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.
From what I have been reading on Domaining.com and Namepros, it seems that others are also moving inventory.
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.
People are holding lots of cash. No travels,no sports cultural arts entertainment no restaurants no onsite shopping…nada…all money goes online shopping…my amazon Microsoft home depot stocks solid.
Office rental spaces will collapse, thanks to remote.
Housing prices will go up in certain vibrant locations because people want a nice home to work in and a big backyard…like mine
Domains will go up
Staying healthy and eating well will be in everyone’s agenda
I totally agree. I am seeing advanced major interest in my portfolio and generic names, and while it is still somewhat unclear about which industries will emerge as Winners and Losers coming out of this pandemic, it is safe to say high quality category killer generic names and Geo names will fall into the Winners category. In the Geo space, even with Gannett’s revenue getting pounded, their digital subscription base increased by 27% in the last quarter. Geo (specifically pure City .com names) are poised to be the new platforms of local news, and hyper local business, events, restaurant guides and more.
Geo domains? The geo market has collapsed over the last 10 years and will likely get worse with the tourism seeing a severe contraction.
Snoopy, I thought the pandemic will adversely affect the GEO domains too but I have seen more interest from people who want to develop sites (news, guide, info type sites) on geo domains because they are stuck at home and want to do something productive.
We own lots of news/blog domains for many cities worldwide and also about 900 town/city dot-com domains for India, and I am seeing a lot of interest on these domains. Perhaps they won’t be developed primarily for tourism but more for news/info/guide/advertising in my opinion.
Tourism has little to do with Geo sites these days; most people have accounts at Priceline, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia.com and Travelocity and others; Geo pure City .com sites serve a different market these days. Hyper local activity, events, local business articles, restaurants, jobs and more….and now that the daily print newspaper model is in ruins, our City sites are positioned to be THE platforms that will replace daily print in major markets. If I were to disclose the offers we have rejected recently for some of our top cities in our portfolio, “collapsed” would not be in your vocabulary. Time will tell, and it won’t be much longer.
I had the best ever start to the year, averaging about one sale per week…
But then, from mid March to mid April, no sales except one small $300 deal. I was quite worried about the impact of the pandemic, which might last for years.
But now, everything has roared back to life, it seems. My Uni Market dashboard is displaying that in the last 30 days, I have sold 5 domains for a total of $23,550.
Nice to read! Hope that keeps up.
@dave – what kind of names do you have and in what range of price have you sold them for? Do you keep them at “Buy it now” price? This has been the worst 3 months for me. If you can share it would be helpful and insightful. Thanks!
The biggest sale out of the 5 I mentioned was an exact match name which happens to be in the hot “EV” category. The other smaller sales were all quality brandable domains which is my specialty and I’ve been acquiring them for many years.
All my domains on the Uni Market are listed with BIN prices plus a “Submit Enquiry” field. Please note that I like the neutral phrase “submit enquiry” but do not like the phrase “make offer” because the latter one signals a hint of weakness or desperation.
I added the “Submit Enquiry” option to all my names in the middle of last year and noticed an immediate increase in sales velocity, though mainly on lower price names say around $2,000. This option seems to overcome the trust obstacle – once a buyer has contacted a Uni broker they then feel confident to click that buy button. The added Godaddy logo has also assisted the Uni landers by adding trust, I believe.
To get a perspective, I have about 2,600 names on the Uni Market. The last time I guesstimated, my average sale price was in the $3,500 range. Good luck Mo.
China plc is coming out of the virus. IMO China centric EMD’s have true future potential
as DCEP hits the finishing post:
I and many many people do not trust what coming out from China.
Do you really want to wear a mask Made in China?
What has that to do with registering China centric domains ?
Rather than risk catching the virus I do not GAF where they are made my concern is my family
I am seeing big increase in inquiries and traffic on the following type of domains:
Overall little increase on other categories too but most uptick is on the above categories.
I agree…sold 5 domains in last 2 weeks
3 more in negotiation/offers/counter
no 6 figure sales, all 5 and 4
not sure if this a trend or just luck
Hopefully the good trend will continue…
Do you have BIN or make offer on your domains?