Mike Mann Sells Business.CO for $80k

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The third largest .CO domain sale has been recorded by Mike Mann. According to Mann, his sales team sold Business.CO for $80,000. The buyer for this domain name has not been disclosed, and the Whois record has not changed as of yet.

This sale will rank in DNJournal’s top 20 publicly reported domain sales for 2011, and it will also rank as the #2 country code domain sale for 2011, trailing Deals.com.au.

The only two higher publicly reported .CO domain sales that I can recall are O.CO, which was purchased by Overstock for $350,000, and E.CO, which was purchased for $81,500 by B52 Media. The later of the two domain names is on the market again for a cool half million dollars.

97 COMMENTS

  1. I guess the cap is set for .co’s…

    $80k for business.co
    Sale of business.com I think was $7.5M.

    So .co is worth 1% of the .com

    Between this, pizza.co and creditcard.co recent sales he has single handedly killed the .co market.

    All those LLL.co that people registered are worth 1% of the .com, or better yet, they are worth their registration fee.

  2. @ Chris

    I don’t think he “killed the .co market” at all. I think he’s showing there’s liquidity there. I do think there’s much to be desired in terms of prices for .CO domain investors.

  3. @Chris

    Cap isn’t set at all. This sale proves people are starting to believe in this extension, not only in terms of domains registered by hands, but also in terms of aftermarket acquisitions.

  4. Bad choice of wording on my part… he didn’t kill the market, he killed the pricing of the market.

    I think it is safe assumption that majority of those registered .co’s were done by investors and not end users.

    With a 1% valuation (pizza.co sold for $15k, .com sold for I think $1.5-$2M so the 1% valuation is valid here too), how many people are going to let these .co’s expire? I know I will be letting go the few I got. A 1% valuation is not worth the $30/annual fee that they were charging. And if you see this wave of letting the .co’s dropped, then he will have killed the .co market.

  5. “I think it is safe assumption that majority of those registered .co’s were done by investors and not end users.”

    @ Chris

    I don’t know if I agree… I heard that a large % of .CO buyers bought 5 or less domain names, so not really the profile of domain investors.

  6. Nice daily sale.

    @ Chris

    There is no hard and fast rule with domains when it comes to saying “it’s thus and thus Percentage” of .com. There have already been sales in .CO that would exceed 10% of what you might expect from a .com.

    Elliot, i agree about M. Mann making the .CO market more liquid, and this is what we want. Liquidity is the key to every market. How do you sell something no one wants? Hard question. This slow growth bodes well for the extension as a whole. Look what happened with .mobi, out of the gate. Those huge prices and then wham. It’s better to have slow growth and this sale is evidence of nice slow growth.

  7. @ Elliot

    I’m basing my comment based on what I’ve seen on the .co domains. If end users bought these you’d think after a year they’d be developed. Majority I’ve seen are parked pages. It will be interesting to see in June/July how many .co’s expire. My guess is it will be significant.

    Companies may have bought their .co as defensive measure versus building out a site on it. To me, this is the same as a parked page.

    @Joe

    There will always be outlyers. If you’re familiar with the Overstock CEO through news articles you can see he is not a traditional CEO, he is a little crazy. Find his quote about naked short sellers shorting the overstock.com stock. It is a pretty wild rant from a CEO. Not sure I’d value anything based on what he does.

    The sale of three premium keywords (pizza, creditcard, business… and I think he also sold flying.co for a couple grand) by an industry veteran IMO shows this is what he feels the value is. He certainly isn’t attempting to add value to his remaining .co premiums by selling these at these prices. I’d suspect that financially he doesn’t need to let domains go on the cheap.

    You could argue he is setting a base to grow from, my personal opinion is he is setting a ceiling from which the value will decrease. As with all things domain, only time will tell.

  8. @Chris

    It isn’t Mike Mann that will decide the market prices for .CO domains, but the general public will. Nobody knows if/when .CO will take off, but if/when it does, rest assured prices will go nowhere but up.

  9. In a new market people look to sales on how to value assets. Look at a new housing development, the first house that gets sold in it development will be the comparison point that all potential buyers of other homes in that neighborhood will use.

