Chris Zuiker: “Please do not use this domain extension.”

53

Chris Zuiker is the Head of Sales and Marketing at Media Options, the domain name brokerage founded by Andrew Rosener. Chris has a video series where he offers opinions about buying and selling domain names, and I tune in when I see a video that looks like it will be interesting.

This morning, I saw that he posted a video via LinkedIn with the caption, “Please do not use this domain extension.” I will let you watch the video to hear which extension he is referencing, but I was a bit surprised given the popularity and growth of this particular extension. In fact, there have been quite a few large sales in the extension, and I would imagine it is one of the top .com alternatives for startups.

After watching the video, which I embedded below via the LinkedIn post, you are welcome to share your comments here or directly within his post:

Here’s the blog post Chris was referencing about the domain name rebrand for a company called Supply.

53 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with Elliot, been watching many of the new business start ups and others and they have been purchasing .co, sorry Zuiker but, these companies cannot be all wrong.. Yes there will be some confusion but the point is, they ARE buying them..

  2. I highly recommend anyone buying the .co extension ALWAYS display it like this: Supply.Co, and If you have to ask why you, probably shouldn’t be in this business.

  3. It is not up to us to decide what a company chooses to use, we find opportunities, and sell into the demand.

    One word .co/.io have been in demand for years, obviously everyone can’t own the one word .com, so other options have to be used, maybe they lost a .com sale to a .co, and it has happend a few times, and they are soured by it. I think these guys working in free exempt zones like Panama, Gilbratar or wherever they are now runner runner should be happy with everything they get. They seem to be looking out for themselves first which doesn’t surprise me.

  4. The market is always right, so as prices for .com’s are increasing it is only natural that startups and companies are looking for cheaper alternatives. Is .co a good solution? Probably not. A .co may come with a lower initial cost but the marketing costs over the years will be higher because you just have to “scream louder” if you don’t own the .com.

    On a side note, Chris creates very good domain related content, I like his videos and also his short daily podcast. Check it out if you haven’t done already.

  5. this guy is a moron imo, these .com maximalist are like the gold worshippers
    .CO guys are like Cryptocurrency we are fresh new exiting!!!
    when these old bald dudes start saying “DONT USE .CO” trust me there is a bigger reason behind it.
    why are they so scared? more and more startups are using .CO everyday and builing great tech and brands on them.

    • First off, I don’t mind .CO, but can you name 5 major businesses that operate on a .CO domain name? Also, do you think that these startups would jump at the opportunity to buy the matching .com if possible and stop using their .CO as their main business URL?

      I recently sold a nice one word .com to a venture funded company that branded on the .CO. The founder told me he “needed” my domain name because of email issues they were facing. We were able to work out a deal, they rebranded to the .com, and they ended up getting acquired (retaining the brand) for a lot of money.

      All lived happily ever after.

      • i just dont get these bald guys sweating .CO
        whats up ? stop losing sleep over it. get back to your .COm s
        you look weak and foolish. get a life plus if their .coms were all that they would have joint ventures left and right but they dont and .com sales are going down.
        3 letter .coms selling for cheap lol. one word .CO domains are hot.
        one word .coms are stale because no one is going to put all their money into them and have none left over to build out their project. .com isnt the only game in town and is turning into the chick that used to be hot but is now about ti hit 40 as she watched all the young 20 something .CO ‘s walk by hahaha got to make a badass analogy at the end. thanks for the post Elliot. cheers

        • “one word .coms are stale because no one is going to put all their money into them and have none left over to build out their project. .com isnt the only game in town and is turning into the chick that used to be hot but is now about ti hit 40 as she watched all the young 20 something .CO ‘s walk by hahaha got to make a badass analogy at the end.”

          I respectfully disagree vehemently. Generally speaking, not only are popular one word .coms still very popular and selling for more money than ever, but I would bet the vast majority of non .com startups would jump all over the matching .com if they could afford it.

          In my opinion, almost nobody buys a non .com out of desire, but they do so because they can not afford the .com or the .com is not available to purchase.

          • well like i said thanks for the post and have a wonderful week Elliot.
            i enjoy visiting your website

  6. .co is a good choice when the matching .com is priced in millions – chances of anyone else grabbing it soon are slim, your competition doing that – almost nonexistent. Later, if you grow, you can consider purchasing the .com, or rebrand completely. Also it is good when .com is being held by an entirely different type of business, so there is no confusion.

