NamesCon2020

Epik API support

Located in Drop Catchers and Expired Domain Services started by twiki, Nov 30, 2019.

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  1. twiki

    twiki Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    These days I've finally decided to try out Epik, having domains about anywhere else.

    Registered about 40 domains in 2 days, but now I am REALLY disapointed. Side note the context is drop catching and using their API for regging expired domains.

    First off, as a note, I was not able to contact support at all. It's like trying to reach a black hole. All calls never reached a rep. I can see they also don't reply to emails. Tried calling many times - it's impossible. You just wait for 2 minutes then the call hangs up on you. No I won't leave a message, sorry; the whole experience makes me suspect nobody will ever call me back. The site is also made BTW so you don't actually find how to contact them, apart from calling the numbers nobody replies to.

    Side note if I could call support, OR find any kind of documentation answering my problems listed here, this post would not have existed. But I'm left to my own devices with this. Hence this post.

    First day, 2 domains didn't go through. Yeah, perhaps someone else was quicker, that's alright, I understand. But the funds were taken from the account. I mean, what? The inability to register the domains should automatically cancel the transactions, Paypal supports that. And they know instantly they couldn't reg the domain.

    I can't really watch if each transaction is matched by a correct domain registration. Have better things to do. Any other registrar automatically sees such errors and reverts the transactions without me having to manually point each to them.

    Mailed their support, received note somethone actually received it, and later that day the funds went into account credit. No email replies regarding problem solved, no warning that they actually did this. You have to discover on your own that actually something went into credit. Fortunately I took a look at it.

    The worst thing by far is the API.

    As a domain investor, I watch for expired domains and I use registrar API to quickly snatch what I need.

    Unfortunately, that is not possible with Epik. Their API will not register any freshly dropped domain, although the manual bulk register interface allows for it. This is because, as I can see, the domains ARE NOT AVAILABLE IN REALTIME VIA THE API. While at the same time any other registrar I'm using shows them as available so you can register now. I could register 0 domains via their API. ( Edit: manual regs work though, but not freshly expired ones).

    I have given up trying registration after a few minutes so then I'm doing manual regs via the bulk manual search. This meant for me, pointless work for hours at something that any other registrar API offers. Even GD is quicker than this and a more or less functional thing by comparison.

    I suspect they only offer CACHED registrations via the API. Yeh, you can definitely register the same domain next day... if it's a crappy one therefore still left available. Sorry - but for a domain investor, 30-60 seconds later anything still worth picking (and not sniped by DropCatch/SnapNames) is looong gone.

    Furthermore, you are limited to 10 domains max per API call. (edit: when searching for available domains, cause for registration it's obviously individual).

    I mean, seriously? I often monitor up to 60 domains per day, this will likely go soon to hundreds (as I'm currently expanding), so what can any serious investor do with a 10 domains limit?? They know I'm that kind of user cause I've told them on signup. Okay, so be it - disabled search completely and broken the list in batches of 10 or less and tried even that as direct reg attempt. No luck. It won't reg anything. Even if it's just 1 domain call via the API. Minutes later, the domain is still not available. And yeah, it is available via any other registar's API already... sometimes for minutes already... (watched that unfold) but not on Epik.

    I'm sorry but this is NOT how the swiss bank of domains should perform.

    I'm not sure right now exactly who will actually use this API, who is this for? Us domain investors, certainly not - given the situation.

    I hope that Epik takes this post as it should and as intended (as positive criticism from a domainer), and fix their service.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. karmaco

    karmaco Top Member VIP

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    First of all if you really knew about Epik you can contact @Rob Monster and the other Epik employee’s over here @Gube etc at any time.

    They do also respond to emails as I have written often. They have caught domains for me for (the lowest price in the industry to NP members.)I would say they have caught more than half of what I asked for in the last 3 months. If they don’t catch the $8.49 goes back into your account the same day.

    If you and many others wanted the same name, which happens with any good name, don’t blame Epik and go fight for it over at DropCatch etc.for a hefty price tag. If I really want a name I ask for it at multiple places.

