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One Thing That Bothers Me About Sedo – Seller’s Listing Price

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Sedo

A few years ago, I made an offer on a domain name on Sedo for something like $1,000, and the owner counter offered at over $50,000. I immediately hit the cancel negotiations button knowing the difference was too great of a gap to overcome. A few moments after confirming the cancellation, I received an email from Sedo congratulating me on buying the domain name, and for the next few days I frantically did what I could to make sure the sale wasn’t enforced.

As a result of this, up until recently, I haven’t bid on many domain names using Sedo. On top of the problem I faced, I just don’t like the process of using a company to negotiate with a domain owner on my behalf, and I usually sell my inventory of domain names so quickly, it doesn’t make sense to put them up for sale on a platform like Sedo, as I would then have to take them down when they sell.

Over the past couple of months, I have been using Sedo more often to make offers on domain names. One thing that really aggravates me is the the Seller’s Listing Price. If a seller has a listing price, I should be able to buy it right away if I offer that price. The sale should be completed rather than starting a negotiation if I give the seller what he wants. I made an offer on a name that matched the listing price, and I still haven’t heard back. IMO, there should be a Buy It Now button if you don’t make an offer that is lower than the asking price.

My second issue is probably more of an error but I don’t use Sedo enough to know if it’s a one time error or something that happens more frequently.   There was a name on Sedo with a Listing Price of $375, and I tried to buy it for $375. For some reason after placing my bid, I got an error message saying the minimum bid is $1,500. I understand that this may have been a mistake, but I don’t know how Sedo’s system didn’t catch the error, as it shouldn’t allow someone to set an asking price lower than the minimum bid they would accept.

I wanted to share a couple of thoughts about Sedo as I have been using their system more frequently.

Sedo Nominated for Bridging the Gap Between Domain Owners & Trademark Interests

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SedoOftentimes, trademark holders and domain owners or investors have opposing viewpoints on domain ownership. Both parties frequently feel that they have the right to specific domain names, and the battles to get them can either be fought through a mediation-esque procedure like UDRP or through the legal system.

Recently, Sedo along with Google, Yahoo, Overstock.com and Research In Motion were nominated for a 2010 World Trademark Review (WTR) Industry Award for Internet & Online Services in the category of Legal Team of the Year. According to the press release I received, Sedo was nominated “for its ability to educate and counsel businesses on how to protect their own intellectual property (IP) rights and expand their brands online.

Sedo has been in the middle of many high profile public domain sales, and they have also acted as the broker for a significant amount of private domain sales that will never be reported. Many of these sales are made between trademark interests and domain owners, and the company is able to work out a fair agreement between differing philosophical opinions on domain ownership rights.

There are many groups that work for and with trademark interests, and some seem to prefer to bully and battle domain owners rather than work together with them. Sedo seems to be bridging the gap between trademark holders and their interests, and domain owners and investors.

Saturday Afternoon (Hangover) Updates

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Good afternoon and happy Saturday! Here are some updates for this fine weekend.

  • I don’t own any .tv domain names, but if you do buy this type of domain name, you might want to check out Latonas.com. There is an auction of top .tv domain names right now, including England.tv, Breasts.tv, Government.tv, and more.
  • Ever notice when you go out and tell people what you do, there will be someone who mentions how they had the chance to buy great generic domain names back in the day but for some reason didn’t?
  • I was at a party last night and met an original domain investor. He was the original registrant of Today.com, Shop.com, Office.com,   Information.com, and a bunch of other names that he sold several years ago. I was a bit leery of his story as a few other people have mentioned similar things to me in the past that turned out to be false, but when he mentioned that he still owns VO.com, Insurance.net, Hospital.net and Broker.net, the info matched up. He doesn’t consider himself a domain investor.
  • You know it’s a late night when you get home well past midnight and you start receiving your typical morning email notices like drop lists, domain transfer status updates, and Asia-based emails before you go to bed.
  • Some of my new domain acquisitions this month include GolfPros.com, HorseSupply.com, HorseStable.com, and NewYorkCityDogRuns.com (hand registered and developed).
  • As I previously mentioned, I have been working with WhyPark to help increase the revenue on TropicalBirds.com. My biggest regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. The site went from making around $1-2/day with Adsense to a projection of over $160 in May (over $5/day). It’s only been up for a 2.5 months or so, but as the site continues to optimize, revenue has been increasing.

The $200,000 Sale of MonaLisa.com That Almost Never Happened

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Sedo just announced (via DNW) the successful brokerage sale of the domain name MonaLisa.com for $200,000. The domain name is currently registered to its Domain Transfer email, so I am fairly certain the deal is nearly completed.

If you have a look at the archives in DNForum, there’s a thread started by the “mysterious” Kuwaiti domain investor, elequa (also known as Thunayan Khalid Al-Ghanim of Future Media Architects). In the thread, Thunayan mentioned that he was bidding on the domain name at “NW,” a Dotster subsidiary, although he did not win. At that time, the domain name sold for around $15,000. Had Thunayan prevailed in the auction, the domain name would never have been resold, as his company does not sell any of its domain names.

