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The $201,250 Casino.Online Sale Is Great… but Not for Domainers :)

Posted on 26 March 2017 by Andrei

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I have to ask: how much money did domainers make after the $201,250 Casino.Online sale? The answer is obvious: a big fat $0, because the domain was sold by the registry to an end user, NOT by a domainer.

This, once again, brings me to the #1 argument I keep making: there’s no room for domainers in the new gTLD equation.

At the end of the day, new gTLD registries want to squeeze every last dollar out of each transaction. Can you blame them? Of course not, they’re businesses at the end of the day. We as domainers however have to realize that there isn’t really a place for us in their business model.

Registries can increase prices as they please (and as the Uniregistry drama has proven, 30x price increases are a reality and not a conspiracy theory), they can and do reserve the best names and so on.

The result?

Domainers are usually left fighting for overpriced leftovers.

I’m sorry but from my perspective as a domainer, that’s just bad business.

Which leads me to the elephant in the room: why should domainers “fight” in the first place?

Whenever you’re assessing the viability of a business opportunity, you have to ask yourself two important question:

1) Is there profit potential?

2) Is this the best opportunity that’s currently at my disposal?

As far as question #1 is concerned, I for one don’t see all that much profit potential and have yet to come across a domainer who has proven that he’s able to generate profits with a new gTLD domaining business model.

When it comes to question #2, things are even more obvious because even if you somehow manage to generate profits in the world of new gTLDs, you’re doing it against all odds. Why put yourself through such an ordeal unless masochism is your thing? We’re surrounded by far better opportunities than new gTLDs in the domaining world and outside it. Why people choose to invest in new gTLDs under such circumstances is beyond me.

I’ve been warning domainers against investing in new gTLDs since 2015, it’s all here on DomainingTips.

Why do I keep doing it?

Well, look around and you’ll notice a lot of domainers still consider new gTLDs great opportunities. Read some blog comments and a few forum threads, see for yourself. As such, I don’t think I’m beating a dead horse and as frustrating as it is to know you sound like a broken record, posts like this still need to be written.

11 Comments For This Post

  1. Expired Picks Says:

    I never know if these registry sales have kickbacks also. Like the had like a $100,000 kickback in marketing expenses

  2. Gene Says:

    Thanks for this article, Andrei.

    I don’t agree that the sale of Casino.Online isn’t good for domainers, even though none of the moneys went [directly] into the pockets of domainers.

    This sale validates the fact that specific buyers see tremendous value in specific gTLDs. No question about it, and this is definitely not the first example of that.

    Therefore the value of ‘excellent’ (admittedly, not all or even most) gTLD names have increased — overnight.

    The most accurate analogy to understand gTLDs is to the world of modern art. Most of it sucks, and most people accept that the bulk of it is trash. But then someone with money comes along and pays big money for a particular work — which then serves as a catalyst for micro (and sometimes, macro) speculation.

    This happens all the time, and has happened for hundreds of years. All that time, there always existed ‘world class’ artwork, which everyone acknowledged to be worth lots of money. In our world those works represent high-caliber dot-coms.

    In the art world, their ‘dot-coms’ are paintings by the Masters, French Impressionists, etc. But that doesn’t stop collectors from venturing into works from modern artists, so of which sell for massive amounts of money: And those sales instantaneously raise the value of that artist’s other works, as well as similar works by comparable artists.

    So, net-net, domainers should be cheering every time one of these stories come out, because the high tide really does lift the other boats. I think that the main reason why people don’t cheer-on these sales is simply because they didn’t have the guts to take some risk and acquire an inventory of quality names in the new extensions.

    For the record, I don’t own any dot-online names, and have ONLY invested in dot-VIP…because that’s the one that I’m willing to place my bets on.

  3. Snoopy Says:

    Do you think the sale was genuine?

  4. Equalizer Says:

    Idea stolen from thedomains?

  5. Rev Says:

    Who bought for $140K, I saw along with some throw in extensions could not even break mid 5 figures at Namescon 2017 auction WTF? skeptical

  6. Snoopy Says:

    Rev, another one under privacy with not a word said about the buyer even though it was publicly auctioned, name still just points to the registrar park page also. In my view the name wouldn’t get 10% of that price if auctioned again today.

  7. Snoopy Says:

    “Therefore the value of โ€˜excellentโ€™ (admittedly, not all or even most) gTLD names have increased โ€” overnight.”

    “So, net-net, domainers should be cheering every time one of these stories come out,”


    So you expect a whole lot of high ntld sales in coming months? I doubt this is going to have any effect at all. The market is pretty much a bust at this point, barely anything is selling and the drop rate is going through the roof, 9% of the entire ntld space is currently in deleting status.

    The reason why many domainers aren’t cheering is because what a lot of ntld registries come out with is fake news. Dubious sales, dubious registrations, dubious pricing policies. It started with the $1million sale has hasn’t stopped since.

  8. Gene Says:

    @ Snoopy

    Yes, I think the sale was real – and yes, I DO expect many more gTLD sales in the coming months. Why not?

    I always find it comical when the bashers try to talk everyone out of making educated investments in non-Dot-COM domains. Frankly, almost every dime I’ve ever lost on domain names over the past two decades have been on dot-COMs…not on other extensions: And I strongly suspect that most domainers would be forced to admit the same thing, albeit, begrudgingly.

    So it’s really tiring to hear people like you analogize dot-COM to gold coins, but everything else to fools gold. Your problem is that you’re doubting big sales, like Casino.Online, because you’re only viewing them through the prism of a domain TRADER…and not from the perspective of an actual owner of an online BUSINESS.

    Maybe it does turn out that this name is never used for an online casino. So what? How will that have cost you any money if that happens? Please just stop trying to save everyone from ‘making the mistake of their lives’ by allocating some of their investment dollars to non-dot-COM names. You’d have more credibility if you used that argument in trading forums targeting penny-stock investors.

  9. Snoopy Says:

    Yes, I think the sale was real โ€“ and yes, I DO expect many more gTLD sales in the coming months. Why not?


    Gene I didn’t ask you if you “expected sales”, I asked if you expected a whole bunch of high sales. I think this sale will do nothing for the market, we will soon see what happens though. Let see if this sale sparks a whole lot of other high sales, or if if we just go back to the usual ntld nothingness.

    Are you actually saying you lost money in .com, after investing for 20 years? Please clarify. 20 years ago (1997) one word .com could be had for reg fee so I find this hard to believe.

  10. Gene Says:

    Yup, 20 years (1997)…when I used to register names at Network Solutions for $135.00 apiece. And the good dot-coms were already all gone by then. Three and especially four digit numbers were still available, but very few people thought to look at those (including me, unfortunately).

  11. Snoopy Says:

    Gene, I’d say if you’ve been at it for 20 years, yet haven’t been able to make money in .com then the problem 100% due to the terms you chose. i.e. the keywords, not the extension.

    The idea that all the good dot com were gone in 1997 isn’t right.

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