    There are some names I like but don’t think are worth what other places charge to do a backorder. Epik fits nicely into those kind of names for me. I have no complaints for the price.
     
  3. twiki

    twiki Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    I'm not blaming anyone, but sharing the experience. I'm new at Epik. And yes that API has a serious problem. Your comment is about something else. And you missed the part of constructive criticism, that's not blaming.

    Edit: Didn't knew they have an catch offer for NP. Anyway. I rely on my own tools and always use the API with different registrars, and have a caught rate of 65-70% or so. That depends on the domains though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
  4. Samer

    Samer Top Member VIP

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    edited my post to reflect thanks, thanks OP :)

    Epik had the best service in the game.
    Samer
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  5. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    Thanks the feedback.

    We'll give it a review.

    Most people like our API:

    https://docs.userapi.epik.com/v2/

    As for using the API to dropcatch, that is not how you are supposed to use it. The API is throttled to prevent over-utilization.

    Besides if you are a cheapskate, you can just use our Backorder service which is really cheap at $8.49 and is still first come first serve. That is what most people do.

    Support is generally good, notably via email and web chat. Phone support on Thanksgiving weekend might have had an occasional gap but we'll check with @Jess Robison.

    The OP's thread title is no way to start a relationship, but we'll happily listen to his feedback and see what we can learn from it.

    We do have very big plans in the reseller market. Our first WHMCS plugin is nearly ready.

    @Gube @vitigo
     
  6. twiki

    twiki Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    Thanks for the comment. Some notes:

    - It would have been useful if there was at least some hint in the docs that the API is not intended /cannot be for dropcatch. Over utilization - I'm alright with a call at one minute, but that also didn't work. Don't need a calls per second or whatever. I just need to automate the registration of names I have in my list. And for certain reasons due to the way I register and manage my portfolio, I don't pay extra for registering (expired) domains, unless there is an auction involved, different thing.

    - Backorder service - Thanks for the offer, probably the lowest in this line, but I rely on my own tools.

    - Support - Maybe I've simply been unlucky. Will retry.

    This was not intended to blame anyone or paint a bad picture. However the whole experience was the opposite from expected so it was really frustrating.

    Other parts of the platform are good; my problem was the API and the inability to contact support.
     
  7. Ja Kai

    Ja Kai Established Member

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    The way you talk in your post conveys that you are a rookie - looking for a crutch to hold you up. There are no crutches in this game. If something doesn't work for you at a registrar - try elsewhere.
     
  8. Ja Kai

    Ja Kai Established Member

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    Catch rate means nothing. You need to know when to use an api, and conversely, when to use snap/dropcatch. You say your catch rate is 65-70 - that means nothing.
     
  9. Ja Kai

    Ja Kai Established Member

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    You go after 60 targets a day - so you say. What were your targets today? What was successful and what was not. I'm calling bs on your purported API knowledge.
     
  10. tonyk2000

    tonyk2000 Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Imho, one should not expect regular APIs to be available for dropcatching tasks to begin with. Afaik, dropcatching is supposed to be performing using different registrar-registry connections. Normal customers API, provided as an extra service, does not use said connections. It is for regular domain management tasks and/or for handregging something that was not just dropped... Yes, it should be definitely possible for a registrar to provide an extended api, which would be set to use dropcatching registry connections in drop times, but, sine Epik offers their own dropcatching service, it does not seem to be the case here...
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  11. Blitzpotz

    Blitzpotz Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Why not ask before using the Api and before opening such a thread?

    Epik offers free download of a pending delete list with several hundreds of thousands names daily.
    And they run the website DropElf.com with a free quality selection of drops. Fine expiry cuisine a la carte.
    They cannot compete with Dropcatch.com for the best drops - not yet as I experienced Epik. You could blame this and instead of trying with Epik for a dropcatch fee of $8.49 including renewal attend Dropcatch´s service which often ends up in auctions.

