Ryan Colby Announces $1.4 Million Domain Name Sale

This evening, Ryan Colby announced a major domain name sale for Outcome Brokerage, the domain name brokerage he founded in 2013. Although he is unable to share the domain name that sold, he was able to say it was a $1,400,000 deal.

The announcement was made on Colby’s Twitter and Facebook feed. On the Facebook announcement, Colby was able to share a bit more information about the domain name that was sold: The premium domain which was sold was a 4 – 8 character generic .com.” I am unsure if the domain name had been marketed publicly by Colby’s company, but if it was, it should not be too difficult to figure out what was sold.

There is a considerable volume of domain name sales that are kept private due to a non-disclosure agreement. Some buyers don’t want others to know about a domain name acquisition for competitive reasons and many sellers don’t want to share this private information because it doesn’t do anything to benefit them. As a blogger, I don’t like it when people don’t share, but as a seller, I never share information about sales, so I get it.

Congratulations to Colby on closing this large deal. Hopefully the deal is already completed or will be completed swiftly.

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. Bbbbut he says:


    “Premium Generic .Com’s Will Decrease In Value

    The adoption of lean startup methodologies and the constant focus on “disruptive” innovation by CEO’s will continue to place pressure on the value of premium generic .com domains. While branding will remain an important fundamental for businesses, how one goes about developing that brand will change when there is an abundance of choices. This is simple economics, and the ROI for large capital investments continuing to flow into the monopoly of the .com string is becoming harder than ever to justify. The plethora of new gTLD’s will create millions of new marketing combinations available to saavy marketers.

    As a premium domain broker I speak with “c” level executives on a daily basis and this is a clear trend. Marketing executives are being forced to “quantify” their branding investments like never before. While .com’s are still the string of choice and will most likely remain the preferred extension for a number of years, they are beginning to price themselves out of the market in light of these upcoming changes. The long held historical assumption that a one word generic .com domain is “better” and “worth the price” is now being challenged. This is especially true in light of how Google has been beating up exact match domains over the last few years.

    Average sales prices for reported premium .com domains today compared to 3 years ago are substantially lower, and I would argue that they will continue to drop in the future. At Outcome Brokerage, we see a large increase in overall sales volume coupled with a decrease in average sales prices. Business is healthy, but it’s becoming clear that the culture of digital business is changing. And with that change will come lots of criticism before mass adoption and acceptance. It’s an exciting time to be a domain broker, and you may see more specialists entering the industry to help service niche categories.”

    • That is still correct from what I’ve been seeing. One off sales do not represent true median industry averages. One large sale is certainly not representative of the market as a whole. Every domain name is unique, so it’s very hard to come up with all encompassing “averages.” We try hard to valuate domain names like used cars, but in reality it just can’t be done.

      If your a premium domain broker working in the trenches every day, over time you can map out observable patterns from the people who are spending money on domains.

  2. >”As a blogger, I don’t like it when people don’t share, but as a seller, I never share information about sales, so I get it.”

    Lol. I used to feel similarly in that I did not ever want to share any sales I had made, although I certainly don’t sell or focus on selling the way you or probably most do here. However, recently between the end of last year and now one of my sales made the weekly DNJ sales list at a pretty nice level (that was nice), and I was the one who reported it. This was a case where I felt there was a strategic advantage on numerous levels in having it reported rather than the opposite.

    Elliot, with that said, I’d like you to check out what I wrote over here: http://www.thedomains.com/2015/03/23/mike-mann-is-on-firing-selling-76k-in-domains-that-cost-him-less-than-750-total/comment-page-1/#comment-199754.

    I just wanted you and anyone else who does to see that. It’s something I have vaguely alluded to here on your blog before. I know we don’t know each other, you hold a certain position in the industry and relationship with those of “status,” and I’m a “nobody” who posts anonymously. But one thing I do know is that you have received enough of my posts and statements here so that you can get a good sense of what kind of person I most probably and almost certainly am without knowing me. They say the eyes are the window to the soul, and to the keen observer, so are their words no matter what kind of words are presented.

