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New gTLD Case Study

Posted on 18 May 2014 by Andrei

As of today, I’ll be documenting my new gTLD experiment.

I’ll let you guys know which domains I bought, why I bought them, how much I paid and what my end user asking price will be. Every now and then, I’ll post a follow-up with new acquisitions and relevant updates.

I don’t own many (only 13 at the moment of writing) and will probably end up owning 100-ish at the end of 2014. Should be a decent enough number for this experiment and enough to at least draw some preliminary conclusions.

First and foremost, a thing or two about my approach:

1) I don’t buy domains with premium renewals

2) I try to always buy them in the General Availability phase so as not to pay more than reg fee for an acquisition (up until this point, all of my new gTLDs were bought at the registration fee)

3) I don’t park them and instead, point all domains to a simple “domain for sale” landing page (furthermore, I will price all of them and list the BIN on the landing page, all 13 domains that will be mentioned today currently have one if you’d like to take a look)

4) the asking prices will be low, at least at the beginning of this experiment (high 3 figs to low 4 figs) because I want to see some sales during the initial phase

5) I buy domains at whichever registrar offers the cheapest price and will let you guys know roughly how high the registration fee was

Alright, here we go, I will list them in chronological order.

Domain #1: Domaining.Directory

Bought it because domainers are some of the few people who currently know about new gTLDs and because it would be a decent choice for someone who wants to put together a domaining directory.

Registered at GoDaddy.

Back when I bought it, so at the beginning of the GA phase, the registration fee was higher than it is now. But I used a 30% off coupon (in case you didn’t know, you can use such coupons for new gTLD registrations), which brought the price lower than that charged by other registrars.

Currently pointing to a “domain for sale” landing page with a BIN of $1,880.

Domain #2: Safest.Email (I also hand registered SafestEmail.com)

Bought it because I think there would be demand for an email service where safety is the #1 selling point, the fact that I was also able to hand register the SafestEmail.com version represented a bonus.

Registered at GoDaddy, used a 30%-ish off coupon like with Domaining.Directory.

Currently pointing to a “domain for sale” landing page with a BIN of $1,880 and the buyer would also receive SafestEmail.com as a bonus.

Domain #3: VPS.Cheap

There’s a lot of demand for cheap Virtual Private Servers and the dot cheap extension represents a good fit.

Pre-registered it at GoDaddy for something like 40 bucks if I’m not mistaken.

Currently pointing to a “domain for sale” landing page with a BIN of $1,880.

Domains #4 to 12: Gary.Cool, Jerry.Cool, Kyle.Cool, Larry.Cool, Mary.Cool, Roy.Cool, Scott.Cool, Sean.Cool and Troy.Cool

The dot cool new gTLD represents a good choice for first names.

I have a feeling that the interest will mostly come from male end users, so I focused on male first names. Only bought one female first name, Mary.Cool since it’s the most popular female first name in the world.

Currently pointing to a “domain for sale” landing page with a BIN of $880.

There might ultimately be some decent interest for these but the budgets will most likely be low, so I priced them at only $880.

Paid a little under 25 bucks each a pop via NameCheap.

Domain #13: Chair.Expert

Lots of people are interested in products such as ergonomic chairs and the best ones (Herman Miller ergonomic chairs for example) are expensive, so it’s an interesting niche and certainly a potentially profitable one.

Paid 30 bucks for it over at EnCirca.com.

Elsewhere, the registration fee tended to be 2x as high, was surprised to see that EnCirca offered them at $30.

That’s it for now, 13 domains.

As mentioned at the beginning of the post, follow-up articles will be posted whenever I have something relevant to report like new acquisitions or anything else.

Also, remember: when investing in something, always be prepared to lose it all. There are no guarantees and this case study does not in any way constitute financial advice.

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12 Comments For This Post

  1. MarkH Says:

    I’ll be interested to watch how it goes Andrei…

  2. Domenclature.com Says:

    @Andrei,

    I appreciate the fact that you finally came out, even tho it has a feel of you being smoked out by me.

    Question, why were you hiding the fact that you were purchasing new gTLDs, yet you operate a website based on domain investment tips?

    Some of your readers could have benefited by knowing one, that you are buying them, two, what you are buying. Instead you spent three months debating me, and denying that you were involved with he new gTLD registrations. I asked you pointed questions about this that you vehemently denied.

    I need a thoughtful answer. Thanks.

  3. Andrei Says:

    @Domenclature.com: I don’t think you understand my way of thinking.

    I don’t have the verdict you are continuously asking for unfortunately.

    That’s why I’m experimenting with new gTLDs, that’s why I’m gathering data.

