Domaining Featured Articles

Investing in Indian Domains – My Story

There have been some mixed views when it comes to investing in Indian domain names. For some, it has been very lucrative but for other speculators its so far been quite frustrating. Like with the introduction of any new extensions, too many people jumped in head first when .in (India’s top level domain extension) was first released. Those who put some thought into it and had a plan – have already seen good returns. Those who followed the hype without research have been left with a sour taste.

The .in Extension Hasn’t Matured Just Yet!

The .in is a fairly new extension and that is something a lot of people forget. What is now a third-level tld; the was India’s mainstream extension for some time.

The .in extension was introduced as somewhat a “vanity” domain extension. Speculators were unsure whether it would ever catch-on because of the already being in use before .in was released. Besides, for many years people in India had always preferred the gTld’s (top level domains – .com / .net / .org) over their own country codes.

Some of the initial doubts were quickly banished – especially when the .in Registry launched a promotion where people were able to register Indian domains for around $3 – $4 each! Millions of .in domain names were registered and toward the end of the promotion we even saw the buyout.

Less Doubters, More Investors… But Not Exactly a Good Thing Yet!

The liberalization of registration rules in 2005 led to a drastic increase in .in domain registrations. People soon realized that the .in extension presented a great opportunity for local and international companies wanting to represent their business in India. It wasn’t long before some big name companies started launching their websites on the .in extension – albeit they still had their presence on the extension too.

Like I said… a LOT of domains were registered. This didn’t mean that these domains were registered for immediate use – ie. they weren’t registered by the companies or “end-users”… these domains were registered mainly by domain speculators – people like you and me. People without an interest in developing websites on the domain names that they had bought. This had some obvious implications. It hurts the extension a little if sites aren’t being developed on them. The less developed sites equals less promotion and in turn means less awareness of the extension – all of which contribute toward number of sales.

Sales throughout the first years were quite rare, most of it was being done amongst domainers for small profits.

The Importance of Planning & Research

Those who invested in the extension with a solid plan – ie. registering only quality names / keywords / popular search terms and with the intention (or at least expectation) to hold the domains for a few years, maybe 3-4 at least – weren’t worried.  In fact I don’t think it bothered them too much that now there was so much negative hype… because they knew this wasn’t going to be a get-rich-quick kind of thing. It hardly ever is! The wise investors were in it for the long run. They knew they had to be patient… they’d done their planning and researcing.

The worry and negative views came mainly from those who invested heavily without a plan, without researching the market, without — and this was the most important fact — without taking into account, that the names they registered for $3-$4 each will cost $14+ to renew in the coming year. I believe this was the downfall for many domainers. Especially when they didn’t realize in time what was ahead.

A bit of Luck…

I have to admit, I was quite lucky. I wasn’t one of those who had a solid plan, nor did I realize that the $3-$4 price was actually a promotion and not going to be around the following year! However, I didn’t start taking notice of the .in domains until late towards the end of the promotion period. By then most of the good names had already been taken – even out of the 3 letter domains, only the poor quality letters had remained. This was good for me, because it stopped me from pouring too much money into the extension at this stage.

Saying that, I still ended up with about 80+ domains. Really poor ones at that!

As soon as the promo had ended and the buyout had occurred, it struck me! I had some liabilities on my hands. These little domains needed to be shifted at the right time otherwise I’d be left with a big renewal fee come 2009 – and so it began… my plan.

There’s Money to be Made in Indian Domains… but…

I knew that there was money to be made on .in domain names. Come on! if you think about the size of the Indian population, take into consideration the rate of growth, economic stability and availability of internet and broadband – its a developing country, developing very fast!… sooner or later… these domains will be needed by the upcoming companies. It’s just a matter of time.

I only had a handful on keyword .in domains – names like – and / – nothing amazing, but still some decent names. Names which I’d decided I would hold for at least 3-4 years.

But at the same time, I had a strong feeling that the three letter .in buyout would not hold come 2009. Those who didn’t think about it would realize (when it was too late) that they wouldn’t be able to afford the $14 renewal fees on each of the names. I knew this would affect the market in general because there were too many investors who jumped in because of the hype and the low reg fees during promotion.

Analyzing the Markets and other Domainers

I’d come across at least 4-5 people (none from India by the way) who had registered thousands of  three letter Indian (.in) domains. What this told me was that thousands of these domains will likely end up expiring because these people didn’t have the funds to renew them. UNLESS – they were wise enough to sell parts of their portfolio in time to make a profit, enough profits to renew the better quality names.

I kept an eye on these people with large portfolios, I’m sure a lot of the investors had also been doing the same. In my view, they controlled the market – maybe without even realizing it. What they did (or didn’t do) would decide for me and for many others on what course of action to take with our own small portfolios. If they didn’t sell their domains at the right time (I’ll get to that later) then it could prove to be costly for them. They’d be faced with renewing thousands of names that weren’t exactly the cream of the crop. And I assumed if the time had passed then they’d most likely end up dropping large quantities of their portfolio.

