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James Iles

Ask The Experts: Are You Bullish or Bearish on Domains?

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By James Iles, Jan 7, 2019
  1. James Iles

    James Iles Top Member PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    With 2019 just beginning, it’s an opportune time to theorize on the current state of the domain name market and speculate on what might happen in the coming twelve months. To do this, we contacted nine domain industry experts who have a vast amount of data available to form a valid opinion on what may happen this year.

    These nine individuals have collectively sold countless millions of dollars worth of domains in 2018, and are likely to repeat that in 2019.

    We asked one simple question to these nine experts: “Are you bullish or bearish on domains in 2019?”, and here are there responses.


    Frank Schilling (@Frank.Schilling), CEO of Uniregistry

    I’m bullish...
    1. The trend is your friend and registrations keep climbing worldwide every single passing year
    2. It’s like the bar business.. when the economy is good people drink and when it’s bad people drink (reinvent themselves by buying new names)
    3. Uniregistry is adding amazing utility to bring names to life for the masses — making names easier to trade and sell. Every serious domainer has names at Uniregistry now and that makes us proud.
    4. 2019 will be the biggest year ever at Uniregistry and we are projecting 50%+ in our business - what’s not to be bullish about?

    Nat Cohen (@Telepathy), Owner of Telepathy.com

    I'm bullish on high-quality domain names that would serve well as memorable, powerful brands. It seems that most businesses relying on the Internet now recognize that obtaining a strong domain name is a critical investment. Global demand is growing, while the availability of top-quality domains is shrinking, so valuations are on the rise.

    bullish.jpg

    @Joe Uddeme, Founder of NameExperts LLC

    Always Bullish!

    2018 turned out to be a great year for brands! .COM brands continue to dominate the market. 2019 has a few question marks that will continue to shape the space.

    We will see more consolidation in retail, and more drops on the gTLD’s. 2019 should see a slight slowdown in the global economy, and as a result, we will see a new group of domain owners—previously on the sidelines—re-enter the marketplace with .com inventory that would have previously not been available for sale. Stay tuned!


    George Hong, CEO of @GUTA

    I am bullish on premium domain names (especially generic premium .com) not just in 2019 but also in the coming years. Personally, I plan to hold some of my best domain names for a long period of time; Guta has been 100% dedicated to Premium Domain name brokerage business for the past few years

    In 2018, we witnessed that the demand and sales for premium domains, such as generic one word, two-letter and numeric premium .COM domains have surged. Quite a few of them were bought by end users. Buyers of several of the 7 figure transactions that Guta brokered in 2018 were end-user buyers. More and more end users understand the value and power of premium domain names. I expect end-user demand for premium domains will continue to grow at a rapid rate in 2019.

    As a domain professional, we need to constantly remind ourselves that we are operating in a world that is full of uncertainty. Coming into 2019, There are a number of issues with the global economy including a bear market in stocks, a bear market in cryptocurrencies, a weakening economy, a messy Brexit and the ongoing trade tensions between China and the US. Quite a few of the issues have a direct or indirect impacts on domain market, I think stock/crypto/gold/domain investors will be cautious in 2019; It might not be a bad idea to hold some cash under this kind of economic condition.


    @Kate Buckley, Founder & CEO of Buckley Media

    I am extremely bullish on domains for 2019. But not just any domains—the premium .COM aftermarket: high-value, consumer-facing, generic one and two-word .COMs. In 2018, generic .COM domain sales surged to regain their rightful place as supreme virtual real estate/IP assets. Transactions reported in 2018 included such powerhouse seven-figure sales as Crypto.com, Tesla.com, Jump.com, California.com, Yes.com, ICE.com, GoTo.com, Super.com, and my own $1M+ bundled sale of Sleeping.com and Snoring.com.

    There are mass defections from prominent social media platforms such as Facebook, and monoliths like Amazon Prime are increasingly viewed by consumers as dangerous monopolies. Companies who want to stand out from the clutter and free themselves from the tyrannical shackles of walled-in social (why would you want to send traffic to build someone else’s company instead of your own?), and over-inflated AdWords are investing in the prime real estate of great .COM domains. Particularly in the age of bots—Studies suggest that less than 60% of web traffic is human, and a healthy majority of it is bot—a great .COM domain signals trustworthiness, legitimacy and authority.


    @Michael Cyger, Founder of DNAcademy

    I'm both bullish and bearish on domain names in 2019.

    Single word, generic .com domain names that can be used as a brand for a growing, proven company are increasingly becoming hard to acquire, and will continue to rise in value like any other asset that is in-demand. Couple that with the fact that social media platforms are changing the rules of engagement with customers and that companies will need to spend more time developing customer relationships via email and their own website, and I only see the demand for great .com domains increasing in the foreseeable future.

    However, the inundation of alternative top-level domains, coupled with the recent uptake of previously-unknown country code top-level domains by technology startups, means that there are many "just as good" domain name options for new companies and projects -- which will continue to depress the average sales price of these types of domain names.


    @Giuseppe Graziano, CEO of GGRG Domain Brokerage

    Bearish. A new global recession is likely to come soon (for clarifications, please read here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/help-put-recent-economic-market-moves-perspective-ray-dalio/).

    Domains have historically shown correlation with the stock market, especially the technology index, so I would not expect a recession to increase domain sales.

    The only counterpoint could be domains bought by blockchain companies, in case BTC reacts as gold when the recession hits.


