DNSeattle: The Investment Opportunity in New gTLDs

DNSeattleWhat is the investment market for new gTLDs, and how can individual or institutional investors take advantage of it?

That is the question we answered on the educational panel at the May 28, 2015 DNSeattle.com event, which was generously hosted and sponsored by Rightside.

(DNSeattle was a continuation of new gTLD week on DomainSherpa, where the Sherpas reviewed a user-submitted portfolio of ONLY new gTLDs.)

In this session, we answer questions including:

  • How many and what domains have been sold in the $10,000 to $100,000+ price range?
  • What does every investor need to know about selling new gTLDs that differs from .com sales?
  • How to you convince a buyer that a new gTLD domain is as good as or better than a .com domain?
  • How can individual investors find “needles in a haystack” for premium domains?

We’re joined by three Domain Sherpas: Dan Schindler, Rob Monster and Jebidiah Burnett.

Be sure to also view the DNSeattle photo album.

Review (38:42): Watch | Listen/Download Audio | Domain Lists

The DNSeattle Panel Discussion

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33 Responses to “DNSeattle: The Investment Opportunity in New gTLDs”

  1. I think only specific keywords in the new gTLDs will sell for thousands. Really a small market.

  2. Konstantanos posted today that he sold create.media via Sedo for about $5.6k. You can read his blog post here: http://onlinedomain.com/2015/06/04/news/i-just-sold-the-domain-name-create-media-for-5000-euro-or-5633/

    I’m not going to post every sale onto this show thread, but I think the people that think no new gTLDs are selling need to re-evaluate their position.

    1. Eric says:

      I don’t doubt that there are sales of these new tld’s, however every time I look at all of them, ~200 extensions, it’s a mind boggling proposition. The way I see these is that they are wildly speculative and I say this having registered domains since 1999 knowing that regular domains are speculative, these are like a magnitude of at least 10 times more so simply because there are so many extensions, not to mention they are double, triple, quadruple, etc. the cost of regular domains.

      I’m also concerned about clarity, is this domain the “equivalent” of Create.com or CreateMedia.com? In my mind it’s the latter because the two words are inextricably linked.

      1. I’m still trying to wrap my head around all these new TLDs as well. I’m definitely not a visionary, otherwise I would have seen the growth in value of .com domains back in 1995 when I was at UC Berkeley and building HTML websites.

        I don’t see CreateMedia.com and Create.Media being equivalent, necessarily. Perhaps there are two companies that allow you to do this, whatever “this” is.

        Take, for example, SeattleRealEstate.com and Seattle.RealEstate. I think they’re different options. Some may prefer the .com, while others may want to be “hip”, “new” or on the bleeding edge.

        I love my Toyota Highlander. Others pay more for the “equivalent” SUV made by Range Rover, Lexus, Mercedes, or less for Kia and other brands. Are they equivalent? They may suit the same need, but they have slightly different features and maybe price points, just like SeattleRealEstate.com and Seattle.RealEstate.

        Tesla is a relatively newcomer to the auto industry. They’re charging much more than Toyota electric vehicles but it’s too early to know if their customers satisfaction ratings and dependability will be higher than Toyota. Sometimes new and exciting is worth more to buyers.

        You ask a good question, Eric, that I and others wrestle with on these new TLDs. Yes, I think many will be worthless (I won’t throw stones at certain TLDs…they’re registration numbers speak for themselves). But I also think that many will be worth the same or more than the .com, especially when the .com is being used by a company and is therefore unobtainable.

        1. Ali Zandi says:

          You know, I was very, very skeptical about ngTLD’s. I still am, however, I have opened up a bit to the idea of them.

          I registered a few of them just to get some experience with them. I found some great keywords, overpaid for them and put up some landing pages. The thing that got me though, was when I went to type in one of my two word .com domain names: I typed in Domain.Name, instead of DomainName.com… that right there convinced me that these do have some subconscious power.

          Don’t get me wrong, some of these ngTLD’s are a complete joke… but I see some of them having lasting potential. Now, if we could purge 99% of the fluff and stick to a few really high potential ngTLD’s then I think it’s safe to say we can see a bright future for them should the internet continue growing at an exponential rate.

        2. Eric says:

          Well the the aforementioned domain is now parked at, drum-roll…domainnamesales.com so they spent a lot of money to park a new extension & offer it for sale immediately…

          1. I buy plenty of domains park them at DomainNameSales.com that I have intentions (and sometimes business plans) to develop. Just another viewpoint. Have a great weekend.

  3. albert says:

    Is the dot-com era coming to an end?

    By Caitlin Huston

    Published: June 4, 2015 9:34 a.m. ET

    Will dot.pizza or dot.bike replace the dot.com?
    Donuts
    Generic top-level domains owned by Donuts

    In the future, the familiar dot-com domains on the Internet may be as outdated as today’s Myspace page.

    At least, that’s what Donuts, a domain registry company, is banking on.

    “We believe over time that we will effectively replace dot-com,” said Richard Tindal, co-founder and chief operating officer of Donuts.

