Heritage Auctions Seeking Submissions for March Domain Auctions

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HA.com LogoI want to pass along a message I received from Aron Meystedt, Founder and Director of the Intellectual Property Division at Heritage Auctions. The auction house is currently “seeking more 1 and 2 word category domains, as well as generic branding names.” They are looking for domain names priced from $1,000 to $100,000 and up.

As of right now, the auction is planned for the middle of March, and the auction house will be locking up names through the month of January. Domain investors and domain brokers are invited to submit domain names to Aron for consideration. To submit a domain name for consideration, you may contact Aron via email at AronM “at symbol” HA.com.

In November, HA held its first domain auction, and sales (both during and after the auction) totalled approximately $2 million USD. The company marketed the event heavily, and domain names like MutualFunds.com, QR.com, and Dayton.com were sold during the event.

I am very happy to see that HA is holding a second auction because it shows confidence in the domain space, and it shows that the company is dedicated to building this new auction channel.

39 COMMENTS

  1. I agree Elliot its good to see another Heritage auction. For a first timer I thought they did a good job being brand new, now they can tweak it based off suggestions and have an even better auction this time.

    Were you bidding on any in the first auction ?

    • Seller’s pay a flat 15% if their item sells.
      They pay zero if it doesn’t.

      As stated below, we do also charge a buyer’s fee (standard practice among mainstream auction houses). I am going to see if we can cut that fee a little bit… but that decision will require exec approval 😀

      Thanks!

  2. The buyer is paying the commission according to the terms. http://tinyurl.com/loxel8s. If they are also charging the buyer then they are getting quite a cut. Here are the commissions as stated. Not sure why you can’t put this in public since it’s listed right on the website

    Buyer’s Premium:
    2. All bids are subject to a Buyer’s Premium which is in addition to the placed successful bid:
    • Fifteen percent (15%) on Domain Names & Intellectual Property Auction lots;
    • Seventeen and one-half percent (17.5%) on Currency, US Coin, and World & Ancient Coin Auction
    lots, except for Gallery Auction lots as noted below;
    • Nineteen and one-half percent (19.5%) on Comic, Movie Poster, Sports Collectibles, and Gallery
    Auction (sealed bid auctions of mostly bulk numismatic material) lots;
    • Twenty-two percent (22%) on Wine Auction lots;
    • For lots in all other categories not listed above, the Buyer’s Premium per lot is twenty-five percent
    (25%) on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus twenty percent (20%) of any amount between
    $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus twelve percent (12%) of any amount over $1,000,000.

  3. Yes, we charge a 15% seller’s fee.
    Sellers are only charged if a lot sells.

    We do also charge a buyer’s fee, as typical in mainstream auction houses. I am going to see if we can play with that figure a little bit this time around.

    The buyer’s and seller’s fees don’t fluctuate at all… they are a flat percentage.

    I only ask someone to email me because there are always more questions that pop up that are best discussed over email.

    Aron

    • Yes, Buyers 15%, sellers 15%, house gets 30%, when I was punching in some bids, it was showing the added buyers premium in the bid, and it actually made me cringe a bit, and pull back. I understand this is standard in the auction business, but there are plenty of platforms online that charge 15% for a sale. Basically the buyer has to factor in the 15 percent, and usually offers that much less…I am not a fan of double dipping…

  4. 30% commission for listing a domain name? Unlike traditional auctions (art, cars, etc.) for domains you don’t need to have a physical location auction because there is nothing to inspect. You don’t need warehouse space, don’t need an auction room with display cases/stands/platforms, and so forth. I get the 30% when you have that extra overhead but for domains it is getting greedy.

    Maybe for a 6 or 7 figure name that a big company is buying this won’t matter, but for the majority of domainers it doesn’t make sense to try to sell a domain with 30% going to the house. Not sure I see $30k in value being provided for a $100k sale.

    • Aron put on a great auction, next one should be even better!

      “”I thought there was only a buyer’s premium and the seller didn’t have to pay.””

      Yeah, so did I. But..it was there in the agreement, and I just somehow missed it. Oh well, my name sold and got paid for, so that’s what really matters. ‘Onward and upward!!’

    • You are paying also for their reach and advertising (which goes in mainstream publications like WSJ and NYT).

      I had a domain in the auction and it sold. I am happy with the results and what Aron did to market it (sending out fedex packages to buyers) and would participate again.

  5. The unintended clarity the namescon conference will bring to the .COM Franchise Business Model, will drive auctions and the secondary Shadow Market sales ever higher. The real collectors items will become ever so evident.This is just the catalyst that Rick Schwartz has envisioned for some time now.

    Gratefully, Jeff schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

    • Elliot,

      You can’t be serious? The domain Pool of money will drive auctions referenced in this quote R. E. = ” .COM Franchise Business Model, will drive auctions ”

      Anyhow Aron your timing is super!

      Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

    • “unintended clarity” – LOL (sorry, but hard even for an outside the box mavericky kind of guy like me to swallow that one).

      I’ve never had the sense that some of the “big boys” in domaining like the idea of this kind of new frontier in auctions some few of us have been calling for for years now to be honest. I hope that’s not true, but I do get that very opposite impression. **In fact, it seemed like they only started trying their own auctions in some of these official domaining events after some of us started the rumbling** about the need/desire for this very type of auction format, as if to try to keep as much “in house” and under their control as possible and quench the desire and rumbling that had begun for these types of auctions. Food for thought…

    • You will eventually know what this all means as Ricks vision rolls out.

      You could learn some things if you just read and listen to Industry experts that have been around a lot longer than you. Chill !

      Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  6. I must admit I was disappointed to learn of the amount of the double dip for domains too, and feel that it can be most significantly a substantial discouragement to potential buyers. From a “marketing perspective” I believe this could very well be an example of how lowering these fees could actually result in more sales, far more and higher bidding, more interest from premium domain owners in listing, and HA earning far more revenue than with the higher fees. I suspect this would definitely apply regardless of how those who actually bid at HA may tend to be rich or “high net worth,” and in some cases I believe it would paradoxically especially apply with such people or entities in mind. Given what has already been mentioned by some above and the nature of domain names and IP, I think cutting these fees in half may tend to paradoxically result in much higher levels of activity, interest and profit, or at least very close to half. Yes there is definitely value in HA being a forum for bringing such things to the attention of the kinds of bidders they attract to begin with, but nonetheless I strongly believe the above applies and could be a key to much greater success, regardless of whether it’s Warren Buffet bidding or just a small but successful company looking to invest, collect, or expand. The first auction appeared promising and was clearly something of a historic event for the industry. There’s plenty of congrats and appreciation for what they did at HA, but I feel this issue and pricing and fees may tend to greatly work against the overall success of this otherwise long awaited and highly desirable type of enterprise.

  7. Case in point: the fact that there was essentially no action on a spectacular domain like MutalFunds.com to begin with is very telling. No matter how you slice it, even in today’s economy $1,000,000 during the auction would have been a more or less ridiculous steal imo. The $4 Million some had been suggesting before the action would have been at least more like it, but potential buyers would have had to consider $600,000 on top of that. It doesn’t matter how deep their pockets are – that would still tend to arouse a sour taste in many people’s mouths. Moreover, they could surmise that they could simply do better in attempting a private sale rather than paying what could be perceived as an excessive premium for an asset like that in a sale like that.

  8. HA is not interested in attracting buyers who balk at paying a commision. Bottom Line a visionary looks at bottom line future revenues when considering a purchase of any asset. a superb .COM Business Model in the right hands easily morphes into a Capital Market Money making machine.

    Gratefully, Jeff schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

    • Nice of you to speak for HA here, Jeff. However, be assured that no matter how rich the buyer is, the entire marketing approach and especially pricing and fees can either turn them off or turn them on. 😉

  9. The fact that commission is outrageous is only in YOUR head. Yes, it sucks that both parties have to pay but there is always a sellers fee/commission. The gravy is on the buyer’s premium. Those ads you saw were not cheap. The buyer’s premium is not going to effect the outcome of the sales price because if you want the domain, all of those variables will be factored in.

    Who did they sell too? National A-1 would have bought the name from any venue. Who was the buyer for MutualFunds and what did they pay? Was it a real end user that Mark never reached out too?

    Lots of variables and many unknown

  10. R. E. = ” HA is not interested in attracting buyers who balk at paying a commision. Bottom Line a visionary looks at bottom line future revenues when considering a purchase of any asset. a superb .COM Business Model in the right hands easily morphes into a Capital Market Money making machine. ”

    The Strategic .COM Business Model is a many faceted Gem. Once all the smart money Capital Markets Experts, realize all the angles, their vision will become very clear. Their vision coming into focus,will push valuations to levels only Rick Schwartz and Frank Schilling forsaw many years ago.

    Gratefully, Jeff schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  11. Well folks, look at it this way, among other possible ways just for now: if people want to continue using that great and well used metaphor of “real estate” to describe domain names – as even the well known gentleman Mr. Schneider here referred to is quite famous for a very famous “realestate” .com – then consider the fee levels you find in real estate – way below a 30% double dip on buyer and seller. And that includes for overhead and marketing expenses. So sure, one does want the go between to make a nice profit and have a nice incentive to bring the parties together as well as do some marketing and promo, but there’s Mt. Everest nice and then there’s Milky Way nice. Mt. Everest nice is already great, but if Milky Way nice is the mandatory minimum, then we may have a problem in terms of the success and execution of the enterprise.

    • P.S. And I just posted this *before* Mr. Schneider here had his last post appear and refresh to the page, which he begins with the acronym “R. E.” no less… : – )

    • Real Estate is a very shallow misrepresentation of the multi-faceted .COM Business Model. Some of the greatest future Online Companies Foundations lie in the .COM Marketing Channel of exponentially growing numbers of Global Consumers.

      .COM Business Models that morph very easily into Capital Market Stock Structures have access to the worlds largest emotionally driven and conditioned response consumers, ever assembled in world Marketing History annals. This 20 year .COM consumer pattern of acceptance delivers Passive residual income to most of the Worlds largest Mass Marketers. Land locked real estate with geographic limitations ? Hardly even close.

      Gratefully, Jeff schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)

  12. I just read all these comments and this is what I remember:

    HA Auction = good
    Fees = too high
    Rick Schwartz = God
    Metal Tiger – Bombastic, blah, blah, blah
    John = Everest, blah, blah, blah

  13. I speak English for 15 years but have some problem with this guys comments.

    Am i the only one who cant understand what the “(Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)” is talking about ?

  14. Domains will never be valued like rare art, a old italian sports car, or a rare gold coin etc… A domain is very unique based on it’s keyword make up. I can buy some priceless art, or even a gold coin, and know down the road there will most likely be someone out there, that is willing to pay money for it, usually more than I paid… Whereas a domain is specific to a certain niche, certain industry… Take DVDS.com that HA is still trying to sell for $57K or so, they said it was purchased for $300K, so what does that tell you about the trend of this investment…?

    • Ron, you make a good point and support the case well here. And given those very types of uncertainties involved and the intangible nature of the asset, all the more reason why the types of associated fees should be modified accordingly even for deep pocketed but probably financially savvy customers that can afford the Picasso’s and the Patek Philippe watches in the first place, yes?

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