Rick Schwartz to Drop All “Premium .Whatevers in 2017”

I don’t think it is a secret that Rick “Domain King” Schwartz doesn’t really like the new gTLD program, nor is it a secret that he owns some new gTLD domain names. This morning on Twitter, Rick announced that he intends to drop his premium new gTLD domain names (or at least that is how I interpreted the tweet below). I presume Rick is referring to the new gTLD domain names that do not have a standard renewal fee.

I don’t know Rick’s plans for his non-premium new gTLD domain names that have a standard renewal fee. I also don’t know how many of these “premium” domain names he currently owns. It would be interesting to know how many of these names Rick owns. Based on the tweet, it looks like Rick spent around half a million dollars to buy and renew these domain names. It will be also interesting to follow these drops to see if any of the registries opt to make these drops non-premium for future buyers and/or if others pick up his drops.

I have been contemplating what to do with two of my premium renewal new gTLD domain names – n.Holdings and n.Ventures. If anyone wants to purchase them, I would be happy to work out a fair price and I will donate all proceeds to my Pan-Mass Challenge ride.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com 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. Rick is one of the few in the domain speculation game that is consistent in what he says and does. If the propagandists of ngTLDs thought Rick educating naive newbies was a thorn in their side. After taking a $500K lose, tax benefit or not, you can rest assured that his attack on this suspected ponzi scheme, will be without mercy moving forward.

    Rick has some detractors, and many admirers, but I don’t see very many others with his level of integrity and consistency. How many would admit to such a lose?

  2. Rick is one of the few in the domain speculation game that is consistent in what he says and does. If the propagandists of ngTLDs thought Rick educating naive newbies was a thorn in their side. After taking a $500K loss, tax benefit or not, you can rest assured that his attack on this suspected ponzi scheme, will be without mercy moving forward.

    Rick has some detractors, and many admirers, but I don’t see very many others with his level of integrity and consistency. How many would admit to such a loss?

  3. I’m in process of doing same, will only keep defensive ones for my .coms and might even let those go in 2018 will see. Probably a $40-50K overall loss. Just dipped toes.

    It’s like investing in a stock on the pink sheets. No transparency and market makers (registries) can mark up/down prices as they see fit with virtually no regulation.

    Investing in .com is more akin to investing in the NASDAQ. There are big ups and downs, but there is transparency and regulation in what you are investing in. And rarely do NASDAQ listed companies go BK.

    • I thought I was the only person that got hosed on gTLDs when I entered domain speculation in 2015. I didn’t learn about RicksBlog.com until I lost $3,500 on .pigeon crap out of a $5k speculation bankroll. The other $1,500 was my savior. Used that $1,500 and flipped $12K within 12 months, brought me back to black. Now my loss looks miniscule, to what you and Domain King invested.

      I believe most gTLDs will fold by Q2 2018.

    • I didn’t think new Gs ever had a chance at real success compared to .com. They are not even really new. History had shown that chances are you will lose.

      This was a more unique situation than launch of .mobi, .info, .travel, etc because there was an unprecedented hype surrounding them, especially on the .brand side, and the ability to get a good keyword.keyword domain that could help shorten keywordkeyword.com. So there was some reason for optimism.

      In reality, it is turning out like RealNames circa 1999-2000. The brands have not adopted their .brand. They prefer the .com brand. Which isn’t entirely surprising given how much time, money, and resources were needed to rebrand from coding to marketing. Registries then changed pricing dramatically without much warning. The combination of those makes new Gs a very speculative investment at this juncture.

      All that being said, if you owned a decent .com portfolio it was a gutsy move to at least not hedge a small amount when they launched. If you are a long term investor and don’t flip. If I were in domain investing for short term gain my opinions and actions would’ve been different though.

    • Where you get most pissed off, is once you realize that the $50K you loss on gTLD turds; you could have snagged a very premimum one-word dot-Com. And since you are not a flipper, but long on domains, you could get that $250K in 2018-2020. As Rick mentioned, it is just better to dump the pigeon s*** save up for 1-10 premium one word domains with commercial meaning, hold and then roll the dice when you feel the time is right.

      With Rick’s knowledge, you have to wonder what premium dot-coms he could have bought for $500K; just unreal the losses that domain speculators are suffering from the gTLD hype.

    • It’s really not that unreal. I bought a NNN.com 5 years ago simply for hedging purposes against my keyword .coms. Still haven’t sold.

      Rick has many names he bought for $90 or $120 worth mid six liquid because he was a long term investor.

      You win some hedges you lose some. You just need to win more than you lose.

  4. Rick gave great advice on the gtld’s. Too bad he didn’t follow it. 2015 and 2016 were great for picking up one-word dotcom’s at auction.

  5. Rick used the word “premium” in reference to his .whatever domains! LOL!
    A PREMIUM .whatever domain?!?! WHATEVER πŸ™‚

  6. He can do whatever he likes with his own assets (which he obviously thinks are liabilities). And his point in doing so is to obviously demonstration – and promote – that he’s taking his own advice, which is admirable.