    Donuts spent $58 million to apply for 307 top-level domains, and thus far has about 190 under contract. With that tally, Donuts says it is and expects to be the owner of the most new, generic top-level domains, beating out other top applicants such as Google GOOG, -0.60% and Amazon AMZN, -0.72%

    A generic top-level domain is the ending of a Web address to the right of the dot, as in “.pizza” or “.photography”. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), the nonprofit that coordinates domain names and Internet Protocol addresses, started the application program in 2012 to introduce new top-level domains to the marketplace. So far, Icann has delegated more than 640 domains, and expects to delegate about 1300 by the end of the process.

    Donuts acts as a registry, meaning it sells the top-level domains to registrars such as GoDaddy. The registrar then licenses the chosen domain name to the customer, an individual or business, while Donuts runs the technical side of the domain.

    “In essence, the registry operator becomes the custodian of a piece of the Internet’s core infrastructure,“ Tindal said.

    Some of Donuts’ more popular domain holdings include “.technology” and “.photography.” While other domains, such as “.plumbing,” are gaining momentum but aren’t moving quite as fast, largely due to the old-school nature of the plumbing industry, Tindal said.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/is-the-dotcom-era-coming-to-an-end-2015-06-03?dist=lcountdown

  4. Michael says:

    Excellent show, extraordinarily informative.

    Is it true that Seattle will be charging sales tax on future domain name purchases?

    1. Thanks for your feedback on the panel, Michael.

      I have yet to ask my author (a CPA) at DNTaxGuide.com to review it, but from my initial review it’s only applicable on new registrations from registrars. Aftermarket sales are still tax free, at least for now.

      And I believe it’s only for in-state sales. In other words, WA companies selling to WA residents. (So, yes, Seattle is included as is the rest of the state.) :)

      But this is nothing new. I charge sales tax for sales to WA residents on https://dntaxguide.com and https://store.isixsigma.com and have been since they launched.

      What I don’t know if if registrars with offices within WA state have been charging sales tax.

  5. Albert says:

    Mike, the difference between last weeks show and this weeks was that last week, the Sherpas did not work for a registry.

    But it’s still worth watching.

  6. Palm Beach says:

    There’s gold in them their hills.

    Bill Hartzer, the Senior SEO Strategist at Globerunner.com. Hartzer’s results, detailed in a “dnjournal January 2015”, 27-page white paper, led him to conclude that .com did not have superiority in Google SERPS. Analytics.Work …cost me $1.19 Like to see some more AB testing.

    Google spends 25M to acquire .App. I think … 1+1= oppor-2-unity to pick some low hanging fruit.

    Love the show .. Michael keep digging

  7. Dimas says:

    Hello Michael,
    Thanks to the Panel and to you for bringing this subject to the table. Much needed.

  8. pier0 says:

    Regarding quantifying a new GTLD price by comparison to the .com aftermarket prices, fwiw (according to Namebio) the most expensive keywordattorney.com domain sold for 40k, so I don’t see how SeattleAttorney.com can possibly be worth $50k-300k.

    And even if it was, I would expect an increase of new GTLDs popularity with end users to drive the price of dotcom domains down, not the other way around where dotcom aftermarket prices drive the price of new GTLDs up.

    1. Hi Pier0,

      New often garners higher prices. It’s the scarcity principle: we missed the opportunity the first time (with .com domains) so I’m not going to miss out on it this time.

      Or, perhaps — as Jebidiah suggests — the keyword.tld is better than keywordtld.com domains in the eyes of the end users.

      SeattleAttorney.com is valued at $56,000 in Estibot (http://www.estibot.com/appraise.php?a=appraisal&k=c6c90dc4a9c25d0315873348bd4e34d4&domain=seattleattorney.com). I own many domains that I value and price at higher than Estibot valuations.

      Best,
      Michael

    2. Charles Gillis says:

      So Peir0,

      This will be a big shock to you but their is a “vast right of the dot conspiracy afoot”…what with all these great Gtlds coming out and so many of .com investors holding thousands of non gtld’s, you don’t really think the .com’rs are just going to give up do you?

      Charles

      1. pier0 says:

        Charles,
        did you even read my post?
        I don’t think dotcom investors will give up.
        I was more simply suggesting that using dotcom aftermarket prices to justify new GTLDs prices imho will not work.

  9. FT says:

    Am I the only one who has been having problems watching all the recent Sherpa shows? The Wistia embedded video just keeps playing an ad. There is no “skip” button, and even if I finish watching the entire ad, which sometimes lasts for minutes, the video just stops and if I reload the ad plays again! Everyone once in a while I get lucky and get to watch the actual show, but the ad could show up in the middle and I’m stuck again!

    Please help.

    1. Hi FT,

      I haven’t heard of other people experiencing this issue. I’ll connect with you via email directly to determine the root cause. Thanks for letting us know.

      Best,
      Michael

  10. UFO says:

    The market must be picking up as I’m getting bites on the same dot com’s unsolicited offers on a regular basis.

