The past two weeks have been busier than I expected in terms of domain name sales. I sold a handful of inventory-quality domain names through a variety of channels. I closed deals via DAN, GoDaddy, and direct negotiations via Embrace.com. There were no home run sales, but I was happy closing 5 figures in deals considering current economic conditions impacting businesses throughout the world. Again, these were middle of the road, replaceable domain names that I was happy to move, with the majority being BIN-priced inventory.
Frankly, when I returned from Costa Rica at the end of February, I thought sales would be pretty dead through the Spring and perhaps into the early Summer. Even GoDaddy warned about softer sales at the higher end of the aftermarket in its Investor Day presentation (page 75). For me, that has rung true, but the lower end sales continue to help fuel my business.
This past Friday, Andrew Rosener from Media Options commented about his company’s sales, and he said it was the strongest week of the year for him:
Ok, so I know I’ve been all ‘bah humbug’ about the market, but we just closed our best week of the year in sales, and NOT because of a single outlier, although there was one, there were a number of very solid sales that CLOSED.
Domain names may have reached a tipping point.
— Andrew Rosener (@andrewrosener) May 8, 2020
From my own observations, it seems like the domain aftermarket is still performing relatively strongly. People may have lost their steady employment but are using saved money or stimulus money to buy a domain name for their own business. Companies may be using available funds to upgrade their domain names. Whatever the source of the funding is, domain names are continuing to sell.
If I were to guess, I think we will likely continue to see solid domain name sales in the short term, at least. In the post COVID-19 world, I anticipate people will be more likely to start a business online, and great domain names are still cheap compared to retail space. It has always seemed like a no-brainer to me to buy a high quality domain name for a one time payment of $25-50k than to spend $25k+ a year in rent and utilities for a small retail shop in a small town in America. Even if an online business fails, a good domain name will retain value while rent is a sunk cost.
Hopefully, you are also closing some deals. Feel free to share what you are seeing in the market.