    .co is not .com, if you want to live in an ultra ritzy neighborhood you may pay a premium regardless of what the house next door sold for because there is that demand for that ritzy neighborhood, and this is .com.

    In regular neighborhoods, prior sales set the base for future sales.

    It is the exclusivity factor, and IMO only one extension has it.

    Unless you think .co is going to become a ritzy neighborhood I think Mann set a ceiling for quite a while.

    We can agree to disagree 🙂

  10. “I guess the cap is set for .co’s…

    $80k for business.co
    Sale of business.com I think was $7.5M.

    So .co is worth 1% of the .com

    Between this, pizza.co and creditcard.co recent sales he has single handedly killed the .co market.”

    Why do you want to put a formula on it? Are you going to let one man (or mann) determine the price of YOUR domains?

    If you have a great domain then ask what you think its worth, it will either sell or not, but just because it might not sell today does’nt mean it won’t sell next year, or 5 years later.

    They are all unique, even .co’s 😉

    Congrats to the Mann 🙂

  11. Can someone please answer how he acquired these domains. Pre-order was for TM and .com owners. Land rush was $299 and I checked some of his holdings at that time, they were unavailable for land rush. Then there were those select few like Elliot who were to develop their .co, which he is not doing.

    So he was pre-sold these domains just turn a personal profit?

    I am not complaining, just curious. Not looking for a conspiracy theory either.

  12. “Can someone please answer how he acquired these domains. Pre-order was for TM and .com owners.”

    He already owned the .co.com equivalent domains so he got first shout on them as far as I know

  13. I don’t know why all the talk about .co! It’s tech. the cctld of Columbia.
    I like .US way more the .CO no matter what the sales trends are.
    .US is the premier cctld overall.

  14. Mike Mann acquired them through “Grandfathering”. From COInternet’s website:

    “Individuals who registered their third-level .CO domains prior to July 30, 2008 were eligible for “Grandfathering,” which commenced on March 1, 2010. During Grandfathering, third-level registrants could opt to secure their exact match domain name in the second level.”

  15. @Chris

    Oh yeah, that logic works because all .COMs follow the trend set by the first $xxx,xxx sale.

    And lets not forget that the prices for .com have remained static since the first couple of years since it was launched. No wait…

  16. Another bubble waiting to burst. Just like the commodities market. Go Gold…I mean Go Mobi…I mean Go .Co!

    Renewal period is coming up. I highly suspect that many will be dropped.

    Turn straw into Gold people!

    • @ Prosper

      You really think there’s a bubble here? I would probably agree if Business.CO sold for $500,000 and others were selling at similar valuations, but there’s no indication of a bubble to me.

  17. I would really really like to know what the likes of Prosper and co are basing their statements on. Please enlighten me if there is some kind of domaining crystal from which you can predict the future. This is nothing like .mobi or… gold?

    Elliot is 100% correct when he says there’s no bubble. Lori Ann says:
    “Thanks to our premium pricing, rights protections and security policies, 90% of .CO registrants own only 1-2 .CO domain names and 99% own 10 or fewer domains. Only 1% of our registrants own more than 10 .CO domain names. Of this 1%, some are probably web developers”

  18. In domaining, a bubble is when everyone rushes to handregister/buy anything, puts it on the market and people buy it just to resell to others who wish to resell and so on, with constantly increasing prices…

    With .CO:

    1) there aren’t crazy selling prices (some even say they’re too low in comparison to .com)

    2) there isn’t an amazing number of registrations (not even a million after 10 months).

  19. Today i olso sold thru GD auctions LLLL.CO FOR $2,700
    i made over 100 times more then what i paid for.
    There is no bubble,i think 80k is a fair price for bouth partys.Like Elliot said if it got sold for 500k then it will be a different story.

