When new top level domain names (TLDs) such as .guru and .money became available a few years ago, many people thought there would be another gold rush like when people bought good .com domain names back in the 1990s. After all, people bought .com domains in the early days and sold them for millions of dollars.
But the opportunity to make money registering domain names in new TLDs and flipping them for a profit has been rather limited for a couple of reasons.
Lots of Supply
First, there’s a lot of supply on the market. There are hundreds of new domain name extensions to choose from, which means there’s plenty of options for a new business.
For example, if you buy a good domain with the TLD .money and ask a lot of money for it, a buyer can always choose to buy the same domain in .cash instead.
This is particularly the case with generic strings. Can you make money flipping a .website domain when someone can buy the matching .site instead? Perhaps, if you get lucky. But predicting what domains will be popular in the future is much more difficult these days.
There are also two pricing issues that have made it difficult to make money buying and selling new top level domains.
The first is that some new TLDs are priced substantially higher than traditional choices like .com or .net. Some of the domains have annual renewal prices of $50 or more, making the “carrying costs” of registering a domain and waiting for the right buyer to come along very high.
The second is that some of the registries (the groups that control TLDs and ‘wholesale’ them to registrars like Namecheap) decided to price the best domains higher. Their goal was to keep the profit that a domain investor would normally generate for themselves instead.
So while a domain like lksjflksjx.online might be cheap, a domain like great.online will cost you thousands of dollars per year.
How much a domain will call you will depend on the TLD in question and the registry that owns it. Some registries charge a one-time premium and then the domain renews at lower prices in subsequent years. Others charge a high price every year the domain is renewed.
Despite these drawbacks, some people have had success buying domain names from the new TLD options and selling them for a lot more money, even when the initial price is at a premium.
For example, someone bought Crypto.club for $122 a year ago and just sold it for $10,000.
Another person bought The.club for $19,000 and sold it for a whopping $300,000.
So it’s definitely possible to make money on the new domains. But it can often take extra creativity and a certain amount of luck to make it happen.
What to Look For
There are a few things to consider if you’re thinking about buying new TLDs with the hope of selling them for a profit.
First, if you are buying premium-priced domains, make sure you understand how they work. Check if the premium fee is charged every year or just the first year. .Club is an example of a TLD that only costs more the first year.
On Namecheap, domains that have premium renewals will show the price as an amount per year, e.g. $5,000/year. Ones that have a higher initial price and regular renewal prices will show a price and then “renews at” below them.
Second, take a look at domain names that have special discounted pricing for the first year. This is a good way to buy domains for cheap and then try to sell them within a year. Namecheap has names for as little as 48 cents!
Finally, some premium top level domain names can be purchased on a payment plan. Names.club is a site that offers domains with a down payment and then monthly payments over five years. There’s no obligation to continue making payments if you decide you no longer want the domain or are unable to sell it to someone else.
Registering domain names to try to sell them to someone else is risky. It requires research to pick the right domain names. Understanding where the opportunities are will help you get a leg up.