    Email is an old argument, people are all social-networks, chat widgets and messengers nowadays. Email is like an “advanced tool”, you expect people using it to be smart enough and not send these blindly.

    angel.co, 500.co, lever.co may not be the major companies still doing quite good. Maybe someone else can name two more.

    I’d pick a .com whenever possible obviously, but with like 100-1000 times difference in price there is so much you can do with that money when you are just starting.

    • Well said, and I agree, although email is still an issue. However, it’s not just a .CO thing because I get misdirected emails intended for other companies that use longer .com domain names, too.

    • Hey Moo etal; check out Catch.Co, Oro.Co, Savor.Co, Touchdown.Co, Sub.Co, Smart.Co, ReShape.Co, Bold.Co, Binge.Co, Zilch.Co, Join.Co. These are names/sites that are up and running and just sold in 2019. However, I’m sure there will be hundreds more like mine that will be operational January 2020;

      9Time™.co (trademark pending) Since 9Time will revolutionize golf worldwide, it will put .Co on the map:) Stay tuned.

  7. I would much rather use a two, three and even four word .com than a .co. I’ve already tried to use .co’s before and wind up dropping them.

    • You are wasting money registering 3 and 4 word .com. The vast majority of companies use a 2 word .com, there is near infinite supply and in 2019 no need to go longer. Used to be different in the pre mobile days when exact match keyword domains were popular.

      • There are exceptions to every rule Snoopy like Elliots website; TopNotchDomains.com Do you suppose Elliot wasted his money on that domain? Inquiring minds would like to know.

        • The name isn’t worth anything. Elliot probably got it for registration fee.

          Understand that just because someone uses a long domain does not mean they would buy something similar in the aftermarket.

          And don’t give me your nonsense about how you are buying for development, that is a line domainers use when nothing sells.

          • Oh, i agree it isn’t worth anything and Elliot probably did get for reg fee. I picked up TopNotchWine.com for reg fee too, and I’m sure Top Notch Wine is worth even less than Top Notch Domains…especially if you’re a Wino:) I have to confess Snoopy…I now own a small portfolio of Top Notch Names that I plan to flush because you’re SO SMART, and you’ve become my go to expert. BetheBait™ Baby!

          • Elliot, I agree totally, and TopNotchWine.com is worth even less, lol! I own some CandoBrands and even CanDoDomains that are probably worth even less:)

          • TopNotchDomains.com is a very good and valuable domain for anyone in the domain selling and leasing business, apart from any goodwill you’ve acquired with using it. It’s one of the best and it’s almost impossible now to find any really very good ones left to reg for that purpose.

            I wasn’t going to bother here, but just wanted to say that except for Elliot you guys are incredibly stupid with this bashing. But those who are fine with it are incredibly stupid too. All it does is harm the industry.

  8. Aftermarket volumes are falling fast with .ai taking much of .co’s sales,

    .co aftermarket sales (namebio)

    2017 – 726 sales
    2018 – 470 sales
    2019 – 291 sales

    These rebranded country codes only stay popular for 5-10 years much like .ly and .me, after that they look “out of fashion”.

  9. if the company owned supplyco.com, all would be well, and they could brand as “Supply Co”.
    i’ve had some substantial sales with .ai. Even companies that own the .com have purchases the .ai — case in point, Grab.com — bought grab.ai last week for 12,500 USD. Salesforce purchased analytics.ai for 50 K — sites already up

    • .ai will soon trail off like .co and .io are doing right now. Make sure you make all your money back in the first couple of years. It is a bit like parking, 2 years down the track and revenue will be half. The math of that situation is it need big sales pretty much straight away to be profitable.

      • you could be right, Snoopy, i’m a .com true believer. I registered 15 super premium key words in .AI years ago (after it launched) and 7 of these were acquired collectively for 105 K. i’ve purchased 5 on the secondary aftermarket for about 25 K. One has received a very nice initial offer (over 10 K) from a Fortune 100 company. So my roi will be considerable, even if i have zero more .ai sales. And I still own the most valuable .ai. domains, as I’m seeking at least 50 K per name. if they were .com, i would be seeking over 10 million per name.

        • When I say “considerable”, I qualify that as a nice ROI for a non ,com extension. A low 6 figure profit on a portfolio of .ai domains is nominal compared to the profits reaped by premium .com sales. But AI is still hot. Even the top Sedo sale this past week was an “ai .com” — sentai.com. Congrats to the seller. Would Sent.ai fetch the same price? No.

  10. Of course he has to try to prevent non-.com from becoming more popular. If he doesn’t do that, his .com business would face great danger (in his opinion).

