Tens of thousands of .UK domains are getting registered, what am I missing?

As many of you know (or are about to learn) a bunch of .UK domain names just flooded the market. Companies that had the matching .co.uk domains got first crack at their .UK, and if they didn’t take it – onto the open market it went.

Now over 40,000 .UK domains have been registered and while it’s a relatively small number when it comes to domain names, it’s not meaningless.

Right now it’s hard to know what the split is between people who registered the domains to put to use vs. people who bought them as an investment…but I’ll use my crystal ball and say more than half are now owned by investors hoping to resell them later down the road.

I wrote about .UK domains a couple of weeks ago and based on the comments it seems like most of my readers feel like these are junk. For me personally, I’m pretty much laser focused on .COM at this point in my life but I am interested in understanding if there is an opportunity here for investors.

If there is an opportunity, it’s probably not to buy and flip now but instead to bet that say five to ten years from now, people in the UK will favor .UK over .co.uk…which kinda makes sense to me since it’s shorter and sounds better. That being said, old habits die hard and getting an entire country to move from their go-to domain extension to something different is a big task.

But people are registering these names and my guess is we’ll continue to see this number grow. So what am I missing? Is there an opportunity here or has speculation just gone rampant and we’ll find all these people kicking themselves a few years from now.

What do you think? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 21 comments… add one }

  • Snoopy July 11, 2019, 11:51 pm

    You can bet it is all domainers, and domainers who know nothing about that market. Expect a lot of non UK addresses in the whois because people with knowledge of the extension know it doesn’t get used and doesn’t sell.

    “If there is an opportunity, it’s probably not to buy and flip now but instead to bet that say five to ten years from now, people in the UK will favor .UK over .co.uk”

    The extension has already been out for 5 years and has gone nowhere. It isn’t even slightly popular.

    Reply
    • Ethan July 12, 2019, 12:31 am

      The extension has not been really out for use until recently. It’s too early to assert that it has gone nowhere.

      Reply
      • Ethan July 12, 2019, 6:06 pm

        It looks like the the extension has been open for registration since 5 years ago. But there seemed to have a certain restrictions? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

        Reply
    • Ed July 12, 2019, 1:16 am

      Completely agree Snoopy 👍

      Reply
  • tommy butler July 12, 2019, 12:19 am

    Nominet offered an free year reg to all domain tag owners. this is making up the majority of register of domains. Check back in years time then see how many still on the go.

    Also the newbies into the market see this as oppertunity to get some quality domains. then you have % of business that have registered the >Uk to protect them as have .co.uk.

    Personally when you look at the resale value the oppertunity to flip .UK is how your going to make money in namespace.

    Personally think good % of domainers did not even bother to register any of the .UK domains to e it just devalued the .co.uk name space. When you consider .co.uk domains selling for couple thousand few years back you now see same kind domains up for sale few quid.

    Reply
  • Dan July 12, 2019, 2:15 am

    There isn’t an investment market here Morgan, as someone in the UK with .co.uk assets, this is purely a “cheap” defensive registration market.

    Reply
  • John July 12, 2019, 2:35 am

    I regged about 10 to 15 of them, all for end use, and they are already all being used. Any *good* sale in the future would just be a bonus, though no plan to list any as being for sale. Even got into a 3 way auction for one of them.

    Reply
    • Snoopy July 12, 2019, 3:02 am

      This is how domainers end up wasting alot of money.

      Reply
      • John July 12, 2019, 4:19 am

        What part of “end use” and “no plan to list” did you miss or do not understand? And how many times do I have to mention I’m an end user first and a domain investor second? Got some pretty nice ones if you ask me.

        Reply
        • Snoopy July 12, 2019, 4:25 am

          All garbage John, endusers don’t post on domainer forums all day. Wasting your money registering all those long domains.

          Reply
          • John July 12, 2019, 5:53 am

            Thanks for trolling and calling me a liar at the same time, dog. Nice when someone shows their true colors.