    And yes, really don’t like it when there’s no name to go with a report like this. 🙂

  3. Thanks for your comments.

    For folks who have been following me for years, it’s clear that I rarely publish any of my domain sales. 100% of my sales are under NDA. I’ve always taken this approach in order to put my clients best interests first ahead of the curiosity of the domaining community. That being said, I feel that 7 figure domain sales are “newsworthy”, even though all the details can’t be publicly released.

    And I promise not to be upset if you don’t take my word for it. 😉

    • I think that a sale with an NDA should not be made public.
      How can this sale be verified ??? No way …
      Everybody can say that they close a million dollar sale without
      revealing the details !!! Do you get it ???

  4. One of the other reasons major sellers and buyers don’t want to disclose their big transactions is because you get innundated with emails from domainers pitching the crappiest “related keyword” domains at the most ridiculous prices.

  5. I would also like to add to all the folks who don’t think this should be published. What about the private companies (not naming any names) that publish annual sales in the millions but don’t publish one sale throughout the year. How can that be verified and is that right? I know every domain broker out there wants to publish a sale to gain recognition but I also know there a lot of players out there who just publishing erroneous numbers just to inflate their own perception. In this case, publishing one big private sale is a lot better than publishing annual sales with no proof.

  6. In addition to what Frank said above, I think announcing a non-existent domain sale would be a major risk in the event of a tax audit.

    Also, if it were to ever be proven false, it would be a reputation killer as well.

  7. It’s an interesting thread. At the heart of the matter is the issue of “audited” vs. “un-audited” sales reports. If you are a public company, these types of sales need to be audited and verified by a 3rd party. If you are a private company, you have free reign on how you publish and “market” your sales performance.

    I’ve also observed that for some reason the domain industry really feels that they are entitled to the specific details of business transactions between private parties. If you are buying a company, why would the seller and the buyer want to broadcast that information outside of the boardroom? I also think a key variable is to closely examine the “messenger” of the “message” in order to reach logical conclusion.

  8. “What does “verified by host” mean?”

    It means this type of posts are pretty pointless leaving out the most important information, the name. So basically useless to your readers.

  9. In keeping with and in addition to what Elliot and Ryan just said above, it’s a matter of exercising sound judgment and making a sound and reasonable judgment call about the person, especially if it’s a person that people actually know. Elliot’s statement about reputation-killer should be considered a “no-brainer” the size of Mt. Everest. In my own case, for example, Acro doesn’t particularly like a guy like me posting anonymously and as someone who is unknown, but it’s really extremely easy to assess and ascertain the character and substance of my actual statements posting vs. holding to any automatic assumptions about someone posting anonymously. I wasn’t even familiar with Ryan Colby or his name before, but sound reason, judgment and discretion leaves me with little doubt about the credibility of his claim or the reality that others in the industry in a position to know have confidence in him and claim like that from him.

  10. What blows me away is all the doubters about this sale. Have you seen the sales history that Ryan has? Ryan is one of the top domain brokers in the industry. He has nothing to prove. He had a great sale and instead of saying “Great Job” there will be the haters who will always hate.

    Great job Ryan! Thank you for always being there to help answer my questions that I bring to you without any hesitation.

  11. I trust. I have followed Ryan for several years and even up until recently I see the quality of names he is brokering. NDA or not I say congratulations. It would be too risky for him to make up sales. I also have been to a few domain conferences where people who work for the Escrow companies have told me the numbers are huge for the amount of sales that go unpublished. Really big numbers. So for me, I trust. Good Job and help me sell some names over at PlentyOfBrands.com …. Ryan.


  12. I’ve worked with Ryan behind the scenes on a few deals. He’s told me about at least three other 7-figure deals that he was not able to close in the past six months. So, he wins some, he loses some. It’s par for the course in domain name brokering.

    Announcing this particular deal in this way at least helps industry participants know that 7-figure deals are getting done and on what type of domain names (short, generic .coms). Not new information, agreed, but reinforcing information in an industry where many if not most premium domain name transactions go unreported due to NDAs, which are the prerogative of the parties to the transaction.