    I think these guys don’t really need to be panic. A TLD always has its buyers no matter what.

  11. As a buyer broker who has helped hundreds of startups choose and acquire their domain names, I can say definitively that .co is the primary unaided second choice TLD if the startup can’t get the .com, with .io and their local ccTLD being a very distant third and fourth choice. I also get a lot of business from startups wanting to upgrade from their .co domain to .com once they realize the problems they’ve created picking a domain that is confusingly similar to the .com version they don’t own. I’ve never been asked to help a startup upgrade from .com to .co however…

    • Bill…someday we really should meet. Do you attend NamesCon? I just sent you a Linkedin invite so we can learn more about each other. I’ve started, operated and yes named dozens of businesses over my lifetime. I recently started 9Time™ (trademark pending) and was only able to acquire the domain 9Time.Co due to .com was already taken. Check you Linkedin account for I would like to connect. Thanks

  12. I like .com best … but… I like .CO as well…
    I like to check to see what’s out there – up and active in .CO

    I enjoyed listening to his video. I don’t recall ever seeing one of his before this…
    He sure talks fast… but I will go listen to lots of others… love podcasts

    anyone here have anything UP on a .CO or .TV
    I’d like to look at it…

    ~Patricia

  13. It’s refreshing to see the conversation above with less biased .com talk and more reality of the market and startups.

    Although I buy and sell domains I also have a small tech start up and would love to primarily have been brand.co even favoring it over brand.com (of course I would want both, but only to forward the .com to the .co and to prevent others from having the .com and because it would be valuable).

    I really don’t think that the email bleed is a real issue. Likely, many misdirected emails are by the same people who commit spelling errors in emails generally. Or in many cases the info sent isn’t sensitive. In most cases emails sent to the wrong address will bounce back and the sender will correct.

    The only times that I see this happening and being an issue is when:

    1. sensitive information is sent to an info@— or other general address for a business (and people don’t generally send sensitive emails to those because they don’t know the person on the other end of it)

    2. a domainer sets up catch-all email because they believe their .com may receive email intended for a company with a non-.com domain – and presumable the non-.com is a significant, active business. In this case I think it is morally questionable to set up catch-all email to collect, review and read their emails.

    Saying that I think it rarely happens that sensitive info is collected by misdirected emails (it may happen, but I think a lot less than domainers would have us think).

    I also think it’s morally questionable for domainers to make us think (or potential buyers when they try to sell it) that email misdirection happens a lot – seems like a tactic to make more sales, at higher prices and prop up .com.

    • What evidence can you provide that email misdirection does not happen a lot? I see it as probably being a big issue, especially when people get an email address from a business card or are told one verbally. And emails sent to the wrong address will, in my experience, oftentimes not result in anything being received back by the sender. The problem isn’t so much in the revealing of sensitive information as possible lost business and the time wasted correcting the situation when it’s (hopefully) discovered an email was lost.

      I’m about to set up email forwarding for all my domains, to find out which if any are receiving misaddressed emails. Then, if I can locate the intended receipients, I’ll let them know about the situation and that the domain is for sale. It’s not morally questionable to me, it’s doing them a service.

      • Jon,

        I’m a domain investor, have my side hustle business, I’ve worked for big companies and currently I work in a school system. I really speak from having that experience.

        When I send emails out and an inbox doesn’t exist (whether it’s to a colleague and it’s mistyped, or part of business or an email newsletter I managed) it would generally bounce back and tell me there was an error (giving the relevant error code).

        As a teacher in NYC I deal with emails ending @schools.nyc.gov, occasionally vendors or students/teachers on autopilot may switch the .nyc.gov to .gov.nyc – these cause the messages to bounce back.

        You asked me for evidence that misdirection doesn’t happen a lot. While my evidence is my experience, I think that it is more important for those believing that email misdirection to prove that it is happening a lot or that it is costing a business a lot of money or that sensitive data in emails is getting into the wrong hands. Beyond a few cases that do seem serious, there is nothing that I have read that this is a significant issue. Especially one where someone owning keyword.io should upgrade the keyword.com for $150k.

        I know that you said “I’m about to set up email forwarding for all my domains, to find out which if any are receiving misaddressed emails. Then, if I can locate the intended recipients…” however, please reconsider.

        Again only my opinion FWIW, but those folks do not want you intercepting, reading and redirecting their emails. It is an invasion of their privacy and in most cases they would prefer for misdirected emails to simply bounce back to the original sender, with an error code, notifying them that the mailbox doesn’t exist. The sender will then recheck the email, find their mistake and resend to the correct person.

