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Hypothesis on Expiry Auction Price Inflation


In my opinion, For at least the last several years, domain name auction prices have seemingly become inflated. Domain names I was buying for $100 or less seem to sell for $500+ at expiry auctions these days. Hardly a day goes by when there are good domain names available to buy for the minimum bid. It still happens, as I will share later today, but single bid auctions are much more difficult to find these days.

It’s not just one auction platform that has seen this. Pretty much every platform has seen more domain names sell and for higher prices, including GoDaddy Auctions, NameJet, DropCatch.com, and Park.io. It’s not necessarily a bad thing either, although it has made the process of acquiring good domain names for reasonable wholesale prices more difficult.

I believe there are quite a few factors, some being transient, that have led to this expiry auction price inflation. My hypothesis is that several factors, listed below, have contributed to the higher auction prices we have seen including:

IJ.com Brokered by Domain Holdings

Another two letter .com domain names has changed hands. When I received my daily DomainTools monitor email yesterday morning, I saw that a Whois change had occurred on the IJ.com domain name. The new Whois registrant is listed as Media Group of America LLC, which is the parent company of the Independent Journal Review.

After searching my email records for IJ.com, I saw that it had been brokered by Domain Holdings. I reached out to the company to see if the company brokered the sale of IJ.com, and Hobi Michalec confirmed that he was the broker of record.

Commenting on the transaction, Hobi told me,

Domain Holdings Publishes 2015 Q1 Report

Domain Holdings released its quarterly domain name sales report this afternoon covering the first quarter of 2015. The company announced it sold just under $5 million worth of domain names in the first quarter.

The company is reporting that things have been going quite well through the first quarter of the year. “Overall, Q1 was a great success and had an amazing start. We are expecting to have another solid quarter by increasing our sales through continued dedication to our existing clients (buy requests), secure more inventory, new relationship generation, maturing pipelines and new marketing campaigns.”

Some of the Q1 report highlights include the following:

Domain Holdings Hires John Mauriello

A few weeks ago, Domain Gang broke the news of an apparent staff shakeup at Domain Holdings. Theo Develegas reported that four employees were no longer listed on the Domain Holdings website: Alan Dunn, Giuseppe Graziano, Melissa Ucros, and Tracy Fogarty.

I recently learned that John Mauriello has been hired by Domain Holdings in the role of Managing Director. He will be responsible for the brokerage division of Domain Holdings.

John has considerable experience in the domain industry. John held a variety of positions at Snapnames and Moniker over a ten year period, primarily in a domain broker and broker management role. According to John’s LinkedIn profile, John helped to sell “over $50MM to start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, and domain name investors.” Some of the recent sales he listed on his LinkedIn profile include Hot.com, KK.com,

What Are The World’s Top 100 Websites?

How was your weekend? Hope it was great! Whether you find yourself in the US, Europe or Asia, you might be enjoying one of the several public holidays marked on the calendars across of the world. While in the US there was President’s day yesterday, here in Europe today we celebrate Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday” as literal translation. But the way these holidays are celebrated are nothing compared to the firework frenzy expected for the Year of the Ram arriving in China this Thursday or the famous Carnaval ending today in Rio de Janeiro:


On another note, the nice side effect that we are all enjoying is a quieter and less crowded  inbox. Also in terms of deal flow,  last week seemed pretty quiet compared to the massive sales happened in the previous weeks where  Porno.com and 360.com, both sold for staggering amounts in the 7 and 8 digits.  We actually  had a few readers asking how is it possible that such a sale price could be achieved for a domain-only transaction  and how that affects the value of the other numeric domains available for sale on the market.

Well, to give you more details about the 360.com transaction, it seems that the $16M  final purchase price resulted from a 3 year long negotiation where the seller  Vodafone, one the largest mobile operators in the world, turned down offers up to $14M for the domain. Many people are still surprised about how  the buyer, 360.cn, could afford such a high purchase price and pull the trigger on such a large acquisition. The answer again,  IMHO (or as Guy Kawasaki would say: “in my honed  opinion”), is not only due to

Domain Brokers Can Help You Contact a Domain Owner

In the Domainers group on LinkedIn, someone was asking about buying a domain name when the Whois email address was not working. In a comment in response to the query, Domain Holdings broker Joe Uddeme offered to help the buyer get in touch with the owner of the domain name. Not only is this smart networking, but working with a domain broker on the buy side of a deal can be a smart way to acquire a domain name.

Most of us know a domain broker as someone who can help a domain owner sell a domain name. Many domain brokers can also help a buyer acquire a domain name. I want to share some insight into this aspect of a broker’s job and discuss why using a domain broker to acquire a domain name might be something to consider when you are looking to buy a domain name.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot of tricks to enable me to get in contact with a domain name owner. Most successful brokers are

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