As I wrote on my blog a couple of weeks ago, it appears that the owner of LI.com has decided to sell the name for $500,000. This comes on the heels of AZ.com selling for $500,000 at the DRT auction last week. Personally, I believe both names were undervalued, but I am sure it would be difficult for anyone to turn down a half million dollar offer.
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.
Believe it or not, sales from Moniker’s TRAFFIC auction in June are still showing up on the sales list, topped by Cardiology.com at $550,000.
I also notice a ton of sales made by the Afternic/BuyDomains combo. With the exception of a few sales, most of these domain names would seem to be “brandable” rather than generic keywords, which leads me to believe most of these were picked up by “end-users.” This is great for both NameMedia properties, as it shows they are targeting their end-user audience quite well. It’s nice to see them publicizing their sales to help propel the market forward.
According to Red Herring, Pharmacy.com is for sale. This is prime real estate just waiting to be developed into a business. According to Joshua Bourne, co-founder of FairWinds Partners (and also the President of the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse), the domain name is worth “way over $50 million.”
While this asking price is fairly unprecedented, a domain name of this caliber could be worth it. I believe sales based on revenue multiples alone are fairly short-sited, and it would appear that the owner’s models take this into consideration. It would be a boon to the industry if they get their asking price, although we probably won’t know the sales price unless it is purchased by a public company such as Wal-mart, who probably has the money to make this happen.
According to the Domaintools Blog, a rumored buyer could be CVS pharmacy, who would consider re-branding the company.
Back in June, I wrote about my first test with the Snapnames Seller Program. Because of the success I had in the first test, I decided to transfer 62 additional names for auction. The difference between this test and the first test was that I did not have any “premium” names listed. All of the names I submitted were generic names that I hand registered within the past couple of years and hadn’t developed.
Out of the 62 names I submitted, 42% of them sold. Although my first test had a sales rate of 63%, I would argue that there were better names in that lot. The only negative this time was that only 3 names went to auction with more than one bidder. One of the names sold for over $450 – not bad for a name that I hand registered about 6 months before.
Because I’ve realized that Snapnames can be a good revenue channel if the right names are auctioned, I have been registering many domain names with the intention of listing them after the mandatory 60 day registry hold period for new names. I have been evaluating the type of names that sold – especially the ones that went to auction during my two tests, and I’ve been registering similar names. Since many people search Snapnames using common high value keywords, I have been searching for these types of names.
Using the Snapnames service, the minimum sales price if only one bidder bids is $60, less 20% commission, yielding a total of $48 for the name. The cost of registering a name is $7 and the cost of transfering the name to Snapnames is an additional $7. The net profit for each name sold is $34. Based on that, I would need just a 38% sales rate to break even, and every one of those sales higher than the $60 minimum lowers the sales rate even more.
The new dashboard created by Snapnames is also very helpful. I can see if a domain name has bids, the date it ends, and who is bidding on the name when it goes to auction. I do have a couple of recommendations to improve the dashboard:
1) When a name is in auction, I would like to see the amount of time remaining rather than the end date. This would be similar to what is seen in the buyer’s dashboard.
2) Also, when names are scheduled, it would be nice to see how many bidders there are for the names that have bids. This could give me advance warning of whether a name is likely to sell for just $60 or if there are multiple bidders that will allow it to goto auction.
If you would like more information about the program, let me know and I will put you in touch with the director of the program.
I have an idea for a private auction service that can combine the efforts of a well-respected company like Moniker with the service of an exclusive domain broker such as Kevin or Alan. My idea is that a company creates a private auction for a single domain name on behalf of a client. The company would reach out to potential end users who would be most interested in purchasing the domain name. For example, if Candy.com was on the block, the company would reach out to Mars, Inc., Hershey’s, or Cadbury.
Similar to Scott Boras’, infamous blue satin binder he creates for every player he represents, the company would put together a formal presentation highlighting the attributes of the domain name and why it is of significant value. This presentation would be mailed to the C-Suite and Marketing Department of interested companies, and it would be followed-up with a call. The more highly the domain name is touted, the greater the interest.
Bidding on the domain name would be similar to the posting system in place for Major Leage Baseball teams to bid on Japanese baseball players. After a specified period of time, the executives would be required to submit a sealed bid for the domain name. On a set date, the auction company would provide the domain owner with the anonymous bids and allow him to review the bids. After 48 hours, the domain owner would decide whether to accept the highest bid or not.
Although there is more risk for the auction company than a standard auction, personally reaching out to end users is a much more lucrative audience than a domain investor conference. This service is also different than a broker’s service as the broker may not have the contacts in his rolodex, and this would be much more formal.