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I just went 0-for-17 registering new domain names

Between name collisions, registry reserved domains, and premium pricing, the best new TLD opportunities are difficult to find.

I think there are some opportunities for domainers to make money with new top level domain names, but they are limited.

My thinking is that some domain names that can be obtained for under $100 with low renewal fees can be sold within 1-5 years for low $1,000s to the right buyer. It’s very risky, and with typical sell through rates I’ll be selective about what I pick up.

You might disagree. But that’s not the point of this post, anyway.

The point is how difficult it is to get any of these good names in new TLDs. Even when you can get them, expect to pay more than regular prices.

This week four of Donuts’ domain names revert to non-Early Access pricing: .careers, .photos, .recipes, and .shoes. I came up with a list of what I think are 17 of the better domain names for these extensions and then set about to pre-register them…

I failed.

7 of the 17 are on name collision lists and 5 others are registry reserved. That leaves only 5 to go after.

All five of the “available” domains are premium domains. Depending on which register I choose, the annual renewal fees will be $200-$400 on some of these domains.

That’s a high carrying cost. It means the registry is basically taking the profit I might be able to make as a domain investor. It makes sense for the registry. I don’t blame them. But it also means it doesn’t make sense for me to register the domains.

Here’s what I checked:

healthcare.careers – premium
nursing.careers – premium
banking.careers – collision
hotel.careers – premium
finance.careers – collision
download.photos – collision
stock.photos – registry reserved
buy.photos – collision
healthy.recipes – registry reserved
vegetarian.recipes – registry reserved
lowcarb.recipes – registry reserved
find.recipes – premium
running.shoes – collision
walking.shoes – collision
basketball.shoes – collision
buy.shoes – registry reserved
find.shoes – premium

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  1. Mike H says

    Wow, after reading this post I checked 4 .recipes domains and all 4 were reserved by the registry..

    Quick.recipes
    Paleo.recipes
    Cupcake.recipes
    Cake.recipes

  2. JZ says

    yeah, a lot of the domains i’ve looked up were reserved. so much for great names at affordable prices..lol

  3. Konstantinos Zournas says

    “buy.photos – collision”
    Even if it wasn’t in the collision list it would have been reserved by donuts.
    Actually it will be reserved as soon as it is released from the collision list.

  4. Acro says

    Still not sure what registrars you’re looking at, Andrew. Just registered find.recipes at eNom with an annual cost of $81. Thanks for the tip!

    But even higher priced domains that are developed – as opposed to parked for pennies a year – clearly justify a higher annual premium.

    Moral of the story: develop your domains, especially gTLDs that are meant for keyword+gTLD branding.

      • Acro says

        Well, you said “all 5 available ones” were between $200-$400. But again, even with $200 a year, those that can be marketed to: affiliates, sponsors etc. can provide passive income far surpassing the annual costs.

          • Acro says

            Regardless of pricing, you are saying that premiums are not justified? I disagree. And that’s because short term flipping is not an option, but development takes care of that quandary: “Should I reg it if it’s not $20 a year?”

          • Andrew Allemann says

            It depends on what you’re going to do with it. Under my business model it doesn’t make sense. If it makes sense for you, then good for you.

  5. vinsdomains says

    I was able to snag BuyMy.photos, and probably wouldn’t have, if I hand’t seen this post. Thanks Andrew, I owe you a beer. I think this is my 7th gTLD purchase.

  6. Andrew Allemann says

    @ vinsdomains and @acro – not sure I’d recommend posting these domains yet. You’re inviting competition from people who pre-register them at other registrars (or the same if your registrar accepts more than one pre-reg order).

  7. Ryan says

    Andrew, the names are gone, they paid a even higher premium, and already control them. Only one left on your list is hotel.careers which can be had for $250 per year premium, plus another $1xx early purchase fee.

      • Ryan says

        Yes, the type of domainers who can afford to see where these extensions go, I don’t think history will repeat itself, there will most likely be a few more bumps in the road this time around.

        Say an end user buys a domain without asking for the annual renewal, and they want it moved to their own registar, when they go do a transfer, the registar wants $300 for adding an extra year, could that kill a deal?

  8. Inland says

    Wow, I can’t believe what a mess the gTLD sales environment is. I ignored everyone and hand-registered my .pro and .com names.

  9. FY says

    “Moral of the story: develop your domains, especially gTLDs that are meant for keyword+gTLD branding.”

    Yeah, of course, so that your registry friends will gain all the money, having them reserved all the premium domains (collision….tsshh…what a stupid excuse)

  10. Joseph Peterson says

    While it’s true that many of the best domains are reserved by the registries or on collision lists, I’ve found that registries never do a very thorough job of reserving the best domains. There are always premium domains leftover that they didn’t think about.

    But the main problem — from a domain investing point of view — is the uncertain profitability of even the premium domains in these new vanity extensions. They entail higher carrying costs. They’re unfamiliar to consumers. They face ambiguity problems with respect to matching .COMs. There’s a lot of competition from many similar nTLDs in the works, which will dilute retail value. And there is essentially no wholesale market for nTLDs among domainers.

    All those factors make even the best possible domains in these nTLDs extremely risky investments, in my opinion.

  11. Robert Simpson says

    Find.Recipes and BuyMy.Photos are pretty good ones at those prices. I managed to get Guide.Careers at $60 per year renewal, which is one of two domains I got under the new TLDs that Sedo considers to be premium domains (otherwise the max “Buy Now” price you can set is $10K).

    Another tip – if the domain is unique enough, get the Twitter username for the domain if it is available. I managed to get @NewTopDomains to match the respective domain (@NewTopLevelDomains doesn’t work because it’s longer than the 15 character limit).

  12. Doug Mehus says

    Are you saying these “premium” names held back by the new gTLD registries *are* in fact available for purchase, at roughly $200-400 in annual renewal fees?

    If so, that’s actually a *good* idea. Sure, that may pad the registry’s, and even the registrar’s, profit margins. However, it’s actually *good* for retail domain name owners actually interested in putting a working, full-featured website up (instead of a “parked” page). If you have a real, viable business, you won’t care so much what your domain name costs. If you’re a domain speculator, then yes, you’d rightly be upset by the high carrying cost and really make you do a carrying cost analysis. 🙂

    Cheers,
    Doug

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