NewgTLDs – No Country for Domain Investors?

It’s virtually impossible to get a great keyword in a relevant newgTLD at general availability.

And by great I only mean a keyword+newgtld combo that has a real world business use.

The sheer number of ‘filters’ that the keyword has to go through to get there is mind boggling.

First – There’s the ICANN Block List – which blocks thousands of common keywords from most TLDs, so a lot of good keywords you can’t even register.

Of those you can register, there are other ‘filters’ before ‘general availability’ of any newgTLD –

Second – You have a trademark for the term AND it’s registered in the TMCH – You can apply for for the domain via an Early Availability Program and pay a premium to get your required keyword.

Of course you have some people gaming this, but I think the jokes on them, they’re paying what an end user ‘might’ pay in the indeterminate future.

And the carrying costs aren’t $10/year either – it could be whatever the Registry decides it is, without anything stopping them from increasing these renewal prices at a later date either, but that’s probably another post.

Third – The Registry then reserves certain ‘premium’ domains for premium priced sales or auctions or founders’ programs.

Fourth – If the domain is still available at this stage, you could ‘pre-order’ it, for a premium price of course. And then you have to compete with others who pre-ordered the same domain in an auction!

It’s a given that in an auction scenario you’re likely to end up paying way higher than standard reg fee.

And finally, Fifth – if that keyword that you want comes through all this is somehow still available in general availability, well you better have a great connection and an atomic clock on the counter to ensure you submit the order within the first 10 seconds, most great keywords are gone in 20 seconds.

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see much potential for profit for investors on the domains available after all this.

Of course, you could say I’m cheap and don’t know how to play the ‘big game’ like big money investors (it’s probably true) and buy domains at a premium + premium renewal, but I’d rather play it safe than be sorry for investing in stuff that might not be worth what you think it is.

At least with traditional gTLDs the downside of buying a domain at a premium price is offset by low long term TCO beyond the initial purchase.

Do you agree with my analysis? Or are you a newgtld investor with a different take?

Let me know via the comments below!