    Beyond that, it’s smart for Ryan to do a little PR to keep his normally quiet brokerage practice on the radars of domain name buyers — those end users and investors with the capital to spend on premium domain names that many readers here may own. Bringing on the buyers so that domain names can be economically valued and so that deals get done is a good thing for all.

  13. Well Done Ryan! Huge deal.. Nice to see the 7 figure action.. just validates that genuine “premium” domains with great brand potential are first up on the dance card..

    • How does this:

      “I helped someone sell something to somebody else but can’t say what I sold or who I sold it to; and by the way nobody has validated this sale”

      help the industry?

    • So I have an interesting question. What about the private companies who publish unaudited, 3rd party sales data but fail to match up those numbers to the individual sales?

      In the end, it’s track record and character that speak the loudest.


      • I don’t agree. I think it shows that there is far more to the aftermarket than what people read in DN Journal sales report.

        Additionally, I believe Ryan in the same way I would believe (and be happy for) you if you reported a 7 figure sale that you couldn’t specially divulge due to a NDA.

    • “I just helped someone sell a domain for $1.4 Million but am not at liberty to disclose further details.”

      From someone whom people and especially “industry luminaries” know, who has a known track record, known credibility and character, and much to lose, it not only does not hurt the industry but tends to help it even just a bit according to what Elliot expressed below.

    • >”Ryan, I am not doubting you, but […]”

      Well yes you are, and you already did, and you can’t have it both ways now.

      >”I will say it’s fiction until verified by a trusted source and the post is clearly for self promotion […]”

    • As a brief update, I thought I’d mention that I’m working with both buyer and seller to potentially disclose the domain name behind this large transaction. While this deal is still under NDA, I’m in the process of discussing the benefits to the buyer to disclose the name and include it in a press release if both parties agree to over turn it. The domain has been in development for about 7 months now. No promises yet, however it remains a possibility.

  14. Congrats to Ryan! I’ve worked with him before on a few of my domains, and he was always responsive and fair. Great sale.

  15. Congrats on the sale Ryan, NDA or no NDA, good to know more sales are happening under the radar. Great for the industry. Seems like a drop in the bucket judging by the names you are brokering. Surprised at all the doubters though.

  16. As one last note, I’d like to add that I didn’t publish the article. I have a public Twitter and Facebook feed where I announce my updates and insights from time to time and a domaining media publication decided to deem it important. I might be wrong, but I think I’ve been doing this long enough to not need any self promotion. 😉

    And now that I think about it, why in the world would any intelligent and competent broker reveal his greatest source of income? BUYERS…..

    In any case, love you all. 😉

  17. Wow I am surprised at all the doubters on here! Apparently some people have not checked Ryan’s sales history…he’s obviously one of the top domain brokers in the industry! Congrats on a job well done, Ryan!

    • What is a bad precedent? I wrote about something that was publicly announced by someone who is prominent in the domain investing space.

      I don’t really think you were vilified, but I apologize if you feel that way.

  18. This has proven to be an interesting and engaging discussion about the basic issue of “credibility.” I’m as super cynical as the next guy about online statements, and used to even be essentially paid by the US government to be suspicious ( 🙂 ), and I have no problem with the “more likely than not” credibility here. As Mr. Spock would say, “Fascinating…”

  19. First, congratulations.

    I’ve been in the space for almost ten years now and have known Ryan as an industry acquaintance for three years. It would be ludicrous to insinuate that he is lying simply based on his historical titles and sales within the industry. The irrevocable damage that a “white lie” of that magnitude could potentially end his brokerage days – he’s smarter than that.

    Furthermore, lets be honest.

    The domain industry is FILLED with HYPE and LIES and JEALOUSY. However, Ron Jackson of DnJournal.com as well as the executives at SEDO, AFTERNIC, GODADDY, DOMAINMARKET, SNAPNAMES, NAMEJET, and ESCROW.com among several others, can surely join hands to verify that there are millions of dollars in domain transactions each and every month. And, if you dig deeper, it’s pretty much an indisputable fact that the reported and verified PUBLIC SALES only make up a fraction of the total monthly global domain aftermarket activity. Some executives and board of directors insist on non-disclosure agreements, for a variety or reasons. But that doesn’t mean the sales aren’t happening.

