The live domain auction held last Monday during NamesCon had several large sales. The total sales volume during the live auction was approximately $2.3 million. The NamesCon auction continues for two weeks (ending February 13) in the form of its extended auction hosted on NameJet.
Brent Oxley was the founder of HostGator, one of the world’s largest web hosting companies. Since selling HostGator, Brent has become an investor in high value domain names. From what I can tell, Brent primarily invests in exceptional one word .com domain names.
When NameJet revealed the list of domain names that will be up for auction in the NamesCon auction next month, I saw that Brent listed a large group of valuable domain names. I reached out to Brent to ask him what motivated him to list his domain names for sale via auction, and here’s what he told me:
“There’s a big difference between auctioning a domain with a reserve price and one without. All of the domains I listed have a minimum reserve price which means I can’t lose.
The auction will drum up a ton of exposure and could potentially bring in buyers that I haven’t been able to reach on my own.”
This is the first auction in which Brent has listed his domain names for sale. As he told me, in the best case scenario, he will sell inventory to net him millions of dollars, and in a worse case scenario, it’s an experiment that only costs him some time.
Here’s a list of Brent’s domain names that are up for sale in the auction:
NameJet will be hosting the NamesCon live and extended domain name auction at the end of January in conjunction with Right of the Dot (Monte Cahn). This afternoon, NameJet distributed a press release to announce some of the better domain names that will be included in this year’s auction. One domain name really stood out to me amongst the others.
DomainNames.com is listed for sale in the NamesCon auction with a reserve price range of between $300,000 – $400,000. From what I understand, DomainNames.com is a domain name that is owned by Network Solutions. If you visit DomainNames.com, you will be forwarded directly to Network Solutions’ website.
I find it interesting that Network Solutions has decided to sell this domain name. For one thing, the company is in the domain name business. Secondly, the company would effectively give a competitor the opportunity to buy the domain name and compete with it. Sure, one might see that DomainNames.com is being underutilized as a forwarder, but I don’t understand why it would be listed for sale publicly in auction where the buyer could be any company that bids highest above the reserve price.
Notably, Network Solutions’ parent company is Web.com, which also owns NameJet after acquiring Tucows’ ownership stake in the auction platform earlier this month.
Beyond DomainNames.com, some of the other exceptional domain names included in the auction are:
According to a press release that just hit the wires, Web.com acquired Tucows’ ownership stake in NameJet. With this acquisition, I believe that the auction platform is now solely owned by Web.com.
As you may recall, NameJet was initially a partnership between eNom and Network Solutions. The platform was owned by Demand Media, which owned eNom, and Web.com, which owned Network Solutions. Tucows acquired eNom in early 2017, and with its acquisition of the registrar, it also acquired a stake in NameJet.
My quick thought is that this will be good news for NameJet and its users. I presume that having two different publicly traded companies own NameJet could have been difficult to get things done. This should help streamline things for NameJet leadership, and hopefully it means Web.com will continue to invest in the platform. I am sure there are plenty of improvements that could be made, and having one owner should help in that regard.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the eNom expiry stream now that Tucows doesn’t have an ownership stake in the NameJet auction business. I believe Tucows has been sending its expired domain names to auction at GoDaddy Auctions. I think the majority of domain names I win on NameJet are registered at eNom, so that will be something to watch.
I am sure there is more to come….
The press release is below:
At the top of NameJet’s “The Drop” list of domain names that are pending delete is the Undergraduate.com domain name. It has been registered at Uniregistry, and it is currently in “On Hold” status until it deletes, at which point drop catching services will compete to grab it and re-register the domain name.
Undergraduate.com is quite valuable, and the domain name has been sold publicly at least twice before. NameBio shows two public sales records:
- $22,000 via Sedo in May of 2011
- $22,301 via NameJet in March of 2014
Once the domain name drops and is caught by a third party, the domain name creation date will reflect its 2018 registration.
At the present time, I can see that there