I was surprised to see Apartment.in sell for almost $10,000

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a .IN domain sale making news, but today I read an article on Elliot’s Blog about a recent auction that Sedo ran focused on .IN domain names. For those who don’t know, .IN is not a new domain extension, it’s been around a while it just doesn’t get much buzz any more. A lot of very premium one-word .IN domains sold in the Sedo auction, many of these would be six or seven figure names in .COM but are four figure names in the .IN market.

.IN domains

The top sale was Apartment.in which sold for $9,950. The next highest sale was Big.in which sold for $4,999. I actually do get the brandability of .IN in some cases and Apartments.in seems like a logical one to me. At the same time I’m concerned that almost no consumer knows about .IN so they’re likely to type in ApartmentsIn.com rather than thinking a domain name can end with an .IN.

Yes, for people in the domain name industry, you know .IN, you might not invest in it, but it’s fair to say you know about it. For the average person I think .IN is a mystery and if they see Apartment.in on a billboard they might not necessarily end up typing that into their browsers. Of course, maybe that’s just me but I don’t think .IN has had as much press as other extensions like .IO and .AI that are in the media just about every day.

What do you think? Was Apartment.in a good buy at $9,950 or is .IN a tough extension to brand around?

{ 26 comments… add one }

  • Hemant June 14, 2017, 12:03 am

    It’s a tough extension to brand even in India.
    People just associate everything here with a .com, thanks to Godaddy promotions earlier.
    I have advised some big companies on how to get their .com, even after they heavily promoted their .in websites.

    Reply
    • Samit June 14, 2017, 2:34 pm

      “I have advised some big companies on how to get their .com, even after they heavily promoted their .in websites.”

      Like which ones?

      Reply
  • Joseph Peterson June 14, 2017, 12:25 am

    @Morgan, you’ve got to be kidding.

    “For the average person I think .IN is a mystery”

    “I’m concerned that almost no consumer knows about .IN so they’re likely to type in ApartmentsIn.com rather than thinking a domain name can end with an .IN.”

    You do realize that .IN is the country code for India, right? I can’t tell, honestly, because your article doesn’t even contain the word “India”! 1.3 billion people live there.

    Or course, you won’t this ccTLD very often in the USA. But that’s hardly an argument against it. You might as well say the same thing about .DE or .UK or .FR or .ES or .CA –
    each of which are dominant in its home country. The USA doesn’t use its own .US ccTLD. But most countries definitely DO use ccTLDs. In fact, they prefer them.

    “Of course, maybe that’s just me but I don’t think .IN has had as much press as other extensions like .IO and .AI”

    Why on earth would you compare .IN or .DE or .UK any other thriving ccTLD with something like .IO or .AI. Apples and oranges. .IN is meant for India, which is about to overtake China as the largest population on earth.

    In contrast, .IO and .AI have been repurposed by a small niche audience of tech entrepreneurs. These folks concentrate in cities like San Francisco and Austin. Since you live there, no doubt you’re exposed to them more.

    Those 2 TLDs only belong to their native countries – Indian Ocean territories and Anguilla – as a sort of technicality. Those places are minuscule in comparison to India. And the argument for using them is utterly dissimilar.

    A proper benchmark for .IN would be some other ccTDL with a large domestic audience – .DE or .UK or .AU or .ES or .FR or .AT or .CH or .CA or .MX.

    Reply
    • Morgan June 14, 2017, 9:04 am

      @Joseph – yup, I know it’s India’s ccTLD, I actually used to invest in .CO.IN and .IN for a brief period of time before I learned that (at least for me) I wasn’t really able to move the names. That being said, most of my readers are not domain investors so they haven’t heard of ccTLDs like .IN.

      While I agree that .AI and .IO are ccTLDs from MUCH smaller countries, the fact of the matter is that just about every startup founder has heard of .AI and .IO, the same is definitely not true for .IN. I think as domain investors we think that your average person knows about ccTLDs but in reality, most founders don’t know that .IO and .AI are ccTLDs, they think they are gTLDs just like .COM but more industry specific.