            Readers: let this be a lesson about what it’s like to be a person incapable of thinking and living “outside the box.” The choice is yours…

  • Jason E Franklin July 12, 2019, 4:46 am

    It’s most likely just FOMO. Fear of missing out.

    Reply
    • John July 12, 2019, 5:54 am

      I have to admit, there was a little concern about that too. But, as mentioned above, as an end user, not a domainer. I doubt I’ll ever list a single one for sale.

      Reply
  • Alan Dodd July 12, 2019, 5:51 am

    I’ve about 25 of these with only one sale over the years. I did think about going for the .UK for designerwatches.co.uk but then i thought .. maybe it’s better if someone else buys the .uk?

    The other thing about this investment in .uk — what happens if the UK breaks up in the next few years?

    The Scottish independence vote was close enough the last time. Now with Brexit being foisted upon Scotland, maybe they will have had enough and leave @TommyButler?

    Reply
  • Bul July 12, 2019, 9:01 am

    The way I see it, .uk has more bang than lets say .horse, .kiss, .vip .top and the so many .singulars and .plulars and the so many senseless new extensions out there. Any of you bought .la and .whocares? I personally only bought 2 domains in the .uk name space for industry categories I understand well enough. So I dont know if you’re missing something or we are wasting money. But regardless, if you bought takeaway.uk or insurance.uk or crypto.uk at godaddy for $6 you would be fine come what may.

    Reply
    • Logan July 12, 2019, 2:38 pm

      Analogously, I hand registered insurance.so and debtconsolidation.so years ago when .so (Somalia) opened up. For over five years there was absolutely no interest from anyone. Now, Somalia is obviously no United Kingdom. But, my experience shows that major, commercially lucrative keywords in the wrong extensions can be pretty much worthless.

      Reply
    • Snoopy July 12, 2019, 4:23 pm

      Those names aren’t going to be buyable for $6, let’s be realistic. Say insurance.uk could be bought for $50,000, is that a good bet? I’d say the current auctions are overpriced, it is non UK people trying to superimpose successful cctlds on .uk. Putting more .uk’s in domainer hands will seal the extensions fate forever.

      Reply
  • BullS July 12, 2019, 10:28 am

    Too many dot whatever and nobody can keep track all of them except dot com
    New gtlds are worthless.

    Reply
    • Ethan July 12, 2019, 9:58 pm

      Another unsourced fabrication that tries to defame new gTLDs.

      Reply
  • Steven July 13, 2019, 11:41 am

    As a UK dev company, we’ve been building websites on .uk domains for years, (I think they launched 5yrs ago, but it seems longer).

    We always advise clients to register both the .uk and .co.uk, more forward thinking businesses tend to use the .uk primarily.

    Until last week only people who already owned the .co.uk could register the .uk. However anyone could register the .uk if the .co.uk wasn’t already registerd. So there wasn’t much scope.

    As of 1st July there is no more protection so anyone can register the .uk. However as nominet are greedy they auctioned them off between 1st July to 8th July privately. I wanted to register works.uk but it went before I could find a registrar that was part of the “selected early release registrars”.

    Also pretty much every 3 letter combo and 4 letter dictionary word I tried was already gone by the time the general public could buy them on the 8th July.

    I don’t know who has these domains and to what end because I can’t see people paying silly money for them.

    I bought nimo.uk from a seller several years ago for £200. I can’t see people paying more than a few £100 unless you find the right buyer who’s desperate.

    People are starting to use the new ngTLDs, like a co-working space aimed at tech companies we recently launched, they use leigh.works and the company is called “Leigh Works” so why bother paying over the odds for a .uk?

    Reply
    • Snoopy July 13, 2019, 6:38 pm

      Steven,

      For fresh registrations co.uk outsells .uk 10:1, that is from Nominet’s stats. So the vast majority don’t even bother with the defensive .uk registration when starting a new business.

      The idea that “more forward thinking businesses tend to use the .uk primarily” is self serving nonsense because that is what you use, most know to avoid it.

      Reply

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