Panel – TRAFFIC cctlds

Panel – TRAFFIC cctlds

Second seminar in the series.

Howard Neu moderating.

Session with 5 well known portfolio holders.  Will give their take on various country codes.

First panelist is Rick Latona.

Started in cctlds 1 1/2 years ago.  Owns about 30,000 cctlds.  Travels a lot and it was obvious that .com was meaningless in many places.

What he likes the most about it is that you can focus on 2nd tier countries.  Availability of domains was wide open.  Could register a few thousand category killer domains.  Even if he has to hold for 5 years, that’s ok.  If you had 100,000 domains worth 1,000 euro each, that’s a lot!  So much easier to sell at the 1,000 to 5,000 price point.

Fastest path to do that is in cctlds market.  Throwing this show and his forum help increase the value of cctlds domains.

Second panelist is Henny Grutlip (sp?)

Domainer for 5 or 6 years.  Specializes in Dutch domains.  Best to concentrate on 1 niche market and become the best in there.

What do .nl domains mean for foreigners?  Can everyone register .nl?  Yes, registry is completely open.  Need a local presence.  Registrar can do this for you.  This requirement may drop this year.

Point of local contact:  address for legal service.

Registry 3.5p Eur/year.  Shouldn’t pay more than this.

Cheap to be your own registrar.  150 Eur/quarter.  If serious domainer, do that.

Strict whois regulations.  Can only check 15 whois domains per day.  If you’re a registrar, you can have your ip registered, can do 5,000 whois query per day.  Another good reason to become own registrar.

2 systems to register.  1 is a web interface.  Email as well.  Registry working on EPP system, but this has been promised for several years.

.nl domains very insecure.  Easy to transfer.  If current owner doesn’t complain, transfer goes through.  Ie transfer goes through if not objected to.

Drop scene:  catching dropping .nl’s interesting until 1 year ago.  Now they introduced 40 day quarantine so fewer domains drop.  Only a few private catchers catch domains, maybe about half a dozen.

If you don’t speak local language and know local culture, must be very careful.

Very active dutch domainer community.

Third panelist -Nico

Since 2002 a domainer.  Started out in .de.  Then moved into .com.  Recently did some other cctlds lately in 2006 – .it, .nl, .dk, .ch.

Common challenges of cctlds:

Every registry has different legislation and different jurisdiction.  Lots of legal challenges.  Need to be careful of local regulations.  May want to get local people to help.

Different user behavior in every market.  IDNs are popular in .dk, .de and Scandinavian countries.

Hyphens – some cctlds popular, others not.

Currency exchange rates fluctuate widely.  Margins can change quickly.  Must keep registration costs as low as possible.  Consolidate domains to one registrar where you have lots of volume.

Go to one registrar, consolidate domains, negotiate lower price.  Might want offshore registrar solution.  Get people that speak the language to help you.  Make sure you monetize to the max – do affiliate programs, not just parking.

Next panelist – Edwin Hayward – market has been developing for quite a while.  Nominet in 96.  Started lated 2003.  Involved in domaining since 96.  Fairly cheap – if you are registrar.  Significantly less renewal costs.

No restrictions on ownership.  Instant online transfer with simple interface.  Can do bulk transfers for one fee.  Can set buyer or seller to pay transfer fee.

There are quite a lot of drop catchers in the market – > 50.  Of which 6 or 7 are public facing.

If you are a regular person, you can only do 1,000 lookups per day.  No public zone file.  You need to make your own list.

Significant language differences between UK and US.  Thousands of terms differ.  E.g. don’t call it real estate.

If you want to park, best bet is Sedo or Namedrive.  Really need to test.

How make more money?

About 18 months ago, pulled all domains out of parking companies and directed to sales site.  Customized front page of sales site depending on domain that redirected there.  Sales went up about 2 1/2 times.

Sold 540 domains in last 4 years.  Over 111 in 2006 & 2007.  431 in 2008 & 2009.  Even though he’s lost parking money, more sales have more than made up for this.

Raised his profile in industry by establishing a brand.  Shirts, brochures, business cards, etc.  Relatively cheap to do (couple of thousand dollars).

Exhibited at Internet World in London, next to Nominet.  That gave him a chance to talk to a lot of end users as well as Internet industry people.  Significant difference in approach to domain names over the last year.    This year, everyone seemed to understand the importance of domain names.

Final panelist – Alexander Shubert

Started in ’97 with .de.  Hard to sell domains back then.

Later specialized in .eu and .info.  Most people not interested in .eu & .info – hard to sell and not much traffic.

Currently lives in Riga.  In East European countries, use .eu much more.  In East Europe, very proud to be members of European Union and use .eu to show it.

Language skills – very important.  Be careful about umlauts in German.

Tries to sell domain names through Sedo.  But tries to sell to end users because not easy.  Must understand how large corporations think.  Must educate why must buy and what can do with it.  Ideally, a mini business plan.  Best sales happened when he had a mini business plan telling them what to do with domain.