The Irony of Domain Investor Warnings

Charles posted a comment earlier today in my article asking people what new gTLD domain names they registered, and it seems to jive with what many other domain investors have been saying when it comes to buying new domain names: “Save the money. GTLD stands for ‘Good To Lose Dinero.'” I find comments like these very ironic.

In my quest to buy good domain names, I often come across other domain investors. In addition, domain investors email me daily to see if I have an interest in buying their domain names. I would say that 99.5% of the time, the prices these people quote are batshit crazy. There’s nothing wrong with quoting a crazy asking price of course because the goal with domain investing is to make as much money as possible with your domain investments.

Why is it that these new gTLD domain names bring out such altruism in domain investors who are warning their fellow investors that they will lose their money if they buy a new TLD domain name? Save your money! Don’t waste your money on these worthless registrations!  Stick with .com! You’re going to lose your money! You’re making ICANN rich!

In a nanosecond, these same people would sell me their overpriced .com, .net or .org domain names for a massive profit, but when it comes to new gTLD speculation, they are benevolent saints hellbent on warning their fellow domain investors about the money they are certain will be lost forever.

I get that buying new gTLDs is speculation. I’ve said that any new TLD domain names I buy is akin to gambling. However, I don’t get what is making these capitalist domain investors so  magnanimous when it comes to other peoples’ investments and speculation in new domain names.

I am glad that Charles didn’t leave any personal identifying information in the comment section because I am not looking to call him out personally for his comment. I find it ironic that domain investors are so worried about how their colleagues spend their money investing in new gTLD domain names but would sell them an overpriced .com domain name without hesitation. As with every investment, I think people need to do their due diligence before they spend their money.

Most domain investments tend to be illiquid by nature, and new gTLD investments may be even more so. I simply find irony in the message some people are giving when they certainly wouldn’t stop another domain investor from overspending on their personal inventory.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Hi Elliot,

    It is me again, Charles. You should be able to confirm that the IP address matches the prior submission.

    If you had a friend that was about to invest his/her hard earned money into a venture that was shaky, ill-funded, not properly promoted, overpriced, not adequately backed, confusing and had very little chance of success, wouldn’t you pull that friend aside and tell him/her your concerns and suggest that they no proceed?

    Or, if your friend was about to build a house of his/her dreams on a foundation that you suspect consists of quicksand, wouldn’t you speak up?

    I would. And I would want my friends to do the same for me.

    I think you do a great job with your blog and I wish you and your readers many years of success, but every bone in my body tells me that the gtld program is doomed. The idea was dumb from day #1. To hear stories about people buying AdjectiveNoun.Crap with extensions consisting of 10+ characters just kills me. I know I can’t stop them, but I’ll be able to sleep better at night knowing that I suggested they think twice.

    • If I wanted to buy one of your .com domain names for 3x the value you place on it, would you tell me that would be an unwise decision, or would you say “deal” and crack open a bottle of your finest scotch to celebrate a great deal?

      I strongly urge people to due diligence with any of their domain investments, especially ones that are more speculative. Frankly, I think domain hacks are a waste and most brandable domain names are a waste. However, I am not going to tell people they will lose their money if they buy them. I have stated why I don’t really buy brandable domain names for my business, just like I stated that any gTLD domain names I buy are a gamble.

      I would not, however, write a post telling people not to buy a certain type of domain name, especially because we can not know what the future of the Internet looks like with certainty. I am wise enough to know that I don’t know what the future will bring, and I would be remiss if I told people not to do something that ended up making people money.

      BTW, one strong keyword you use above is “friend.” There is a difference between a friend and a business colleague.

  2. Spot on Charles!

    When investors read criticism they immediately assume theirs an ulterior motive, envy and what not, I myself have warned against new TLD’s going back to .name, and I do it to warn domainers of the high risk, I’ve seen far too many of them lose an incredible amount of money on GTLD investments they will never recoup from, Like when Sedo auctioned off premium .mobi’s, I saw a noob dole out nearly $20K… ouch!

    And domainers feel comfortable making these foolish investments because they read what the so call experts say, and figure if the experts are investing in .mobi, it must be a solid GTLD, so I’ll invest too. Not even considering that these investors can afford to take that gamble and where as they cant.

    • Have you ever asked a potential buyer of one of your domain names if they know what they are doing or otherwise qualified one of your buyers? If you gamble, do you lecture the guy next to you at the blackjack table as he continues to lose? No, probably not.

      I assume these people know the risks associated with buying domain names and gambling.

      Just as a reminder to everyone reading this, I have not been a proponent of the new gTLDs. My reference in the Boston Globe was:

      “Elliot Silver, president of Top Notch Domains LLC in Wellesley, a company that buys and sells Internet addresses, argued the new domains will be slow to catch on with most Internet users, who have become conditioned to searching the .com galaxy.

