Million Dollar Domain Auction on Horizon?

Craig Harrison is selling a portfolio of 2,600 real estate domain names, many of which contain a city name + Β  The auction is scheduled to take place on Thursday in San Francisco and is being run by JP King Auction Company.I’ve seen quite a bit of paid press on the auction, and I also read an article this morning on a technology website geared towards real estate professionals.

In an article on, WAV Group partner Victor Lund said,

Lund estimates that each of Harrison’s domain names could be worth anywhere from $100 to $5,000, depending on the demographics of the city name and the amount of traffic and advertising it gets today.

That’s a pretty wide range — it works out to between $260,000 and $13 million — but Lund said he’s willing to bet the entire package sells in the low- to mid-millions, depending on the buyer and whether the domains are sold in pieces or together.

Also quoted in the article is Brett Young, a real estate broker and software developer who said,

“This really is nothing more than a publicity stunt that falls short for anyone who has any knowledge about domains. I pity the person who sees this as a good investment.”

I would personally much rather spend the thousands of dollars (or even millions that was quoted by Lund) on one great quality generic domain name than on 2,600 lower quality domain names. In annual renewal fees alone, 2,600 domain names would cost close to $20,000 – and that’s at a discounted rate. This doesn’t include hosting, setting up, SEO-ing, and managing all of these websites, which would cost quite a bit of money up front.

What do you think will happen with this auction? They certainly have spent quite a bit of money promoting it considering all of the press releases and paid articles I read (including DNN). Because of the amount of press they have bought and generated for this auction, I am interested to see what will happen.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. I think this auction should target real estate agents and not domainers if Craig wants for his money. I personally have a real estate portfolio of dot tel with all remaining US states Real Estate like….. and other real estate domain names in .com…. Renewal will cost me over thousand but having it, fees are just ridiculous compare to value of portfolio. I might one day, like Craig put up at auction too. But I’m still waiting for great offers at this moment.

  2. This is just silly.

    Elliot, you can’t think any of these have type-in traffic, right?? Most of these are 5-word strings and 99% aren’t even worth reg fee.

    I completely agree with Brett Young – anyone who sees these as a good investment shouldn’t quit their day job.


  3. Wasn’t there scuttle or early promoing of these names at GeoDomain Fest? I thought they had already made an attempt at selling these names before to no avail. Maybe not.

    Anyways, I think the only ones who’ll benefit from this auction, will be ‘the ones being paid’ for promoting it!!

  4. I met the owner at a recent show. When he told me about the auction, i almost laughed. While I wish him well, i can not think of any investor that would seriously consider those names for any type of premium.

  5. Craig has been holding onto this domains for a long time… Unfortunately, for anybody who knows SEO and DEVELOPMENT… The longer the keyword domain is, the less “exact match” benefit it gets from Google… But anyways, I doubt any SEO would develop them to begin with πŸ™

    I like to stay in the 2 – 3 keyword length.. Anything 4, 5, 6, etc… Big time gamble… Hit or miss… A lot more misses though!

    But you know what.. There is so many suckers out there, and I really wouldn’t be surprised to see this sell for $xxx,xxx because all you need is 1 buyer πŸ™‚

    Will follow this as well, but as Larry said, you won’t find me during the auction in frisco… Good luck to all involved tho — I admire those who try πŸ™‚

  6. As simple link sites they provide an abundance of income that far exceeds the cost. Harrison can sit on them as a cash cow for as long as he likes.

    The real value in the domains is in selling homes rather than advertising – yielding commissions of $3000 to $30,000 per home sale. As you mentioned, it will take deep pockets and significant expertise to make the transition – but it beats investing $13 Million to $28 Million as other property search portals have done to build their brands and traffic.

    Have any of you performed due diligence on the offer?

    • @Victor

      Can Harrison prove what you are saying with screenshots: “they provide an abundance of income that far exceeds the cost?” Why haven’t these stats been cited in any of the press releases I’ve seen? How much traffic do the domain names receive – prior to all of the press releases? What is the annual revenue for the set of names?

      Why wouldn’t someone do the exact same thing with brand new $8/names and not pay a premium to Harrison?

      I would rather buy one $5 million dollar domain name and build subdomains on it for SEO. It’s also easier to sell a great $5 million domain name (like than 2,600 subpar domain names. Which would you rather own, and (sold for $8.1 million combined this year) or 2,600 of these names?

