Judging by comments I’ve read on my blog and elsewhere, I believe there are many people who are hoping the new gTLD domain names will usher in another “gold rush” in the domain name space, and there will be many great new opportunities to hand register valuable domain names. Sadly, for the most part, I don’t think this is going to happen, despite the fact that I do think we will eventually see some new extensions take off quite successfully.
I believe there are many people who are excited about registering new gTLD domain names once they become available. They believe there will be hundreds of millions of keyword domain names available to purchase, and this is a great opportunity considering the difficulty in registering a valuable .com domain name today.
Based on what I’ve been reading and what I have seen with other TLD rollouts, most of the valuable assets will not be available to purchase at the hand registration cost. Many domain registries will hold back their most valuable domain assets, some of which will be available for private acquisition directly from the registry. Other domain names will be available in an auction format, sold to the highest bidder. While some of these names may not sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars, many won’t be available at the lower hand registration cost.
I believe there will be some decent hand registrations available to buy, but for the most part, the best of the best domain names (those that actually have aftermarket value) will not be available at whatever registration fee is established. Despite the fact that there are people eager to hand register names in the hopes of striking it rich, this probably won’t be possible.
People who are banking on excellent and valuable new gTLD domain names to become available at a cost that is close to the cost of a new .com domain name will probably be in for a big surprise. Although they are excitedly waiting for the opportunity new gTLDs will certainly bring, many may miss the boat.