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Silent Auction Thoughts

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After viewing the Moniker silent auction results, I found quite a few surprises:

In my opinion, there were a few good deals to be had. I believe the following domain purchase was an absolute steal for the price at which it sold:
Illustrate.com

I was surprised nobody picked up the following names, as I thought the reserve prices were more than fair:
Finances.com – $500,000
Whiskey.com – $470,600
Handhelds.com – $58,830

Another surprise to me was how much stock in numerics seems to have dropped. There were many NNN.com numeric names that seemed to have reasonable reserves ($5,890) but didn’t sell – 634.com , 547.com, 481.com, 643.com, 493.com, 342.com, 441.com…etc. There were also a few NN.com names that had higher reserves but didn’t sell. It isn’t very often that pure numeric .com names come onto the market, and I was surprised a speculator didn’t grab them.

I was also somewhat surprised that more .mobi names didn’t sell. I am not a big believer in this extension, but after reading how vigorously this extension has been defended by its supporters, I am surprised there wasn’t more action on them. Quite a few people have been posting that they made xxx% profit so far and still have quite a few .mobi names in their portfolios. If these people felt strongly about the extension, I would have thought they would be willing to reinvest and buy some of the names. One would think that reinvesting in a few of these names could have led to a round of “aftershocks” that followed when Rick Schwartz paid $200,000 for Flowers.mobi.

I believe many of these names will move now that the auctions have ended. Domain investors know the owners are interested in selling, owners know the domain investors at TRAFFIC thought their prices were too high, and I bet some compromises will be made to close some deals once.

Marchex News & Potential Impact on Domain Investors

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In the largest-scale Web site launch of its kind, Marchex, Inc. today announced that it has launched more than 100,000 of its local and vertical Web sites, publishing more than one billion Web pages of content, features and functionality for consumers looking for local services and information online, along with highly targeted local advertising inventory.

It would be very cool if they used an automated program to generate this unique content. This would open up an opportunity for domain investors with similar names to put our names on their platform and share the revenue. I know my names like FloridaRadiologists.com would have a higher CTR if contact information for actual radiologists in Florida was presented instead of the random Florida links, completely unrelated to radiology, that now show when you visit.

Back on June 1st, in an article about the Domain Distribution Network that was created by Fabulous, Frank Schilling noted:

Folks, this is a game-changer. Ask your registrar, if they are opted into this system.. Or better yet, get your own registrar.. Because based on what I’m seeing here, nothing is going to expire anymore in future and your names are going to become much more valuable — Heck .. many of your best names are probably still sitting in the available pool right now, unregistered!! Go!

What sells?
Any product or service with cityname: Delawarehomedecoration.com, toledoplasticsurgery.com, fargoplumbers.com, losangelestrashremoval.com (this style of regional name is the hottest seller)

Since I have been a buyer of these types of names for some time, I have noticed a definite decrease in the amount of names like these that are available. Many people may have purchased the names simply to resell on the DDN, however, if Marchex were to open this opportunity up to individual domain investors, everyone would be a winner:

Example: Direct navigator is looking for the phone numbers of a few radiologists in Florida.
Direct Navigator —-> Types in FloridaRadiologists.com into his browser and finds a doctor in his area.
Marchex —> Paid for the click, shared with domain owner
Domain Owner —-> Paid for the click
Doctor —-> Receives phone call from potential patient

To me, it looks like a win/win situation for everyone. Perhaps other parking companies will become more than just parking companies and solve how to do this across all parked domain names. This will change the game for certain.

Recent Domain Acquisitions

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I recently purchased the following names:

InvestingSite.com
HealthWebsite.com
ComputerScanners.com

Honesty in Negotiations

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In my opinion, honesty is one of the most important qualities in negotiating a domain sale. Since a majority of the domain investment business is done online, the important handshake and face to face encounter is eliminated. If a potential buyer or seller catches you being dishonest, you can kiss your deal goodbye. You may be the most sincere and kindest person in

Heroism of Rabbi Nardus Groen

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A couple of weeks ago brought the passing of Rabbi Nardus Groen, the grandfather of a close friend of mine. Having met Rabbi Groen a couple of times in Florida, I briefly knew him as a kind man who was very generous to his family and friends. It wasn’t until his funeral a little over a week ago that I learned just how heroic of a man he truly was.

Originally from The Netherlands, Rabbi Groen was one of the few Jewish people who learned how to operate a gun in the beginning of World War Two, fearing the advancement of the German Army. Unfortunately, there were many members of the Dutch Jewish community who disagreed with this, and criticized Rabbi Groen for his actions. As the threat of the German army began to spread, Rabbi Groen joined the Dutch Underground, a group of men and women who did what they could to help save their fellow countrymen during the war.

In 1940, the Germans began to persecute Jews living in the Netherlands, ultimately killing around 75% of the Jewish population. One day, Rabbi Groen was responsible for guarding the Jewish Hospital, which was lucky enough to have evacuated the patients, but still had a large amount of Jewish nurses who hadn’t had a chance to escape. Upon hearing that a group of Nazi soldiers were approaching the hospital to either kill or capture the Jews, Rabbi Groen ushered the nurses into a small room, donned a Red Cross armband, and stood outside the room to greet the soldiers. When they asked who was in the room, Rabbi Groen calmly responded that he was guarding a group of nurses, each of whom had the highly contagious and deadly Scarlet Fever. Fearing the germs more than hating the Jews, the Germans fled the hospital and the nurses were saved.

For Rabbi Groen, not only did he save the lives of a large group of Jewish nurses, but he also saved the life of his future wife Sipora. Rabbi Groen and Sipora went on to live a wonderful life together for 63 years, and had several children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

I know this isn’t a domain name related story, but with the permission of my friend Justin Groen, I wanted to share it with visitors to my blog.

Thinking Ahead to Buy Domain Names

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http://frankschilling.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/06/christmas-on-th.html

Reading Frank Schilling’s blog got me thinking about buying holiday-related domain names right now. Oftentimes our minds think about specific types of domain names because they are triggered by seasonal events. We think about acquiring shopping and Christmas-related names in October, November and December, and we think about beach related names in July and August. Well, it’s time to turn that upside down. Just like it’s better to buy a new pair of skis in the spring rather than in the fall, it’s the same way with domain names. There is no way you’ll find a bargain buying a high traffic Christmas name in late fall. Also, you won’t even have time to build a website in time to capitalize on the traffic (if that’s your plan).

You need to be at least two or three seasons ahead of your target acquisitions. If you want to create a Christmas themed portal, now is the time to buy (well, probably a month or two ago), but you get the point. I attend the NY International Gift Fair with my parents in the Spring when they are buying for the holidays, and the big retailers are doing the exact same thing. It’s important to think like consumers, analyze like marketers and act like businessmen.

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