Conferences & Tradeshows

DRT Auction – An Historic Event

The Domain Roundtable Auction has ended, with the highest sales going to Invention.com, Rebate.com, AZ.com, Event.com, eTV.com and Army.org. Some could argue that a majority of the names in the auction were average (or below), reserve prices were set too high, or the auction took too long, but I believe this auction was a watershed moment in domain sales history. It wasn’t so much the names or prices of the sales (and non-sales) that were historic, but rather the auction platform itself.

To my knowledge, this was the first domain auction where there was a live Internet-based bidding tool along with a live video and audio feed. Users at home, numbering in the low thousands, were able to follow along with the auction and bid in real time. This stretched the reach of the auction from the few hundred in attendance to millions of potential bidders. The turnout wasn’t in the millions, but it was a good start.

I have always believed that live domain auctions should be simulcast over the Internet. After all, domain names are valuable Internet properties. Jay Westerdahl and his team at Domaintools deserve a huge amount of credit for being the pioneers in this endeavor. I suspect that other auction companies are going to have to follow suit or risk falling behind in the domain auction business.

With the high cost of domain conference attendance coupled with the expense of travel, attending live auctions can be a hardship on many domain investors. There are also many people who view domain investment as one small aspect of their investment portfolio, and others who buy domain names simply as a hobby. These passive domain investors aren’t likely to attend a domain conference, which was almost required in order to participate in past auctions (or pay a refundable fee to bid). When bidders don’t have to leave their offices or their couches, the domain auction process becomes more widely available to all, and it should bring strong results… and it was FREE to bid!

I will let others evaluate the auction for the names that were listed, the sales prices achieved, the length of time it took to get through 450 names, and everything else associated with the various aspects of the auction. For me, the highlight was the technical advances that were debuted today, and I certainly hope that this is the beginning of a new era in domain sales.

AZ.com – A Great Deal at $500,000

In my post on August 7th, I identified what I thought were the top 5 values in the Domain Roundtable Auction. According to the live auction interface, it appears that AZ.com has at least one bid for the $500,000 minimum and will sell today. I think anything under $1,000,000 for this name is a great deal for the buyer.

Domain Roundtable – Live Auction Interface

There is no need to have a live blogger at tomorrow’s Domain Roundtable live auction. All of the action can be followed live using the Live Auction Interface. If you sign-up in advance, you can even use the interface to bid from home. Although the selection of domain names isn’t as premium as some have hoped, I think this feature will set the auction apart from other auctions. Auction begins at 11am Pacific time.

Domain Roundtable – LIVE!!

Looks like there is a live feed to catch all the action at Domain Roundtable. I hope this feed is live during the auction tomorrow as well!

Click Here for Live Feed

Domain Roundtable Auction Preview

Jay Westerdahl and the Domaintools staff has released the preliminary list of 450 domain names scheduled for the Domain Roundtable auction on August 15th, in Seattle, Washington. Judging by the massive amount of comments on the various blog threads written by Jay, I would imagine that they received close to 100,000 domain name submissions from which to choose 450. As I posted in the comments section of the Pick The Winning Domains thread started by Jay, I was baffled at the comments from people who submitted their names. Just based on the sheer amount of comments (and presumably emails, too), Jay and his staff certainly had their hands full.

What were people thinking by submitting hundreds of domain names, when the auction was going to only include 450? If a person can’t pick out their top 10-20 names (maximum), they probably should be investing their money elsewhere. Needless to say, the preliminary list has been released, and here are some of my thoughts:

Great Names – Low Reserves!
Event.com – $165,000
DailyFeeds.com – $3,000
Rehabilitate.com – $25,000
RealityTelevision.com – $1,000
Growers.com – $25,000
(All of my names, but don’t have a need to over-sell them)

Great Names – Reserves Way Too High!
Sucker.com – $70,000 (Cool name, but not for $70k)
Technique.com – $149,000
Magicians.com – $200,000 (Unless David Blaine attends, no magician is paying $200k for this)
Baked.com – $75,000 (If the response to this on Ebay is an indication, it’s priced way too high)
Sculpting.com – $120,000 – (Good name, but I don’t see any artists shelling out big $$ for this one)
Autobiography.com – $179,000 – (Maybe the plural would be of interest to a book seller, but I can’t see the singular going for this price)
LoveStories.com – $100,000 (No side or top advertisers on Google for quoted phrase, Ovt with extension of only 149, and a $100k sales tag? Pass.)

Head Scratchers at Any Price?!
Rejuvinate.com/Rejuvinates.com – (How can you have a TYPO in a live auction?)
AquariumFishes.com – (Since when was “fishes” an acceptable term)
Concho.com – (Names needing a definition as a note shouldn’t be included)
GamesFlix.com – (Less than 50 results on all of Google for this term)
ComplaintsDept.com – (Maybe ComplaintsDepartment.com would be ok…)
CareerAdvise.com – (CareerAdvice.com would be good – CareerAdvise.com, not so much)
SkiSeattle.com – (Since when do people ski in Seattle?)
PizzaHats.com – (What is this?)
HummerRentals.com – (Isn’t selling a TM proof of bad faith?)
DomainsName.com – (This is a case where an extra letter kills all value)
SexualOrgasm.com – (Is there another kind of orgasm with which I am unfamiliar?)
BibleDude.com – (Ummm… no)
20Percent.com – (What’s special about 20%?)
ChinaDaddy.com – (Unless I am missing something, this isn’t good)
SevenSmiles.com – (Hmmm seems like a typo of SevenMile.com – not good)
FullClock.com – (What’s a full clock?)

I don’t see as many huge names as I have seen at TRAFFIC, but most of those seem to end without a sale. There are many decent names at reasonable prices, so I expect to see a good amount of names sell. Making it through 450 names in a live auction is very optimistic though.

While I wish Jay the best success with this auction, I am somewhat concerned that he will not be able to fulfill all sales. Without an agreement signed by the sellers, there is little that will force them to sell should the prices be less than they want, or should they sell elsewhere. I hope this issue is addressed between the time the list is finalized and the day of the auction.

Domain Roundtable Live Auction

http://blog.domaintools.com/2007/07/domain-roundtable-auction-process/

Looks like another player has entered the live domain name auction arena, and I think this should be good for the domain investment business. Of course I like the lower commission, free bidding without mandatory attendance, and other features that will make this a smooth auction. It seems like an auction with 450 names will take quite some time though. Also of interest is that they will only permit 20 names to have reserve prices of $100k or higher. I am looking forward to watching this live online and possibly participating!

Recent Posts

All Websites on .ZA ccTLD Need to Link to SA Coronavirus Website

3
The ccTLD domain extension for South Africa is .ZA, and it looks like many businesses uses the .CO.ZA extension for their websites. It looks...

LiveChat CMO Comments on LiveChat.com Acquisition

2
LiveChat is an online customer service software provider offering live chat support that can be utilized by its clients on their websites. The company...

GoDaddy: No Coronavirus Domain Names on Its Aftermarket

2
Yesterday afternoon, James Bladel, GoDaddy VP of Public Policy, published an article discussing what GoDaddy is doing to combat coronavirus-related fraud and abuse. The...

Prudential Files UDRP Against PRU.com

10
A UDRP has been filed against the valuable 3 letter PRU.com domain name. The UDRP was filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO),...

Dan.com Prohibits Coronavirus Domain Names

3
According to research from DomainTools, reported this morning by Domain Incite, "ore than 68,000 coronavirus-related domain names have been registered so far in 2020."...