Auction data show competition for new TLD registrations and shed light on strategic considerations for ordering domains.
What are domains registered under new top level domain names worth, and what is the demand for them?
We already know how many domains are being registered. .Guru has close to 30,000 registrations and .photography has topped 10,000. Most others are in the 1,000-5,000 range.
But digging deeper into the pre-registration process provides another interesting look at demand so far.
GoDaddy provided Domain Name Wire with some numbers about its new top level domain name auctions thus far. These auctions take place when more than one person places a pre-order for a domain at the same level. (Most of the time this happens for a standard pre-order, but also occasionally when a customer places an Early Access Program order for the same day/level.)
For the first set of seven Donuts domains (including the popular .guru), GoDaddy had 900 auctions. Through the first 14 domains there have been 1,400 auctions.
Here are auctions from the first batch of 7 that closed above $1,000:
These nine domains are obviously outliers, as most domains sold for well under $1,000. But it shows that people are willing to pay a decent amount for some of these new TLDs.
It may be difficult to rationalize which domains sold for more than others – that’s the nature of an auction in which two or more people are interested in the same item.
Consider some domains that sold for less: lifestyle.guru for $520, Taiwan.singles for $300 and bike.guru $200. You might think these domains would sell for more than VDI.guru (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure).
A key take-a-way from the early results is that there is demand for these domains, and often times multiple people want the same domain name. It will be interesting to see how this translates into a secondhand market, which will take longer to develop.
Some people might also change their strategy around acquiring second level domains in these new domain names based on this auction data.
Of the nine domain sales over $1,000, only one of the domain names was an auction in which the bidders paid more for the Early Access Program (EAP). This means that had one of the people interested in tire.guru registered it on the last day of EAP (a sort of reverse auction by the registry), they could have gotten it for around $200 instead of $5,250.
Conversely, GoDaddy had about 1,100 EAP orders for the first 14 TLDs. Many of these customers likely avoided an auction. But some wouldn’t have faced an auction even if they had placed a standard pre-order, which costs about $25-$70. Although I don’t know the total number of pre-orders GoDaddy received, back-of-the-envelope math suggests that many more domains were captured for a single customer than went to auction.
Do you place a standard pre-order and face a higher likelihood of auction? Or do you spend $200 on the last phase of EAP to jump ahead of the line? If you do place a pre-order, do you do it at multiple registrars?
It’s an interesting bit of strategy to consider.
In all likelihood, the company that paid $12,000 to get Soccer.guru on the first day of EAP could have gotten it for a lot less had it ordered it on a later day.
But if you really want a Donuts domain and think you might not be the only one, it probably makes sense to order it at some point during EAP to reduce your chances of ending up in an auction or having another registrar snag the domain for one of its pre-order customers.