Buyer Of Top.Domains Paid Less Than The Renewal Fee To Buy It: $750

newgtldThe original owner from Switzerland registered the domain name Top.Domains at the united-domains AG registrar on the 12th of March 2014. He paid $999 to buy it as this was/is a premium Donuts domain name. $999 (more or less depending on the registrar) is the annual renewal fee too.

I wrote about this registration last year here.

The owner tried to unload it several times but didn’t have much luck. Probably because of the renewal price.

He finally sold the domain after he renewed the domain until March 2016. So he paid about $2,000 in registration fees and renewals before selling the domain name. But what was the sale price?

According to Sold.Domains the domain name Top.Domains was sold for $750 three weeks ago at Sedo.

So the buyer of the domain name got what seems like a deal. He paid less than the registration fee of Top.Domains and got almost a year left of registration. I say it “seems like a deal” because such high renewal fees are almost never a deal for a domain investor.

But what about the seller? He paid about $2,000 in registration and renewal fees and got $637,50. ($750 minus the 15% sedo fee) So it would have been better for the seller to drop the domain after year one than to renew and sell.

I am not sure but the sale might have been a Sedo auction. So the seller had hopes of a higher auction price.

The Norwegian buyer transferred the domain name to Go Daddy thus paying another year of registration. I wonder if he knew the renewal fee when he was buying the domain name. I guess he knew as he is a domain investor.

Top.Domains now redirects to the domain name DomainName.Gallery that is the portfolio website of the buyer. He is currently selling hundreds of New gTLD domain names on the website like Chat.Today or House.Plumbing. The portfolio website has “The days of .com domains are coming to an end…” written at the top!

Is Top.Domains just a vanity domain name for the domain investor?


About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the blog in 2012.


  1. Is this clear to the buyer at Sedo that it is not just $750 and then the usually $10/year, but rather the $1k a year they need to spend? This is going to cause headaches for people unless the auction houses very clearly put what the renewal fee is.

  2. The new owner’s website looks like it’s straight out of 1998.

    2015 era domain, 1990s website- brilliant.

  3. @Max UK,

    Perhaps the website isn’t cutting edge in terms of design. Still, it strikes me as a bit unseemly that domainers are so quick to mock one another in public. The phrase “domaining community” is often bandied about, but I still maintain that domainers demonstrate less actual teamwork, goodwill, and camaraderie than any other social group I have ever encountered in life.

    This portfolio owner is at least making a contribution, making a real attempt to showcase his inventory and introduce a mainstream audience to new domain options. Some domainers may prefer established TLDs such as .COM. We may even be skeptical and genuinely worry about the investment decisions of newer domainers. Still, let’s try to support the efforts of our peers. If critical advice is justifiable, as it often is, let’s provide some helpful tips in private.

    I’m as vehement a critic as anyone of certain domain industry trends and companies, but I do think it’s best if we publicly criticize those larger forces while showing some solidarity with smaller domain sellers who act in good faith.

    This domainer may not have realized he was buying a $1000-per-year domain for $750. Then again, he might have judged the cost to be worthwhile if he is rebranding his site – which may go hand in hand with a visual redesign. Still, if we all stepped forward as a network of experienced domainer acquaintances, then we wouldn’t be speculating about who knows what. We’d have each others backs, as they say.

    Some of the nTLD domains on his website are reasonably good. For instance, I’d say that deserves to be bought by an end user and developed.

    • Jospeh, the only contribution of that site is that *hopefully* some will look at it and see how silly this style of investing is. It isn’t really adding anything other than being a bad example. As an industry let’s not support this nonsense.

    • You are right about the domaining community but I think that part of the problem is that the community is so small and we are all competitors one way or another.

      The guy’s website might not be the most beautiful in the world but that is not what we should focus on.

  4. @Joseph

    Not much to add to that, +1 🙂

  5. Domain Observer

    I wonder if there is any research about the price relationship between example.whatever vs. such as vs. I think that may be an interesting topic.

    • You mean the actual sold prices?
      That would be a bit difficult to do. There are only 500 New gTLD sales to work with and from that we would need to find the .com sales that match these 500 sales.
      I would guess these would be no more than 5%. And then some of the .com sales could be 10 years old that wouldn’t help a lot in what you want to see.
      Good topic but difficult to write.

  6. It is the type of name that should not be registered. In my view the new owner will lose a lot of money depending on how long he keeps renewing for.

    As a general comment you can see from the site the buyer has no clue what he is doing and I very much doubt he has made money in domaining beforehand. Does anyone remember the DotTVking? He had a similar site advertising similar premium .tv’s. That guy lost millions of dollars.

  7. @Joseph..”I still maintain that domainers demonstrate less actual teamwork, goodwill, and camaraderie than any other social group I have ever encountered in life.””
    You got that right ! I block atleast 1 so called “expert” domainer from my and TOP Domains group …The arrogance is amazing ,everybody knows more then the other .No problem with some healthy critisism but comments like ”your domains are worth ”s…t” is not nice .

  8. BTW ……..TOP domains are now the fastest gTLD according to namestat
    I hope all of you got in in time ,lol

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