.Mobi Meltdown

Jeff at DomainBits has an insightful post on his blog today.

“Here are some other interesting comparisons: mortgage.net sold in 2006 for $149K versus mortgage.mobi for $18K now. Sales.us sold in 2006 for $8K versus sales.mobi for $10.5K – yes, that’s right – .mobi is only doing slightly better than the anemic .us market was doing two years ago. Films.tv sold last year for $8,600 versus films.mobi for 10K now. Boats.org sold two years ago for $50,249 versus boats.mobi for $6K now. Forsale.org sold last year for $12K, forsale.biz sold in 2006 for $3,550, forsale.co.uk sold two years ago for $14,692 versus forsale.mobi for $5K. Show.org recently sold for $13K versus show.mobi for $5K.”

I can’t say that I disagree with him at all. Surely a warning sign to investors in alternative extensions. Personally, I would hate the be the guy who speculated on average or poor names in the $x,xxx to $xx,xxx range, because those are surely suffering in value. Check out the rest of his post when you get a chance.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com 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. Jeff got one part wrong:
    “flowers.mobi – $200K. Can the mobi fanatics really say with a straight face that flowers.mobi is more than 10x better than mortgage.mobi, drugs.mobi and sales.mobi? ”
    I’m not a mobi fanatic but I can say it is WORTH that and what make only a hand few of MOBIs worth ANYTHING at all like pizza.mobi as a BRAND. Not only they are pre-qualified because of their 1-800 roots, they are especially hot considering the gas crisis in the world, more people will stay home to eat and order in and any “green branded” hybrid delivery service has a chance to blow dominos, 1-800-flowers and pizza hut off the map not with this silly domains and everyone putting weight in auction value- but by building brands around them and the value that can create. There is a huge opportunity here.

  2. Elliott, while it is true the .mobi prices are down this auction, it is also true there was not have a breakthrough headline name like music.mobi or games.mobi. If this auction is to be taken as a benchmark, it is also a benchmark for LL.com prices, too. $120,000 for ow.com anyone? Let’s be fair. It’s not just .mobi that suffered this time around.

    For LL.com names, I think the LH.com decision will have a big impact on the value of these names. It’s too risky to pay $200k+ for a name that can potentially be taken away easily. I also think the reseller value of LL.com names has been somewhere in this range, although $120k is a bit low. The .mobi names in contrast is much lower than what other premium names were selling in previous auctions.

  3. I think the meltdown is across all extensions including .com. Pizza.com 2.5 mm is a steal…highest name at traffic 225k or something like that. I think any 5figure sales for a new extension is fine.

  4. I really enjoy your original material and your blog in general – for example the first hand explanations of the process building out Lowell.com has been very insightful and useful. But this story is just … Blogs reporting on blogs with bold headlines. Will that merry-go-round ever stop?
    Whether in domaining or any other niche of society, headlines and sound bites grab attention and may pique interest but they can belie the facts of the situation and often cheat the reader from gaining a real understanding of the situation or subject.
    Anyone with more than a voyeur’s sensibility whose attention is grabbed by the headlines of many of the domainer blogs should be looking for at least a bit more background information to be able to put things into perspective.
    The freedom to use any words at will in headlines to grab attention does not equate to accuracy of facts or fairness in reporting. After all, with freedom comes responsibility … except that is online and especially on blogs where the author’s opinion and biases rule the day. In this case I believe that obsevation applies more to the original blogger’s position than this blog.
    Now on to the specific topic at hand – the .mobi names sales at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Orlando.
    A couple of very relevant questions might help put this in perspective. What is a live domain auction? What is a domainer auction? Was there anything different about the .mobi names offered at TRAFFIC compared to other names? What was the action like and how did the other extensions fare?
    A “live” domain auction offers names ONLY to those present (in the room or following on their computer … except Macs in this instance) only at that brief moment in time. Comparing the results for a particular name using bidding at a live auction (with a limited number of possible participants) to a name that sold at SEDO for instance (with a week’s worth of exposure to thousands of potential buyers) is risky.
    One must take into account the age of the domain extension and the SIZE of the pool of domainers who consider owning/dealing in particular extensions. Yes this is generally reflected in the final sales prices but it affects bidding on non .com/net/org domains more in auctions because there are fewer interested bidders.
    What is often OMITTED in most reporting of the premium .mobi names sales at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. or other venues for the last year or so is that those .mobi domains come with *development requirements* – development…something that most domainers avoid like the plague.
    For a fledgling extension (less than two years old), .mobi was represented well compared to many other extensions. How many .tv/.biz/.ca/.de/.co.uk domains sold or even were offered in the live auction or how many of each of those exstensions were even selected to be included in the silent auction?
    Here’s a breakdown for the whole TRAFFIC event: …
    .biz(13) .ca(0) .cc(28) .co.uk(2) .com(2175) .de(1) .eu(1) .info(87)
    .mobi(52) .net(358) .org(294) .tv(4) .us(30) others(90)