Funny enough, someone who goes by the nickname “DomainGoon” (sarcastically) asked, “the real question is, how many years would take to make $15,000 back using that domain?” I guess the answer is 7 years, for more than 1,000% return on that $15,000 investment.

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PS: Thunayan – call me… I will be in your neck of the woods in 10 days. 🙂

Sedo’s Domain Market Study: 2009 Overview and Outlook into 2010

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This is a guest post written by Simonetta Batteiger, Director of Sales Operations North America. The article discusses Sedo’s 2009 Market Study (that’s a link to the pdf file), which was recently released. The information in the study is valuable to domain investors and can be helpful in seeing market conditions and trends.

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Looking for some domain inspiration? Check out the latest Sedo Market Study to help you identify market trends and new opportunities! Our market study gives insights into overall marketplace activity, top domain sales and successful domain extensions. Sedo’s continued focus on innovations around our marketplace strategy resulted in a record number of 10,070 domain sales in Q4 and helped solidify our position as the most successful global marketplace for domains in the secondary market.

The 2009 Market Study shows Sedo’s strong growth in sales through our global platform in 2009, versus 2008. Sedo represented 64 percent of the top 100 public sales in the domain industry, with the next closest competitor coming in at 8 percent. This growth was also fueled by impressive quarter over quarter results, with a 5 percent increase in domain sales in Q4 of 2009. In addition, Sedo accounted for 11 of the top 20 biggest sales industry-wide, compared to only 5 of the top 20 sales in 2008. This included a surge in geographical and descriptive domains, including the sale of Fly.com for $1.6 million, Russia.com for $1.5 million, Call.com for $1.1 million, and Brazil.com for $500,000.

Which extensions are the most successful ones?

The study reveals that the .com extension continues to be the most popular generic top level domain (gTLD), accounting for 44 percent of all domain sales on the Sedo marketplace in 2009. In looking at its place among other gTLDs, the .com displays an even greater lead. The extension accounted for 72 percent of all Q4 2009 gTLD sales and 74 percent of 2009 gTLD sales. In contrast, the second most popular gTLD, the .net extension generated 11 percent of 2009 gTLD sales, and only 6 percent of all domains sold on the Sedo marketplace last year.

In terms of the best-performing extensions for average sales price, Sedo’s study saw the sharpest rise in .biz domains. This growth can be attributed in part to the growth in sales of one character .biz domains, which first became available through the .biz registrar in September 2009.

Fixed price names represent a strong growth sector of the market

We’ve seen a significant four percent growth in the number of fixed price domains changing hands in 2009, as compared with 2008. This figure will continue to grow this year, as domain owners apply fixed prices to appeal to more buyers.

What are the top selling categories?

The top selling domain categories of 2009 included software, employment, services, regions, country and cities, tobacco, insurance, three-character domains, hardware and casinos.

Read the complete 2009 Market Study

What’s coming up in 2010

Looking forward into 2010, we expect to see ongoing demand for premium virtual real estate, with geo, descriptive, .org and .com domains leading the charge. Sedo is unique in it’s ability to actively reach out to domain investors and more importantly to end user buyers representing organizations of all sizes to leverage domains to meet their business goals. Our ongoing monthly GreatDomains auctions, our monthly changing Industry Spotlight features (check out sedo.com/tech) and our quarterly vertical promotions and auctions (see sedo.com/travel) will help us push these numbers even higher in 2010. If you want to be a part of these, feel free to reach out to me anytime!

If you have any questions, feel free to email Simonetta – simonetta at sedo.com.

Privacy After Domain Sales Isn’t a Given, Nor is it Free

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A few years ago, I used Sedo’s escrow service for a private domain sale. I had closed the deal in private, but I wanted to have a safe transaction so both the buyer and I chose Sedo to facilitate the payment and transfer. The following week, I saw that my sale was reported to DNJournal by Sedo, listing Sedo as the “Where Sold.”

This same thing happened when I used Moniker to handle the escrow for a transaction several months later. The company didn’t facilitate the sale, and it only handled the escrow for the transaction. This upset me because I didn’t know they reported all sales, and had there been a confidentiality agreement, it would have been violated.

In both cases, Ron Jackson quickly took down the sales reports for me, as I did not want the previous seller to see the prices at which they sold.

I was chatting with a friend today who let me know about a Sedo policy I find disappointing. Sedo charges an additional 2.5% to their sales commission to keep a sale private. I thought this was funky, but it was confirmed by a Sedo employee. I know it’s only 2.5% more from your gross sale, but it seems like highway robbery to me. I hope Sedo reconsiders this additional fee, and I encourage people to simply avoid the fee by asking Ron not to post the sale.

Whenever you buy a domain name from any domain venue, you should proactively request privacy before finalizing your transaction. If the company won’t honor your request (or charges you to keep it private), you should consider your other options.

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