I Have Spent $50,000 Buying New gTLD Domain Names

newgtldA lot of people are asking me if I like the new extensions, if I am buying New gTLD domain names and how many I own now. Well, it has been over a year since the New gTLD program started so now is the time to reflect on my purchases, success and failures.

Since February 2014 since the first batch of New gTLDs, including .guru, came out from Donuts I have been buying New gTLDs. At first I was buying more but then the registries got smarter as they learned from our purchases and the premium domains were more each week and with higher annual renewal prices.

So here is a detailed report on what I have bought in the past 15 months:

  • I have bought 565 New gTLD domain names for a total of about $50,000 USD.
  • The average price paid was $88.

I bought about 10 of these domains in landrush. Landrushes were not very successful and at one point Rightside switched to the Early Access Program (EAP). Radix will be doing the same in the future releases.

I bought 180 domains of the 565 domains in the EAP. Most domains were bought in the EAP day 5 although I bought 4-5 domains in earlier and more expensive days 3 and 4. The day 5 domains had an extra cost of about $150 depending on the registrar. That is on top of the registration price. So the total cost of the EAP acquisitions (excluding registration fees) was about $30,000. Almost 99% of that went to Donuts.

Finally I bought 365 domains in General Availability (GA), either using pre-registrations of simply registering domains even days after GA.

19 domain names were bought in various auctions, either in EAP or GA, but I didn’t pay more than $150 in any of the auctions.

  • About 50 of these domains had a registration/renewal price of $50 or more.

The domains I bought were from Donuts, Radix, Afilias, .Club, and very few Rightside and M+M.

Here is a small sample of the domain names I have bought:

E.ESTATE
buy.guru
health.directory
domains.tips
SOLD.DOMAINS
website.management
curved.glass
sport.marketing
sports.marketing
wear.blue
club.red
reputation.agency
trademark.watch
STARTUP.EXPERT
FIX.NINJA
city.properties
reverse.engineering
credit.capital
street.media
vintage.toys
wood.furniture
DIY.GUIDE
365.click
movie.world
CELEBRITY.POKER
360.fashion
print.green
serve.club

As you can see I aim mostly on good left-right combinations and not on any particular New gTLD. I don’t mind if the New gTLD has 2,000 registrations and I have the best 5 domains of that TLD. Here is what many other people have bought in the past year.

This is a breakdown of how many domains I bought in the course of the past 15 months:

  • February-March 2014 (2 months): 335 domains
  • April-May 2014 (2 months): 139 domains
  • June-September 2014 (4 months): 60 domains
  • October 2014 – April 2015 (7 months): 31 domains

Yes, I have slowed down but mostly because I don’t have time to research my purchases and of course because registries are learning. My latest purchases were 8 .poker domain names. You can still find deals but you need to go through a lot of domains to find just a few where the price is right.

Here are my 2 New gTLD sales:

Domain Name Price Venue Date
360.agency $2,500 Escrow.com 26/2/2015
city.tips 8,500 Euro Sedo.com 3/3/3015

You can read all the details about the city.tips domain name sale here. You can see all the latest New gTLD sales on Sold.Domains.

I have received several offers on my domains but I don’t sell cheap. I buy all my domain names, including the New gTLDs, as an investment and not to flip them.

What about renewals? That is another post coming soon…

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

51 comments

  1. Boy did you splash out. I like the idea of focusing on a strategic imperative and then executing on that. The other thing I like is “I buy all my domain names, including the New gTLDs, as an investment and not to flip them.” I hate flip. never done it and won’t ever do” but seeing what registrations are out there, you did better. Is $50K a lot? Yes but their is way worsed things to throw $50K at than an investment. Reminds me that I did $13k but spent a little more on a Ram 1500 eco-diesel for which I stand no chance of getting as much as you will. Good luck K.

  2. City.Tips was a good sale, as I have seen in alt gtld sales previously the best time to be sold history has show has been in the first few years. The fact you have spent $50K which is a lot of money, but unlike .com, there is considerable renewal reinvestment due each year, and as you sell your best names, much of that is put into re-renewal, against holding names which may take some time to sell, so it is arbitrage.

    I don’t know your renewals but if we average 600 names at $50 that is $30,000 plus your initial $50K that has to be made currently to come to break even, so about $65,000 more after paying year 2 renewals. Going into year 3 that will hit $95,000 minus what you sell this year, obviously this is funded by the sales of some of your better domains which are currently selling in .com.

    You are right some of the recent releases have crazy premiums, and lots of holds, other registries are just going thru loopholes and keeping quality for themselves. The domainers have their backs, against the wall. Sure there are guys that can spend hours scanning lists, and making $500 sales, but the opportunity cost of having a real career, and other time constraints does not outweigh this benefit.

    The only thing any domainer that has a decade of experience is their ability to see names without using all the search apps etc, which you of course have, you have taken a calculated risk, I hope it pays off for you, but with more extensions coming out, including the better ones, and the inflated premiums, I don’t know if you can outpace your expenses to come out ahead.

