Domain Auctions

Bookmarks.com – Smart Strategic Purchase

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At today’s Snapnames Live Auction at Domainfest, Lonnie Borck was the winning bidder for Bookmarks.com, purchasing it for $310,000. This is a fantastic domain name, and it is a great purchase to incorporate with his netRocket.com website, a bookmark scheduling service.
Bookmarks.com is the category killer domain name for netRocket’s vertical, and it was a smart purchase. Not only will this help drive targeted traffic to netRocket, it is also a nice defensive purchase, as it prevents another upstart company from owning the category.

Perfect Domain Auction Email Marketing Tactic

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The best direct marketing tactic for a live domain auction I’ve seen didn’t come from an auction house. Nope – it wasn’t from one of the major companies actually hosting the auction. Today I received an email from someone who has a domain name listed for sale in the upcoming DomainFest Snapnames Live Auction.

To Whom It May Concern:
Wu.net will attend the Domainfest auction (in person and also online) from Jan. 22, with reserved price of only US$ 10,000.
If you are interested, please visit their website as soon as possible, and make all the necessary preparations:
https://www.snapnames.com/liveAuctions.do
Thank you and good luck!
Meken”

I’ve seen many complaints from people who have names in various live auctions, and many of them are related to the auction house not doing a good enough job of bringing potential buyers to the auction. This seller isn’t going to simply rely on the auction house to bring a buyer for his name. He is going through his past emails, finding people who have inquired about this name in the past, and encouraging them to sign up and bid. I had sent him an email in October of 2006 when I was in the market for a 2 letter .net domain name.
I applaud Meken for not relying on Snapnames to bring potential bidders to the auction for WU.net (although with their fantastic auction inventory, I don’t think it will be a problem). I also happen to think he has a reasonable reserve price of just $10,000 for this nice domain name. I would bet that WU.net will have a new owner in a couple of weeks.

First Live Domain Auction of 2008

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After a week’s postponement, today marks the day of the first live domain auction of 2008. DomainTools will be holding their live auction, with the hammer scheduled to come down beginning at 2pm EST. There will not be a video feed for this live auction, as there will be no bidders in attendance.
I am not a bidder in the auction, nor did I submit any names, but I will be a spectator this afternoon. DomainTools is known for their innovative technology, and they’ve made a few improvements from their last auction, including a count-down timer for each lot. This will allow bidders to see how much time remains in each auction, although they are advising bidders not to wait until the last minute in case of computer errors.
It will be interesting to see how this auction plays out. I don’t see any premium one word generic names in this auction (at any reserve level), and those have typically been used to generate publicity in other auctions. Invention.com sold for $500,000 at the last DomainTools live auction. There are many low to mid quality names at reserves between $1,000 – $5,000, which may generate some interest, but I think its going to be difficult for this auction to break 6 figures.

Is Postcard.com For Sale?

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According to an Ebay listing, Postcard.com is currently for sale without a reserve. The current bid price is just over $11,000, but I think this will go much higher. From the listing:

“After over 10 years using this domain with great results, we have finally decided to pass it on to the “next generation” of entrepreneurs. POSTCARD.COM is now for sale!

We’re technically selling just the domain name but we are also willing to sell the logo, design and branding we created for our postcard printing company as well….

Thanks!
Alan Wolan
President, Postcard.com

This is one of those category killer domain names that could be used by a printing business as a new branding initiative. While some could argue that the plural Postcards.com is a better domain name, I think both are phenomenal.
One word of caution on this Ebay listing though. On the Postcard.com website, there is a note that says:

“PostCard.com
This domain name is currently NOT for sale.
For further information please fill out the form below.
Thank You.”

Postcard.com Home Page

Whois Lookups for Live Auction Domains

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One issue that is sometimes cited for low live domain auction sales is the lack of publicity. I have an idea that may help Jay Westerdal’s DomainTools live auction and perhaps other auction houses who are hosting domain auctions in the near future.
If Jay would add a link to Whois lookups for domain names that are up for auction, he could inform the searcher that the name will be for sale. This simple tactic would allow domain investors and non-domain professionals to see that the name they just looked-up could be acquired in an upcoming auction. For example, if someone looks up Whois.sc/WireRack.com using Domaintools’ service, they would be able to see that the name is not only for sale, but coming up for auction soon. With Domaintools’ interface, they could sign up and place a bid prior to the auction without much hassle.
I don’t know the technicalities involved with doing this, but it doesn’t seem like something that is difficult. With all of the mergers, acquisitions, partnerships…etc in the domain business, I would think this could be done for other auctions using other Whois look up services. It’s a simple idea, but it could be impactful.
***UPDATE BY ELLIOT***
Just received an email from Jay:
I would like to do that, and it will be done in 2008 at some point. However that feature is not done yet.

Domain Sales/Steals of The Week

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I don’t usually spend much time pining over recent sales, but I think there were two great buys listed in the DNJournal.com sales report this past week, both of which took place on GreatDomains. I think Our.com selling for $60,000 was a great price. I know what I said about 3 letter .com names, but this is a great 3 letter, one word name. As I said, there are some names that are worth every penny, and this is one of them.

In my opinion, the biggest steal was FatTuesday.com, which sold for just $16,500. This is the perfect domain name for a website about New Orleans and Mardi Gras. There is also a famous bar with locations throughout the east coast called Fat Tuesday, and they own the domain name Fat-Tuesday.com. They serve some pretty good mixed drinks like the “190 Octane” and “Hurricane.” I’ve been to a few Fat Tuesday bars, and its always Mardi Gras when you’re there! The buyer got a great deal on this one.

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