  20. I am yet to see someone, anyone, demonstrate the end-user value of .co domains. I’m not saying .co is worthless across the board as an investment, on the greater fool theory, just that there is little actual utility in .co names (other than perhaps the very short ones)
    Outside of typo type-in traffic, how are these sites ever going to get busy? Does anyone know of a .co website that ranks for a high ppc/high search term? All that is required to answer that question is the site and the search term only – cue the ridiculousness and avoidance of this issue from various .co fans…

    (PS Im sure that unrankable situation won’t last forever, the big G will eventually see .co as ‘global’ if/when enough people are using it, for now though I think it is way off.)

  21. @ Richards

    “Oh yeah, that logic works because all .COMs follow the trend set by the first $xxx,xxx sale.

    And lets not forget that the prices for .com have remained static since the first couple of years since it was launched. No wait…”

    Again, .com is not a commodity, it is the “Gold” of the metal market. What happens in .com does not apply to any other extension. There is small correlation but .com rules do not apply to other extensions.

    Also, instead of spending time being sarcastic, maybe you should spending that time working on building a real website to backlink to instead of an iFrame of CNN. I really can’t respect a person’s comments when that is how they attempt to “develop” a domain.

  22. @Chris

    you are a retard

    Casino.com is now asking for $2.5million, down from $20Million

    money is switching now to

    .Co

    obviously.

    The buyer of business.Co

    bought for $80,000 because he knows in 3 years

    it is going to be worth $2,500,000

    that is the way the world works.

    and where is the money coming from.

    I hear the sound of a big vacuum in .com

  23. And when all else fails, resort to personal attacks. I’m not the only one who has begun a post with @Chris surprisingly. My arguments are based on the facts and figures and trends I observe. I don’t claim to know all the answers nor will I claim one domain to be ‘gold’ of the future. Remember a certain crash?

    In fact most of my probing into opposing ideas is to build up and challenge my own investments and perceptions. I would like to see where my .TV is ever claimed to be something I’ve developed. It’s not. It’s a flag, look it up.

    My apologies for if you have genuinely taken offence at my sarcasm but my criticisms are always aimed at people’s arguments not personally at people. It might be worth differentiating between the two.

  24. Again, show me some big, fully-developed .CO domains, then I’ll begin taking more than a quick glance at .CO. Until then, it is the typical new extension trading between DOMAINERS. No one outside of this small market knows or cares.

    And I’m not talking about mini-sites, blogs, and small stores like the ones listed on the opportunity.co marketing site, I mean real websites that will actually make an impact on the internet and catch the average user’s (non-domainer’s) attention.

    Until then I just see anonymous purchases by anonymous people, likely from one domainer to domainer, who have no intention of building anything useful.

    Don’t forget there are millions and millions of words and combinations of words . A few dozen of these selling every week is nothing.

  25. @Gazzip-thanks

    I still think a big underlying value is use of .CO for companies who focus on PPC which is still the only way for a small business to get attention online; they cannot compete with large company SEO budgets.

    Many are asking how they are going to get traffic. How does any site get traffic? A truck-load of money on SEO or PPC. CreditCards.com is #1 for the search, but they still do PPC so they have 2 positions in eye-view. CreditCard.co would be my choice for a url over any of their competitors running PPC (not includind amex, visa, etc.) if PPC was part of the business model.

  26. “, it is the typical new extension trading between DOMAINERS”

    @ M

    Do you know who the buyer of Business.CO is? As far as I am aware, that hasn’t been revealed, so your statement is incorrect/false.

    Here are five developed .CO sites:

    Angel.CO
    MacGenius.CO
    Punchtown.CO
    PlayTheGame.CO
    FCP.com

  27. Domain investors are buying keyword.co domain names not for development but because they believe the value will rocket up. So far i have not seen any extreem keyword .co domains sell for less than 10k, Business.co for 80k may prove a steal price in the next 5 years. Also the more the .co awarness spreads the more the extreem keyword .co’s type in traffic will grow.

  28. @ Elliot
    “Angel.CO
    MacGenius.CO
    Punchtown.CO
    PlayTheGame.CO
    FCP.co”

    5 websites …. that proves my point. 5 websites.

    Macgenius.co – a BLOG devoted to mac computers, Playthegame.co- a gaming FORUM, Punchtown.co- a small store that sells products and redirects to .COM after you click on an actual item/product, FCP.co- another BLOG devoted to mac products.