        I speak from my experience in the areas I mentioned above (employee, business owner, educator, etc.)

        Setting up a catchall inbox for the purpose of intercepting other people’s emails is akin to receiving a letter for the previous owner of your house. It has their name on the letter, but has your mailing address… you still shouldn’t open that letter even if you say the intent is to track down and redirect to the intended recipient. When you receive a letter with someone else’s name you should mark it as “return to sender” because they don’t live there anymore.

        Setting up a catchall email for your own personal emails, to manage a program or for personal or business reasons is a different matter and may make sense. But setting it up for the sole purpose of catching, reading and redirecting emails intended for others (and in some cases using it in negotiations to sell the domain to the person the email was intended for) is ethically questionable.

        You are not doing them a service, you are invading their privacy.

        • Matt, I have no interest in reading other people’s emails (unless they’re very personal:), only in finding out if messages are being mistakenly sent to some of our domains and notifying the intended recipient of the situation.

          Also note that we are specifically talking about .co domains here, I don’t think the problem of lost emails to the dotcom would be nearly as bad for an extension like .io (which I think sucks because nobody knows what it means:).

          One piece of evidence that the situation is significant is Elliot’s comment above: “I recently sold a nice one word .com to a venture funded company that branded on the .CO. The founder told me he ‘needed’ my domain name because of email issues they were facing.”

          Then a lot of people talk about Overstock, which had rebranded to O.co, if I have it right, and went back to Overstock.com. I’m not sure there’s any evidence of lost emails there, but I think common sense says some people will make that mistake – and with regard to bounce backs I know a lot of times people tell me that emails I sent were not received, in their inbox or their spam box, and I never received anything back.

          So we’ll have to agree to disagree here, but thanks for your thoughtful and cordial response.

          • Yep, we can definitely agree to disagree, but when you think of all the emails you send or receive (business, private, personal) would you be ok with someone doing what you’re suggesting?

            The following items can get caught up in that:

            1. The scanned passport page you send to escrow for verification
            2. An email to/from your accountant with sensitive info including SS#
            3. Credit card statements or a link to reset a bank password

            And Jon this really isn’t an attack on you, I’m pushing back on domainers who promote this in general (blogs/sherpa). They make it seem like it is a reasonable practice. We’re not talking accidental collection of emails but a deliberate action for the purpose of catching and potentially using emails received in negotiations to sell the domain.

            I used to think that setting up catch all emails to see what came in was ok too, but then realized that just because I can do it, doesn’t mean that I should or that it’s ok. The privacy issues are serious.

            I also think that there are some legal implications here too. I think it does show an element of bad faith and even bigger legal problems beyond UDRP.

            Emails usually always bounce back (notifying the senders or their error if the mailbox doesn’t exist) otherwise as you said, it probably went into a spam folder.

            We definitely can disagree – I appreciate your responses and Elliot’s article too.

  14. I can not see any video in your post.

    Anyway…
    .co stands for the country of “Colombia” and .io stands for “Indian Ocean”.

    Hard to understand why startups are using these kind of domain-extensions.
    It looks unprofessional and nobody will take you serious if you are not using .com

    • It seems to me that you have been living under the rock. .CO and .IO have been marketed as something other than just country codes. Time to start checking domaining news regularly. Saying a company is unprofessional for not using .com is biased.

      • The world is “biased” towards .com. Many people would see a .io as fly by night or shady.

        Would you trust a .pw site or .cx with your credit card? Most people have never heard of .io.

  15. Elliots comments are spot on
    Can’t afford it,
    Not available,
    That domain isn’t worth anything beyond the goodwill I have built.

    Here’s another -Newco.co
    A Global brand.

    A startup- tala.co. fintech, Santa Monica

    Every business goes thru cycles.
    .com is not exempt.
    Most .coms that are attainable today have a similar marketing hurdle as others.
    Explaing who they are and what they do because the company name doesn’t reflect.
    Explaing = Explaining = xplaing
    No, it doesn’t. Confused?

    The new generation of business was born with tech as commonplace.
    They are not idiots that need their hand held nor are they ” confused”.

    People, product, service, = viral
    Not .com

    Of course .com will always be iconic.
    Innovative, cutting edge, not so much going forward.

    Cheers

  16. Dot Co has its place. But not for a commercial (public) brand. Plus there are so many options for dot com shaving brands that are available are registration price or close to it. Just registered ShavingMedia.com. Dot co will project a lazy unimaginative image in this case. IMO.

Leave a Reply