  7. Real Estate is different – it is highly localized and the consumer search behavior is very different than the categories like or

    Consumer search for this industry is focused around cityname + real estate.

    • @Victor

      Ok.. so with what you are saying… how many hundreds of daily unique visitors do each (or the best of) these domain names get? What is the total traffic and revenue on the entire set of these domain names (since you were the one to mention it)?

      If you really believe 2,600 domain names like these are worth more than one or two of the best domain names in the world, there really isn’t much to discuss because we are so off base in our domain investment education.

      Bottom line is that the market will set the value of the domain names on Thursday. With all the press, I am sure everyone who could or would buy these names knows about the auction.

      Victor, would you really make a recommendation to one your clients that he should buy these domain names for MILLIONS of dollars rather than buying ONE premium – aka top 100 domain names in the world? Really?

  8. Victor,

    You haven’t answered Elliot’s question:

    “Can Harrison prove what you are saying with screenshots: β€œthey provide an abundance of income that far exceeds the cost?””


    • @Victor

      As an FYI, Larry is one of the most successful domain investors and has done very well in this business. If these names are producing the money you are implying, perhaps you have an interested buyer.

  9. As I stated earlier, I have NO interest in these names.

    What I am interested in seeing whether the “fact” stated by Victor is true. If it is, it is foolish not to promote it.

    Elliot – is Victor one of the owners?

  10. Please don’t mind the stupid question, but what about pure citystate names in com, net, or org, compared to what is being sold. Would they hold as much interest to potential buyers as the domains? Just wondering.

    Love this site. It is one of the best. Thank you Eliot for your sharing with others.

  11. Honestly, every I am a firm believer in marketing. If the right marketing goes into such an auction, there might be a buyer who is will to pay more than you would expect. This portfolio could potentially be a gold mine. It’s not about the statistics when it comes to such names, it is about the exposure that these names could potentially provide an end-user when properly developed. I’ve seen many things occur during my tenure as a domainer and I wouldn’t be surprised that this auction makes more than XXX,XXX.

  12. Certainly a lot of valid comments made by all! Interested to see how this goes- although like most if not all of the previous commentators don`t have too high an expectation – certainly hope its a resounding success…it will just make my 2 word property portfolio that much more valuable although saying that I have no intentions of selling!!!

  13. Hey El-Silver,

    After reading so many bad reviews by domainers about the quality of these 2600 domains, I didn’t take a look at them. That’s my first admission of guilt.

    However, let me jump over that and go into what I’ve been pushing since 2005 – THEMED DOMAIN AUCTIONS.

    It’s too bad that one of the first individually marketed themed auction has limited prodservs domains, but at least they went forward with it. How many of us with categorized niches have done this yet?

    I know Sedo’s Career Domains is on, and Moniker’s Mighty Monte has led many domain auctions at non-domainer events and conferences, with some limited success. THIS IS WHAT WE NEED. Why? Because even if the attendees don’t buy a domain, they learn what domains can mean to them for their business online.

    We should all at least give a “thumbs up” to Craig Harrison for spending the time and money to present his domain inventory to a “TARGETED MARKET”.

  14. Doesn’t surprise me as real estate people in general are in the dark ages. They had to be dragged into the internet, ironically as their product was ideally suited for it. Believe me, I’ve been in the business for many years, and can testify that they are as a class the most archaic, non technical people I’ve ever encountered. Which is why companies like Truia, Zillow, etc have laterally run all over them.

  15. @Bob Kiely,

    Perfectly said, and I experienced the same amazement at people who are in the industry of selling “great property” but are the last to “get it” about owning online keywords, especially geo-related domains, for their companies.

    If I was a real estate broker, my first INVESTMENT would be to spend $10,000 on a killer geo specific keyword indicating the area I covered in my sales, and what those sales were… my prodservs domains would be my first investment, and solid investments.

    They don’t get it, and I don’t understand why. I bought “” for pretty cheap because the seller couldn’t “educate” the real estate market in this growing suburb.

    I’m just holding on to it until someday the magic fairy comes down and taps every real estate businessperson with her magic wand and says “It’s about location, stupid!”

    Perfectly said, Bob.


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