    None of them are real websites except Angel.co, the rest fall under blog/minisite/small niche store that looks like a blog

    Honest question, because it’s strange… why do you feel the need to defend against my clearly true and meritorious statement about .CO? There really are barely any major websites …. Kind of ridiculous to try to argue with it and then post links to blogs.

  29. @ M

    Are you joking? Since when is a blog not a website? Is this a website? How about DogWalker.com? That’s built on a blogging platform like this. Techcrunch is also built on a blogging platform. There are plenty of websites built on .CO domain names and no matter what I would post, someone like you will still post the same BS… Kinda like the ChapmanFord.CO post I wrote… Is that a website or do you define it as something else?

    In my opinion, you’re making an ignorant statement as if it were fact when it’s cleary just an opinion.

  30. @M your “clearly true and meritorious statement” is but one perspective amongst many. While it may have SOME merit, it is NOT absolutely true.

    For examples of more developed sites see:

    simpl.co
    vuru.co
    challenge.co

    And that’s just based on a quick google “site:.co” search. There are many more.

  31. ‘real websites’ was a poor choice of words, but in the context of my posts where I say ‘make an impact on the internet and catch the average user’s (non-domainer’s) attention,’ blogs, forums, and small niche stores is not what I’m talking about. Large stores, large blogs, social networking sites, big startups, those attract attention. Those are what people talk about and remember and come back to, and which make news. Remember, this whole .co debate is in the context of getting people to know it exists. Of course a blog is a ‘real website’ in the literal sense, so poor choice of words. But you need more than a literal ‘real website’ in the technical sense to get someone’s attention and for awareness of the extension.

    And in that sense, there are not many ‘real websites’

    @Aniol

    Sure, add another 1 or 2 websites. Enter.co/elheraldo.co may be large and developed but it is geared toward Columbia which makes sense. But it doesn’t fit in the context of arguing that .CO is some universal, global, up and coming extension like everyone else here tries to argue. That supports the exact opposite, that it’s the typical ccTLD.

  32. @Elliot

    You can provide all the notable examples you want, but naysayers will always find something against the extension. In fact, if .CO had daily sales in the five-six figures, they would be saying it’s a huge bubble waiting to burst. Since we have a normal market with regular prices, some of them even say it’s a worthless extension because .com’s would fetch much more… IMHO the only worthless thing is the time spent to reply to them.

  33. @Elliot

    Come on, no matter how many examples you bring, M will never say you are right. I have already proven the point with 2 examples of big and developed sites, then M added more conditions, and more exceptions and even more conditions. You could cite thousands of sites and links and M will always pick one of them and bitch around with it… Its futile

  34. Market conditions said .tv was better Elliot then .co

    End of topic. Pro .tv and what is pro .co community

    Come on.

  35. .CO domains are good for SEO. As long as it stays this way, then it’s growth will continue. I just did a website about 6 months ago and now it is ranking on the top 3 pages of major search engines for the search terms I am optimizing for. I’m only spending little time for SEO on it in the past 3 months.

  36. Most of those .co sites dont even rank for their own exact match keyword, most of the ones that do are pretty niche.
    I guess noone can show one of the .co sites ranking for a high search/ppc term. Avoidance, ridiculousness, other spurious rubbish – just a distinct lack of the 2 pieces of information that would put this argument to bed.
    .co Site URL + the high search/ppc term it ranks for. How hard can it be?

  37. @ LindaM

    I don’t have the time nor desire to search 🙂 I just don’t like it when someone makes claims that aren’t really accurate (ie “it is the typical new extension trading between DOMAINERS”). I don’t know many domainers buying .CO names in the aftermarket right now.

  38. Ok Elliot. You don’t like .tv. We get it.

    To each there own and changing topics.

    Exactly .co is new. Just like .mobi was. Bubble. Crash.

    .tv been around for years and doing very well. Established extension and new investors since March last year.

