At the beginning of 2021, after selling one domain I've never expect to sell one year ago, I stopped for a bit to reflect. Where all this market turmoil has brought us... and where it does take us next. This my take of the next few years in domaining; what I think is happening already. And I believe it takes us to a whole new level. First off, domain sales have been going great through the pandemic. Maybe a little lower here and there, but hey - part of the market having gone bust (certain industries), the others have risen up to the challenge and covered the difference in sales pretty nicely. So we're doing good. There is increased pressure on drops and auctions (for good names, of course). I cannot hand reg drops that were really available 1 year ago. The number of buyers has significantly increased, and DropCatch is going rampant. Domain sales are going good, but domain purchases? Through the roof. I think registrars, who anyway get the cherry on the cake, will have an ever larger cake and even eat it, in the next few years. Pandemic has changed everything. Everyone is going digital. I also have an brick and mortar as well, which does retail of physical goods, but with an online inbound channel. This business has changed, and it tells me quite a lot about the current situation. Guess what, instead of going bust (brick and mortar, right?) our sales have almost doubled through the pandemic. Solely because of the online presence, having good domains, strong branding and that's about it. Basically what happened is that many of our smaller competitors with shops and stuff have closed due to limitations, OR the clients aren't coming to them anymore and buy mostly online and they aren't prepared to pack and ship like that. So this situation has changed the market a lot. Even the paid ads are cheaper as people don't advertise anymore for their closed shop. ( Note. The bar has risen a lot, and whoever was not prepared has gone bust. We have started preparing in January 2020 while the pandemic was not even on the continent yet. That's how you do these things.) Back to domains - my prediction is that demand will continue to increase and that the increase will accelerate. Right now the number of potential buyers of domains has maybe doubled or tripled already; many being forced to quickly alter course towards online. But on the other hand, many of the smaller ones indeed have low cash. (They'd really give you $100 for that valuable domain, yeah). But there is also lack of domain education at play. So there will be a fight next (I already feel it) between the demand and the pricing pressure, some buyers aiming for lower price - but at the same time many of them already competing for a limited resource such as .coms, single word ngTLD's or other valuables. No worries though: This market will settle by itself. And this process will not bring the overall prices down (as some might believe), but the opposite. Because the real good domains are not in the hands of newbies who don't know what they are doing. So buyers will finally begin to understand better the value of a domain. Finally. Without that good name, you're a nobody in the online world. You are not getting observed. You lose money. That 1k or 3k domain price you have been complaining about, is absolutely nothing in comparison with your other business expenses and turnover. You pay that much for one low income worker, just for one month, right? And this is a ONE TIME pay for something that will bring a ton of revenue for so many years. I believe the pressure to get online will begin to put things where they need to be. It is your best, and most valuable, and most ROI-efficient investment your business will ever make. (Side note, I bought my brand domains including the .com and all other tlds, years before even having that solid business running; because later would be way too late. I came prepared.) On the other hand I also see the lower end of the market, small buyers, domainer wannabes trying to make a buck through this pandemic. And it's a good thing, even though unfortunately just few of them really make positive income from this. But it brings more opportunities to the market, including more awareness, and creates scarcity as more domains will already be regged; and the result is, our good ones will get to be even more valuable. If someone cannot find an acceptable domain for their business available to hand reg, their only last avenue is to buy one. So it all finally brings the buck to the market. Some have predicted .coms will fall. They haven't, and won't. ngTLDs are on the rise, that's good but guess what, the sellers appear to know enough not to make them dirt cheap, so this keeps the coms still very interesting. And on the other hand, the buyer pressure is so high that even with all the new TLDs, .coms will continue to rise. Have some short, valuable 1-2 and maybe even 3-word coms that don't sell yet? Keep them, renew them - you will sell them for good cash next year or the other. This is only going up. Just like bitcoin in crypto, .coms will still be the core of the market. The pandemic is, in my opinion, here to stay for a while. The new market is here to stay for even more. This is the birth of a new era, and we have to grasp it well. The shift to online, digital work, collaboration and online education has been dramatic. New businesses will rise to the challenge and they will be hungry for valuable domains. So be prepared to feed them with your domain treats, in return for valuable cash. What is your take on the near future? Your comments are appreciated, thanks!