      “I prefer to own great assets on .com. People know .com,” Silver said.”

    • That is true, to a point.

      One difference though is .COM has a primary market. There is end user demand for quality domains. There is a proven historical track record of aftermarket sales.

      If you are buying domains for resale, you need a primary market to have a secondary market.

      Do any of the new extensions have a primary market? Not yet.
      Will they ever? Only time will tell.


      • ” Only time will tell.”

        Exactly… I have no idea what will happen for certain. The only thing I am sure of is that nobody else knows for certain either. There are some good guesses of course, and some people will be right, but I bet nobody would bet their homes and valuables based on what they believe to be certain at this point in time.

        If people were so certain about domain names, they would have leveraged all of their assets 15 years ago and bought a dozen of the best .com names. Alternatively, they would have leveraged everything 5 years ago and bought as many 2 and 3 number .com names as they could afford. Had these expert prognosticators done that, they would have made out very well as a result of the appreciation of these assets.

  3. You said batshit and magnanimous in the same article.

    Seriously though I’d say people are warning others because we’ve been through the process many times. New extensions that is.

    • I understand why they are doing it, but I find it ironic all things considered.

      Some of these same people will sell me their overpriced crap names if I am willing to pay without a second thought. That is totally fine becuse the nature of this business is to make money, but it is funny.

  4. “we can not know what the future of the Internet looks like with certainty.”

    Um…yes we can. Been here before with .Travel, .Jobs, .Museum, .Biz, all major failures.

    • I would argue that there hasn’t been nearly the same amount of marketing dollars spent on those as there will be on these.

      Do you think .CO would be as successful as it has been without marketing?

  5. Some “keyword.whatever’s” may or may not hold value, but I don’t want to find out later that I could have gotten them and ended with nothing. Just like any investment, diversification can be a savior. I absolutely don’t think .com will be devalued at all. I just feel some keyword.whatever’s have opportunity that are worth the high risk. That’s my strategy. I am prepared to eat every dollar I spend on the New G’s……Here is a relating quote, I forgot who said it, but “the truth lies somewhere in the middle”.

  6. chill out people..we are all domainers right?
    doesn’t matter what your argument is. 50% will
    disagree always. I say if you are a veteran in this
    try it. if your new to this, stick with dot coms and see how veterans handle these new gtlds. I mean someone had to test out and fly the first plane!?

    And a little respect to the blog host..if you disagree create a blog on Life is life, do what you want. it’s all good.

  7. Domains need to make sense, whether they’re gTLDs or .com.

    I don’t like to see people wasting hard-earned money on loads of nonsensical .coms or two-word .MEs that don’t mean anything, but ultimately none of us can control what people spend their money on.

    • “Domains need to make sense, whether they’re gTLDs or .com.”

      This sums it up right here. Regardless of the extension, a domain name will never hold true value unless it makes sense, and/or has a degree of brandability. Gtld’s “might” be the underdog right now. Regardless of the millions of dollars behind promoting them, they will have a huge disadvantage for some time, due to consumers either not being aware that they exist, and/or if they are aware, they find them a little strange. I think most would agree that phonetically speaking, a domain name like simply rolls off the tongue easier than Buy “dot” Watches. As Frank mentioned, gtld’s (if they are a success) will be a major shift in how consumers will view domain names as a whole. There will likely be some winners out of ak the noise, as I think that is inevitable. However, due to the inherent nature of having the “dot” in odd place (at least to what we’re all used to) will take time to “go mainstream”.

  8. i don’t think the comparison is fair. people have nothing to gain telling others not to bother with new gtlds but they have everything to gain by selling their ‘crappy’ .com for a high price.

    however i see it all the time where people are telling others not to spend x amount on a .com. these people don’t own the domain and have nothing to gain.

    i think what it boils down to is many a domainer have been burned by previous gtld releases and don’t want to see others make the same mistake.

  9. “Most domain investments tend to be illiquid by nature”
    No, sorry Elliot, they are not iliquid by nature, they are illiquid due to the sabotage that google has been doing for 10 years with complicity of parking platforms.

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

Spaceship Doubles its DUM

At the end of July, I wrote about Spaceship surpassing 100,000 domain names under management (DUM). The registrar continues to grow, and its Founder...

You Can Now Hide Estimated Value at Dan

Last week, announced and deployed a feature I did not like. On the user control panel, Dan showed GoDaddy's Estimated Value for each... Buyer Comments on Acquisition

This afternoon, Axios reported the sale of the domain name. Kismet Group, an Australian private equity company, acquired the domain name to launch...

“We love to share success!”

If I see two friends or colleagues that could benefit from meeting over a shared interest or converging path, I am always on the...

It Pays to Know Random Phrases

My eyes bulge out of my head sometimes when I see a somewhat obscure term in a domain name coming up for auction. Oftentimes,...