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I finally registered a new TLD. Here is the (long) story.

I registered four new TLDs today. It took two hours.

Today was the day. I finally registered a domain in a new TLD.

Actually it looks like I ended up with four registrations, all in .link.

Here is my story. Genre: horror.

When I got to the office this morning I decided I was going to do whatever it took to register a domain in .link. .Link is the first truly “generic” domain to hit the market, and at about $10/year it’s also reasonably priced.

Since it’s generic, you can plug any good keyword in front of it and the domain will make sense. Most other domain launches have been niche domains with a limited number of second level domains that make sense.

I created a list of 133 keywords, ranging from “great” ones (e.g. money, music) to decent ones (elpaso, scores). I then manually looked each domain up in whois to see if it was going to be available at launch (which was at noon EST today).

Here are the numbers:

* 11 were available
* 1 was registered during sunrise with a bogus trademark
* 58 were on the name collision list
* 63 were registry reserved

.Link is hampered from the get go with about 35,000 domains on the name collision list. But I realized that even if the ones I searched weren’t on the name collision list, they’d probably be on the registry reserved list. Uniregistry is holding back most of the good domains.

It’s at this point that I should share my philosophy on what the domainer opportunity is for new TLDs.

I’m never going to get rich selling a .link domain. Take LongIsland.link as an example. (It’s actually registry reserved, so I couldn’t get it). If someone is looking to start a site about Long Island and they are willing to do it on a new TLD, they might consider LongIsland.link.

But I don’t think they’d pay much for it. After all, they can also buy LongIsland.site, .web, .xyz, .place, .space, etc. I can’t charge much for LongIsland.link since the potential buyer can consider these other options.

Thus, I believe only the very best domains in each extension are worth registering for an investment.

Still, with a small $10 registration fee, and the fact that I need fodder for this blog, I decided to venture out and try my luck with .link.

Of the 11 I found available, I decided that only six were really worth the gamble.

Where to pre-order these six domains? Unlike nic.tattoo and nic.sexy, the nic.link site doesn’t have a link “Where to Buy”. Thankfully, Uniregistry has done a good job with its whois messages. It linked to a page on Uniregistry’s registry site with a list of registrars.

The list is rather short. The big names, including GoDaddy, 1and1, Network Solutions, etc. are all missing. But there’s one registrar on the list where I have an account: eNom.

So I ventured over to eNom to pre-order the domains. I went to the pre-order page, plugged in a .link domain, and…

.Link didn’t come up as an option.

Huh. What about Name.com, also on the list and part of the same company as eNom?

Nope. [Update: I’ve been told eNom and Name.com were accepting pre-registrations, but turned them off a few hours prior to launch.]

I then tried DomainMonster because they have a reputation for being good at snagging domains upon launch. They wanted 19.99 GBP, so I passed on that.

Dynadot was only $12.99 but pre-registration refunds are in the form of an account credit, not a refund.

Domain Discount 24 is on the list. I went there, searched for one of my .link domains, and clicked “Add to Cart” when the result came up. Then I clicked “checkout” and it said “Currently your cart is empty”. Time to move on.

I decided to pre-register the .link domains at 101domain.com, which is really on top of all of the new TLDs and was only charging $9.99. The process was fairly painless and I ordered five of the six. 101domain.com only takes one pre-order per domain, so it wouldn’t let me pre-order recycle.link.

That showed demand for Recycle.link, so I figured it was worth grabbing. I created an account with United Domains to pre-order the domain despite the $19.00 pre-order charge. There wasn’t much information on the United Domains site about how so-called binding pre-orders work, so I called them to make sure I’d get a refund if they didn’t get the domain. They told me they don’t actually charge your card until they are successful.

At this point I had a pre-order in for six domains.

I also set up an account at Uniregistry.com (the registrar, not to be confused with the registry) so that I could try to register there the moment the registry opened for business. Uniregistry doesn’t take pre-orders.

Then the registry opened at noon EST today. I got four of the six. One I didn’t get was recycle.link. Ironically, it was snagged by eNom. (I assume some resellers are offering it while eNom itself isn’t.)

I’m not going to list all four here since I might go after them in some other extensions. But one I got that was actually a bit unique to .link is inbound.link.

Was all this work worth it? Probably not, and let me explain.

I looked up 133 domains. That took a long time. Most of them are registry reserved, meaning the registry has held them back for their own good rather than letting registrants get them. So I wasted time looking up a lot of them.

