Investing in .CO Domain Names: My Current Thoughts and Outlook
I am writing much more about .CO domain names than I ever did about .MOBI or .EU or any other new domain extension. I want to make a few things very clear about my feelings on .CO, and you can take it for what its worth knowing the .CO Registry is an advertiser and that I own less than 10 .CO domain names.
With Google’s consideration that .CO is an international domain extension rather than another ccTLD (despite the fact that it is actually Colombia’s ccTLD), I believe .CO domain names have the ability to perform well as websites in any country. I believe that this will mean businesses will be able to successfully build on .CO domain names.
I can only assume that companies like Go Daddy and the .CO Registry will continue to market .CO domain names, targeting consumers and small businesses alike. To my knowledge, this type of mass awareness campaign has not been done before for other extensions, and I think consumer awareness is key to .CO domain values.
I believe that because Google announced it will index these domain names like other extensions combined with the awareness campaign undertaken by the world’s largest domain registrar, .CO will become a widely used domain extension… in the future. In addition, with gTLDs expected to be released in the future, consumers will slowly adjust to extensions other than .com. It may not be quick, but I do think it will happen.
Personally, I do not believe .CO domain investments are a wise short term play. If you buy a name to flip it this week, month, or year, you could be out of luck.
My domain investment business model primarily revolves around quickly flipping domain names. It’s a cash flow business for me. As a result, I am not investing a whole lot in .CO domain names right now. Simply put, I don’t have $xxx,xxx in liquid capital that I would use to invest in .CO domain names (to put on the sideline) for a long term investment of potentially several years. There may end up being some great buys in the big Sedo ,CO auction, but we probably won’t know for some time.
If you do make .CO domain name investments, you should do your due diligence. I don’t see a big aftermarket for them amongst domain investors right now, although that could conceivably change after the Super Bowl. Without that, there is limited liquidity. For instance, if I pay $25,000 for a city .com name, I am generally fairly positive I could sell it at wholesale for $20,000+, and that can’t be said about .CO at the moment.
I think it’s actually a good thing that we aren’t seeing huge sales that would encourage others to spend more than they should. It doesn’t appear that there is a bubble forming, which is a very good thing, because bubbles in the domain space aren’t good for the majority of us. When they burst, values plunge as the liquidity is not there to support the valuation.
Some of the comments I hear is that Go Daddy and the .CO Registry are simply hyping this extension and it’s going to end up costing domain investors a lot of money. The irony of this is that every business needs to do marketing for consumer awareness, and it’s the consumer awareness that will help make .CO domain names valuable. Without it, consumers and businesses wouldn’t buy the names, and without that, domain investors wouldn’t make much money unless they developed them.
The bottom line from my perspective is that .CO domain names may turn out to be a fantastic investment in the future. For now, I think it’s great to see the Registry and its registrar partners focusing on a gigantic awareness campaign. I am happy with my current investments, and if I see good names at good prices, I will invest for the longterm.