    The big paradox with Epik is that the CEO is available 247 in this forum and he will even answer less intelligent questions. What you call weak support is a gift to many regarding the realtime availability of competent response and is a problem for others feeling anyway affected by the large presence of Epik content in this forum. A paradox!
     
  12. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    The API feedback is actually welcome.

    As there are more and more folks doing "AI" to find opportunities, Epik will need the BEST API. So, I am going to take this opportunity to do what I like to do: make lemons into lemonade.

    So, for starters, with the Backorder API, I am going to ask @Gube and @vitigo to fast-track a review of the Backorder API. We can be much smarter in two notable areas:

    - Our system knows what name is dropping, has dropped, or is about to drop. We should use this intelligence.

    - The API should also allow instant removal of backorders so that missed backorders can be instantly credited back to the customer's account without batch processing.

    So, by all means, bring the API feedback. At some point, the OP might update the title of the thread.
     
  13. tonyk2000

    tonyk2000 Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    It is something I'd like to learn (maybe Rob can share?), how is this possible to manage all this, 24/7/365 and politely? I'm really interested... Mission impossible, but he indeed answers all questions. As a domain seller, with all sorts of email inquiries in the inbox, I ended up with the following: pre-written templates answering the questions like "how is it possible that the domain with my registered company name is for sale, you #*$&". With pre-written templates all case-specific emotions are remaining on my end. But, forum communications are different...
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  14. Blitzpotz

    Blitzpotz Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Now we are two. And he is always extremely fast and never makes mistakes, not even typos. Besides this forum action he runs a company and a family.
    There must be several Rob clones! Or Rob is an AI powered bot. I do not recognize another reasonable answer. Do I have to add a smiling Emoji now?

    Call me a fanboy.
     
  15. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    That is a funny commentary and definitely off-topic. The hints can be found here, here and here.

    Two main themes:
    • Kick ass - Design for scale, Improve continuously, Learn from everyone: We try to use each fail or miss as an opportunity to improve and co-create something better. We do a lot of that here.

    • Stay humble - Keep a servant's heart: King David's son, Solomon, was the richest man of all time. However as I read Ecclesiastes, I sometimes wonder if he was late in discovering humility.
    So, by all means, tell us when we fall short. It is the best way I know of to improve. However, if possible, try to treat us as a partner, not as a supplier, and I am pretty sure you will see us do the same.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  16. Grego85

    Grego85 Quality.Domains VIP

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    If you want to have the best API you should definitely take off that throttling and let us fly baby! The best API should be intended for drop catching too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  17. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    I hear you about API limits.

    The problem we have run into is with Verisign that caps each registrar at 200 concurrent registry connections. So for the folks that use the API to dropcatch, know that the registrars are also being heavily throttled.

    We'll see what we can do there to make the API more accommodating and to more effectively direct our client's ingenuity and processing power.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  18. Lox

    Lox _____ Gold Account VIP

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    1. Professional response!
    2. Leave the title as is; a battery has two ends. The title is likely to help/benefit the Epik.
    2a. The words and phrases s.a. "problem + registrar" , "problem hosting" , "problem API" or "Epik + API + problem" that people type into a search engine in order to find the solution ... good for them... they've found the answer (thanks to OP).

    Regards
     
  19. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    Hilarious -- another incurable optimist at NamePros. :)
     
  20. twiki

    twiki Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    There's still a lot to be said, so I'll be fixing / completing my original post now.

    - First off, I admit the post is a bit inappropriate, especially the title. I was frustrated and about to leave Epik. I normally avoid posting when I am in such state, as anyone should. This time I said, so be it. There are negative and positive effects on this action but I'm glad to see it went the right way after all.

    The reason for frustration was, I could not reach support and it seems to me very weird to contact someone on a public forum (even if it's the boss) instead of being able to do so through the platform. Anyway - I apologize to all fans of Epik, as I said already this was not intended to blame but to provide feedback on some real shortcomings. I'm not saying you are wrong, I'm new to the platform and just got a series of bad experiences. You probably know it better than myself. But try to put yourself in that series of events and see how you'd felt.