    But the value of individual domain names – whether dot-com, dot-vip, etc. – is ONLY determined by an end-user who actually has a want/need/desire (…to borrow from Rick’s standard) for that particular name. Its value is not at all a function of what a[ny] domain investor (i.e., domainer) thinks it’s worth).

    We’re all just speculators in a particular asset class. No different than the bond, stock, or currency markets – individual participants’ views have no bearing at all on the value of domain names. They may has some (very short-term) influence, but not much else.

    So if anyone reads this and says to themselves, “wow, I think that I’ll follow suit” – well, they’re probably the same people who sold their stocks in 2009, and then found themselves buying them back in 2013. They’re called sheep.

    • There is no enduser demand for .vip and similar extensions. No “want need or desire”. The only thing left is defensive registrations and unsuccessful domainers making 99 cent bets.

  7. .coms are easier to sell – plain and simple. maybe the .whatevers will be too at some point but its not now nor in the near future. i rather put my money into buying .coms than holding .whatevers for the next 10 years hoping for a pay off.

  8. Rick is right, good idea getting rid of them, those “premiums” have exorbitant, absurd renewal prices with basically no or very little interest from end users … very expensive “pigeon shits”! πŸ˜€
    At least he will get a significant tax benefit.
    Thanks God we own zero new gTLDs, never purchased any. πŸ™‚

  9. I am surprised Rick even had any GTLDs in the first place. I respect him. For the most part, he says something and he sticks to it. However, I think I take the win for being one of the few or only ones not to have ever registered a single GTLD in this industry. πŸ™‚

  10. It has always been easier to acquire nice keywords in alternative extensions. Selling them to end users has been far far more difficult. Add in zero parking revenue and higher renewal costs and one quickly is a digging a deep trench which is difficult to climb out of. Still hold some. TVs but the lesson I learner from. TV was to stay away from the new extensionsl

    What I see from many new extensions are registry sales which do not seem credible and end User pricing for the more logical combinations. Where is the upside?

    Yes there have been some domainers who have sold a few but how many domain investors are living off new extension sales vs those which are just wasting money on registrations and renewals of domains which will never sell?

  11. Top 100 public sales to date only included a few new Gtld’s. Those where probably financed so they really don’t count. Why spend all your time trying to sell something that is less worth than a 1% of a .com. If your a real estate would you want to sell mobile homes or penthouses. The value on cars.com domain alone really should be an eyeopener.

    Don Murray

  12. Rick, if you plan to drop them anyway, can you please push them to my accounts, I will share 50% of sales profits with you, renewals to be paid by me πŸ™‚

    • Why would you take on all the risk for only 50% of the profits when Rick’s dropping them could allow you to get them for the same cost and not have to do a revenue share? That makes zero sense to me.

    • I don’t think that registries re-price ngtlds after they dropped. Reserved – often yes, re-priced – usually no. Anyway, I’m fine to take a bet.

    • And, if I get them from Rick, they won’t drop and get re-priced. If you meant that registries can raise renewal fees at any time, I’m OK to take the risk too.

    • You think Donuts has screwed up because they released the mojority of great domains in their 200 extensions? I don’t think so. They have a sound business model. It’s just that other registries are greedy to a maximum degree.

  13. What is interesting to note is whatever Rick says… people still want his nGTLD’s.

    Even that he lost buying into them, they think they could outsmart the failure of new G’s.

    Unbelievable … you have here a men that bought half a million dollars into new extensions and it did not work for him but you think it will work for you?

    I dont want to insult anybody but that is what i call STUPIDITY.

    • Rick once said:

      “If folks decide that since Rick Schwartz is buying .mobi they should too…..that has nothing to do with me. They may buy because I buy but they do it silly and blindly if that is the only reason.”

      Read it very carefully. It says that what Rick says and does, it is his own opinion/business, take it or leave it.

      I also don’t want to insult anybody, but when people say people are stupid because they don’t follow King’s way, I call it STUPIDITY.

  14. I’m interested in understanding from Rick why he would invest, then drop so soon. With the average holding times for .com, would have thought holding time even longer for new g’s. Certainly shifting strategy is necessary at times, and I would agree this is possibly one of them.

    But I would love to hear more about what the original ideas were and what efforts were made to sell the names.

    I have read your position Rick, on new gTLDs, and when you could have been communicating support for names you spent 500k on, most of what I read was much more supportive of .com to put it lightly. Most investors buy names they sort of believe in.

    For me, a loss is a loss, a win is a win. Doesn’t matter what sells as long as something sells. Really appreciate the sharing. Look forward to reading about your future wins.

  15. Sergey@
    i have 1,000 nGTLD’S so clearly i have a different opinion then Rick ( today anyway )

    2nd, when Rick back in 2011 said that .co i s loosing traffic to com i bought more .co’s and held them till this day and i’m not sorry.

    Point taken: TrustYour.Gut if it goes south…i’m sure you can forgive yourself. πŸ™‚

    • I see no point to call anyone stupid then. Thousands of domains dropped by domainers are being registered by domainers everyday, and many of them sell well. No different for ngtlds.

