It was an especially good week for DomainSystems with the company
claiming half of the available positions in our Top Ten.
Part of that may be due to the worldwide publicity the company
received the prior week when it was involved in the $1.32 million
dollar sale of Men.com. That resulted in their name being
printed in hundreds of newspapers and websites around the globe.
DomainSystems is already a strong contender week in and week out, so
the media coverage was like pouring gasoline on a fire as even more
new buyers made it a point to focus in on their offerings.
Another highlight this week is the continuing emergence of .info
as a regular contender for space in our Top Ten. .Info has
been a dominating presence on our New TLD chart ever since we
began this column in October, but now we see the newcomer frequently
mixing it up with the big boys on our main chart. This week Vancouver.info
went for $6,378 at Sedo
to rank among the top three reported sales in all extensions for our latest 7-day
reporting period. Next week we will likely be reporting the
completion of a five-figure .info sale. The domain has been paid for
and now awaits only the transfer from the seller to the buyer to
As seems to be the case more often than not, a possible sale is
generating as much talk as transactions that have actually taken
place. In an auction at Pool.com
Dec. 31, Che.net went for an eye-popping $38,000. Since
there is no readily apparent reason why that .net would go so high
our immediate reaction was one of suspicion. Especially since a
principal at one of the main auction venues told us that more
than half of these unusually high auction bids turn out to
The only viable commercial use we could connect with Che.net was
that che means car in the Chinese Pinyin dialect. Some mentioned Che
Guevara but, other than selling a book or two, one would be hard
pressed to recoup 38K from the deceased South American Communist
leader's name. Awfully expensive for an unofficial fan club site
too! Nearly a week after the auction ended, the WhoIs record remains
unchanged and the domain still resolves to Pool. It's too early to
declare the domain isn't going to be paid for, but until we see it
change hands we'll file this one in our "we'll believe it when
we see it" folder.
Now let's get our feet back on solid ground and move on to this week's new
chart covering sales
from Dec. 29 through Jan. 4. .Com opened the New Year with a
dominating performance, taking 8 of the 10 positions. Only .info
and .net were able to crash the party. Another frequent
visitor to the big chart, Germany's .de, just missed making
it by 1 Euro this week!
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.
Name Journal's Top Ten
Sales - Mon. Dec. 29, 2003 - Sun. Jan. 4, 2004
Euro to Dollar Conversion (€ to $) is Based on Rates in
Effect Tue. Jan. 6
There is a lot of optimism about how 2004 will play out for the
domain market. In a private message the buyer of the #2 domain, VFL.com,
told us he expects to be able to quadruple his $6,600
investment before the year is out. If that happens it will certainly
pay off better than your average passbook savings account!
Some other notes of interest on the Top Ten: The Vancouver.info
sale continues to point up what an excellent match geographical
locations make with the new extension. The #4 domain, Alturo.com,
is the name of a company according to the sales venue, Sedo. #8
domain UniversityofIllinois.com looks a little bulky but
commanded $3,655 thanks to strong existing traffic (over 500
with the extension at Overture). The
name is already pointed to a PPC page. We do wonder if a certain
major state university might challenge this use of its name though.
Missing the Top Ten by just a hair was Schwarzemagie.de, a
domain that went for $3,189 at Sedo. It means
"black magic" in German. Another Sedo winner was Autofinanzierung.com
("auto financing" in German) which attracted $2,169.
Pool had a number of notable sales to go along with the pair they
have on the Top Ten. Aquatica.com soaked the buyer (BuyDomains)
for $3,100. Someone also bid $3,100 for InvestingForum.com. That one hasn't changed hands yet but if
it does it will be an impressive sum for a forum name. Other winning
bids at Pool included Kathy.net at $2,107 and CheapGift.com
for $2,100 (we can't help but wonder if the buyer was someone
miffed at getting a crummy Christmas present)! Here's another Pool
selection that was appropriate for the season - Bars.net drew
a $2,033 winning bid and it couldn't have come at a more
appropriate time - New Year's Eve!
Another domain coming in above $2,000 was Screening.info
(more on that in our new TLD section below). Afternic.com
had a pair or four-figure sales to report: that loud sound
you heard might have been kaboom.net going for $1,050.
A 3-letter domain, VZZ.com was right behind at $1,000.
Sorry to keep you new extension fans waiting, but you have to
like what you've heard so far about those sales of Vancouver.info
and Screening.info. They take the top two spots on our New TLD
chart and still another four-figure sale landed Manager.us in
the third position, preventing .info from making it another clean
sweep this week. Take a look at the list then we will offer a few
Name Journal's New TLD Top Five
Reported .info, .biz & .us Domain Sales Dec.
29, 2003 - Jan. 4, 2004
Euro to Dollar Conversion (€ to $) is Based on Rates in
Effect Tue. Jan. 6
€5,000 = $6,378
"Grab it now" in German
"building insurance" in German
"house financing" in German
#2 Screening.info was sold by veteran new extension
investor Tariq Ghafoor to a German doctor in a private $2,200
transaction. You might recognize Tariq's name from a column
he contributed to Domain Name Journal last year. Another old
friend and well-respected domainer, Bob Deemer, made the Manager.us
sale through Sedo. The latter three sales are all German terms and
indeed Germany seems to be the top marketplace for .info and .biz
sales. It will be very interesting to see if that pocket of strength
expands outside of Europe in the months and years ahead.
New extension fans have to love seeing those four-figure sales.
Though you don't see any individual .biz domains on the chart
this week we know of a large group of .biz and .info domains that
was sold to a major investor in a private four-figure deal last
week. One reason you may not see as many .biz transactions
publicly reported is the registry rule aimed at restricting
speculation in that namespace. The .biz registration agreement says
you are not to register .biz domains with the sole purpose of
reselling them. The registry, Neulevel, wants to see those
domains used by ongoing business developers rather than bottled up
by speculators. It is hard to enforce such a rule but anything that
encourages development of new namespace should be beneficial to all
investors in the long run.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would like to extend a special "Thank You" to Richard
Meyer who contributed greatly to this week's column.
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.