    And as far as the timing of this T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Orlando live auction … on a Friday afternoon of a major US holiday weekend … I think that fact precluded many potential bidders from even being in the mix.
    Most people seem to agree that the domain market has recently cooled off for ALL extensions. So quoting sales figures from previous years for non-.mobis and comparing them to today’s .mobi sales figures is not the best method. What do yo think those names would sell for in today’s market?

    Maybe he didn’t see these other RECENT.mobi sales examples with the same sales venue – Sedo:
    JOL_mobi $10K 4/08 vs JOL_org $7.5K 4/08 – both at Sedo.
    route_mobi $7.8K 5/08 vs routes_tv $350 4/07 – both at Sedo
    fragrances_mobi $11.6K 5/08 vs fragrances_net
    $12.7K 3/07 – both at Sedo
    I think that’s an interesting bit of comparison of price action.

    In the interest of being thorough, readers should also be reminded of some other very relevant information before making any more such comparisons:
    .com/.net/.org = 10+ years old
    .info/.tv/.biz/.us = 6 years old
    .mobi =

    Blogging is a hobby for me. It doesn’t pay the bills, but I enjoy doing it, so I do it when I want to do it. Domain investing and developing is my full time job. I happen to have been in a wedding today, so sometimes writing thoughtful original material isn’t possible. I thought Jeff’s article had some strong points, and I wanted to inform my readers per chance they missed it.
    In any event, over the last few TRAFFIC auctions, I saw quite a bit of noise in the forums and other venues about the great .mobi sales. Whenever there was a high value sale, I would receive emails from .mobi owners informing me of another great sale. Much of the subliminal messaging in the forums and emails was that I am missing out on an opportunity to get in on the ground level as the .mobi elevator heads to the heavens. Well, I wasn’t interested in investing in it as I was content with .com, and I am certainly happier than ever that I didn’t pay $xx,xxx for a name in the aftermarket.
    Needless to say, I believe the auction was especially poor for .mobi names, and I am glad I am not really an investor (other than 3 names – like Copywriters.mobi). A year ago, the names that sold for $10k would have probably sold for 5x that amount. I see parallels in the sale prices with .eu where there was a huge rush to buy them, prices went through the roof and then reality hit and now the names are worth considerably less than before.
    Bottom line is that I enjoy sharing my views on the industry, but at the end of the day, they are just my opinions. I would rather buy .net, .org, .info and .us before buying a .mobi. I will let everyone else build great sites and try to increase consumer awareness and adoption, and if that’s successful, maybe I will buy a .mobi domain name.
    I would pay $25,000 for Copywriters.com without a doubt. I bet I couldn’t even sell Copywriters.mobi for $500. Before we get into a discussion about the usage of copywriters in a mobile setting, I think it’s probably just as useful as fragrances.mobi.

  5. To be fair, prices are clearly down across all extensions. During the past year there have been numerous steals in .com/.net/.org (quick example: Cotton.com sold for a mere $75k a few months ago)

  6. Little doubt .mobi names have fallen dramatically, time for speculators like Bill to stop making up excuses about holiday weekends and supposed problems with live auctions and just admit it. The rest of the domain market has fallen but nowhere near the extent of what .mobi has seen.

  7. @Bill
    I think that Jeff and Elliot are writing opinions based on their own years of personal experiences in the domaining space.
    And that’s why people read their blogs …
    – Richard

  8. So, then, whatever happened with that aborted .mobi Sedo auction (back in January) that was supposed to be rescheduled?
    I’m sure that those guys who bid on music.mobi are watching with great interest, or are they busy suing Sedo and .mobi TLD?

