre-Registration order. However, if we are not able to secure your domain your Pre-Registration fee is fully refundable.
The Trademark Clearinghouse is a centralized database for verified trademarks. In order to register a domain name during any Trademark Holder ("Sunrise") registration period, your trademark must first be verified by the Trademark Clearinghouse.
The domain name you registered matches a trademark record on file with the Trademark Clearinghouse, and the Trademark Claim Notice includes the information about that trademark. Continuing with the domain registration means you received and understand the notice, and to the best of your knowledge, your registration and use of the domain will not infringe on the trademark rights listed in the notice.
There are a variety of phases that a new TLD may go through during its launch process.

The first of these phases, historically called "Sunrise" is exclusively for verified Trademark Holders. This phase is the first chance anyone has to register a new domain. However, you must have your trademark validated with the Trademark Clearinghouse before you can register your domain.  After your trademark is validated, the TMCH will send you an SMD (Signed Mark Data) file that you must use to complete your registration. For more information, visit the Trademark Clearinghouse.

The second phase, historically called "Landrush", is a Priority Pre-Registration period — during this phase you can pay a premium to increase your chance of securing a domain that wasn't registered during the Trademark Holders period. Note that not all of the new TLDs will have a Priority Pre-Registration period.

The Early Access Program (or EAP, as it is commonly known), is specific to domains operated by the Donuts registry. Instead of a typical Priority Registration, Donuts offers EAP, which gives you the opportunity to immediately purchase and access your domain. Setup fees vary depending on which day of EAP you choose to purchase your domain. While earlier days have higher setup fees, you also stand a better chance of securing your desired domain before somebody else does. Please note that you will also be charged the standard registration price for the domain in addition to any setup fee. For more information on EAP, visit our EAP-specific FAQs.

Pre-Registration, the third phase, actually begins at the start of the Trademark Holders period and continues until 24 hours prior to the start of General Availability. During this phase you may pre-register your domain in an effort to get a head start on the General Availability phase. At the moment General Availability begins, your pre-registration will automatically be submitted to the registry, giving you the best chance of securing your desired domain.

During the General Availability period the domain will be open to the public and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

While Dotster does not currently support the Trademark Holder or Priority Pre-Registration periods, we will soon.
Pricing will vary for each new TLD, and pricing will be available as each new domain is launched.
ICANN stands for the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers. It is the governing body over all domain extensions/TLDs with the exception of country codes (TLDs with 2 letters to the right of the dot).
TLD stands for "Top-Level Domain" and the "n" stands for "New", i.e. New Top-Level Domain. A TLD in general is basically the string of characters that follows your domain name. For example, in the domain "", the TLD or domain extension is ".COM".

ICANN decided to approve the creation of hundreds of new TLDs. So in addition to TLDs such as .COM, .NET, and .ORG, which you're already familiar with, a variety of new TLDs such as .BIKE, .PHOTOS, and .MENU will be launching as well.
These new TLDs represent a rare opportunity to register new, unique, and relevant domain names. For instance, if you run a bike shop in Portland, Oregon you could get a short, memorable domain with the .BIKE extension. If you're an Internet company, try .AGENCY or .TIPS. There are millions of great possibilities.
To learn more about the Early Access Program (also known as EAP), please reference our EAP-specific FAQs.