    It would be the easiest thing in the world for me to simply write a post entitled “Investing in new gTLDs is worth it” or “Investing in new gTLDs is not worth it” but that would be intellectually dishonest on my part.

    Why?

    Because at this point, I don’t know if investing in new extensions is worth it or not.

    I have no idea.

    I need more information, more data.

    These new gTLDs have just started appearing, nobody knows anything yet. That’s the #1 reason why I’ve decided to spend time/money on this experiment. Deciding whether or not new gTLDs are worth it is a complex process and when I will have a firm opinion, you and all of my readers will know.

    At this point, I don’t.

    I initially wanted to wait until I had more new gTLD domains before starting the case study but went ahead and set things in motion now so that readers can contribute with opinions/suggestions regarding things like whether or not they like the domains I’ve chosen (if yes then why, if no then why not). I will gradually publish updates but most likely not after each acquisition. An update or two per month should be enough.

    However, the update frequency is subject to change based on how much interest there is in this experiment. If there is more interest than initially anticipated, I will post updates about the experiment more frequently. If not, I’ll do it less frequently.

  4. HowieCrosby Says:

    Hi Andrei, where is this landing page please?
    Mary.cool ?

    Is it indexed, as with most new gTLDs, when typed into the add bar they resolve at the .com keyword search.

    In your case; marycool.com on mobile and mary cool linkedin profile via DT.

    The reason I asked if it was indexed is because I can’t find it via site:.

  5. Andrei Says:

    @HowieCrosby: are you by any chance trying to access it on your iPad or iPhone? New gTLDs aren’t supported by those browsers yet and the same thing might be happening with other browsers as well.

  6. Leonard Britt Says:

    While there are undoubtedly some interesting new TLD combinations which could turn out to be good investments ten years from now, my general perception is that the most logical combinations are not being priced for domain investors. The Miami.Condos or Hotels.Berlin type names are not going to be offered to domain investors for $10 with $10 renewals. They will either be registry reserved or have premium acquisition prices and premium renewals. True there may be a few meaningful combinations which the registry overlooks but I just don’t feel it is worth the time to pursue them. In 2014 .COM is what sells more than any other TLD and I already have plenty of alt TlD domains to offer if end users a few years from now start seriously considering .Net and .TV domains as something worth paying more than reg fee for.

    Regarding the names you have acquired, my view is they are not of exceptional quality and priced a bit high. You may get lucky on one or two but I believe as a whole this new TLD portfolio will not generate a positive ROI after years of renewals. Here is one test to consider – if the same keyword phrase were available in .COM, how much might an end user pay? Drop the price to 5% to 10% of that and then consider having to pay up to ten years of renewals to obtain that sales figure (no aftermarket exists for such names currently but over a decade perhaps those who are not even in the workforce now a decade from now will consider such names). So for example what might ChairExpert.com be worth to an end user? Maybe a $1500 to $2500 sale if you are really lucky though it might not sell at all – it would only be a brandable. Take the midpoint at $2000 x 5% to 10% and you get a $100-$200 end user value for Chair.expert. Would you pay ten years of renewals at $30 each to yield a $100-$200 sale? And yet I view Chair.Expert as the best of the group. Just my view.

  7. Leonard Britt Says:

    Note I would neither backorder nor bid on a Namejet auction for ChairExpert.com as I don’t view it as that great of a domain name. However, I recognize that for a new company which wants to sell chairs, it could make for a decent brand. The domain owner / seller would have to make sure they don’t overprice the name outside of this new company’s budget. ChairExpert.com would be a difficult sale to an existing company which already has their name as it is not a search phrase nor does it really exude a wow factor.

  8. HowieCrosby Says:

    @Andrei

    Mac on DT (Safari/Chrome) & Android.

    This is another problem, as it’s seriously reduces the gTLD owners possibly client base down; Reminds me of the WYSIWYG website builders a few years ago, before HTML5 came out and everything was Flash based. All sites were gliched on mobile.

  9. Domenclature.com Says:

    @Andrei,

    Your response was non-responsive, and unacceptable.

    Therefore, I will no longer be participating on your blog. I feel what you did was unfair.

  10. Mike Says:

    Best to be up front from the start.

  11. Andrei Says:

    @Domenclature.com: as a blogger, it’s unfortunately impossible to please everyone. I’m sorry to see you go but respect your decision. Thank you for your contribution to the DomainingTips comment section, I wish you the best of luck with your current and future projects.

  12. Mike Says:

    hello people

    i have some interesting ngtld

    search.cab
    search.kitchen
    search.ventures
    search.photography
    search.training
    search.boutique

    just make a offer

    Kindly
    Mike

 
 
         
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