  9. With .mobi it is just way to early to tell. The extension has only been around 20 months. So if you look at it in those terms .mobi has gained the highest percentage of any extension percentage wise or ROI. Though none of it means anything, only time will tell. Let’s say someone has a 100 million dollar portfolio of names, it would be very smart to hedge your portfolio on a million dollars worth of .mobi names because that would only represent 1% of your whole net worth. Why take a chance? Just in case .mobi works out you have yourself protected.

  10. If you surveyed 1,000 random people in the world I would be willing to bet $1,000 that not a single one of them has ever heard of dotmobi.
    If you fell that you can overcome that math then go ahead and specualte in this garbage extention.

  11. There’s more to .mobi than often meets the eye. From a pure domaining perspective I’d agree with Jeff, get out ASAP. But from a developers perspective, there’s a lot of great deals still out there. Be sure to pick names that will make sense for implementation into the mobile web. Also, be willing to hang tight for another few years. Things are just getting started!

  12. “Ms Domainer Says:
    May 26th, 2008 at 5:39 pm
    So, then, whatever happened with that aborted .mobi Sedo auction (back in January) that was supposed to be rescheduled?”
    It was not rescheduled. It was canceled.
    “Iā€™m sure that those guys who bid on music.mobi are watching with great interest, or are they busy suing Sedo and .mobi TLD?”
    Actually, you got that part correct. Legal action was taken, parties have settled, things are back on track.
    And as auctions go, seems to me that there were some humdingers left on the board in all extensions as folks were looking for 2006/2007 prices in a 2008 economy.
    Some of the reserve prices were simply not going to cut it. And when I see LL.com’s not going for any price I would scratch my head and say, “Hmmm”.
    Yet, even with some of the prices hammered down, I was still surprised they did not bring more.
    Does anyone believe gasprices.com would have topped the $200K mark 2 years ago? Because no one would have given this a chance at breaking mid 5 digits back then. But with this in the news and occupying all sites and networks top stories, why would this not be a hot commodity? See, that’s how the market works and that is what is being reflected in this latest sale.
    But this is domainers buying domains. This is swapping money. This is not enduser product like Vodka or Pizza.
    And frankly, I think many domainers have their eye on the prize but also on their portfolios and liquidity.
    So, no, not a mobi meltdown. If a meltdown is all mobi’s listed selling with the exception of one, then someone needs to define meltdown in comparison to all the others left as Passed, Passed, Passed…

  13. I completely agree with Don’s comments above. I think it is way too early to tell on .mobi, and I agree that for large domain portfolio investors, some key .mobi names would be worth it as a hedge.
    I personally think that .mobi will only take off in price when when (or if) we see large corporations using the extension for key marketing campaigns. When companies like Apple, McDonalds, Pepsi start marketing websites with .mobi extension, it will automatically give creditability to the name. I think .mobi domain owners really need this in order for their names to maintian or increase in value.

  14. A bit premature….
    .Mobi’s success will be dependent on how the data market shifts, while Google, Yahoo! and others begin to aggressively play in the Mobile Search business and Network Operators bring down the tariffs for Data charges we will soon see if .mobi is true to its name.
    Potentially, only 30% of mobile phones in the world are used to access data (internet/multimedia) features, this number will grow in time as handsets develop, screen resolutions are better and education of users increase.
    In my opinion .mobi will become the .com alternative that all the other domains have tried to become. Mobile phones are starting to look and act more and more like a PC.

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

Trademarkia Hiring Lead Developer for Domain Registrar Integration

Trademarkia is a website I use occasionally to perform trademark-related searches. This morning, I noticed a job listing the company posted on LinkedIn that...

SquadHelp Ultra Premium Marketplace Goes Live

šŸŽ‰ It's here! The Ultra-Premium Marketplace is live We've partnered with @HilcoDigital to curate an incredible collection of domains. More additions coming soon! šŸŒŸ Check it...

ROTD Auction Web3 Domain Names

According to a press release I received a moment ago, Right of the Dot is auctioning "Web3" domain names in partnership with Unstoppable Domains....

Sage.ai Dispute Gives Guidance on Common One Word Domains

The latest #UDRP Digest (Vol 3.37) is out now! Read about some interesting cases including #sage.ai, #stable.com, #extenso.org and more, with commentary from @dnattorney...

BuyDomains Discontinues Sharing Domain Name Sales

BuyDomains owns and operates a very large domain name portfolio consisting of hundreds of thousands of domain names - possibly millions. Many of the...