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HIUSA.com Tops The Weekly Sales Chart With $17,450 Price Tag

by Ron Jackson     
Archived 11-18-03

The #1 domain
on this week's Domain Name Journal Top Ten sales chart was a bit of a puzzler to me. The deal for HIUSA.com closed at Afternic for $17,450. At first glance it looked like a  high price for a domain whose purpose was not immediately identifiable.


So, without cheating by looking at the WhoIs right away, I decided to try to guess what use the buyer had in mind that made the domain worth 5 figures to them. There is a popular television show in the U.S. called Good Morning America, so being a media guy my first thought was that maybe another network was doing a knockoff show called Hi USA!. However while I was pondering that, it suddenly dawned on me. Domain Name Journal is based in Florida and if you drive down any Interstate highway in this state you see giant billboards for Florida's tourism site - FLAUSA.com. Obviously, I thought, HIUSA.com must have been bought by Hawaii for a similar use (their official state postal abbreviation is HI).

Now I could look at the WhoIs with a sense of smug satisfaction. Unfortunately that didn't last long. HIUSA.com turned out to be a rare bird indeed - a five-letter acronym that attracted a five-figure check. The domain was purchased by Hostelling International - USA. The group already had HIUSA.org but we all know how important it is for an organization with an American presence to have the .com to avoid traffic loss. 

Having solved that mystery we can dive right into the full Top Ten. There is a first on this week's chart worth noting - the debut appearance of a .co.uk domain. FastStart.co.uk landed in a tie for the final chart position after changing hands for $5,000 at Afternic. A .info also appear in the Top Ten for the second week in a row and Germany's .de continues to draw major interest from buyers. That popular country code extension took 3 of the top 5 slots through sales at Sedo

As always, keep in mind that these are the highest value sales that have been reported in the past week. This column is meant to be an educational tool, not a complete list documenting ALL high value domain sales. Such a list is impossible to produce because many sales are kept private at the insistence of buyers, sellers or both. 

Domain Name Journal's Top Ten 
Reported Domain Sales - Mon. Nov. 3 through Sun. Nov. 9, 2003
Euro to Dollar Conversion ( to $) is Based on Rates in Effect Mon. Nov. 10

  Domain

Sold For

Where Sold
1.  HIUSA.com  $17,450 Afternic
2.  Gewerbe.de
("industry" or "trade" in German)
9,500 = $10,948 Sedo
3.  Pay.de 8,600 = $9,909 Sedo
4.  Digibet.com $9,300 DomainSystems
5.  Feier.de
("celebration" or verb "to party" in German)
7,700 = $8,872 Sedo
6. HandTools.com $7,249 Pool
7. Meningitis.info $5,975 Sedo
8. Posters.net  $5,001 DNForum.com
9. FastStart.co.uk $5,000 (tie) Afternic
9. Holz.com
("wood" or "lumber" in German) 
$5,000 (tie) Sedo

New extension fans will be heartened by the appearance of a .info on the Top Ten chart for the second straight week. The sale of meningitis.info also makes it  the second week in a row that the medical keyword "meningitis" appears here. Last week Meningitis.de was the #1 domain on the chart with a $16,610 price tag.

The sale of Posters.net at DNForum.com marks the first time one of the popular domain forums served as the venue for a Top Ten sale. Robin Freeman of LeadingNames.com made the sale to another forum regular, Luc L. of the Lezon Corporation.  Dozens of smaller transactions among resellers take place on the forums every week (see our Resources section for links to the main forums) but four-figure sales are not uncommon either.

Afternic had a very good week. In addition to the top domain and the first .co.uk Top Ten sale, the company reported three more 4-figure closings: WhatAndHow.com at $1,667, RockMusic.net at $1,500 and Shop4Mortgages.com at $1,488.

Sedo continues to benefit from their dominant position in the German market. If they are not selling .de's for big money they are selling German words like "Holz" in .com! They do well with other European country codes as well. This week's sales included a Swiss TLD domain, StarService.ch, for 2,500 ($2,879). The company has also been the leading beneficiary from Europe's early adoption of .info and .biz.

DomainSystems.com landed a top 5 sale for the second straight week with Digibet.com. DomainSystems also reported a group of four domains that went for a total of $22,350. Those were KidTags.com, Milram.com, Belur.com and 800CashBack.com. Those are being reported as a group because the company will not break out individual sales figures without the consent of both the buyer and the seller.

In addition to our Top Ten list we keep track of new extension sales (.info, .biz and .us) with a separate New TLD Top Five chart each week. America's new country code, .US makes its first appearance on the chart this week (actually two appearances), but .info led the pack again, taking the top 3 slots and each one was a four-figure sale. Here is the full list.

Domain Name Journal's New TLD Top Five 
 Reported .info, .biz & .us Domain Sales  Nov. 3 - Nov. 9, 2003
Euro to Dollar Conversion ( to $) is Based on Rates in Effect Mon. Nov. 10

  Domain

Sold For

Where Sold
1.  Meningitis.info  $5,975 Sedo
2.  Sauerland.info
(a region in Germany) 
1,900 = $2,188 Sedo
3.  Headlines.info  $1,800 Sedo
4.  Back.us $500 Sedo
5.  ITD.us $350 Afternic

After debuting in April 2002, .US is the newest of the new TLD's. .Info and .Biz each had about a 6-month head start. Over the next couple of quarters it will be interesting to see if the American country code will start approaching the steady sales we are starting to see for .info. .Biz has been absent the past couple of weeks, but took the top 3 slots just a couple of weeks ago. It is too early to draw any conclusions but it is certainly an interesting race to watch.

As always, we welcome all verifiable sales reports from companies, private sellers or individuals with knowledge of an important sale made through any channel. To contribute information and help make this column better,  just drop a note to editor@dnjournal.com.

Every Tuesday we publish the highest reported domain name sales for the previous week. On Monday our contributors send us their sales data for the previous 7 days. We then compile that information and write this report for Tuesday publication to give you the freshest sales report in the industry. 

We will close with this standard caution. These are not average selling prices - these are top selling domains. One of the biggest impediments to making sales is pricing domains at unrealistic levels. For most of us, pricing domains at the levels achieved on the Top Ten chart will leave us waiting a long time to make a sale! We hope you will use the information presented here as a measuring stick that will help you price your domains at levels that will put more money in your pocket more often!

Editor's Note: If you wish to review previous Domain Sales columns, they are available in our Archive.

 






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