Lessons learned from 16 years of commercial .com (long post)


New Member
I'm of the opinion that India commercial internet in India has a reasonably bright future. I also believe that, due to various cultural factors, the English Language will remain a preeminent factor in Indian commercial internet.

My own guess is that Indian domain names are about where .com's were in 1998-2000. That is to say, the mega names are going to be registered, but there are still some opportunities left.

Obviously, English language .com's are global brands, relevant to an array of very wealthy, highly developed countries. Because of this, they have a tremendous amount of value that no other TLD will ever approach. Also (and this dynamic cannot be understated) relevant .com domains receive type-in traffic originating from these countries, which allows them to be monetized and earn their keep (or in some cases, a lot more than their keep). Let there be no doubt- domain parking is the economic lubrication that allows Frank Schilling, Kevin Ham, Buydomains, etc, to exist in the first place. This dynamic does not exist to the same degree in ccTLDs and particularly Indian ccTLDs where the type-in dynamic is limited and the value of the traffic is still low. In these names, one is often speculating on the value of the keywords, without the earnings that exist in the mean time.

If we could go back to 1994 (Domains: Phase 1), we could register virtually any .com we wanted.
Not even two years later (Domains: Phase 2), the game had changed entirely.
Not two years after that (Phase 3), the game changed entirely again and not two years after that (Phase 4), changed entirely yet again.
At each phase subsequent to Phase 1, people insisted that it was 'too late' and that 'all the good domains were taken' when that wasn't true. Sometime around 2004, we probably reached 'peak .com domaining', when, for all intents and purposes, the reliably salable .com names *were* indeed taken (Domains, phase 5).

I think Indian names are somewhere between Phase 3 or 4. You're not going to get Properties.in nor are you going to get Lucknow.in, but you can still get names like "LucknowProperties.in". You cannot buy Mumbai.in, but you can buy any number of wealthy neighborhoods/communities in Mumbai that house high earning people and very expensive real estate. The types of names we should've been buying in .com in 1998 are the types of names we should be buying in .in, today.

For investors who are willing to hold long term, I believe these sorts of names- the "Phase 3/4" types of names that were mostly taken in .com around 1998-2000- are where the opportunities exist in the India namespace today. There is no reason to assume Indian ccTLD domains will take a drastically different course than what we've already seen over the past 15 years with .com.

Naturally, people who are investing in these domains for the long haul must view them much more carefully, much more deliberately and in an entirely different way than beginners who impulsively register domains at the gateway price, then let them drop a year later when they can't find another domainer to buy it. We must view them as 5-10 year commitments, which means that every domain we register is going to cost us up to $50-$100 over time. This really adds up if you have a large portfolio of domains. Holding 100 domains for 10 years @ $8000 or $9000 is a meaningful of capital to risk for some people, so it must be done shrewdly. 500, 1000+ domains? That's a lot of money to spend over 10 years. It's 1/2 of a house in the United States.

Instead of wasting money on 'made up' and 'creative' domains or pointless domainers-domains (like awful LLL's that will never be relevant to anyone), why not take the lessons learned from .com and advantage those in the immature .in domain space, while these opportunities still exist?

What do you think has brighter potential?
Buying xnv.com, or DesiWorld247.in, or buying GuwahatiProperties.in?
Last edited by a moderator:


Excellent Post.. Its true.

I want to add a small point. Develop 5% of your portfolio into Mini & Mid Level sites with quality content. They will take care about the renewal expenses of your entire portfolio for next 10 years.



Active Member
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Very good insights Dman. Having started buying .com domains in 1998, I agree you are spot on the current status of .in domains.

With India's brand continuing to rise and buying power increasing, the valutions of .in, .co.in will follow.

India is already the 2nd largest market behind China in many consumer goods (for obvious reasons) and the price point will only keep moving higher with luxury goods.


New Member
Wow!What a powerful and insightful post. You are so accurate in your explaination of the past, present and future of domains, in particularly .in domains. I love to read about current affairs and understanding the rapid growth and development of India I amassed a small portfolio of .in domains. I tried to encourage family and friends of this foresight into .in domain real estate, however, it promptly fell on deaf ears. I could not eloquently express what you have done so admirably in your post, your extensive research and information finally validating what I had felt and known a long time ago!!

I did buy domainrealestateagent.me and domainrealestateproperty.com to reflect that belief system! !Thank you! Thank you! Thank You!
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