      With .IO and .AI in publications like Techcrunch all the time, and .IN almost never being mentioned I do think in the US specifically branding around a .IN domain would put you at a disadvantage. That being said, if the buyer of Apartments.IN is looking at marketing in India then sure I agree it’s a great choice.

      Reply
  • shiva June 14, 2017, 2:00 am

    I really enjoy reading your blog in general, but sorry to say this time your article doesnt make any sense at all.. .IN is the country code extension of INdia, most of the registrations out of 2+ million are originated from India… .IN is relatively young extension comparing with .de , .co.uk, .cn..etc as the .IN public registrations were allowed for first time on 16th Feb 2005 against the other extensions around 1990. India’s internet user base was too small few years before, however things are changing in India in terms of Internet infrastrucutre, specially last 12 months Internet industry has become competitive with the entry of reliance Jio. Reliance Jio has disrupted the Indias internet space. Perhaps you have not focused on .IN which is fair enough as you no need to know about .IN being in USA however your comparisons and the way you wrote the article is completely illogical. IMO, .IN is the most undervalued extension.

    Reply
    • Morgan June 14, 2017, 9:09 am

      @Shiva – thanks for your comment and I actually agree…..IN is a a relatively young extension and I definitely see most of the growth coming from India not the USA. Your statement below highlights what I was trying to say in the article:

      “Perhaps you have not focused on .IN which is fair enough as you no need to know about .IN being in USA”

      If people in the US don’t know about the extension, and don’t need to know about the extension, then a startup in the US, buying Apartment.IN, is going to be at a disadvantage. If it turns out the buyer is someone planning on marketing the domain in India I think that might make a lot more sense but if it’s a startup here in the US I do think paying $10k for a .IN name might not have been a great move.

      Reply
  • Sergey June 14, 2017, 4:46 am

    I would say that compared to .in, nobody knows about .io and .ai lol

    Reply
    • Sanju June 14, 2017, 12:08 pm

      “I would say that compared to .in, nobody knows about .io and .ai lol”

      Please read the sale reports in DNJournal and Namebio, and then comment. Shows how partial and illogical your comment is.

      Reply
      • Morgan June 14, 2017, 9:53 pm

        @Sanju – that’s my point, your average person has never heard of DNJournal and Namebio…that’s what domain name investors know. We’re a small industry, important for us to think about what the rest of the world actually knows. A startup branding on a .IN name is almost never seen in Techcrunch, Inc, Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal, etc. whereas .IO names are there all the time. Big difference.

        Reply
      • Sergey June 15, 2017, 10:29 am

        “Please read the sale reports in DNJournal and Namebio, and then comment. Shows how partial and illogical your comment is.”

        Please use common sense and think outside the box before commenting. .ai and .io are known to small number of domainers/startups whereas .in is known to 1.3+ bil people.

        Reply
  • Sergey June 14, 2017, 4:53 am

    Google.co.in has #7 Alexa rank lol

    Reply
  • Suresh Raghavan June 14, 2017, 5:54 am

    For all practical purposes .IN is where .COM was in the late 90’s. Just before the whole ecommerce wave kicked off here. So, all I can say is “you ain’t seen nothin yet”

    Can it be used as a hack, sure, but I agree comparing .IN to other little .IO or .AI is really not fair for those two :-). They are very small niche tlds at best.

    I will venture out and say, .IN has all the potential to be the most valuable TLD for English keywords. Well we know about the population, let ecommerce spending get there, which is beginning to take off as we speak. So hold on folks, this is not your grandfathers India or mine either.

