i.CO Auction Canceled by Registry

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.CO RegistryMoniker/Snapnames was scheduled to hold an auction for i.CO from Februrary 3-10, and I expected the sale to be significant, especially with a reported minimum bid of $100,000. I still expect i.CO to sell for a lot of money, but it looks like that is not going to happen in the very near future.

According to Lori Anne Wardi’s  post on the .CO Registry blog, the i.CO auction has been canceled. Apparently, the demand has been significant, with “well over a hundred businesses expressing different level of interest in the domain name.” As a result,  the .CO Registry has decided to scrap the auction format and work with Moniker/Snapnames to find a buyer for this domain name.

I think this was probably a very good strategic move. If the .CO Registry and Moniker/Snapnames think they can hammer out a better deal in private – or without the confines of an auction, then that’s what they need to do.

As a domain investor, I am a bit disappointment. I had hoped to really see what the market would yield for this domain name, as I believe it would be a good indicator of the strength of .CO investments, especially if a large company purchased it.

The wait for another .CO auction to  gauge  the health of the premium domain name aftermarket won’t be too long, as Sedo’s auction will take place February 10-17.

20 COMMENTS

  1. A very solid move. It’s a little much to have evrything at once. If there are a couple sales at the Sedo auction and then i.co sells for a nice price a little later on, there’s nothing wrong with that.

  2. They could have got more money on the auction then a private sale,maybe there is too much on the plate right now or maybe they could get more after the sedo’s auction, as the .co registry gets stronger.
    I olso think its a wise decision.

  3. @ Rich

    There have been two times where someone wanted to send a domain name to auction that I wanted to buy and I offered more money than my offer under the one condition that it doesn’t go to offer or I wouldn’t bid on any auction at any price. For me personally, I would rather not buy a domain name than buy one where the price is publicized, unless necessary. I think only two purchases of mine have been reported to DN Journal.

  4. Elliot@
    On one hand i understand your point of view,on the other hand,.CO platform could get stronger if a major company will buy it for a 7 digit number and it will be published.

  5. IMO this move isn’t going to change things that much: if the name is strong enough as I believe, it will have no problem fetching a good amount either way.

  6. @ Elliot…

    ” I think only two purchases of mine have been reported to DN Journal.

    ————

    Based on your stance about reporting, did the seller push you on this, was it a sale condition?

    • @ AB

      One was a live auction purchase, so I had no choice. The other was a big purchase with development plans (Lowell.com), so I didn’t really care if anyone knew the price. At the time, I thought that I could show potential advertisers I was very serious about owning the city .com name, so serious in fact, that I spent a lot of money for it.

  7. I agree with kannan.

    All these ballers want domains to enter the “big time” and be respected like any other traditional business. However, legitimacy begins with transparency.

    Nothing to see here, just another back room deal – which is fine with me.

    I guess transparency only counts towards google & others of the same ilk.

  8. This entension is a scam. The Overstock deal is a scam as well. Not many legit businesses in the world would waste six figures on garbage names like this unless they were getting some type of kickback.

    These names are a FRAUD, and this proves it. What a bunch of lifes….telling people that over 100 entities have expressed interest, and yet canceling the auction?

    Yeah, I believe that garbage. It is about time that domain bloggers and other domaners start shunning and ridiculing these people involved in these scam extensions and make and start making them accountable for their horrific behavior.

    To even legitimize these scammers in the slightest way makes everyone involved look bad. It is all a scam. Just like when Rick Schwart allegedly bought Flowers.mobi for 200K at his own auction, only to sell it for 6K a few years later at the same auction.

    Enough is enough. Send these clowns packing and tell them to get out of the domain business. Anyone who deals in .co names should be looked on with suspicion. It is not an honorable endeavor.

  9. It is obvious that they are afraid of setting a low price for one of these names. They really are not worth anything at all, that is why they are afraid to let the market speak.

    All deals are done behind closed doors, so a true value can never be established.

    If you don’t want to believe it, then keep your head in the sand. Whenever Snap Names was scamming everybody with fake bids and driving up prices, everyone said YOU CAN’T PROVE IT.

    Well, at the end of the day nobody can prove anything then, but we all know the truth. Did OJ kill his wife? The the United States go to the moon? What level do you want to have the conversation at?

  10. Elliot,

    You make some valid points, but I am going to go with some of the commenters on this one.

    The fact that the auction indicates they have a private buyer who is really interested or the demand was lower than expected.

    I have a gut feeling the demand was lower than expected based on trends observed.

    JD

  11. @ JD

    Thanks but I wasn’t trying to make any points here, aside from saying it was a good decision by them and disappointing to me. Other than that, I was just reporting the facts and not opining.

  12. Perhaps they want to ensure it goes to an end user who will move the extension forward like Overstock. That is worth more to them then a extra hundred grand or two. That is what I would do.

  13. Yes, the .co domain has scored some very nice victories with their one letter domains. t.co for Twitter, x.co for GoDaddy, and o.co for Overstock, all of which are in use.

    i.co for more money would do less for the brand than it being actually used for less.

  14. It will sell for $11mil.

    i heard rumors about it in the private sector.

    and then it will be resold for $13mil to another
    company in about 3 months after it is sold.

    – Sumer Kolcak

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