Domain Auctions

Domain Madness Final Tally: $136,320

In what turned out to be an exciting hybrid live/silent auction, Domain Madness ended on a strong note, achieving a sales total of $136,320. The majority of the bidding took place during the live auction, led by Mike Fiol and Sevan Derderian, who served as auctioneers, live from The Palms in Las Vegas. Additional bids were also received after the live auction ended.

The inaugural Domain Madness   was watched virtually by over 200 viewers. Some of the biggest names in the industry participated in the bidding, as seen in the bidder nicknames. It was fun watching Mike and Sevan interact with the rest of the Domain Consultant and Thought Convergence teams and guests who were in the background of the Kingpin suite at The Palms.

I believe this was the first live auction held over the Internet that didn’t take place during a domain conference, and it shows that these can be successful.


Domain     Reserve       Sale Price       USD$ 5,000       USD$ 6,000       USD$ 3,000       USD$ 4,500       USD$ 2,500       USD$ 2,500       USD$ 250       USD$ 1,100       USD$ 2,800       USD$ 3,500       USD$ 2,300       USD$ 3,320       USD$ 3,500       USD$ 4,700       USD$ 3,600       USD$ 9,000       USD$ 1,000       USD$ 1,400       USD$ 2,400       USD$ 3,000       USD$ 0       USD$ 7,000       USD$ 2,200       USD$ 3,300       USD$ 500       USD$ 1,600       USD$ 28,000       USD$ 55,500       USD$ 1,500       USD$ 2,600       USD$ 1,700       USD$ 3,800       USD$ 0       USD$ 3,000       USD$ 13,000       USD$ 15,000       USD$ 2,500       USD$ 2,500       USD$ 2,400       USD$ 2,400       USD$ 400       USD$ 600

Domain Madness Final Hours

There are just a few hours remaining to bid in 2009 Domain Madness. As the clock ticks down, bids have been coming in, although there are many domain names that are just below their reserve prices. I expect many of these names to sell, so take a few minutes and get your bids in to avoid being shut out at the last minute.

Some of my good friends are at The Palms in Las Vegas, and they will be coming at you live shortly as the auction winds down. There will be a live video feed available as well.   I hear Adam Strong will be doing a shot after every sale… (don’t worry – he’s shooting girlie drinks).

Just to add my own personal plug here, I am selling at auction. I originally listed it here for $7,000+ and the current bid is just $2,400.   It’s slightly under the reserve price at the moment, but based on a few questions I’ve received, I think there will be enough interest and bids, and the name will sell.

Bido to Run Charity Auction for Animal Org

Sahar Sarid has announced that his domain auctionhouse Bido will run a charity domain auction for   Hacienda de los Milagros, an animal sanctuary and rescue center that is supported by my friend and private domain board founder Donna Mahony. The auction is for a small portfolio (and growing) of animal-related domain names.   The auction starts on April 1st at 1pm.

Domain Madness Details

Domain MadnessDomain Consultant has released the official schedule for their Domain Madness auction (and contest), which begins on March 19th and runs through the 31st. For those who aren’t college basketball fans, the theme of the domain auction is derived from “March Madness,” which is the NCAA College Basketball tournament that takes place every March. There is a bracket of 65 teams, and the games are played knock-out style.

The Domain Madness Contest is free to enter and involves picking which names in the auction will or won’t sell. Points are assigned for each correct choice, and the entrant with the most points will win the $1,000 grand prize.

Below is the official schedule for Domain Madness: March 19th: – Catalog Announced – Contest Voting Opens March 26th: – Contest Voting/Entries Closed – Auction Opens: Pre-Bidding March 31st – 2pm CST: Pre-bidding Closes – 2:15-4:00pm CST – Live Auction Finale Begins For more auction and contest information, visit the Domain Consultant website.

Selling Your Domain at a Live Auction


*Pre-post edit* I know Rick is about to discuss his take on auctions, but this is what I wrote in anticipation of my aunt’s funeral I am sure my post is much more tactical but I wanted to preface it anyway.

After every live auction, no matter who is running it, I always see complaints about selling domain names during these auctions.   Some of the most standard complaints that I always see include:

1) They charge too much commission for doing nothing
2) There isn’t enough time between when the final list is announced and the auction is held
3) The auction house doesn’t market the names to end users
4) The reserve prices are too high
5) The names suck

I am guilty of lodging at least one of these complaints at some point – and probably more than just one. However, instead of continuing to complain about the live auctions, I think we should be more proactive when we have a domain name listed in the auction, and we should take it upon ourselves to market our domains. For the sake of this post, I will hypothetically say that is going to be sold at a live auction.

Upon submitting the name to the auction house, I would assume the name would be accepted to the live auction because I know it’s a high quality domain name that gets a lot of search engine traffic (5,000+ visitors). That said, as soon as I decide to sell the name at auction and submit it, I would begin my marketing campaign rather than waiting until it is (or isn’t) officially selected.

I would compile a list of all commercial pet businesses with a web presence, affiliate companies selling bird products, and bird-product advertisers on Google. I would get as many email addresses as possible from the corporate websites, and I would use social networking tools like LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook to find other decision makers where the corporate site failed. I would also search for email addresses on Google from press releases and guess email addresses by finding the email system (like elliot.silver or esilver) and taking a chance.

Each of these decision makers would then receive an email notifying them of the upcoming auction with details about the domain name and the auction. I would include traffic stats (# visitors, search engine visitors, keywords…etc) and I would include search engine ranking statistics. Because of spam filters, I would also send out Federal Express packages with the same information.

In addition to traffic information, I would include general information about the auction and include the auction house president’s email address and telephone number for sign up. I wouldn’t want the CEO of a large pet company to call the main phone number and end up with someone who didn’t know squat about the auction or was otherwise clueless. I would let each person know about bidding options, including bidding online, proxy bids and telephone bids, to make it as easy as possible to sign up.

I would also add a graphic on the navigation of the website with a link to a page on the site announcing the auction. This page would include most information about the site/domain along with bidding information. Finally, I would let my advertisers and competitors know about the auction, in case they wanted to buy this category defining domain name. I would do whatever I could do to sell my domain name.

It’s become pretty clear that domain auctions are attended by domain owners who probably aren’t the best buyers for niche domain names – especially in the economy. If we list domain names for sale that don’t sell at the prices we want, we only have ourselves to blame.

Incidentally, early in 2007 (or maybe late 2006), I sold what was then the highest value domain name that I owned for $20,000 in a live auction. Prior to the auction, I emailed 15 companies with information about the auction, and two companies replied to me. Although a domain investor won the name, I don’t know if these two (or other) companies bid it up from the $15,000 reserve price.

If we want to sell our domain names for the optimal price, we need to find the optimal buyers on our own.

Domainer Mardi Gras Auction List Released

banner250x2The live auction list for’s Domainer Mardi Gras auction has been released, and there seems to be some pretty good values in the list. The auction will be held live and simultaneously online on Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 2:45pm (EST).

Below is the most updated list that I have, and the names I like are bolded.   As a FYI, is a domain name I am selling, and I priced the reserve much lower than my clearance price to drive interest.

If you can’t make it to the conference, register to bid online ASAP.

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