    Reply
    • Suresh Raghavan June 14, 2017, 5:57 am

      Correction : .IN has potential to be the most valuable CCTLD for English keywords

      Reply
  • Suresh Raghavan June 14, 2017, 6:31 am

    Sorry for another comment, what determines how big a TLD brand is, in my opinion one of the huge factors is how many people visit or use it everyday. Check out the .IN visits everyday – Google.co.in is a Top 10 visited site (over 500 million visits a day) and Amazon .in get around 200 million visits a day. Not many cctlds or TLDS can claim that kind of visits a day, close to a billion.
    .IN , .CN and .COM are in rare company in terms of number of visits a day.

    Reply
  • Eric Lyon June 14, 2017, 11:33 am

    Personally, I wouldn’t have guessed that Apartment.in would have grabbed $10k, but then, everyone’s a bit different in what they feel has value to them. Especially when it’s going to be developed for business use. A domain can be priceless to the right end-user with enough capital to push a domain (regardless of extension) into mainstream media.

    Reply
  • Morgan June 14, 2017, 11:45 am

    @Suresh – I think it does depend on where that traffic is coming from. If 90% of the traffic comes from India then I agree it is a big brand in India, but not in the US. I know .com.au is incredibly popular in Australia but most people in the US have no idea it exists. All about the market you are targeting.

    The point I was making in this post is that if a startup in the US plans to use this to brand around a product or service that is US-focused, they’re going to have some challenges IMO. That being said, like you and others have said above, if they are targeting the Indian market then it was a great choice.

    Reply
  • Sanju June 14, 2017, 12:02 pm

    Only Indians keep on hyping the .in extension. The average sale price of .in is nowhere close to .cn. Also, Indian companies start with .in extension. But after they get some serious funding, they move to the .com extension. For ex: ClearTax.in eventually purchased ClearTax.com for around $80K!!… Flipkart, Snapdeal, Shopclues, Paytm etc and most of the top ecommerce companies use the .com extension. Amazon uses the .in extension because it mostly uses the respective CCTLD extension in all the countries it operates.

    The people hyping the .in extension has a hidden agenda!!

    Reply
    • Joseph Peterson June 14, 2017, 11:03 pm

      @Sanju,

      “The people hyping the .in extension has a hidden agenda!!”

      And the people hyping .IO and .AI … surely they don’t own any domains in those TLDs, right?

      “Only Indians keep on hyping the .in extension.”

      Am I Indian?

      Guess who else has a hidden agenda:

      The UK. Because brits are trying to trick us into thinking .UK has market value!
      Germans. Because krauts buy and sell and talk about .DE.
      The French. Because them frogs see value in .FR.
      Canadians. Because canucks pretend to use .CA … in order to deceive us!
      Australians. Because aussies are upside down using .AU instead of .AI or .IO.

      OF COURSE Indians are going to show up talking about .IN. Because it’s their ccTLD. Duh. And because there are 1.3 billion of them who CAN show up to talk about it!

      Chasing hidden agendas in the context of a domain blog is like chasing your own tail. When domainers see value in any TLD, they buy it. And they talk about it. So are they talking about it only because they’re trying to sell it? In that case, nobody here really believes .COM has any value. You just say that because you own it and want to pawn it off on the rest of the world! Right?

      When somebody claims X, then wasting time talking about that person’s motivation is a logical fallacy (ad hominem). Talk about X instead.

      Reply
    • Shiva June 14, 2017, 11:56 pm

      @Sanju.. 1.3 billion Indians are there on this earth , 18% of the overall population on this earth.. it will soon hit 20% population.. isnt good enough Indians believing in .IN .. what the point you are trying to make?? You have also quoted ClearTax.com acquisition by ClearTax.in for 80K USD. However cleartax.com is getting forwarded to cleartax.in , its defensive purchase. They have not rebranded.. all the guys talking about .IN are industry experts , they are into domain industry at least 8 to 10 years time.. the examples of .com names you have quoted are the major organisations , it is common for the top 10 organisations in any country using .com .. I I am not telling .COM has no value … however i can confidently telling Morgan’s this article is completely illogical .. 1.3 billion indians are living on this earth , around 18% population on this earth , in 5 years from now it will touch 20%.. even 1% of Indians believe in it translate into 13 million indians.. they are not hyping they are educating.. if you cant understand the difference between hype vs education . i am sorry, cant help it… the real ones in hype are .ai and .io , what are the fundamentals of these extensions?. The world is not about united states alone, come out and see the world around..

