The Difference Between a Domain Registrar and Reseller

December 11, 2023




In the dynamic world of domain sales, understanding the nuances between a Domain Registrar and a Domain Reseller is crucial for both businesses and individuals looking to establish a digital presence. This article delves into the roles of these entities, shedding light on their differences, accreditation processes, and how each contributes to the thriving domain-selling industry.

Domain Registrar: A Direct Link to TLD Central Registries

A Domain Registrar serves as a vital bridge between businesses or individuals and the central registry of a Top-Level Domain (TLD). To establish a direct connection with a TLD’s central registry, aspiring registrars must meet specific requirements and undergo a meticulous accreditation process. Notably, certain country code domains (ccTLDs), like .ZA for South Africa, mandate registrars to have a physical presence in the country.

It’s noteworthy that while a Domain Registrar must be accredited by the central registries, accreditation by ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is not universally required. ICANN oversees generic TLDs (gTLDs) and sponsored TLDs (sTLDs) like .AFRICA, .COM, and .ORG. While ICANN accreditation is essential for a direct connection to gTLDs, some ccTLDs operate independently of this requirement.

Domain Reseller: Facilitating Domain Acquisition without Accreditation

In contrast, a Domain Reseller acts as an intermediary, purchasing domains from registrars or other resellers on behalf of clients. Unlike registrars, resellers are not obligated to meet accreditation requirements. However, this lack of accreditation implies that resellers do not have a direct connection with central registries, resulting in higher domain pricing compared to registrars.

It’s crucial to distinguish domain resellers from speculators, as resellers act as representatives or agents of registrars, facilitating the acquisition of domain names for clients seeking an online presence. Unlike speculators, who register and develop domains for economic gain, resellers focus on providing clients with desirable domain names for their websites.

Navigating Domain Reseller Transactions: A User Guide

If you find yourself unsure about the entity through which you registered your domain, performing a Whois search on your domain can provide comprehensive information, including the registrar details. Additionally, if you wish to contact the reseller and lack the necessary information, your domain registrar should be able to assist you.

Conclusion: Embracing the Diversity of Domain Selling

In essence, both Domain Registrars and Resellers play pivotal roles in the domain-selling landscape. Whether choosing a registrar for a direct connection to central registries or opting for a reseller’s services for added convenience, success in the domain business hinges on understanding these distinctions. By navigating the complexities and leveraging the right resources, businesses and individuals can make informed decisions, ensuring a seamless journey in establishing a digital presence.

Note: For a comprehensive Whois search on your domain, visit