Changes to you Domain advertising rates: On December 15th. 2012 a Domain National Sales Manager wrote to PropertyNow (and presumably to some other companies) The email communication sent to PropertyNow is shown below.
The essential elements of Domain’s email to PropertyNow, is that Domain intend a price increase (after approximately 6 years at the current rate) of something in the order of 53,000% ( based on the current clients using PropertyNow) If the calculation of the percentage increase were based solely on new clients to PropertyNow from February onward, then the increase is still in the order of 3,000%.
PropertyNow has naturally put its point of view to Domain and to the credit of it’s management, negotiations may take place. I will comment further, but for now here is the letter sent to my business (PropertyNow) on December 15th 2012.
Start of email communication:-
Changes to you Domain advertising rates
We are writing to let you know about some changes to your Advertising Sales Agreement with Domain.com.au.
Ordinarily, we require all private advertisers on Domain.com.au to take out advertisements on a single buy basis. However, we recognise that you are a high-volume private advertiser and we have therefore created a special product to allow you to use Domain.com.au on a subscription basis.
Effective from 1 February 2012, your account will be migrated on to a Domain Flexi Subscription, which means that your rates will change to the applicable monthly State-based subscription rate set out in the table below plus a flat rate of $220.00 incl. GST per Sale listing and $165 incl. GST per Rental Listing.
Each listing will be in Priority Placement format for the first 2 weeks on Domain.com.au.
End text content of Domain email:
From the point of view of PropertyNow, such an increase is the equivalent of filling ones petrol tank today for $60 and then going to the petrol station tomorrow and being charged $1800. The net result will be that PropertyNow will be forced to no longer offer Domain to its clients. This obviously impacts upon hundreds of individual property sellers (eventually many thousands) very directly.
PropertyNow intends to discuss this with the General Manager of Domain, while reserving the right to once again appeal to the ACCC to investigate a potentially anti-competitive practice. Propertynow will also explain to Domain management that it is at error in defining the nature of the PropertyNow business.
It is interesting to myself and no doubt would be to the ACCC, that PropertyNow will be charged massively more than other agents, despite charging its own clients a smaller fee than those agents. I would have thought this to be the absolute definition of an anti competitive practice.
I am interested to hear the thoughts of Business2 readers in relation to Domains intentions, which were initally mooted back in January 2011.
Director and Licensee PropertyNow