    Brokers grow their name by PROVING themselves through knowledge and sales. But, one way or another begins with self-promotion. It’s 2015. It’s business. The social media magnifying glass is upon us all. However, taking the “SOLD without verification” news personally or judging his character or ethics is not only a stroke of immaturity but worse, jealously.

    Now I’m surely not hinting that Ryan is “the best on the block”, but he has-in-fact proven over the course of several years he is an experienced, knowledgable, and professional domain broker – with millions of dollars in sales that speak volumes.

    Let us not forget the reality that each and every domain broker of (million-dollar-plus) status is an indirect asset to every premium domain asset owner on the planet. Every single day, his JOB is to ‘promote’ the value and strategy opportunities for more aftermarket and end-user domain transactions which equate to MORE sales and MORE news – and potentially a domino effect of interest to your investments. Think about it.

  20. Elliot,
    Try using that excuse when your editor at the post,times,globe or even your college newspaper asks for verified proof beyond the first party.

  21. Not sure why its so hard for people to believe Ryan brokered a 7 figure name. Ive personally seen many names on his marketing list that are of that caliber.

  22. Well done!

    Congrats on another great sale. There have certainly been a few high ones lately.

    Intriguing comments though. Although I can see the obvious points, I didnt second guess. Simply, when a respected authority with a verifiable history presents information I simply don’t dispute the one that hasn’t been proven. In short I rest my trust in proven entities till proven otherwise not the other way around.

  23. lots of your commentors have no mouseover identification to their nicknames… I thought you had to be a registered / verified and logged in to be able to post a comment ??

    WHOIS Lloyd
    WHOIS Josho
    WHOIS Bruce Breger
    WHOIS Reagen
    WHOIS Mariano
    WHOIS Frank
    WHOIS Kevin
    WHOIS Ron
    WHOIS John
    WHOIS Jonathan
    WHOIS Rebekah


  24. Opinions certainly seem to be all over the board.. the only thing that precedes you in business is your credibility and integrity. My money is on Ryan.. end of story. Grab a pop and enjoy March Madness,,

  25. Congratulations to Ryan. It is great to see another 7 figure .com sale. I would think that with his track record as a domain broker, people would trust him when he says he has made such a sale. It would be very risky for him to claim such a sale if it wasn’t true.

  26. Congratulations to Ryan and thanks for posting this Elliot.
    I have worked with Ryan on a number of domains, I couldn’t be happier for him.
    Ryan’s work ethic and reputation are impeccable.
    Does this post help?
    I think so, it gives people like me insight and confirmation that these transactions are taking place.
    It also helps me know that my collection of short one word .com’s are worth holding on to. 🙂
    Cheers to you Ryan, keep up the good work.

  27. The point of a NDA is so you don’t talk about it so tweeting about it breaks the spirit of point.

    The point of tweeting about it is self promotion, don’t mask it as for the good of the industry. Nothing wrong with self promotion, but call it for what it is.

    And unless a fact can be proven then you should never take someone’s word. Much wiser to live that way then to believe everything people say.

    • Paragraph 1: That is hardly a necessary “charge” or conclusion. An NDA can be specific enough to cover every possible angle of public discussion, and the facts presented are obscured enough to preserve the spirit and reality of the NDA. Partial publication of some facts within the confines of such an arrangement is hardly condemned in society that I’m every aware of, and this would certainly not keep me from employing a broker like this for any of my best domains.

      Paragraph 2: Nobody is masquerading or pretending any such thing at all, so you are making a straw man and putting words in someone else’s mouth. People understand that it’s a “given” that there is some acceptable and legitimate level of one’s own interest involved in anything done publicly in commerce in addition to any other benefits to others or an industry, often clearly so and without pretense otherwise, and that is perfectly legitimate and normal. You do not appear to have read the whole thread here at all.

      Paragraph 3: Once again you do not appear to have read the whole thread here at all, and no one is suggesting any such thing at all about ” believ[ing] everything people say,” but rather even openly stating the opposite policy. Another case of “straw man” and “words in someone else’s mouth” here.


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