  39. @Elliot ‘I dont have the time nor desire to search…’ – Im pleased to hear it, I know you actually have a life!! FWIW it would be a waste of time anyway (for the time being).
    My comment wasnt really intended for you, Im aware of your stance on .co and I think its perfectly rational (and not far off my own )
    The ‘show me a site that ranks for a high search/ppc term’ thing is calling out the people making some of the unsubstantiated claims of which you speak.

    • @ mobi

      Where are the huge speculative investments in .CO that were made during the boom mobi days, which of course led to the bust? I don’t see any bubble right now with .CO.

  40. @Elliot

    I would agree that super premium .CO seem to be selling for reasonable prices, like with other niche secondary extensions.

    If super premium domains are going for $10K – $20K range, that is setting a pretty low bar.

    However, bubbles do not only exist on the top end of the market.

    You could say newbies registering a bunch of bad domains because they think .CO is the latest, greatest thing is a bubble as well. That bubble will be popped when renewal time comes.

    Brad

  41. It really is up to me what the prices of domains are, Im the main market maker, if they are too high I sell and too low I buy, otherwise I hold one of the best collections in the world until they sell and make best parked use and sales processes to the names, making it worth if for me to bid everyone else up and out of the market except end users.

  42. OK guys you really can’t compare .co with .com yet. Yes most are selling at 1% of the .com but .co has been out for close to 10 months. .co is poised to hit 1 million registrations by the year mark. It could take years to catch up in value but I for one have sold some with great returns. You can’t really call it a success or failure yet. And you certainly can’t compare it with .com yet. My advise is buy the ones that are great keywords now that they are cheap.

    BreakingNews.co – Gets close to 600 hits a day now. Not awesome but the daily hits keep going up.
    David

  43. @Brad

    That’s called applying new conditions to suit your personal objective. If you want to see a bubble, you will. If you don’t want to see a bubble, you won’t. If you don’t want to see .co thrive, you will personally want to see a bubble.

    As Elliot said, there is no bubble. In what case would it not be a bubble, in your opinion? I don’t see any circumstance where you would not see a bubble. The fact is that .CO prices are conservative and that bodes well for slow growth. You could never call such conservative prices a bubble. That’s ludicrous.

  44. @em

    There are different types of bubbles. Not all bubbles are driven by just the high end of the market.

    Look at the housing market – that bubble was mainly driven by average people buying average houses, not the super high end.

    Anytime someone buys something based more on perceived value, a bubble can easily form.

    Top tier terms can be sold in any any reasonable extension. The fact that the super premium .CO are selling for $10K – $20K also bodes poorly for average quality .CO

    The funny thing is most of the biggest .CO supporters have domains that would have limited value even if the extension really took off.

    Brad

  45. Bob, thats funny but I have no significant lawsuits or tm issues to speak of, and lost no business cases in court in 15 years despite doing the most transactions in contentious industries, including with hundreds of idiots like yourself

  46. @Brad

    The theory itself is not that interesting as a theory can be made up about any market condition. Daily sales are the biggest tellers of all. if you have decent daily sales at a slow growth rate, voila!!!….you have a good market.For a young extension, .CO is doing quite well.

    as far as the housing market is cncerned, that was average people with average incomes buying above average houses, for the most part. The above average houses on the average income became one of the major problems. There was an income stretch , the crisis, and then a burst. People had to walk away.

  47. @Brad

    “The funny thing is most of the biggest .CO supporters have domains that would have limited value even if the extension really took off.”

    This is true, but trivial statement.

    Why?

    Because this is true about ANY extension, ESPECIALLY about .COM!
    Most domain owners own domains with “limited value” at the edge of rentability or below. They naturally try to rise the value perception of the extension since only then they are able to make profit. This is ESPECIALLY true for .COM with its 110 mio domains with all these 3 or 4 word creatures 😉

  48. @chris

    I like your way of value estimation by market sales comparison and I agree with you that at the moment the value of .co is around 1-5% of .com (for english terms of course. spanish terms have probably better ratio)

    But it is a “meantime value”, which doesnt have to be the “end value”.

    I remember the time around 2-3 months ago, that somebody made the same computation on namepros using data from that time and computed .co being 0.1% the value of .com. So we’ve got a 10fold rise of .co value in just 2-3 months, using your method.

