Afternic sold just a hair under $800,000 in domain names last week. AskYourDoctor.com led the way, selling for $70,000. Sales in three categories – society, shopping and business, accounted for over 35% of sales for the week. A name that I recommended a couple of weeks ago, GoBags.com, sold for $4,500. Knowing the buyer and his background, I would bet that this is going to turn out to be a great website.
Afternic’s public sales from last week are listed below:
I know you talked about “Go Bags” for hurricane’s but they could be a portable toilet for some as well 🙂 Not saying that is what the domain will be used for but when you gotta go, you may just need a go bag.
I know who the buyer is, and I am fairly sure he won’t use it as a portable toilet site.
I’m sure Jeff will do something interesting with it.
I’m sure sometimes domainers will often look at these lists and say, “Why did that name sell for that price? I have a name similar to that.” Of course it only takes one buyer with a fat wallet and a seller with good negotiating skills to extract a big paycheck. But I’m just curious if the sales figures which get reported by the major aftermarkets have any independent audit process to validate them. Before a publicly-traded company reports their annual results via a 10K, there is an audit which must take place and management must make certain assertations regarding the reported results. Sarbanes Oxley actually criminalizes fraudulent financial reporting. Does that happen in the domaining industry or do we just blindly assume that these sometimes questionable sales figures really occur? And if they don’t, fill in the blank….
Something ain’t right in these after market sales and results. How can I have similar or better domains, as well as some other domainers, in all these after market sites, and doesn’t produce similar results? It’s not scientific at all. Somebody is doing something. It doesn’t add up, Leonard, you’re damn right.
You do have to wonder about some of the stated sale prices at auction, and the mystery deepens when we understand that a domain auction “lives and dies” on it’s ability to attract sellers and sell names at a good price…
Most of those domains are BuyDomains’ inventory so Afternic continues to shun the average Joe who used to do very well with them.
Plus, Afternic’s online system is a horrendous interface, very clumsy and very hard to use. Listing domains with them results in domains waiting forever to be approved and I found that I had to track people down just to get them to approve listings and, well, simply do their jobs.
No more afternic for me. They’re going to favor selling something out of their inventory of 3+ million names over my 1500.
For the first half of 2011, vs. 2010 sales of listed names are up 58%…And the sales are generated off of inbound leads, in most cases. So there is no “push” to preferentially sell owned inventory over listed inventory.
However, there are factors driving sales which should be noted:
1. DLS Premium, names must be priced. Many of the listed names are not priced, and thus do not get maximum exposure on the largest available network (that includes 6 of the world’s top 10 resellers).
2. Owned names are parked and so have a “for sale” link at the top of the page. When a prospective buyer types the domain in directly, they see that message and a lead is captured. A significant portion of listed names are not parked, so do not display this link. We generally see a 2-5x lift in sales when this link is displayed for any type of name.
3. When a name is not priced and an inquiry for a listed name comes in, the sales rep must reach out and get a response from the seller. If the prospective buyer has a number of names in mind, they may opt to move on and buy a different name.
We are actively working on projects to improve the user experience–from getting names live on the site after basic verifications, to designing a user interface that is efficient and clean.
We absolutely appreciate suggestions and feedback, and have gathered a great deal of input from customers, All of this is being factored into current projects.
I am more than happy to hear from anyone that has suggestions: eobrien [at] namemedia.com.
Happy to see a few of mine in this weeks list and will have a couple in next weeks.
Since we don’t know whether a domain was sold at its asking price, floor price, minimum price or an offer somewhere in between, it’s hard to know how the sales happened. With various factors involved, not all domain sales have the same scenario.
For example, if your domain was sold at a figure between asking price and floor price, maybe your rep was negotiating well with his/her skill. Maybe the buyer was hungry but they didn’t have the budget to pay your asking price, so they made their best offer. It happened that their best offer was between your asking price and floor price, so a sale was completed. In this case, the rep’s skill didn’t really play a significant role.
What we’re getting weekly is the resulting prices (if they’re all true) to give us an idea of what’s going on. It doesn’t mean a similar domain will be sold later at a similar price. It could be the only domain sale in that market to sell for such a price.
It is encouraging to sellers that, there’re domains sold with good prices all the time. Best of success.
GoBags would have never sold without your earlier post about it.
I think the name sold itself, but I brought attention to it when I saw it for sale. I am looking forward to seeing the site.
@Ellen: The interface has been ‘worked on’ for 6 years now. Its time that excuse stops. Back in 2005 and earlier, the interface was perfect. And problems were addressed immediately. After the sale, the system went down hill and if you dont agree with me then thats one thing; but if you dont *believe* me then all you need to do is search.
When you do, you find scary things like this:
But, when you’re a customer you do not need to search to find things like that – you experience it. You read about the problems that never seem to get fixed and constantly recur, in your own Afternic forums…. Its amazing to see people complaining about the same bugs from 2006, 2007 and on – to this very year!!!
The bottom line is that the Afternic system is the most bug-ridden, untested, domain listing platform out there.
The experience is dismal, at best, and not worth listing domains when it takes weeks and then emails upon emails to get them “approved”. Its like, the lights are on but no one is around over there.
Nah…. too many software developers out there that can build their own listing systems.
