One thing you should do for your better names is to survey the virtual real estate around you, if you own the .com check and see what other major extensions like net, org and info are registered and by who. If you own a geo centric .com that is related to another country, check out to see if the corresponding cctld is available, parked or developed. In the past I had a couple of Canadian city related .com domains where the .ca was available.
One time I got an offer on one of the Canadian themed .coms, the negotiation was going nowhere and I said to a friend the .ca is available I could register it to prevent that alternative for the buyer and I could throw it into the deal. I was not asking a lot for the .com, (less than $1,000) and it did not mean anything to me as it was a speculative hand reg based off a couple similar reported sales. I decided not to register the .ca but did tell that friend the buyer would. Sure enough a week later the .ca got registered. Now if this was a very valuable .com that meant a lot to me I would have secured the cctld.
You can’t take alternatives away on your whole porfolio, but with your very best names, the names that mean the most to you, it can’t hurt to explore what is out there and where you might be able to add insurance.
Another thing from a geo related standpoint that could come into play is where the buyer is located. You may own a domain that is not geo themed, but the buyer may only be looking to do business in a certain region, they probably could use the cctld and be fine, in some cases when the name was valuable I have pointed out to a potential buyer that the cctld was available. We were never going to do a deal, and once I know that is off the table, if I can help someone still meet their objective than I am going to do that.
If you own an alt extension, it is important to know who owns the .com in my opinion. I always like to see that Frank Schilling or Mike Berkens or some other big domain investor owns the .com of my .net/.co/.tv etc… The reason being I know they are going to be asking a lot for their domain, and with that knowledge I can be confident the prospective buyer is not going to land the .com for a steal. Knowing Frank or Mike are going to ask six figures for a domain coupled with the fact that my prospect has nowhere near that budget, gives a little more confidence that a deal can be done with my alternative extension.
Years ago I remember brokering a .tv name for someone, the pricing was realistic, and both the owner and I felt that the .com would have a six figure asking price. The registrant of the .com was someone who did not own many domains and from all the research was not a professional domain investor or industry insider. So the initial talks with a prospective buyer are going well, then things went quiet. I then get an email two weeks later that said, “Thanks for your time and effort, we reached out to the .com holder and secured the name for less than your asking price.”
The asking price on the .TV was $8,000, so the .com registrant was out of touch with domain values and sold the .com for less than $8,000. Most would estimate its value in the high five figure to possible six figure range.
Examples like that are why I like to see the people who I know owning the .com, when either myself or a client own an alt extension.
One personal example, although maybe not the best, I currently own Puppy.pics, Frank Schilling owns PuppyPics.com, at least I know Frank will ask for a lot more for his domain than I will for mine. Make no mistake, I am not saying my domain holds a tremendous amount of value, but at least I can set a very reasonable asking price, cheap even, and know the .com owner will not be underselling me.
Since I brought up new gtlds, I think that is going to be the tricky part for domain investors. We all for the most part I believe see .com as the dominant extension in terms of value, liquidity and public mind share. When it comes to new gtlds things get a little cloudy, I like Puppy.pics it is a personal preference, but there is puppy.photo, puppy.photos, puppy.pictures, puppy.photography. So with the new gtlds that we all own, I think our real competition is the extensions which are similar. If someone has the money for the .com and wants puppypics.com they are probably never coming to me with an offer, those of a .com mindset will for the most part stay out of the new gtld pool.
Those who like the new gtlds because they are new, catchy, whatever… They will look to new gtld owners for their new project, but now comes the digital version of “Let’s Make A Deal”.
The prospect knows they want a domain for their new puppy website, they have sold themselves on the intuitive nature of one keyword to the left and one to the right. Now they are going to see what is behind each door, if behind door #1 is puppy.pics at $500 are they every going to consider door #3 puppy.photos at $5,000 ? What if door #5 has an owner that just wants out ? “Take puppy.photography at $250 I just want it gone.”
Now of course everyone has their own philosophy, some will never sell a domain below $1,000 or $5,000 it is just how they run their business. That’s totally fine, but for those that want to be always moving inventory, especially in an area that currently does not have a lot of liquidity, knowing your competition matters.
Not every new gtld will fall into this, but there are plenty of strings that have a lot of competition for the same categories.
- Photography, Pics, Photos, Photo,Pictures
- Attorney, Lawyer, Law etc…
- Website, Site, Web
- Singular vs Plural
There are plenty of other examples, so I think it makes sense to check what is on each domain (parked, website), check the marketplaces to see if they have the name listed as make an offer or buy it now. I know some who have sent offers not really hoping for the offer to get accepted, but to see pricing expectations.
You will have to decide how firm you are with your pricing on a new gtld when your buyer has plenty of choices for the same genre at much lower prices.
Some may stay firm, some may lower, some may change their pricing when that renewal bill comes. This topic is one reason why I believe you have to be so picky when it comes to new gtld investments, people out there registering hundreds or thousands have so much work to be competitive that it can become overwhelming or they just lose track of their whole business.
The more intelligence you have on the names around you the better.