    But with these new TLDs, having been around the block a few times not many start ups are going to pay big money for anything when there’s plenty of cheap substitutes. When they are successful and have the cash they’ll go .com.

    The risk with these new TLDs is high as well, the value of your domain is directly related to whats in the registration terms are and the strength of the registry/registrar. The ONLY sizable corporate that has used a new TLD is one of the hotel chains and I can’t remember the TLD so pretty much proves its marketing spend waste.

    On a second tier domain (any non .com or cctld) content/product will always be the most important given the high numbers of alternative domains.

  11. Family Guy says:

    [This post has been modified from the originally submitted content. This is not a public forum. Please be considerate and polite, otherwise your comments will not be posted.]

    If you insist on claiming these transactions to be legit, please provide actual domains and prices paid and the names of actual buyers and sellers.

    1. Hi Family Guy,

      Please review our full comment policy before posting: http://www.domainsherpa.com/comment-policy/

      In response to your questions, I transcribed part of the video. Here is a summary:

      Jebidiah Burnett
      ================
      dui.attorney – low six figures (i.e. greater than $100,000)
      multiple geographic .dentist – $10,000 to $15,000
      sex.social – mid five figures (i.e. around $50,000)
      Jebidiah: “14 in last 5 months personally sold within the $15,000 to $50,000 range”

      Rob Monster
      ================
      Rob (paraphrased): “business at Epik.com is up 90% quarter over quarter in 2015 versus 2014, mainly because of the new gTLDs”
      shack.world – 100 bitcoin (about $25,000)
      job.market – $50,000
      global.market – $40,000
      phone.directory + global.directory: $35,000
      web.surf – $22,000
      fish.farm – $15,000
      Rob: “several other .market transactions pending all in the mid five figure range”

      Dan Schindler
      ================
      Five and six figure names:
      love.life
      real.life
      one.city
      one.delivery
      one.events
      web.money
      phone.directory
      global.directory

      3d.software also sold for more than $100,000: http://domainnamewire.com/2015/05/08/3d-software-domain-name-sells-for-100000/

      You can go to DomainTools.com to do a whois search for buyer information. Here’s a link for one of the domains: https://whois.domaintools.com/love.life

      Regards,
      Michael

  12. Eric says:

    You can make any extension work with enough marketing behind it and while some of these new extensions may very well work, I’m not a fan of them because “Holy confusion Batman”, people can only remember so much information & have a short attention span. The one he kept throwing out there was “dui.attorney”, well first of all there’s only one, so while it could work for one firm, then others have to get more creative just like .com etc. Now imagine a 20 second radio ad… was that duiattorney.com, duiattorney.net, duiattorney.lawyer etc. by the time they type it in to a search engine, they’ll be getting all sorts of results depending upon how good their IT person is at SEO.

    1. I agree with Eric.

      It’s still very early to know if these gtld’s will have the success that’s being hyped but one thing is almost certain, lots of confusion will be brought on the market. It’s impossible not to be confused when there are potentially thousands of different extensions being thrown at consumers.

      -Omar

  13. Noor Manji says:

    Interesting show, still can’t figure out how many clients will pay high renewal fees for more than 2 years. With the .coms, you pay the price once and renewals are $8.50. Phil does have an impressive new gtld portfolio and a great one to emulate, but what is a better investment…..$5000 renewal fees of new gtlds or a handful of premium .coms?

    1. As the Sherpas mentioned, it’s primarily Donuts that charges the high renewal fees. Rightside is not doing so and I’m not aware of any others doing so. If you know otherwise, please post a comment here.

      1. Noor Manji says:

        Have not come across that so far, nevertheless, last 2 shows have been real eye openers. Thanks Mike and all the sherpas.

  14. Tom says:

    Schindler was hilarious with his height joke! LOL

    Great show overall. Along with last week’s Review show I’m thinking about new gTLDs and seeing what people are selling on the forums. It’s worth considering, I’ll admit it.

  15. Phil says:

    Mike,

    Great show! Very informative for folks to see what’s happening behind the scenes. “Car.insurance” we would give it to them is the best news I’ve heard. That shows the intent to get them in the hands of great end users! This type of exposure will start a forest fire.

    Thank you for showing your show members another perspective to the new gTLDs!

    1. Mark says:

      Agreed. Very insightful panel. The truly premium gTLD’s, like car.insurance are beginning to build serious momentum.

      As the owner of Wedding.Directory and Apartment.Directory among several other very intuitive domains, I can tell you I am really torn about selling them now for less money or wait a little longer for higher ROI.

  16. JML says:

    The mp3 download is not working for me I get redirected to the frontpage when i click on the download link, anybody else having the same problem?

    1. Hi JML,

      It’s fixed. Thanks for pointing out that it wasn’t working.

      Best,
      Michael

  17. Anunt says:

    i like the ferris bueller part…

    anyone have questions from the audience…”anyone…anyone…bueller”…lol

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