I think it’s pretty clear that I am not really investing in the new domain extensions. More importantly than this, I think readers should understand why I am not investing because I do think there are some good reasons for people and companies to use the new extensions.
My domain portfolio is relatively small compared to others who invest in domain names for a living. I continue to maintain a portfolio of somewhere in the ballpark of 500 domain names, but probably closer to 400 domain names. I also tend to actively reach out to prospective buyers to sell my domain names. For instance, I bought BeerSigns.com at auction this weekend, and I already received interest from a few people I contact.
Even the most ardent new gTLD supporters and people within the space would likely admit that the vast majority of the domain name using public does not know about the new domain extensions or knows very little. I am sure registrars are trying to sell these new extensions and new gTLD operators are advertising their extensions, but it is going to take time to educate prospective buyers. When it is time to generate revenue from the sale of my domain names, I have no interest in educating prospective buyers about the new extensions.
One thing I have learned over the year is that it is hard enough to convince a person or company representative to pony up for the perfect .com domain name. You might own a valuable domain name and are in discussions with the company that is very interested in buying it, but they either can’t afford to pay close to your price or don’t agree with you on a valuation.
If I can’t sell a universally agreed upon valuable domain name to a company, I am not confident that I educate a prospective buyer about the new gTLD domain names and then convince that person to pay enough money to make it profitable and worthwhile. Even if I am able to do this on occasion, I have no confidence that I could build a large enough portfolio to replicate the model at scale and make money. Further, I would need to make this happen at a pace that makes it sensible to put my valuable .com portfolio on hold.
I would imagine the education process might be easier if there were great domain names available at hand registration fee, but it seems that most of the logical names have been reserved by the registries and have silly prices. Sorry, but I am not going to pay $x,xxx or $xx,xxx for a non .com domain name and pray that I can find someone before having to renew at a higher price than .com.
There are probably people out there who are willing to take a risk. If I operated a different type of business and had a portfolio of thousands or tens of thousands of domain names, it would make more sense for me to diversify. This isn’t the type of business I operate.
When I reach out to prospective buyers, I want to only have to discuss the price. It is challenging enough to negotiate a fair price for my domain names without having to educate prospective buyers about the right of the dot. I simply don’t have the desire (or patience) to do it.
I am not close minded about the new extensions, and I hope to see them become mainstays in weekly sales reports. I see smart uses of them, and I can only assume that will continue and grow. When that happens and the education becomes unnecessary, I could see myself investing. Until then, I will stick to buying .com domain names almost exclusively.