So my plan was to carefully monitor what other people were doing. At the same time I kept a close eye on the markets to see how much 3L .in’s were going for. Within a few months the base price had jumped to around $10-$12 even for the lowest quality domains.

Time to Sell the

This was it, I made the decision to sell as many as I could. I knew that once 6-7 months had passed on each domain, the prices would start to drop. I’d assumed the peak pricing period would be around June-July when most of the names from the buyout’s backend were nearing their 6-7 month lifeline. So I sold about 30 domains and had a decent profit – around 150% ROI on most of my 3 letter .in domains.

I kept the better quality ones for a little while longer to see how the market pans out. Around August/September 2008 it started to head downwards as I expected. So I began to sell off some more. If I’d left it any longer then I knew that the less time remaining on registration for each name, the less people would want to pay for them.

During the last few months of 2008, I also started to pick up some premium domains and keywords. Like I said before, I have a feeling the better names will do well in a couple of years time.

A little bit More of that Luck

I was lucky enough to make a couple of decent sales via Sedo. Most notably, a 3 Letter .in – a semi-premium name which I’d bought for $30 ended up selling for $900 and a few more sold for $300-$400 each (which I’d picked up for $10 or less). This meant I had enough funds to renew my remaining names and at the same time invest in a few more premium names. By now, the keyword domains started getting some type-in traffic too – and they were making enough from parking to fund their own renewals.

NostraShaymus’ Pridictions come True!

Excuse the pun! 😉

Just as I’d predicted, the holders of large .in domain portfolios failed to sell at the right time and ended up dropping thousands of names – many of which are double premiums. This has left a lot of people in bad situations because they’d also kept their investments and hadn’t planned in advance. Those who renewed their low quality names will most likely regret doing so, especially in the short term; because better names are dropping each day. This will likely continue for a few more weeks.

A double premium which was worth $30-$40 a few months ago is now worth little more than reg-fee at best. Especially with the re-introduction of the Indian domain registration promotion ($4 at The good thing is that the promotion will help a lot of the dropped domains to be registered again…  and no doubt this will in turn bring the prices back up pretty soon.

I Done Alright… luckily…

Although I was lucky with a few sales, I still think the fact that I had researched the market and had a plan helped me to become stronger in this niche. I’ve taken advice from others with more experience (Jagusa / MediaWiz etc. from and also followed what was going on in the aftermarkets.

I had done enough to position myself well and take the right actions at the right time. I sold at the peak and re-invested when the prices went down. In fact this is probably the best time to invest. The financial situation around the world is at a low, the buyout failed after those big drops and people are quite strapped for cash… perfect ingredients to invest if you have the funds (just remember to do some research and go in with a plan).

Investing for a Brighter Future

I’ve recently bought a dozen or more all premium three letter indian domains for around $60-$80 each. Names which I know will sell in a years time for $200 each. Not that I’m planning on selling them so quickly. My plan now is to invest in a few more and hold them for a few years. I don’t think I’ll sell any of my all premium domains unless its to end-users. I’m happy to wait for offers of $1000 + on each name. Going by occasional sales and increasing interest in Indian domains, I don’t think that it’s going to be a long time before my names get to that 1k mark.

You can see a few recent sales on the Blog – Click here… again, nothing amazing.. .but it shows names going to end-users which means more sites will spring up. Its a positive sign.

What about YOU? Tell me your story…

I congratulate you for having the patience to read down all the way here…  🙂 That was quite an essay huh?!

So that’s me and my views, what about you and yours? I’d love to hear from other .in investors. How have you found the market? What are your views on investing in Indian domains? Whats your plan? Share it by leaving a comment below.

Domaining Make Money

Are .info Domain Names Profitable?

When considering purchasing .info domain names for investment (whether new registrations or purchases made in the secondary market), it’s important to focus on how you’re actually going to make money from your portfolio. In fact this applies to all kinds of domain names, not just the .info extension.

I’ve found that a lot of people look down on the .info extension – without a good reason in most cases. I completely understand for some people investing in .info extension isn’t as worthwhile, usually because they have such big and rich .com portfolios that the smaller returns you get on .info’s just takes too long to add up.

But! For the majority, I’d say it is still worth investing in if you can find the right name to fit the extension. This is very important… you have to be careful which name you pick because unlike with many other extensions the .info’s work well mainly within the “information” niche.

At the time of writing, you can hand-register .info domains at a number of domain name registrars for around $1 each. GoDaddy for example is offering new registrations for $0.99 + icann fees = $1.12 per domain.

These promotions are not new, they’ve been ongoing since the release of the .info extension a few years ago. A lot of domainers and developers say that these promotions have hurt the extension – making it appear as “cheap” and “spammy” (more explained on this later). This may be so, but it still doesn’t take away from that fact that there is money to be made on them.

