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Are Domainers Concerned by New gTLDs?

Digital Marketing

OHHHHHHHHH yes they are.

I recently spoke on the phone to a French domainer about new gTLDs. There are not so many of them in France that can make decent money from reselling domain names. His story was pretty straightforward: “my list is ready and I have not used any pre-registration platform. I will register when new domains extensions are open to all”. No mention of any Landrush or Sunrise period. Of course, no word about the domain names he plans to register. This is a very conservative strategy, and I am not surprised, since there will be plenty of opportunities with so many new Top-Level Domains launching, especially for non-English speakers; even if we consider that English domain names are usually the most profitable ones.

I also often read about the American domaining business; I notice how largely negative their opinions are about new gTLDs: many are still only interested in .COMs or openly vocal about how convinced they are that the new gTLD program will fail. I once watched a debate between new gTLD domainers; there were the “pros” and the “cons” and I do admit that the famous domainer Frank Schilling had quite a few good arguments for the New gTLD program actually revitalising the domain name industry.

More specialized contents for domainers

I also noticed that there were a large number of sites, many good blogs and specialized conferences for domainers. Very recently, I have noticed that specialized websites and announcements from domainers are beginning to focus on new domain names. Websites like “Sedo” offer such services as “New gTLD services for buyers”.

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I do not consider myself as a domainer since I have only three domain names for sale and since I do not make a living out of selling them. Nevertheless, I sometime talk to serious domainers and I have some idea, after all these years in the domain name business, of what their ultimate goal is.

The goal of the .COM domainer

The goal of the domainer is simple: sell a unique domain name for millions of dollars. Selling “the” domain name at a fantastic price: dating.com ($1.7 million) – korea.com – business.com (7.5 million) – fb.com – ticket.com ($1.5 million) – insure.com ($16 million) -privatejet.com or fund.com ($9.9 million) sold for millions of dollars in the era of .COM domain names.

A new era: a new breed of domainer

Whatever the speculation is about the predicted success or lack thereof, regarding new gTLDs there are factors no one can ignore in 2014:

  1. There is simply no space left for great .COM domain names. Of course, some valuable existing .COM domain names can and will be traded over and over again but no new ones can be created.
  2. Former gTLDs were limited to 22 (I don’t like to point to it but .XXX is part of them). Now there are hundreds of new ones, coming onto the market, with many possibilities to be the first Registrant to “grab” a valuable generic domain name.
  3. .COM domain names were meaningful in the past and will probably be in the near future but .COM domains had no identity but for the three characters added to the second level domain itself, to make it work technically. Note that I exclude country code Top-Level Domains here (ccTLDs).
  4. I use this adage is much used, it remains true that new generations will grow up with the new domain names, so I doubt that my son is going to pay much attention to older .COM domains when he is old enough to buy domain names.

I would be tempted to say that it is an obvious strategy for a domainer to criticize new gTLDs (in order to protect their existing investment), but if one of the most successful domainers of all time doesn’t talk about them in a negative fashion, you’d better listen. When you are confident that you can acquire a good domain name in such a vast and expanding market, why would you talk about it? Why on earth would you let anybody know about your plans?

Will new gTLDs fail? I seriously doubt it. All the negative noise from domainers won’t make them fail that will make them fail …Since I also doubt that French and American domainers are on a head on collision course with New gTLDs, I am confident that many of them are seriously prepared to grab the best domain names, no matter whether it takes years for them to resell them.

And by the way, I have my doubts about the suggestion that the number of domainers will be on a fast rise.

Comments on this Article: 7

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  1. David J Castello says:

    DotCOM is the ONLY universally accepted TLD. And therein lies its extreme marketing value. There will be countless new gTLDs in a various languages. Some will be more successful than others. Regardless, those saying that dotCOM will decrease in value because of them are missing the point.

  2. Christopher Hofman says:

    Good. valid points, Jean. There are two types of domainers; A. The traditional ones confiding only in their .com and talking negatively of the new gTLDs where possible. It’s a natural human reaction for people who are not rady to adapt and where their income is being threatened. B. The silent domainer who has realised the major change, selling out of their current portfolio, and planning to invest in a few well selected gTLDs. As you argue the day your son plans to register a domain name, .com will only be one of the alternatives. I would think it could be compared to the old fax machine at that time, because only ancient companies use .com. We will see,

  3. s. mugavero says:

    What is the reason for the premium on registration and renewal? I understand Goodwill is a factor in valuations… Whats the good will of a .whatever? Do we have to question the goodwill of one of the most used extensions in verbal communication .com How many people say that a day… Now that’s Goodwill. That’s value. In addition, Most things that are not easily duplicatable have exponential value.

    A .whatever is not going to have the impact of a .com for “some time” in my opinion, being generous.

    Comparables is another factor in valuation. We can compare the lackluster success of the majority of the last gtlds. .biz .info etc. Whats the difference between a .mobi and a .mobile? (other than gtld and mtld) The .com has long standing sales comparable data.

    There’s several avenues and millions of available ways to invest, market and brand with domains in the proven .com, .net and .org extensions. Take a look at these examples I put together in 10 minutes. It could be done with most the new gtlds in my opinion.

    rentalcar.directory $24.95 anually, possible auction. More upfront if you want priority service.

    RentalCarDirectory.com I can buy it now for $350 and $10 annually.

    personalinjurylawyer.directory $24.95 anually, possible auction. More upfront if you want priority service.

    PersonalInjuryLawyerDirectory.com I can buy it now for $300 and $10 annually.

    motorcycles.directory $39.99 annually, possible auction. More upfront if you want priority service.

    MotorcyclesDirectory.com I can buy it now for $199 and $10 annually.

    arcade.directory $24.99 annually, possible auction. More upfront if you want priority service.

    ArcadeDirectory.com I can buy it now for $199 and $10 annually.

    The list could go on and on forever comparing every .whatever to what works.

    For the investor and end user (the little guy too) alike there’s proven success formulas in place.

    • Jean Guillon says:

      …I am no domainer but something is for sure, I am not buying at $40 a year unless I have a website with serious content that has a reason to exist. Parking at $40 looks like expensive no?

  4. Michael says:

    Can anyone clear up for me the law surround these new gTLD’s lots of the good key words have sold up it seems, but what is the law around buying new domains that are related to or contain a companies name?

    I read that everyone has been given their opportunity to place a copyright on the new domains, and if they havent, then it is fair game.

    This has been shown when I looked to purchase plentyof.singles which is available but comes with a copyright infringement warning. Other I have tried, clearly are similar or even name a company, but do not have the copyright warning.

    If my sole purpose is to buy these to sell for profit, is that the bit that is illegal? Are there any work around of this?

    I don’t understand why snapping up domain names and setting up a parked for sale page is illegal, or how it is any different to companies who legitimately sell “premium domains”… some insight from thoes in the know would be greatly appreciated and my internet searches have left me confused.

  5. domainer says:

    all those negative comments about new tlds are only for 2 reasons:

    1: protecting their .com investments.
    2: trying, i mean TRYING only to keep people away from new tlds so that they could have the best of it for themselves

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