Big Week in Domain Aftermarket

0

According to the weekly sales report distributed by DNJournal, last week saw some fairly strong deals. There were a few six figure deals, including the sale of Coffee.org, and the drop auction market was hot once again with some strong names fetching decent amounts. The real winner of the week was over at NameMedia.

Not only did NameMedia Senior VP Pete Lamson report to DNJournal that the company had a record first quarter, but May was also recorded as the best sales month in the company’s history. NameMedia’s Afternic DLS also closed 15 LLL.com domain names for $40,000/each last week.   Personally, I don’t own any LLL.com domain names by choice, but I think the purchase shows that the market for these types of domain names are as strong as ever, even with the risk seeming to grow.
Interestingly enough, I had been in contact with Bigfoot about acquiring Let.com from them about 15 months ago, and they were only asking $50,000 for it at that time. It appears they have since sold the name, which is perplexing given the fact that they just jumped in feet first with the purchase of 15 LLL.com names at retail price. I do think it is a good sign for owners of LLL.com names though who are looking to sell their names.
Numeric domain names appear to be hot commodities as well. Because of their relative short supply coupled with the number of uses for these names throughout the world, they always seem to fetch strong prices. I like the fact that numbers transcend languages and are important in many cultures. It is important to research what numbers mean in other countries though! I owned a few numeric names a while ago, and one of them happened to have something to do with death. I sold it ASAP.
It does look like the aftermarket is fairly strong compared to the general economy. I have been and continue to be a buyer both for resale and for development. Hopefully these trends will continue through the summer.

1 COMMENT

  1. hi elliot.. great site. I’ve been a subscriber to your feed for about a year now.
    i had something interesting happen last year. I sold ‘ideastorm.com’ for $25K. I’d registered the name back in 1998 and was only using it for email, ftp space, and a couple of blogs. I didn’t know at the time that the broker was working on behalf of Dell (computers). This was very well ‘hidden’ on the web. Trust me, i looked. 😉
    while i’m elated that i banked $25K for ideastorm.com, i have since bought ‘starsite.com’ from an individual ($5000) and would like to avoid making any rookie mistakes with regard to the domain’s value, etc.
    i didn’t buy starsite to flip it necessarily – i’m actually drawing up plans for a blog network there (starsite.com/mac, starsite.com/music, etc) – but i’d be open to selling the domain for a realistic offer before i get this show on the road. Until that time, i’d be curious to know your (or anyone else’s here) thoughts on how to build/protect the domain’s value.
    thanks so much.
    http://starsite.com/brian_resume.pdf

  2. Brian,
    I think your sale of ideastorm.com (though a solid name) was a great sale. Yes, it would be great to know the end user to “exploit” their coffers, yet I am sure you would feel worse today had the deal fell through. The fact that it was Dell hidden is nothing new in this space…it is comments and inquiry like this that we all have that provides the sole reason they use others to buy names.
    I would consider the same with starsite.com (another solid name) yet even here, my own view is $5k was not a steal. Was it worth it? Absolutely, for you want to use it, but I would be surprised if you ever saw a higher offer on this name than you did for ideastorm.com.
    Brandables have a huge “luck” factor in them to make it big…even the best brandables. Or maybe it is a patience factor. Regardless, it seems your first offer is many times your only offer for some more time to come.
    Just my thoughts.

  3. I agree with Greg. Hindsight is 20/20.
    Elliot gave me advice on a similar sale last year to a big company. Luckily they were dumb enough to negotiate using a big law firm so i knew somebody serious was behind them. Otherwise I would have taken $5k. It was the only offer i had had for the name.

  4. The most important factor in buying a domain name is intuitive traffic. However, if a name gets zero direct navigation, you could always rely on that other factor – luck. And betting on luck in the domain business is a risky game.
    I know what you’re thinking. “Did he fire six shots or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
    Clint Eastwood
    “Dirty Harry”

  5. @greg
    agreed.. i agonized over the sale for a couple days. I have no doubt they read through my blog(s), my reusme, had the domain appraised ($5000-$9000) and figured, “this guy is single, in his 30s, an IT manager, etc.. we’ll offer him 3x what it’s worth and he’ll bite”. And you know what.. they were right. 🙂 I’d have felt sick if i pressed the issue and lost it all. So i paid off some debt, bought a nice laptop and bought another domain.
    i know starsite.com ($5K) wasn’t exactly a steal.. but they were asking 12K and i /really/ wanted the name.. short, catchy, very brandable .com that was generic enough i could pretty much do anything with it. Ironically, that’s why they sold it at a ‘discount’.. they felt it wasn’t ‘specific’ enough.
    i’ll continue building up the blogs around my new ‘brand’ and see what comes of that. That’s the main reason i bought it anyway.
    what’s interesting is there’s a very large company called StarCite, giving me several hundred hits every month (due to typos). I may follow elliot’s advice and forward my root traffic to them for a little while and see if i hear anything from them. It wont disturb my blogs, as they’re another directory ‘in’ from there. Hrm..
    thanks everyone

  6. Brian –
    I would not advise forwarding the traffic to starcite. I believe you have a nice situation that brings you traffic and does somewhat increase the value of your name. By sending people to starcite.com, I personally believe (I am not a lawyer) you are intentionally starting grounds for loss is a UDRP – not malicious intent, but deception and confusion. Even with pure intentions, it looks bad.
    Trust me, starcite knows the obvious misspellings of their brand/domain and potential traffic leakage most likely. What companies have not determined usually is the value or availability to close that gap.
    I bought dad.net a while back to build a site for Dad’s and still will do so someday. Similar to your situation, and after I purchased it and I had no idea, there is another company .net with 1 more letter and this domain gets hundreds of visits monthly. I now know 2 things – 1) I will get many free eyeballs everyday and 2) I cannot use the domain ever in the same space or create any confusion.
    I think you create confusion forwarding to another company, even with good intent. It would be nearly impossible to argue after doing so that your intent was not to profit off the move.

  7. “Trust me, starcite knows the obvious misspellings of their brand/domain and potential traffic leakage most likely. What companies have not determined usually is the value or availability to close that gap.”
    thanks greg, good point.. i’ll leave well enough alone (no forwarding). It’s not my intention to be malicious/deceitful. I suspect i’d do better directing my energies into my upcoming blogs. 🙂
    this may not be the best place to ask this, but any thoughts on setting up a blog network via sudomains vs. subdirectories?
    thanks

  8. @brian
    “this may not be the best place to ask this, but any thoughts on setting up a blog network via sudomains vs. subdirectories?”
    –my thought – if using just 1 domain, yet multiple “properties”, subdomains. if using different categories and pages around same property, then folders.
    –also, Elliot has a nice post that received comments regarding using multiple domains. Check that one out. Not sure the post, but it talks about Lowell.com vs Lowellpharmacies.com and Adirondacks.com vs AdirondacksHotels.com I believe. Ex may be wrong, but scroll through the posts and you will find it.

Leave a Reply