A few months ago I registered about 50 two word .info domain names – the total cost was about $55 – within a few weeks I sold 5 of these domains for over $30 each. Fair enough, it hasn’t changed my life, but that’s a pretty good return on investment however you look at it. Just from selling 10% of the names I’d made a total of $180. That’s about $174 profit from $6 investments. Not bad eh!

So what about the other 45 names?

Since registering them over 7 months ago, I’ve already sold about 40 of the names. Other than the first 5, the rest of them I sold for $2 – $5 each. A couple went for $10 each. Still I made profits on each and every single one of them so far. And, the best thing about it is that I still have 10 left. Out of these 10, I’ve developed one into an information/review site for domain registrars – and from the other 9 I will keep 6 (the best ones from the 50) and probably drop the other 3.

So based on my own experience, I’d say .info domains are definitely profitable – IF you know what you’re doing.

I think a lot of people have bad experience with .info’s because they registered poor names – names which don’t fit the extension – and in some cases people took a gamble on domains thinking a buyout would occur and they’d make good profits. Wrong.

Brandable domains don’t suit the .info extension and more often than not they don’t make profits… neither do acronyms (with LLL 3 letters being an exception).

If I see a website’s url as — (as an example) then automatically I’d assume that site to be some kind of information base, reviews site or price comparison site rather than a site actually selling laptops. I don’t expect it to be a company – I expect it to be either an affiliate site or just a site filled with information about which are the best laptops. Most people view .info’s in this way – and I’m assuming that’s what the intention is behind .info

I see people register domains such as  “” – from experience I can safely say these names do not sell well – especially to the reseller market. With names like this you’re trying to brand what is intended to be an information site… not a company or product. It just doesn’t make sense. Below are a few more examples of names that don’t really work…

  • – what’s this supposed to do? provide information about someone who’s a total blogger? good brandable name, but wrong extension.
  • – same as above
  • – could be a site about all the 24 hour shopping malls, but very restricted and again branding rather than keyword based.. wouldn’t get much organic traffic.
  • – four letter .info, hard to resell to domainers, possible to sell to end-users who own companies with those letters, but this creates a lot of work trying to find the end-user.

You see, there are a number of reason’s why a numerous types of domains don’t work well with .info – there are a lot of things to take into consideration when buying them.

I only buy names that I can quickly flip to other domainers or at aftermarkets such as sedo / ebay / tdnam etc. I prefer not to chase end-users with .info domains because its hard enough to find buyers for .com’s – it takes a lot of time. And time is money.

I see it like this… the amount of time I’d spend trying to find an end-user for a $500 brandable or acronym .info name – I could flip 100 .info to resellers for $10 or so and make more money with less effort. So I don’t bother going after brandable .info domains – they’re just too much hard work to sell.

Below are some examples of names which make sense with the .info extension –


Ok, most of those names are mine – so it would seem biased. But think about each of them – they fit the extension and would be very easy to develop a site / mini-site on them. The ease of seeing and realizing the names potential – together with the ease of development (basic blog/wordpress / mini-site) helps to sell these names to resellers. Lets take “” for example, it would make a perfect site for students to learn about which accounts /credit cards are best for them as a student. Turn it into a simple blog and allow user reviews / comments – add a forum perhaps? Now, just add a few affiliate links or google adsense – and there you have it – easily developed / easily monetized useful site for a niche.

I’ve had offers above $40 for most of those names – but I’ve declined, mainly because I have development plans for them or because they are parked and getting good traffic. I know that by spending an hour or two on each of the domains – I’ll have them developed to a basic stage – enough to earn me $5-$10 per month in adsense revenue at least. So it’s not worth selling for so low… I’m just not in that much of a rush.

So, to conclude this article – I think .info domains names are definitely worth investing in. If you can find them to hand-register, then its a bonus. But even if you can’t find good suitable names to hand-reg you can still have a look around at the aftermarkets and forums – there are occasionally names being sold for under $30-$40 … which in the right hands could be worth a lot more.

NOTE: as you can probably tell, I’ve written this article in free flow – not a great structure to it, so I do apologise. But I will be doing a full write-up on .info domains within a few weeks so stay tuned. In fact, register for a free account and add yourself to the mailing list – you’ll get a weekly newsletter with all the sites updates and articles… oh and available domain names lists.

Till next time 😉

FAQ (Domains)

What is “Domaining”?

The term “domaining” is used to describe the business of buying, selling, developing and monetizing Internet domain names. This is where the domain names are being used for investments instead of developing websites.

Think of it as Internet real estate if you like. The person involved in this business is usually referred to as a “domainer”. He/she invests in domain names with the hope of selling them for a profit to an “end-user” or even to other domainers.

You can think of it as buying empty land, not for the purpose of building a house on it, but as an investment with the view to sell to someone who has might want to build on it.

See the related content below for more information.