And, regarding the statement that there isnt preference to BuyDomains’ inventory…. how cam there not be? Do the math. BuyDomains domains are generally domains that are priced ending in “88”. There are 90 out of 265 on that list. 34% If there are, lets guess, 20% of the remaining domains that are not priced in 88 on there – from BuyDomains’ inventory then we’re looking at almost 50% of that list being BuyDomains’ sales and the other 50% is the average joe’s.
Not very good odds for someone with 1000 domains, 700, 500, 250, or even worse FIFTY domains to sell. Especially when they may revert back to “pending review” OR, worse, the pricing changes and no edits were ever made! Yep, thats happened to me one too many times. Very scary to log in and find out that you’re $1000 listing is now 750 (which was a PREVIOUS price some time back).
Its very apparent that there cant be too many good programmers over there and thats ashame because when it was small little afternic in Florida – it was so much better.
There is a long way to go before I ever reconsider trusting my domains there. I sell 10+ per week on my own without any assistance from “a large brokerage” anyway. But what about the others out there?
By the way, Ellen, that “Mike” on Jul 09 at page:
is not me. But it may as well be. Mike, Leonard or Sameh — doesnt matter… they’ve all experienced what myself and a myriad of others have and its what I posted above.
Its probably best to tear Afternic down and rebuild it properly and from the ground up -OR- just reinstate the old system that was purchased from the former Florida company. At least it worked.
I appreciate the discussion, and I understand that there are real concerns here. I did not say that things were being addressed to be glib. There is a very serious commitment to addressing these issues, how would sales for 3rd party domain sellers have jumped 58% in the first half of the year compared to 2010?
And I’d say that comparing a platform with many millions of domains to one that was tiny, by comparison, is perhaps not a realistic analogy.
As for sales: I mentioned several significant factors which do drive sales. If a significant portion of sellers do not follow the optimization path for sales, that will be reflected in what is sold.
As I mentioned in the earlier comment: most leads are inbound, so if your name is listed, has the “for sale” tag and is priced and a lead comes in, the team will negotiate a sale.
I’d also say this: membership is free, there are no “up front” fees–so you can list your domain on DLS and elsewhere without penalty. Why not pursue every available avenue?
Oops — “how else” — hit submit button too quickly.
Didnt think you were glib. However I have heard that line so many times now that it doesnt register with me. Do you know what I mean? “we’re working on it” can only go so far when its continually not working or suddenly stops working like it used to when I heard the “we’re working on it” phrase. The same things are constantly a problem and not only is THAT the problem but the fact that its constantly a problem is also a problem. It means fixes arent going in correctly or code is being overwritten or not controlled properly or the database is being restored on top of itself – thereby wiping out changes we’ve made… The problems are very deep and disturbing.
Maybe its time to outsource the system design and development to someone else who can develop a bulletproof listing and brokering system. Outsource not meaning to China or India – please. We have enough of that going on these days. There are plenty of very very good software developers right there in your area or elsewhere in the U.S. I am one of them. 🙂
Why not pursue every available avenue? Because this particular avenue has been riddled with potholes and has destroyed the “vehicle” so to speak. The ride is not enjoyable at all. has been years of frustration with a system that has wasted my time and really tested my patience. If I could invoice the amount of my wasted time then I would have a nice chunk of money.
Time wasted writing emails, producing screen shots, following up on why emails werent responded to, trying to pin down the status of what the issues are…. It was so bad that I had thought that my account was hosed so i asked for an entirely new account. No difference. Then I looked online and saw many, many others describing the same issues and realized it wasnt me or my account or my names… I began to realize that I was debugging a system that I didnt develop at my expense and my time. I cant do that. I need to get paid for what I do and services I provide just like I am not going to sell domains there and not get charged a fee, correct? OK.
It became so tiring for me that I will not try it again. Fool me once, fool me twice and in this case – fool me a dozen or more times as I tried to give the benefit of the doubt and second/third/fourth and more chances.
As you have confirmed, most leads are inbound and that goes for my leads as well. As I mentioned, I am a software developer by day but I dabble in domains on the side. Having become fed up with buggy online systems (Afternic is not the only one with trouble, but it is the worst hands-down – by far), I have developed my own system to handled these inbound lead for myself. I weed out bot traffic and close sales on my own. Maybe someday I will open it up to others but if I did then I would have to give up my day job because I would want to provide top-notch service to people and not let something run on auto-pilot, which is the feeling I got each time I was involved with trying to list and sell names at afternic. I am not ready to give up my day job just yet though, but who knows what the future holds.
Just be certain that its not rocket science to be able to create a system like that. And the “old” Afternic system from days long past was certainly capable of scaling to million of domain names and transactions because I know what software was being used and its probably the same core software products to date. I spent a lot of time discussing changes and suggestions with a developer back 7-8 years ago going by the handle or name “BD” and he was on the ball when it came to fixes, updates, etc. They all were.
The bottom line is that I have wasted a LOT of time with this topic and I dont understand why I continue to. 🙂 I just spend 30 minutes replying, just to this, and if I could invoice for it, that would be another $50 — so there is my point.
Good luck, I hope Afternic works it out because that would be good for all domainers but if not, there’s always plenty options AND opportunities for people.. 😉