Did you know that you can see the most watched auctions in each category on Ebay? Check out pulse.ebay.com and select the category of your choice. Personally, I keep my eye on the Domain Name section.
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.
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.
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.
I received the following email on Sunday regarding changes in the Snapnames commission plan. While the commission plan is good news for higher value sales, names that only sell for the minimum of $60 will have the commission rate more than doubled. Instead of paying a $12 commission on a $60 sale (20%), we will now pay the new $25 minimum. With this in mind, I am going to have to reevaluate the domain names I submit for Snapnames auctions, as most of my sales were for the minimum.
After much hoopla, the final Domain Roundtable live auction list was released at 12:00AM this morning. About 35,000 total domain names were submitted for this auction of only 450 names. Kudos to Jay Westerdahal and his staff for devising a system to rank the best names, and then for manually reviewing the names. I believe that it is essential for a domain expert to review the domain names, which is what took so long for the final list to be released.
While there are a few high value domain names in the auction, there are also quite a bit of so-so names (at least in my opinion). The challenge will be to run this auction without losing the attention and interest of bidders, which is difficult even in a smaller auction.
I believe the top 5 values in this auction are:
AZ.com – $500,000 (just look what the folks at NV.com are doing)
Copies.com – $80,000 (many uses for this great name and a fair reserve price)
Rehabilitate.com – $25,000 (low reserve for hot keyword)
FinancialCounseling.com – $5,000 (owners says it earns $30/month in ppc, valuing it at $3,600 on 10x revenue multiple alone)
Event.com – $165,000 (30,000 visitors/month! Best value in the auction)
Southerner.com – $6,000 (yes, it’s mine, but I think the price is right)