Check today's domain deals at Godaddy!
After this week's gtld draw, many sources are now indicating that the soonest we'll see a new gtld roll out is mid-2013, and it's likely that the later roll outs will be happening in 2014. My opinion is that it could take even longer with all the necessary reviews and lawsuits that have been filed so far. But who knows, we'll just have to sit back and see what happens.
While I wouldn't say that 2012 has been a stellar year for reported domain sales, I would say that sales appear to be steady and regular. The top 20 weekly sales always have domains in the five figure range, six figure sales occurred often, and there is still the odd million dollar plus sale as we saw last week with Investing.com. The DomainNameSales.com site has also changed the game, allowing anyone to see the inquiries and interest that come in by the minute, and the price quotes that go out.
The top sales are still mostly in the .com extension, with country codes, .net and .org often having strong representation.
To me, the weekly domain sales report by DNJournal is kind of a futures chart, or barometer. Given we are likely less than a year away from a host of new gtlds, shouldn't domain buyers be holding back and waiting for them, if they are going to change the internet landscape? Why are buyers today still spending thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars every week on domain names, when the available pool of extensions is about to increase almost exponentially? When markets (in general) know there is going to be a coming increase in supply, it usually puts downward pressure on prices. Like I mentioned above, though domain sales prices aren't going through the roof (like it seemed in 2007), they have continued to be steady in volume and in price range, with millions of dollars in total reported sales occurring every week.
The only answer I can see is that domain buyers find the comfort and assurance they need in owning their preferred keyword(s) in .com, .net, .org, or a strong country code. Though the selection pool is about to increase with new gtlds, domains aren't a commodity like gold or silver, where one ounce is the same as the next, and that makes the difference. The weekly domain sales tell me that domain buyers are either unaware of the new gtlds, or aren't too concerned about it. If they are unaware of the pending gtlds at this point, that is also saying something!
When the new gtlds start coming out, keywords that fit the extensions will do well, but for most gtlds this will be a relatively short list. Examples of names that I'd expect to do well in the market are ones like:
Sales of country codes, gtlds and domain hacks where the keyword fits the extension in a clever or brandable way have often done well in the past. The Meet.me sale in the mid six figure range is an extreme example of this, and my guess is Love.me and Date.me will have similar or better results. Even Payment.mobi sold this month for $12,900 (an attempt to take advantage of the rise in mobile commerce?) - and many domainers have completely written off that extension.
While there will be some winners like the above in the new wave of gtlds, I don't think existing holders of good to very good domains in .com and other top extensions should be too worried. Domain buyers certainly aren't sitting back and waiting for the new gtlds in a meaningful way, judging by how domain sales continue to roll along every week.