    • Agree with this, your breakeven is going up each year unless your sellthrough rate increases. The renewals for gTLDS are going to be the pitfall for a lot of people who jumped on them. And each year there will be more gTLDS added so more supply. And I think they have a 2 year minimum commitment so some of these investments may disappear if the registry doesn’t maintain the poorer performing extensions.

      No risk no reward as they say, but I would have rather have thrown $50k at five quality .com domains. If you threw $50k at NNNN.com domains or LLL.com domains a year ago you’d already have had a nice return.

      • I didn’t sell any domains in the first year. So I hope to be selling more as time goes by. Failed Tlds are picked up by emergency registries. They don’t just close shop.

        Maybe you are right about LLL.com but if people knew it more would have done it. Not just me.

    • Renewals are about $19k. After a few drops they are down to about $16k. I will write about renewals.

  3. Hi Konstantinos,

    I have Management(.)website BIN $250 (regular renewal fees). Godaddy, free push, payment – Paypal.

    Best,
    RU

  4. *standard renewal – $29.99

  5. Most of my sales are domains I acquired three to seven years ago so realistically one should expect several years of renewals post acquisition prior to generating a sale – not just the year one acquisition cost. Factor in several years of premium renewals and the fact that new TLD resale prices will tend to be modest due to the number of competing alternatives and the odds are tough. I have not registered any new TLDs nor do I see any motive to do so. Selling .COM, .Net and .TV is tough enough (domains are priced all over the map but most sales are low $XXX).

    • I don’t think there is a magical timeframe where lots of sales suddenly start happening, the sell rate. 1:285 is already quite high.

  6. What a bad move.

  7. So if I’m reading this correctly:

    Spent – $50,000
    Sold – $12,000

    Not even taking into account renewal costs.

    So that looks like a loss.

    Went from about 170 a month first 2 months
    To about 4 a month last 7 months

    That’s a big time slow down.

    That 50k you spent, you could have gotten some great .coms in the aftermarket, making a helluva lot more than 12k back.

    • I will wait untill year 5+ before I can call it a loss. Until then it is investment.

      • 31 domains over the last 7 months, about 4 a month, from what you were buying is very telling. Tells me you don’t see much future in these. Your buying of new gtlds have slowed tremendously. Each month, less.

      • Yes but I explained the reasons. Also since January I am pretty busy working for AEK BC and launching aekbc.gr and shop.aekbc.gr. And am still working hard on these. Not much time researching and buying.

    • Are you familiar with how investments work, Jonathan? You don’t plant a seed and check for fruit the next afternoon. There are no valuable .COM names left. I for one see potential in decent names in new gTLDs. It takes time for disruptive technologies to bear fruit, and as public awareness increases these new gTLDs will reward investors many times over. That’s my belief.

  8. Total Cost $50K+. Total sales about $11K.

    I am assuming each year the renewals are at least $20K+. That is digging the hole deeper and deeper in a market that has shown very limited aftermarket activity.

    I don’t really see the upside to a domain investor, but best of luck.

    Brad

  9. I spent $250 on the new G’s and already regret it. Lol. Thanks for making me feel better KZ.

    😉

  10. Do you realise that you guys are the new haters on the forums?
    Anyway, thanks for trolling around ;P

  11. Thanks for sharing that info with us, KZ. My favorites are these:
    city.properties
    credit.capital
    street.media
    vintage.toys
    DIY.GUIDE
    CELEBRITY.POKER
    You’ve got some great names and I like that you see them as an investment & not a flip.
    Good luck with them!

  12. Except for 365.click which you must have gotten for a fair price (like all .click domains). The rest on that list were a huge mistake, sorry to say.

  13. Thing about city.tips is that not many people touched it because of the TM, you taking a risk, really got lucky. I feel if Sheraton did force their hand, they could make a good case.

    Word Mark CITY TIPS
    Goods and Services IC 043. US 100 101. G & S: hotels, motels, inns, resort lodging services, namely, providing travel information. FIRST USE: 20070300. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20070300
    Standard Characters Claimed
    Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
    Serial Number 77116722
    Filing Date February 26, 2007
    Current Basis 1A
    Original Filing Basis 1B
    Date Amended to Current Register February 8, 2008
    Registration Number 3411087
    Registration Date April 8, 2008
    Owner (REGISTRANT) THE SHERATON LLC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY DELAWARE One StarPoint Stamford CONNECTICUT 06902
    Attorney of Record AINSLEE A. SCHREIBER
    Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
    Register SUPPLEMENTAL
    Affidavit Text SECT 8 (6-YR).
    Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

    • This is one of the worst trademarks I have seen. This an example of a descriptive trademark tha would have never been registered. I have no respect for that. Also bear in mind that trademarks are geographically limited.

      • I agree it is much to generic, and vague to issue trademarks for such terms. It is simply a shame, that companies continue to exploit such weaknesses.