    - It is to be noted though that the main intent of the post was to provide some constructive criticism. I am glad to see that Rob has really got it the right way. That's how it should be done, professional response indeed. Thumbs up for that!

    - I've asked the mods to change the post title to something more appropriate, we'll see if they do.

    - About the API limits, since number of connections is obviously limited and an important resource, I think this should be managed dynamically, and here's how I believe it should be done (or any variation on the method below).

    Epik is a business, and it needs to make money. That's how it is. We're clients and we want access to a limited resource. This being said, I believe the resource should be spread by the financial efficiency it brings. I would set a part of the connection pool for regular clients, and another part for domainers who dropcatch. And on that dropcatch part, I would give more or less resources to a given client depending on how much they register. It is one thing for someone who starts the script and let it run all day to register 1 domain (maybe), and another for someone who uses it strictly in the dropping window (edit: for that TLD) and registers 20 or 50 domains per day or whatever like that. I would have the API return a throttle time number for that. Say you can try again in 2 minutes, or 30 seconds. And this adjustment should be done, again, dynamically based on purchase performance of that client.

    Registrar business is thin margin, well, the volume matters a lot in this case. And a large domainer will also pay a lot when renewing, well, if they are a big fan of the platform that's money for years to come.

    But of course, this is just a suggestion, anyway that's how I would do it if I were in that situation.

    - AI is indeed coming. I'm using more or less sophisticated tools to dropcatch, otherwise I wouldn't be able to sift through hundreds of thousands of expiring domains. My tools have AI embedded, but so far I'm not yet sure how exactly to train it. However thats the future - instead of working a ton of hours for this purpose, I can train the AI to think like myself and copy the buying profile, and then the AI will do the work while us humans can focus on becoming more creative at it and/or perhaps, on better sales.

    - I think giving feedback within the API is important. Like, you've been throttled 2 minutes for doing... that too much. A proper script will really follow that. Furthermore, there also should be some information about this in the docs. Limited connection pool is a known fact, there is no reason not to make such decisions public in the API docs.

    - Finally, an improvement I will make on my side. I'm going to use my bulk whois tools in conjunction with the API, so when a particular domain has been caught elsewhere, they will remove it from the submit list (edit: it already removes and doesn't retry what has been registered internally). This will also make the list more clean when following, AND will keep the usage at minimum. Not everyone has a tool for this (external live bulk whois embedded in the script), but a pro domainer should invest in that. I have it so it makes sense to use it. Just haven't thought about it so far.

    I appreciate the comments made so far in this thread, especially from Rob.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  21. xynames

    xynames XYNames.com PRO VIP

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    • King Solomon was handicapped as far as reaching humility in that he had riches and power even the wealthiest of today may only dream about, but he did eventually come to the conclusion that working hard and truthfully and caring for your family are all that matter.

    • Humility - humility requires the ability to admit that you’re wrong, which is something that the Monster, from admitting that he shouldn’t have denied the existence of the New Zealand massacre to shouldn’t have bought a domain outside of an ongoing NP auction, is incapable of doing. As long as he’s introduced this humility concept into this thread, it’s fair game for response I suppose.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  22. Ostrados

    Ostrados Entrepreneur Gold Account VIP

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    Backorder is $199 not $8.49.. I paid 199 for a backorder few days ago.

    What I am missing?!
     
  23. Blitzpotz

    Blitzpotz Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Your Epik account has to be upgraded with your Namepros membership @Ostrados
     
  24. Jurgen Wolf

    Jurgen Wolf Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    $199 - for endusers.
    For domainers - another pricelist.
     
  25. gipson

    gipson Next Domain Market VIP

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    Coincidentally, just yesterday, I started to work with their api and I was not able to see any delay, false positive or limit.

    More than three times talking to the support team and @Rob Monster on saturday... :)

    Apis delays are very common, check you code.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019

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