What does the $500,300 sale of Vacation.rentals tell us about .rental domains?

I’ll just skip right to the punchline here, the $500,300 sale of Vacation.rentals tells us absolutely nothing about the value or liquidity of .rental domain names. Now I don’t mean for this to come off harsh, I’m a big fan of Donuts and like a number of the TLDs that they have. That being said, I think it’s really important, especially for new Domainers, to not take this sale as a benchmark for similar names.

While this sale is definitely great news for .rentals, and does show that someone out there will pay half a million dollars for a .rental domain, the fact is, this tells us very little about the market because it is without a doubt, an outlier. Of course if by the end of this year we see 10 – 15 more .rental sales all in the same range then I’ll say, okay, there’s something here, but my guess is this will be the highest .rental sale of all time.

Below is a list of all the recorded .rentals sales that Namebio has on file as of this post:


If you do the math here, the average resale price of a .rentals domain excluding vacation.rentals is $660. So if you buy a .rentals name, or a bunch of them, don’t expect to make a six-figure sale, look at the numbers here and be realistic.

Now, like I said in the beginning of this post, I don’t want you to read this and think, wow – Morgan really doesn’t like .rentals. I have no problem with .rentals and as I said above, I really like Donuts, they are an inspirational company and I’m a HUGE fan of the people who work there. I’m happy for them as this sale his instantly put the .rentals into the limelight.

What I do want people to understand is that you shouldn’t base your investment decisions on sales like these. There are a lot of new domain investors out there that might read news like this and immediately start buying .rentals domains. I’ve seen this happen time and time again. Fast forward five years later and it’s entirely possible that you’re sitting on all the names you bought, paying renewals every year and wondering when your big pay day is going to come.

If you want to experiment, sure go ahead and buy a couple .rentals if you think you have the opportunity to buy a really premium name. Just remember, with new gTLDs it’s usually only the most premium names that sell, and even then you could be waiting 5 – 10 years to get the price that you want.

I personally am not buying any .rentals or really any new gTLDs for that matter, I’m sticking with .COM and a few .IO and .AI names here and there. What do you think? Does the vacation.rentals sale make you want to go buy a bunch of .rentals domains or are you like me and sticking to good old .COM.

I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 16 comments… add one }

  • Saikot Paul April 12, 2018, 6:19 pm

    Pinkdo.com, Oniket.com…. for sale.
    Make offer for these brandable domains.
    Payment – Pay with Escrow.com

  • Matt Holmes April 12, 2018, 6:23 pm

    Couldn’t agree more! Although I can’t help but ask what we can learn about the buyer of that domain, that’s where there might be some actionable take-aways!

  • Snoopy April 12, 2018, 6:41 pm

    The price sounds very staged.

    • Reality April 12, 2018, 10:50 pm

      Exactly. Hard to believe the seller of that domain held out for $500,000. Any offer over $1000 would seem like a good price.

      • Snoopy April 13, 2018, 3:39 am

        The fact that it sold for $300 than the previous high sale suggests to me the marketing department has been heavily involved.

        Would love to see the actual contract.

  • ss April 12, 2018, 8:54 pm

    only brand a new gtld if you own the equivalent .com, as was the case here

    ie, using vacation.rentals would have been foolish without vacationrentals.com

  • Pierre Barnard April 12, 2018, 11:02 pm

    Spot on Morgan!

  • Leonard Britt April 13, 2018, 1:51 am

    Outliers – that is what most $1500+ domain sales are.
    Since you are closer to the startup scene, perhaps you would have insight into how often startups are willing to pay big money for a domain name vs. those who just make up something using whatever TLD they can find their desired keyword in. It seems very little value is placed on branding except for the rare company that produces these outlandish sales.

  • MO Department of Revenue April 13, 2018, 5:31 am

    Please report suspicious financial transactions.

  • JZ April 13, 2018, 7:20 am

    with new gtlds its about killer combos. what the extention is doesn’t matter. just that the combo is great together. like you i am not investing in newgtlds either though. a good percentage of the quality ones are held back by the registry or come with four figure renewal prices. the registry is the domainer when it comes to new gtlds. they are not domainer friendly. all of these great sales have been by the registry, not domainers.

  • Max Menius April 13, 2018, 10:44 am

    The surprising value comes from the perfect pairing of the left and right sides of the dot. When the left and right side fit ideally together, they supersede any other imaginable substitute. Miami.condos was acquired and developed around this very concept. Maybe MiamiCondos.com would be close. But that present day parallel is likely to fade with time. As new gtld’s become more assimilated, their exact match value will be more widely recognized and desired.

    I think the Vacation.rentals is a very good example of this. VacationRentals.com was part of a $35 million deal so in one sense is off the market (like many great .com’s). Based on that reality, Vacation.rentals was/is hands down the best possible choice. The logic here is undeniable. Or maybe just an inconvenient truth for .com purists. So today, a new gtld with a perfect left/right of the dot pairing is a close second to the perfect .com, and it may one day become preferable over the .com.

    • Snoopy April 13, 2018, 4:10 pm

      Hardly the “best possible choice”, it is a totally confusing choice. If the buyer really did pay 500k they are fools.

      • Michael Kugler April 13, 2018, 8:44 pm


        $500,300 😉

        Thanks for the compliment.

  • ss April 13, 2018, 12:34 pm

    i would only buy/brand a new gtld if i also owned the equivalent .com

    ie, vacationrentals.com + vacation.rentals

    without the .com, there’s too much traffic leakage

  • Michael Kugler April 13, 2018, 8:41 pm

    Hi Morgan,

    Appreciate the write up and wanted to speak to a few of the replies. I have played in the SEO game as well for a long time (20 years – Warrior Forum – SEMRush – SEO PowerSuite – Moz – and many others) As of right now, we are indexing faster than we expected and inquiries are coming in a little too quick as well.

    When someone says to me dot com dot net dot us my immediate question back is “What is a dot com?” When I tell the search engines we are a dot rentals – they know exactly what the site is and the niche area they need to put our site in – much like a Barnes and Noble directory tags showing a section for Travel or Music or Cooking. The old Barnes and Noble used to be fiction/non-fiction (.com – .net) Times are changing in my opinion.

    In the end, we are thrilled to have made the purchase – I have been chasing this domain for 2.5 years through a monitoring service and it took me (literally) 5 seconds to settle the deal and make the offer. (Yes, the $300 was on purpose – I wanted to knock Blake Janover off of the top spot with home.loans :D)

    In the end, we will market heavily and provide excellent customer service to our travelers and homeowners and I believe we will do okay with .rentals

    Have a good one, Mike

    • Morgan April 14, 2018, 8:27 am

      @Michael – thanks for joining in the conversation here and congrats again on the the purchase!


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