  14. Thanks for sharing! Refreshing to see some real numbers on profitability.

  15. Konstantinos, would you think it’s fair to say some trademarks are filed in bad faith?

  16. Got some good ones there! Like the left-right combination. Did the same thing myself & wasn’t particular about certain types, though I ended up with more in some than others just due to availability of good combinations.

    This is where I landed at before I held off on adding anymore.. thus most are of the earlier released extensions.

    Acting.Training
    Advertising.Training
    Auction.Gallery
    Baby.Training
    Canadian.Recipes
    Family.Recipes
    Famoso.Pizza
    Father.Training
    Festive.Recipes
    Garden.Gallery
    German.Recipes
    Gymnastics.Training
    Influence.Network
    Influencer.Community
    Influencer.Services
    Influencer.Solutions
    Investing.Tips
    Investment.Tips
    Legal.Training
    Mall.Directory
    Malls.Directory
    Marriage.Training
    Mom.Community
    Mother.Training
    Neapolitan.Pizza
    Operations.Guru
    Product.Guru
    Sample.Codes
    Share.Recipes
    Skating.Training
    Specialty.Pizza
    Strategic.Guru
    Test.Codes
    Vineyard.Estate
    Vineyards.Estate

  17. I think you made a good investment.

    “I will wait untill year 5+ before I can call it a loss. Until then it is investment.”

    I somewhat agree with that, but I think it might be worth waiting a bit longer. When I purchase new gTLD domains, I don’t necessarily expect big returns in 5 years. I think it’s safe to say that a lot of the “best” .com domains were registered in 1994, and there weren’t too many big sales until the 2000s. IMO 5 years would be a good time to throw in the towel only if the new gTLDs are completely and utterly failing, and I frankly don’t see that happening. We’ll see, though, we’ll see…

    • Firstly, I think there was a fairly active market before then.

      Secondly, the market got stronger but I haven’t heard of many (or indeed any?) cases of people losing money for years and still being able to stay in it then recouping costs later, it just doesn’t happen that way.

      For those losing money right now on new tlds it is time to reassess, don’t add 5+ years of renewals onto your loss.

  18. Its truly harder to get the killers.
    Last tld was dot world with a lot of great non premium domains.
    Needles like 888.poker are there too but it needs a lot of research time to find and a bit luck to get it.

    • Thats true need lot of research to grab the catchy domains moreover registries become smarter reserved almost all good domains or listed them premium.

      I couldnt find good dotpoker domains just placed one domain coin.poker and won it in auction

  19. very curious to see your hole 50k ngTLD list

  20. Good on ya mate for having a go will are all experts after the fact but we all take a chance all of us here have bought some new tlds now we think why me included but I have pot.deals , marijuana.deals and cannabis.deals which I will keep unless I sell

  21. I have spent $0 and have 11 gtld domains. 1 is an .xyz that was given free for owning the .com at netsol/enom, the other 10 are .science which are NNN or LLL or 1 word with huge CPC.

  22. Great post. Very open and honest about your investments. I personally haven’t purchased anything but .com’s, but that’s just my preference.

    Sorry to see Mark Hershiser stepping back from blogging about domaining. I see he has the domainpicks.com domain up for sale too.

  23. Good for you, you registered some good domains for sure. Now they are keeping all good domains for them and are doing a lot of front running. I spent 1 hour few days ago, I found a good domain worth for sure the registration fee and when I went back to the registrar I had chosen, less than 1 hour since when I did the first whois check, it was already placed at many hundreds of dollars per year (from the standard price of few dozens dollars). This is bastard behaviour in my opinion. Go fuck them

  24. I registered a .TOP domain for $1.99 about 2 months ago and got an offer via sedo.com for 500 Euro ..i took it ..
    .TOP is all the go ,im not an expert but if you do your homework about the history of >top domains you will agree.

  25. you did good Konstantinos ! I really like reverse.engineer and diy.guide ..
    best,

  26. In my opinion .com will still be almost compulsory for a transnational corp,.. New gtld will make the internet a new world, and there is tons for profit and investment still out there… I personally like to think big,, If I own a 5,4,3 letter .com domain, I better own at least 50% of new gTLDs! including .Company, .partners, .enterprises, .asscoiates, .email, .site, .online, ….. I like to keep my baby safe..

  27. Mario Cabeza van Gilse

    I think people who didn´t invest in gTLDs or/and only have “.com” are hating a bit in this post. Nothing can stop the new extensions. ” A good .COM name is almost impossible to get and everyday new companies are looking for his exclusive domain name.

    I started 1 year ago in this business, with gTLDs. I invested 700 $ buying 50 never used domain names.
    I sold 1 domain ( Catholic .Global ) for 1700 $ and getting some offers on:

    SAT .Direct , Hoverboard .xyz , Hoverboards .xyz , Meteo .Earth , Euro .Poker , Limassol .xyz , Croco .deals , Burger .Deals , BCN .Rocks ( Barcelona ) and HoldMy .Beer

    Good look Mr. Zournas. Your GTLDs are Top in my opinion, you did a great investment.

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