Is the wholesale price of .io domains really $45?

I’ve noticed something odd. Dot-io domains cost $45 through the CF registrar. However, there are quite a few registrars that offer .io registrations, renewals and transfers for less than $45. So, either the wholesale cost of .io domains is less than $45, or these registrars lose money on .io registrations, renewals and transfers, which seems unlikely. I’ve seen registrars advertising pricing that is below the wholesale cost in an attempt to attract customers, but this kind of promotional pricing is usually only valid for registrations and/or transfers, and never for renewals.

Can someone shed some light on this?

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So the theory is that the pricing difference between registrars is caused by the mysterious price structure of the registry. I realize that there’s probably not much CF can do about that, but one action that can be taken is for CF to get in contact with the registry and ask them how CF can qualify for lower pricing. Maybe the pricing tiers are based on volume, or maybe there are other requirements that have to be met before CF can move to the next tier.

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$45 may very well be the “wholesale” price at the .io registry for the “general public” without standing arrangements.

A few years ago at least, that was the price they quoted me when I tried to transfer to nic.io.

Interestingly enough - even though my domain was already registered, they wanted to charge me $90 like for new registrations on the transfer, while all other registrars would allow transfers and renewals at $45, and their own stated renewal rates were $45 also.

It’s more simple than that… the registrars take a loss. They make more in the long-run.