    But there is another interesting aspect in your value estimation:

    Not that Business.com was sold for the first time in 1997 for the price of $150,000, which was considered then crazy amount to pay for a (.com) domain, and the opinion was “only an idiot would pay so much for a (.com) domain name”. The buyer was Marc Ostrofsky, who resold it (with a business) two years later (in 1999) for $7.5M

    We are still in a very early stage of .co life, certainly earlier than .com was in 1997.

    Why don’t we take this first sale of .com as comparison for the estimation of the possible future value of .co?
    this would mean 80/150 = 53%

    Or in other words:
    What if Business.co (together with belonging business) were sold in two years from now for $4 mio?

    Is it conceivable? How surprised would you be?

  49. @ Mike Mann

    I have request to you. Please do not offend people.
    I read some your comments and you always offended someone.
    They can have different point of view.

    Also please do not say they you are giving on charity.
    You are saying it everywhere, and every one knows you treat it as marketing campaign.
    Yes, we know how good your .co portfolio is.
    You said it so many times so we cannot forget it.
    We also know that you registered this domains much earlier.

  50. Wow, can anyone say jealous?
    Don’t go hating on Mike Mann for his domain selling strategies. At least he got rid of it before having to renew it 😛

  51. @Domain Water Boy

    Hopefully in the (not too distant) future .CO’s will become mainstream and, while no extension could ever reach the KING, their prices would surely rise, but for now we’re seeing normal market prices. Higher prices would be symptoms of a forming bubble, which is the least desirable thing for a new extension.

  52. @Elliot

    Yep, I agree with your “snakeoil” sentiment. Making up stories to sell something that is noticeably worthless doesn’t help the market at all. Quality is what counts in every case.

  53. @Elliot
    Love ur site man. I am happy someone keeps running blogs about .co. I really do believe that this is just the beginning. I predict .co will hit 1 million regs before the anniversary. We shall see. Btw I think the main reason why the “haters” keep posting negative things about .co is that they don’t have any so they a pissed off. I am just saying.

  54. Hi – great fun reading the .co farm, in fairness some well designed sites its certainly true.
    For those interested – heres an alternative link to where you can find a lot of good websites that have been developed under the .com extension. http://www.google.com 🙂

  55. Godaddy just did a superbowl commercial for .co’s, so lets hope that changes the game, and lets hope my xfinitytv.co sells for 100,000$

  56. @.co

    I don’t really think your domain is going to rise up in value that much 🙂 However I think Super Bowl commercials undoubtedly provide huge exposure to products and, in this case, .CO. The fact that GoDaddy has been promoting .CO by investing for the second year in a row in a Super Bowl commercial proves they believe in the extension’s potential.

  57. @Mike Mann

    .com will always be the king, no doubt about that. Anyone thinking the opposite would be just living in their own world. Anyway I’m not that sure about the Google bias. Maybe that could be true in the past, but nowadays I’d say that TLDs are no longer important in Google’s eyes, as far as we’re talking about geotargetable TLDs. And yes, .CO can rank on page 1 in searches with hundreds of millions of results, just two examples: search for Domain Security and Car Games. What matters to Big G is basically quality backlinks and fresh, unique and relevant content.

  58. Hey everyone I have Layla.co For Sale.

    Here is the exact numbers in Google search also the broad term. Also it’s # 8 in world as one of the best love songs ever written. Hey will all know who Eric Clapton is, I think. Can be used as an Adult name also, as that that is what the.com looks like to me. Here a link to help out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Layla

    Also a link with some very nice .co websites…just stop and think out side of the box or should I say the .com. These companies would have never got the .com ever. Hell better than a 15 letter .com? http://www.go.co/case-studies/

    Search terms exact

    Keyword layla

    Global Monthly Searches 74,000

    Broad

    Search terms (1)

    Keyword layla

    Competition

    Global Monthly Searches 4,090,000

    Local Monthly Searches 550,000

    Cheers as it’s looks like a very good chat going on here.

    Ed

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