Many were also on the name collision list and are temporarily unavailable. If they weren’t on that list, most would be on the registry reserved list.

It’s up to the registry to decide which domains to release. That’s the registry’s right. But it’s not worth my time if all of the ideas I come up with are ones that I have no chance of getting.

Worse, holding back so many good domains puts the entire .link namespace at risk from my investment perspective. People need to see activity in .link, be it sales or development, in order for .link domains to have any resale value. Unless Uniregistry plans to quickly offer these at realistic prices on the secondary market or through a founders program, it doesn’t bode well for .link.

Simply getting a lot of initial registrations, even if by investors, can help out a namespace. I haven’t seen a lot of operating .guru websites, but the initial registrations have created decent press for the extension. That’s not possible if the registry holds back lots of domains.

The bigger issue with .link is that so few registrars are carrying it. Unless GoDaddy and Web.com start carrying it, I’m not hopeful for future resale value. If they carry it later, will it be too late to get a spark in .link?

I may have just wasted a couple hours of my life. Not to mention forty bucks.

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  1. Robbie

    I spent a lot of time on .link, .buzz, .photo, and there were way to many reserved, and collisions to make it worthwhile. I spent about 1.5 hours in total, I managed to locate a few so so names, but this was the highest by far of collisions, reservations, and premiums (.buzz) I have seen since the gtld release. Just decided to go hit the .com drop aftermarket.

  2. Kevin Murphy

    Let’s say awesomename.link is worth $1,000 on the secondary market.

    The registry can sell it to you, the hand-reg registrant, for $1,000, or for $10.

    One way they get $1,000. The other way they get an increment with a value of 1 on their DUM ‘score’.

    How many dollars is that increment worth in terms of press?

    The registry would have to sell quite a lot for the accumulative DUM scores to get them decent press. How many domains? Worth how much?

    How much press would those ‘premium’ names, sold off at $10 to get a decent launch score, earn over their lifetime, if they were just parked?

    What would that press be worth in terms of additional registrations?

    • Andrew Allemann

      Kevin, I’m speaking purely from my perspective as someone who will invest in domain names. What’s best for the registry’s financials may be a different matter, although in many ways the long run success would be mutual.

        • Andrew Allemann

          I think you need both. Momentum in the zone helps the overall domain. Also, some people who might develop domains are going to bulk at having to go buy a premium domain but they would hand register it at their registrar and build a site, which is good for the TLD.

  3. Bob

    I have managed to register Cardplus.link for just $10 after still failing to find such good generic or keyword names which remain unavailable at Uniregistry but also especially I did not receive trademark notices for that new GTLD domain I purchased. So I hope this would indeed prove a good investment soon!

  4. Volker Greimann

    Very embarrassing. The bug at dd24.net that caused this behavior was immediately fixed after we followed up on what caused your issue.

    Hopefully you will not need to move on in the future. ^_^

  5. EM @KING.NET

    @Frank I thought with new extension it’s a first comes first serve basis, with .link you reserved most of the good names and send out email to buy the premium ones. For all these registrar, i thought uniregistry really for domain investors. I ended not buying .link extension.

  6. Steve Cheatham

    I have registered names in .contractors .solar .buzz .clothing and will continue to do so. But very conservatively and only names I intend to use. So far about 10 names.

  7. Steve Cheatham

    BTW I get names at Enom and had no problems. Of course they have been around for years and the infrastructure is very stable. Not saying anything bad about other registries, they have some new ideas that are very good that you can’t get at Enom.

  8. Yani A.

    The hours spend were not wasted since they can be attibruted to an educational lesson.

    I do agree, however, that the $40 was totally wasted and will most likely never ever be seen again.

  9. swasuk

    I have found trouble getting new TDL’s some sites would not take .eu for a while. Facebook in particular rejected any links from a .eu site. I have recently purchased http://advice.support and have had trouble getting some sites to accept it. Ping sites don’t seem to like it and google had never listed it after a few days. Usually google lists any site I mention within a few hours. So it is worth noting that you may have trouble with these new names. But obviously there are a few good names to get your hands on. I do not know why they are double the cost of most names. maybe someone else knows?

  10. AK

    A problem with the .link TLD is that every single character must be typed by a person’s right hand on QWERTY keyboards, making it a slow choice.

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