      Few years ago NNN.in were barely worth reg fee, so some fellow domainers holding them for 10 years dropped hundreds of them. One stupid person registered them at $3 each. Nowadays worst of them sell for $1000+ each.

  16. My Question to Rick – Would you talk negative about GTLD if your $500K investment gave returns?
    I don’t think so. Sorry!

  17. Excuse my ignorance, how is it a tax benefit to drop any names?
    Are they not used as an expense when first registered?

  18. I have dropped many ntlds but certainly won’t drop them all or close to it.

    I have hundreds that I can sell for far more than renewal fees. Many get hundreds/thousands of visitors a month. Many earn PPC revenue.

    The good stuff is the good stuff. The registries held back the bulk of the good stuff but there were gems to be had.

    Category killer terms with mid-high search volume are gold. Not dotcom level gold but gold nonetheless.

    If anyone says different, I say, show me your best 3-5 category killer mid-high search volume ntlds. If you don’t have any, your experience with them just isn’t there to speak.

    • It sounds like he means .tv / .xxx / mostly stuff he speculated on before the release of .guru the first of the new batch … I don’t think he has speculated much on the new strings after the .guru release , I have never seen him or any names we were interested in with the new strings .

  19. For a guy who said gtlds were not investment worthy from day 1, to see you write off $500K makes absolutely no sense.

    I understand it maynot be big money for you, but your scrounging for $500-$1000 names on Twitter so what the hell were you thinking when your telling everyone they are pigeon ish, and buying them on the side?

    You sound like the upside down F S???

  20. .com landrush 2.0 starts to look more like .mobi 2.0

    it will be devastating. the more an investor is in denial about it the worse it will be.

    right now, Chinese bulk domain gamblers make it seem that this is a growth market.

    if they leave and they will – there is no doubt about it – this thing will implode.

    Fake stats, fake sales, fake predictions.

    Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked. – Warren Buffett

  21. Aren’t the Chinese already leaving in droves? Look at .xyz, no sale over $5000 in the last years versus lots of 5/6 figure sales before that. Crashed market.

    • Chad just sold a .xyz a few days ago 5 figure sale ..

      Domain investors trying to sell to chineese speculators have been squeezed on all strings …

      Even LL.coms have sold for half what they were selling for or no sale at all.

    • Chinese investors won’t go away. Chinese bulk domain gamblers will.

      They make up 50% of .whatever registrations. If they leave .whatever could drop to 10-15 million. Twice the size of .info with most good keywords reserved or premium renewal. If that happens the program will be declared a failure and most other investors will leave too.

    • Most Chinese have no idea what they are doing, they hear from their uncle whose friends cousin is an Elephant of sorts buy domains. Many don’t even understand the concept of renewal fees.

      Just like they buy houses, and now straw buy cars(google it) they stumbled upon domains.

      They just have to make margin!

  22. So while Rick was sending you folks away from the new g’s, he was socking away premiums? Would have been a great play if it worked. And maybe it did. We’ll never know what the real game was and who was playing.

    • It didn’t work, investors are sick of paying renewals, and end users are not buying.

      One segment I watch is the names mark monitor registers, and buys for clients in .com, they are not bothering with the matching gtld.

      They know if they own the .com it’s good enough.

      The gig is up, guys like Phil will mention a one off sale, but that does not define a category, or create a segment.

      Ask Phil what his annual renewal are, he will blush red.

    • We have some of the very best keyword.keyword domains in our portfolio , we never chased the Chinese market with non meaningful names .Our Two letter .media names get 3-5k offers every week . We have passed a six figure offer on names like cannabis.online and a 50k offer on e.cars .. yes our renewals are high but we hold some of the very best keyword.gtld names like Christmas.gifts we are not flippers.
      We have returned over 200k back to the till on our speculations.

  23. @ Snoopy-dog

    dot-VIP has, and never will, sell for 0.99 – so don’t lump it in with the others.

    And i don’t have any dot-VIP names for ‘defensive purposes.’

    Now why don’t you finally reveal to everyone your true identity.

    • Whole point of being VIP is that not everybody can be it. You want to be part of a small club so the registry is limiting itself. IMO the next shoe to drop. Will probably top out around 900k registrations and then lose 40-50% over the next 24 month. Over 75% are parked, with 80% sitting at 4 big Chinese registrars. A train wreck waiting to happen…

    • Perhaps I’m missing something, but I’ve NEVER understood the point of .VIP — it’s such a nonsensical gtld.

  24. I had only about 25 premium GTLDs.

    I’ve dropped 15.

    Keeping 8 as they relate to my business/field and maybe they will have some use.

    My loss is minimal.

    I understand many domain investors have lost quite a lot. My advice: move on. Life is too short to worry about past mistakes.

    My portfolio is 85% .com.
    10 % .me
    4% .ai, net, .org
    1% .co, .mobi & GTLD

    I receive offers for only .com, .me and .ai

    It’s great to have Rick back tweeting and participating on blogs. I think he will save people from making bad domain investments and stop the bleeding for others.


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