Anyone with a computer and a credit card can register a domain name, but a .nyc extension is limited to a more select group. The Wall Street Journal points out that only local residents and business owners can purchase the domain, limiting the buying pool. There’s also a $20 wholesale registration price, which is nearly three times the $7.85 cost of a regular .com, which causes some .nyc domains to go for as much as $40 on sites like GoDaddy. This has resulted in a mere 78,000 .nyc extensions purchased since the websites launched in September 2014, bringing in only $2 million in revenue for the city.
Neustar, the registry service company that manages and markets the domain says these limitations were put in place intentionally, as “the high price discourages speculators who prefer domains like .xyz that often can be purchased for pennies.” And Jeff Merritt, the city’s director of innovation, adds that he’s happy with the small business nature of the domain, citing murraysbagels.nyc and flushingchamber.nyc as examples.
But despite a rather stagnant two years, some New Yorkers who were quick to get in on the game have made quite a profit off .nyc addresses. Queens teacher Matt Gill bid $2,903 for kids.nyc and has since been offered $8,000 for it, and a Manhattan podiatrist paid $60,920 at auction for marijuana.nyc.
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