Good question... I dunno what is the right answer. I'll do some poking around and get back to you if I find an useful answer. You should email the people at 123 reg as they probably can help you..
It just comes down to what people know..
I'm sure a majority don't even know what ".com" stands for. They just automatically register it in their head as what they need to type in to go to a website...
There is always market for .net, but .com still rules..
In non-US country, the .net has some value...
I fully agree with goPC...net is good for social networking sites. For instance, dating.net is good for a dating social network, etc..
Product keywords like tent.net or hammer.net wont do very well for .net but "industry"/hobby/interest group kinds of generics should do very well, in light of the social networking craze nowadays..
So, go for those .nets in that sense and you should see it's value rise very fast. To flip .nets fast, is not going to make much $$ but to develop the right .net into a social network should reap lots more returns. So, it will depend on whether the owner wants to develop or flip..
I bought ScubaDiving.net last month just to take advantage of this idea and I think it is a perfect name for a social network for scuba divers..
In addition to seeing network sites using .net, i've been seeing a lot of internet-savvy groups going for a .net rather than .com/.org (tech forums, clans, etc). if the name and purpose fits the .net extension, and the end-user isn't trying to flat out sell something, then they should go with a .net. it could just be that there are more businesses on the internet than .net-type groups...
I agree, that .net is VERY under-used. I have seen .com domains with 10,000+ offers where the .net is freely available. I think .net is sometimes more appropriate than .com especially when it is used for a non-commercial site. I think the .com will slowly become less favored, but it seems to be the only choice for most HostGator buyers, who don't see any value in .net for some reason...
Well - If someone brands on .net , They will still lose some Traffic to the .com IMO .... So I'd have to question why anyone would "Brand" on it in the first place..
.Net is being used as the "Advertising on TV Domain" for many Gambling/Poker sites now because they have to somewhat (Restrictions on .com) But most of those still use or redirect through the .com version..
Most .net's I've owned were just because I owned the .com also and I can probably count the Total number of them I've ever owned on my fingers and toes..
It's just never had a "Business" Appeal to me - Dunno..
Lots of opinions and thoughts... that's great.
Some more to chew on....
A couple of points that were hit upon were part of the motivation of this thought process:.
1 - End-User value versus Domainer Value..
Dot Com is rediculously priced in the minds of most end-users. It's not likely that anyone other than a Billion Dollar company/corporation or such an individual will seriously consider a squated on HostGator for his new startup or his local business's expansion into the Internet..
This reality spurs the use of 3 and 4 word dot coms that more precisely define the nature or function of said business. GREAT for searches that are more focused do to the multiple wording, by the way. Small business can't and won't deal with the throngs of "generic" traffic that comes their way do to NOT being more precise in their advertising and marketing. Thus, generics for the mere mortal are a BAD decision..
At the same time, one and two word dot coms that would and do fit the needs of less than "status" companies are simply UNAVAILABLE at any reasonable price. But the .Net certainly could be. If I were a Plumber in the greater some city metroplex, CityMetroplexPlumbing.net might just be the ticket for sharing with my consumer base that I have a Network of Plumbers at the ready for the needs of some 15 Million people in that metroplex..
2 - Loosing traffic to .com.
In most cases, even it the end-user looses a bit of traffic to the .com, it still equates to traffic to the end-user he was most certainly NOT getting before. So what if "some" is going elsewhere. The benefit is still great to the end-user and if the marketing tie-in is capitalizing on the Networking aspect of the domain, really hammered on, the .NET becomes intuitive to his potential customers..
Getting back to the "Plumber" example... did you know that Plumber.com actually goes to a Roto-Rooter site? LOL! It's nice to see a generic being used by an end-user for a change... but look, Plumber.net is PARKED (as well as plumbers.net and plumbing.net) Not even being USED for it's intended purpose and I'm sure they want a pretty penny for it, despite the .net ext..
Even if they did, I bet it's far LESS than the dot com and much more valuable..
If I were Roto-Rooter... I might campaign the fact that Roto-Rooter has a National NETWORK of Plumbers that are readly and local, prepared to meet your challenges right where you are. Perhaps use a network of piping that connects New York to LA and everwhere in between with major cities and markets at major piping junctions across the map. A network of pipes, a network of technicians, a Network of Service... Plumbers.NET.
I could do the entire National add campaign for .NET and have better branding and effect that the price of the generic .com alone..
THAT's the value of which I speak. And if we can find a way to share that value with the end user purchasing base, you and I stand to capitalize on the untapped market in .Net potential..
Now, I just made the Plumber example up off the top of my head, but if I can find a way to link Plumbers to .NET, surely there are about a Million of other windfalls waiting to happen out there..
I should think that to be a successful domaineer any more, when generic dot coms are extinct and new opportunity only exists for the already successful.... one needs to think more like a BUYER than a SELLER, more like an End-User than a Domaineer. One needs to find a way to meet them half way and provide them real value in terms they recognize. Realize that they really DON'T want to appeal to the generic masses but rather to the specific buyers seeking their niche service or product..
Traditional Marketing and Advertising doesn't follow the mindset of domainers. It's a fact. While we buy, sell and expect massive pricing for the broadest possible appeal, Business pay staggering amounts of cash for the most focused and niche related advertising possible..
WirelessPhone.com (still just a Parking Site) last year sold for $355,000 Dollars while Better Homes $ Gardens Magazine charges Wireless Phone companies $365,000 PER MONTH for advertising on a full page. EVERY SINGLE MONTH..
Why? The Quality and demographically focused viewers of the Ads..
There's a whole new movement coming to Domainers that choose to be successful and it's NOT in being generic. It's about using domains and extension such as .net in ways that appeal to traditional marketing and business models that will engage and energize the End-user markets in new and exciting ways..
I just want to know who wants to be a part of it..
I have been registering general product domains in the .net extension. For instance, I have regged and sold babycarriages*net, bicyclehelmet*net, etc...although the sales were not for big $, I think there is good potential in these names, plus they are good for parking, as they seem to be highly-targeted..
It's almost impossible to find these names in the .com extension, but if you do some research you can find them in the .net..
Well, okay, maybe you haven't heard of a $10 mil .net sale is because it IS undervalued.......
I agree but you should know that .net and .com are the best HostGator names to have. I own the .net and that my main name of my website. I bought the .com and I'm using .net I simply forward my .com HostGator name to my .net website...
GoPC: like your thoughts ... and agree with you,.
Found it bad that the post was going into "Thread-Nirvana".
There is one more problem or fact, most domaining industry comes from US,.
And there is .com king. When domaining industry go to be more international,.
I think that there will be more .net sites, and more companies that dont want/cant pay .com pricing...
I make my own new thread about the .net and the need for a new tld...