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GoDaddy auction data provide early indication of new TLD demand and values

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:

Tire.guru $5,250
Spiritual.guru $2,107
Oregon.bike $1,982
VDI.guru $1,525
NewYorkCity.guru $1,325
Metadata.guru $1,035
Queens.guru $1,025
Medical.ventures $1,025
Inventory.guru $1,003

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.

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  1. Domenclature.com

    Every single launch of gTLDs, historically, has shown similar zealousness by some. You can go back and look. There are people ready to buy anything. Even .MOBI auctioned off in hundreds of thousands, at the height of it’s glory!

    What perturbs me is the orchestrated reporting on new gTLDs, very well above flooding level, by this blog, Zournas. and Berkens; each with 5 to 8 useless post every single day. Give it a rest.

    This thing is not on CNN, MSNBC, FOX, New York Times, USAToday, San Diego Union, Los Angeles TImes, ESPN, Home Shopping Network, or TMZ! It’s not on the local news, or the Weather Channel. It’s only on these 3 blogs, and DomainGang.

    • Konstantinos Zournas

      One day you are preaching about blog freedom and domaining and then you tell us to shut up.

      New gTLDs were everywhere for the first week Except for the weather channel of course.

      All these publications don’t report on .com every day so you can’t expect to report on new gtlds.

      • Domenclature.com


        One day I’m preaching about blogger freedom, and the next day I’m preaching against blogger flooding; quite consistent from my point of view.

        I like your blog. But, something is not right lately, and i was just pointing that out at your blog as well. We already discussed most of the points there. So. I’ll leave it at that.

    • DomainNameAddresses.com

      Thats not completely right in fact many mainstream media outlets are picking up on the new gtlds.. Im hesitant to pull the trigger on most of them.. I may start surgically going in and strategically buying a some to try and flip, However Im not looking to take a bath.. Im on the phone all day pitching domains (10 hours plus) and end users, thousands have never even heard of them (that I’ve talked to).. They all want .com… Sure I’ll sell .nets and others however its another hurdle before the close. The opportunity to make money on the new gtlds will present itself when these extension operators open their wallets and I mean in a huge way and let the world know. I have a pulse on it and when I make calls and business owners at any level says ” Hey, Steve how about those new domain names” I’ll scale in that direction. Will there still be premium new gtlds available at that point? Absolutely.
      Here’s a topic for a new post “The .com Land Rush is Not Over.” It never has been.
      I can register an $8 .com this morning and sell it for 3500% gain by 5pm PST today and more than 1. Will I lose out on many super premium new gtlds if they take off? Absolutely, but I’ll clean house at 3500%+ gain on those as well all day every day.

  2. Joseph Peterson

    Of the 9 sales above $1k, I count

    (1) 2 developed sites on the full string plus .COM. They clearly involve brand protection concerns.

    (2) 3 or 4 other full-string .COM domains forward to developed sites. Some of those may be motivated by fear as well. Perhaps they’re planning to launch the forwarding .COM as a separate brand in the future. Of course, I don’t know for a fact that the owners of these sites were the buyers.

    (3) 3 or 4 other corresponding .COM domains are parked.

    (4) In 2 cases, buyers caught up in a bidding war for .GURU domains who ended up paying over $1,000 each … walked right past the corresponding [keyword]Guru.com domains, which were available to register.

      • Joseph Peterson

        Mainly I just wanted to make a point. In my view, these vanity extensions only make viable brand names online if they are paired with a matching .COM. Otherwise, buying half a name can prove to be a liability. We’ve seen double purchases from Join.me and other notable brands in the past; so that issue is nothing new.

        What is perhaps new, however, is the kind of short-sighted bidding wars domainers and lay people are getting into as a result of so much media hype about the 2nd coming of the internet. These new extensions can be a benefit to brands in some instances, but only if they’re calmly assessed.

          • Joseph Peterson

            It’s a pity they’ve chosen to display MeetMe.com upon redirect rather than Meet.me, which I find to be visually much cleaner and more attractive.

            I’m sure the .ME registry shares that regret, since the choice of .COM undervalues .ME for branding purposes.

            In my opinion, some of the vanity extensions ought to be displayed over .COM when both are owned — provided that the nTLD itself is sufficiently recognized by consumers. As visual shorteners (i.e. minus 3 letters), they can provide some benefit.

  3. Kevin M.

    “”I can register an $8 .com this morning and sell it for 3500% gain by 5pm PST today and more than 1.””

    Would ‘really’ love to see this actually played out as noted ‘could’ be done! But, as usual in the domainer world, it’s probably more so ‘domainer bravado’, than a reality concept. (If not, ‘please’, do prove it to us all.)

  4. John

    If some of the bloggers are going to do new gTLD blog flooding, then don’t be cowards and allow someone’s pro .com vs. new gTLD post to appear instead of blocking it for those few of you who screen posts first. One of the most well known names in domain blogging not in this thread now but involved with one of the domain sites mentioned here did that with me – oh what a surprise. 😉

  5. davidweill

    I don’t know why the dot com domainers are so deadly afraid of the new gTLD’s – other than the fact that dot com name portfolios have evidently cratered in value and there may be no bid at any price. At least with the new gTLD’s they will have plenty of chances to acquire new merchandise unless they are one trick ponies and want to beat the dead horse of dot com. Speaking of which referencing my analogy, dot horse looks like an interesting TLD!

  6. manyagem

    Seems pretty clear to me that it’s worth going for the .guru/.com pair if available, at least then you’re hedging your bets; hence: futuretrends.guru and futuretrendsguru.com. I know which one looks neatest.

    • Joseph Peterson


      Find a domainer to sell them to in the next few weeks. Otherwise, the domainer will get distracted by whichever new extension comes out next and lose interest in .GURU forever. Except, of course, his own .GURU domains — which he’ll want to sell to you!

        • Joseph Peterson

          That’s not a good sign. Before buying domains you hope to sell for profit, it might be a good idea to google “domainer”. Spend some time reading and researching before spending money. Some of the bigger forums include DNForum and NamePros.

          What’s a domainer? You are.

  7. Joseph Peterson

    Not always pleasant, and frequently less humble than I ought to be … but thanks. As for your question, any answer would be a long one. You’ll find lively discussions in the forums I mentioned. Here I don’t want to single out any particular venue as the “best”.

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