    @Dave Evanson, Senior Broker at @Sedo

    I’m bullish on domains this year. We are coming off a very strong year and there have been several large deals already in 2019 with more closing soon. This is certainly true for Sedo but also for domain space in general. Even if the global economy moves towards recession domain names have demonstrated good inelasticity compared to other investment options.


    @Rick Schwartz

    I would say I am bullish on domains have been and always will be. Great domains. Meaningful domains. Brandable domains. Domains with demand. And when I talk about domains I don’t talk about anything other than .com domains. I deal in gold and platinum. I don’t deal in tin and faux metals that nobody ever heard of and nobody ever will. Dotcom is for investors because the Internet runs on .com.

    2019 I expect could end up being a stellar year for big domain sales. But I could also end up being a horrible year for marginal domains and domains with no demand.

    The downfall of social media and problems associated with control is a direct benefit to great domains. I expect that to manifest itself starting right now and on for the next couple of years anyhow. There are going to be some stunning sales. Possibly many of them. It’s a new day because social media has cancer. And as I have stated and written about and now others are starting to realize, ‘Social media is no longer social, it’s dangerous!” Very dangerous!

    On the other hand, Dot whatever’s are in a different category altogether. It’s just a little murky at this point what that category that would be. Let’s just say premium wouldn’t be the category. I am definitely not bullish on GTLD’s You will have better odds at a roulette table in a casino. Much better odds. These faux domains are a fools game.

    * Editor's note: Rick submitted some fascinating points but for brevity, we have had to reduce it for the purposes of this article. Rick's verbatim answer in full has been attached below as a downloadable text file.

    These responses have been edited for clarity.
     

    Attached Files:

    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    James is a domain name industry professional currently working on numerous domain industry research, acquisition and sales projects. Contact [email protected] For all inquiries relating to NamePros stories and interviews, please email: [email protected]

    This is James Iles's 610th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (14)

  6. Vito

    Vito Domain Names Matter Gold Account VIP Trusted Contest Holder ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Great article @James Iles

    Thanks for putting this article Q and A, together.

    Thanks to this very fine group of domaining experts for answering as well.
     
  7. Domain Shane

    Domain Shane Top Member DSAD.com Staff PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Cliff Notes:
    If you have top end, one word or two word domains that a company can brand on then everyone is bullish

    If you have marginal or lesser quality names, New Gs and numerics then everyone is bearish except the people trying to sell them to you
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  8. equity78

    equity78 Top Member TLDInvestors.com TheDomains Staff PRO Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks for the post James,

    If the opinions are always bullish and on only a particular area of the industry (premium one word .com), it doesn't really say much. More like an echo chamber of people with the same vested interest. Plus most of the people in the biz will never and that's with a capital N ever own those kind of names.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  9. The Durfer

    The Durfer Upgraded Member Blue Account VIP

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  10. vravis9

    vravis9 Top Member VIP

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    Recession is a hot topic....and also expecting more sales at same time...we have to wait and see..

    Thanks for gathering these predictions..
     
  11. Keith DeBoer

    Keith DeBoer Top Member PRO VIP

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    Thanks to James and all the contributors who keep coming back and sharing their expertise for the general good of the community. A fine read.

    At the same time, we can all improve and I think Raymond @equity78 has made a compelling point about the potential benefit of increased diversity in future blogs of this type.

    Regardless, I continue to find your NP blogs a compelling read, week after week after week and I'm grateful for that. I look forward to more in the coming year!!

    Wishing you and all the NP readers a big NEW year of good health, happiness and prosperity!! (y)
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  12. lolwarrior

    lolwarrior Founder, Brands.International VIP

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    Thank you for interesting read. I have not expected anything else - everyone is bullish.

    Realistically, if you are a domain broker, or domain owner, will you be publicly bearish on your assets?

    In addition, and that is logical, everyone is bullish on type of domains he or she holds - while other type of domains are not good at all.

    Of course :)
     
  13. elevator

    elevator DnCombo.com VIP

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    I just hope the economy recession will not affect domain industry.

    But in a nutshell; I really enjoy the material put together for this domain community.

    Thanks and cheers
     
  14. BestDomains2828

    BestDomains2828 Restricted

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    This is a nice article, knowing the arrival of ngtld dot com is still the king.
    It's dot com the only investment in domaining? Why ngtld?
    Why all this big guns say dot com while they are still the ones behind ngtld?
     
  15. ak4586

    ak4586 Top Member VIP

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  16. DOMAIN ILLUMINATI

    DOMAIN ILLUMINATI Owner of ▲ the most expensive domain of all time. Gold Account

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    I am not bearish, I am not bullish, I am topish!
     
  17. Ramesh Kumar G

    Ramesh Kumar G Established Member

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    "Social media is no longer social, it’s dangerous!” Very dangerous!
    - True ! The only way to escape danger is to gain as much knowledge as possible to be aware & conscious , i guess.
     
  18. lock

    lock PremiumNameDomain.com VIP

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    Bullish is fine if you can convince end user. End users aren't domain experts. If i am bearish i still picked out what i wanted.
     
  19. MSN-Domains

    MSN-Domains Established Member

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    Listening to what people say is such a ridiculously poor acid test. Let's see what the above mentioned do at namescon with there own personal money. Money Talks.........

    GGRG - Great analysis
     
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