      Reply
      • Sanju June 15, 2017, 12:31 am

        Well.. you guys can keep on hyping about the. In extension all day along, but the fact of the matter is .In extension is nowhere close to. Cn,. De, etc.. in terms of the average sale price.. The first choice of Indian companies is always the. Com. If that is not available, they go for the. In extension.

        Reply
        • Joseph Peterson June 15, 2017, 1:11 am

          @Sanju,

          “The first choice of Indian companies is always the. Com”

          Questionable assertion. And even if it were true, what rationale can give for expecting that to continue? India is growing. The pool of available .COMs is shrinking. .IN is far more affordable. And more likely to be locally relevant. Yet India will continue paying more for 2-word .COMs and ignore single-word .IN? Yeah, that’s likely.

          Only if the .COM is taken would Indians “go for” .IN. So you insist.

          OK, Sherlock. Guess what? .COM, which all the world has been buying up for 30+ years, IS IN FACT TAKEN. If an apartment company in India or the UK or Australia or Canada wants to buy Apartment.com, well, they can’t. Naturally, they will choose the local ccTLD and buy Apartment.in or Apartment.co.uk or Apartment.com.au or Apartment.ca. A person searching inside India for an apartment is more likely to find local results on a .IN website. This same logic has made ccTLDs more popular than .COM in other countries. Why not .IN in India? Please point to 1 compelling reason why India should be the lone exception to this global rule.

          As you say, “.IN is nowhere close to. CN,. DE, etc. in terms of the average sale price”. So what’s your point? By the same flawed logic, estate agents shouldn’t buy and sell property in India because the housing prices are higher in Germany. Why on earth should people not buy, sell, and use .IN today? Because other ccTLD markets have been around longer, causing prices to be higher – how on earth is that an argument against .IN? People can buy and sell assets based on the market value at the time; and if they’re good at it, then they’ll make money. Other people can buy assets hoping for appreciation over time.

          Indeed, the price of .IN is lower currently than the market price of .UK or .DE. God forbid anybody should buy low to sell high! Obviously, internet usage in India cannot possibly increase. Obviously, India’s economy cannot possibly grow.

          A smart investor like you knows it’s better to buy high. A smart investor knows that nothing but .COM and the United States counts. The developing world will never develop. Those who say it will are just hyping.

          Reply
    • Sergey June 15, 2017, 10:41 am

      “Only Indians keep on hyping the .in extension. ”

      You can’t even imagine how many premium .in domains are being owned by foreign domainers.

      Reply
    • Paul Singh June 15, 2017, 2:43 pm

      Reply
  • Joe June 14, 2017, 12:37 pm

    The IN extension is a country well known by great computer engineers who work for large companies in the US and is one of the countries to become independent of the United Kingdom for the determination to give their lives with their hunger strikes, until the two religions Accepted at that time cease with their street riots between them.

    I travel to this country and to be three months was very young, great culture, art and apartment for rich, the rest shanty and poverty still to be simple and to share what little they have with the foreigners, in the end to give 50 pens for that family and to live Best for a month when selling pens.

    I agree as to what paid for Apartament.in, is what is usually paid unlike the dot-com and other generics.

    Reply
  • Suresh Raghavan June 15, 2017, 6:28 am

    Frankly, I’d rather hype .IN than all the other nonsense have seen over the years.

    Reply
  • Suresh Raghavan June 15, 2017, 6:37 am

    Its all about Generic Category Killer domains (products and services), good luck getting the .com . The best options for Indian companies is .IN and .CO.IN

    Fortune 1000 companies have thousands of domains in their portfolio and most are not for sale. The top 1000 companies in India will recognize the value of owning such generic domains as competition heats up online for market share. Bound to happen..

    Reply

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