One fun way to speculate what companies were applying for which gTLD extensions was to look through all of the dotWhatever.com, .net, and .org domain registrations to see who owns the names. Since many applicants have been posturing for quite some time, you could get an idea of some of the potential applicants and also an idea of some gTLD considerations.
Of course when others noticed websites popping up, domain speculators went out en masse and purchased dot whatever domain names in various extensions, likely with the hopes of eventually selling them to applicants. I am sure thousands of different dot terms were registered, and the domain registrars happily took the registration fees.
Let’s have a look at some of the dot keyword domain names that were registered where it turns out there was not a corresponding gTLD application:
Could these names be worth something on their own merits? Perhaps, but from the looks of the names I highlighted, they aren’t being “used” aside from some PPC pages, for sale landers, and registrar landing pages. It’s possible that some of these dot extensions were considered for gTLD applications and registered just in case, but it turns out that there was no application.
Seems like the big winners here, as always, were the domain registrars.
Rick Schwartz posted an article listing 90 of his three number .CO domain names asking people to make an offer for the group of domain names. He labeled it an “experimental domain sale” and a “dose of reality.”
After several days, it does not appear that anyone made an offer to buy the group of domain names. I don’t know if anyone made an offer to purchase individual domain names either.
Because there are 90 domain names that appear to be coming up for renewal, you’re looking at around $2,500 on renewal fees alone, and that is before making an offer to Rick’s liking. This is likely preventing anyone from making an offer. I am not a big .CO investor, but I was considering making an offer if it weren’t for the significant annual carrying cost associated with owning the group of names and not having a good feel for the numeric .CO aftermarket.
I don’t really think the sale is a “dose of reality” though. To ascertain a more accurate reality, I think we should observe a single NNN.CO sale or auction, where the market values an individual domain name instead of a group. The domain name 250.CO is currently in pre-release status on NameJet, and there are 4 bidders who have placed a $69 minimum bid. This, of course, includes the renewal (This is NOT a NameJet affiliate link).
In my opinion, this is a more accurate way of determining a value for a three number .CO domain name, although 250.CO is in all likelihood a better name that those Rick is/was selling. Perhaps a significant sale price on this NJ auction will make Rick’s names more valuable. Perhaps Rick should try to auction his names on NameJet or Sedo and maximize the value on each. My bet is that will yield a higher return.