Thoughts on the Auctions – Strength in Tough Times

Subscribe to Elliot's BlogWhile the financial markets are in the midst of turmoil, and much of this country is facing difficult times, I think the results of the opening day Moniker auction, Rick Latona’s auction and’s auction show the strength of the domain industry.   I don’t think the final tally for each auction was remarkable, but I think the auctions were very solid in such tough times.
There were some strong names offered for sale, and the reserve prices were mostly reasonable, allowing the market to set the sales prices. With several hundred bidders watching either online or in attendance, there were plenty of people looking to find good domain deals. A large majority of the names that were offered were sold, showing that if you price your name well, the market will deliver a fair price. Selling to end users might be more lucrative, but at the moment, end users might not necessarily have the cash.
This afternoon, Moniker is hosting their premier auction event. After spending quite a bit of time studying the auction list, I believe Moniker is poised to have a stellar day given tough outside market conditions. There are a considerable amount of names on the list that have great reserves (low or none at all), and these names are going to be sold for a fair price. I don’t think we will see huge numbers like the $10 million auction last year, but that’s completely expected given the current market conditions.   My prediction is that they break the $2.5 million dollar mark, which would be indicitive of a solid market – not necessarily strong, but solid.

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. So far, it looks like the the 3 auctions that have been held have accumilated a little under $1 million in domain sales.
    The results are not impressive and would be much lower if Rick did not lower his reserve prices during the show. I am glad Rick used his business sense to make a wise decision. It definitely helped that he owned most of the inventory.
    Unfortunately, this was a poor performance of domain sales for the prestigous Traffic Show. I know the moniker auction is still left for today, and I would agree with your prediction of $2.5 mil and lower for the moniker auction. After all, you were right on the money for the geo domain expo auction! =)
    The financial market is much to blame. The market will rebound eventually.
    CADNA is definitely going to have an effect on domain values if they have their way. This is scary when you see the major companies uniting to combat domainers. What is the value of a generic domain to an end user if they are going to have to battle these major companies in court and spend hundreds and thousands of dollars just to keep it? It wont be no where near as much as in the past IMO.
    CADNA will have to be stopped in their attempt and educated.
    Crazy times ahead.
    The future is uncertain for domainers.

  2. I don’t know if strength is the right word. The prices seem to me reminiscent of 2004 maybe even 2003. Still pretty good considering these times are being compared to the great depression.
    If I may, I’d like to get your opinion on a Geo name I just purchased. I bought off ebay over the weekend for $500. It’s a city in Washington state with a population of 53,000 with average income and home values both 2x the state average. I’ve been told it’s near Microsoft hqtrs. However, there are not many google ads for the name nor is there a wiki article or many google results for it. It’s a strong candidate for Rick Latona’s mini-site, I know. Did I get a steal of a deal or hoodwinked or somewhere in between? A Geo name of a city with 50K ppl for $500!

  3. I’m more interested in knowing WHOS buying these names. My feeling is that all domains over $20-30k are being bought by the same handful of people. Same for Moniker’s auction today.
    If so, then that really depresses the overall demand for names.

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