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X Marks the Spot!  Deal for XPart.com Tops A Solid Sales Week in Which .Info's Continued to Surge 

by Ron Jackson    


To borrow Arte Johnson's catch phrase from Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, this past week in the domain business was "Verrrry Interesting!" We have been doing this column for three months now, yet we keep seeing things we haven't seen before. This week's firsts include the debut appearance of Italy's .it extension on our Top Ten and the first time .info has taken TWO slots on the big board (with five other four-figure .info sales also reported)!

 


But while we are on the subject of firsts, let's keep first things first and congratulate DomainSystems.com on their chart-leading sale of XPart.com for $27,981XPart is an international car parts distribution company that provides  ‘next day’ service through a network of locally based dealers around the world. While XPart traverses real world highways, the runner-up domain refers to the digital expressway. Ultimate Search accelerated the bidding at Pool.com to claim InfoHiway.com for $19,388

There were four more .coms on the big board, along with a .de (German country code), our first .it and those two .infos. After topping the chart last week (with NewYork.info) the new extension came right back with a basket full of strong sales this week. RioDeJaneiro.info and Vacations.info both landed on the big board, Rio at #4 after going for $9,000 in a private transaction. The seller, Tariq Ghafoor, collected another $9,000 for four more .infos that went to the same buyer. In another private transaction, #10 Vacations.info went for $5,500 giving that seller his second big .info sale of the week. We'll have more on those deals in our New TLD section later in this article.

Right now we want to take you directly to the new Top Ten where every domain topped $5,000 this time around. 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.
And the winners are.... 

Domain Name Journal's Top Ten 
Reported Domain Sales - Mon. Jan. 12, 2003 - Sun. Jan. 18, 2004
Euro to Dollar Conversion (€ to $) is Based on Rates in Effect Tue. Jan. 20

  Domain

Sold For

Where Sold
1.  XPart.com  $27,981 DomainSystems
2.  InfoHiway.com $19,388 Pool
3.  Kleidung.com
("Fashion" in German)
 €7,500 = $9,425 Keyword Domains
4.  RioDeJaneiro.info $9,000 Pvt Transaction
5.  PZP.com $6,766 Pool
6. GiantIdeas.com $6,200  DomainSystems
7. RentenFond.de
("Annuity Fund in German)
€4,700 = $5,906 Sedo
8. Meningite.it
("Meningitis" in Italian)
  €4,500 = $5,654 Sedo
9. CaliforniaGirls.com  $5,555 Pool
10. Vacations.info $5,500 Pvt Transaction

I guess #3 Kleidung.com, sold by German investor Markus Schnermann at KeywordDomains.com, allows Deutschland to claim one and a half slots on the big board! It's a .com but the German word for "fashion" deserves half the credit for this nice sale. Germany's official country code, .de, can also take a bow for the $5,906 sale of Rentenfond.de at Sedo

Sedo also handled the first .it sale to make our Top Ten, selling Meningite.it for $5,654. That should be just about the last "meningitis" domain that hasn't already been sold in recent months! Sedo told us they had several other solid four-figure sales last week that the participants requested be kept private. No matter because they also had a stack of such sales they could report. 

One of those was eCarteWeb.com for $4,398 (carte means "card" in French, so for that market this would mean "eCardWeb.com). Sedo snared $4,100 for GlobalID.com and also scored with a .org, banking $3,633 for CarRentals.org. .co.uk got into the act too, with Participant.co.uk attracting 1,500 GBP ($2,730). Still another noteworthy Sedo sale was Kitesurfers.com at $2,000.

Pool enjoyed a big week as well. In addition to their three entries in the Top Ten, the auction house soaked up $4,656 for ScubaWorld.com. Right behind was LatinXXX.com going for $4,450 and PrescriptionDrugs.com at $4,300. Pool also celebrated the $2,285 sale of BridalCreations.com. Their other notables included MusicEditor.com at $1,800, VegasTour.com at $1,553 and YLO.com at $1,550.

DomainSystems' chart-topper XPart.com and 6th-ranked GiantIdeas.com were part of a sales list that included Boobygram.com at $3,178, UGirls.com at $2,676 and XtremeBlender.com at $2,850.

Afternic.com birthed a quintet of four-figure sales led by eFrontier.com at $2,500 and VegasParadise.com at $2,000. They also brought home $1,688 for AnimalHospitalOnline.com, $1,395 for Drivers-Ed.com and $1,276 for TTEE.net. Afternic also had a trio of domains on our New TLD chart which we will get to shortly.

Before we do that, we want to introduce a pair of new mini-features to this column. These will be marked with bold red print each week. They are:

In The Pipeline: This spot will be used to alert you to significant sales that appear to be near completion. This week those include ChinaSea.com which drew a $33,333 high bid when it ended at Pool on Jan. 14. As of this writing the WhoIs record had not yet changed however. That will be something to always keep in mind when reviewing these "pipeline" items. It is not uncommon for sales to fall through for one reason or another (at auction houses like Pool, non-payment is the usual culprit). Another one in escrow is Password.net which drew a $20,555 bid at Afternic. We also have word about a five-figure .org sale that is expected to be finalized in time to qualify for next week's chart. That would be our highest reported .org sale to date.

Rewind: Sometimes word of a significant sale reaches us too late to make the deadline for the column devoted to the week in which the sale took place. "Rewind" will give us a place to bring those to your attention and to provide updates on deals that have been discussed here in recent weeks. After we went to press last week, we got word that Escort.cn had sold for $4,930 which would have been good enough for 8th place on last week's Top Ten. .cn is China's official country code and there is a lot of interest in how that extension devoted to the world's most populous nation will fare. 

Now, let's take a look at the Top Ten Year-To-Date Chart, then we can go forward and tackle those new TLD's. Here is how the all-extension records stand three weeks into the New Year.

Domain Name Journal's Year-To-Date Top Ten 
Highest Reported 2004 Domain Sales through Sun. Jan. 18  
Euro to Dollar Conversion (€ to $) 
Based on Rates in Effect When Sales Were Originally Reported by DNJ

  Domain

Sold For

Where Sold
 1.  NewYork.info €22,000 = $28,086 Sedo

2.

XPart.com $27,981 DomainSystems
 3.  InfoHiway.com $19,388 Pool
4. Eden.co.uk £8,900 = $16,292 Sedo
5.  Invatec.com  $11,000 Sedo
6.  DatingServices.com $11,000 Pvt Transaction
7.  Draw.net $10,099 Pool
8. Kleidung.com
("Fashion" in German)
 €7,500 = $9,425 Keyword Domains
9. RioDeJaneiro.info $9,000 Pvt Transaction
10. TobaccoOutlet.com   $7,750 DomainSystems

New extension fans have to love seeing a .info leading the big chart Year-To-Date. The new global TLD continues to break out in the marketplace. Those sales should signal increased website development in the near future, which of course is the real key to .info's staying power.

We told you at the top of this piece that the #1 domain on the New TLD chart, RioDeJaneiro.info, was part of a five-domain .info package that earned a total of $18,000 for Tariq Ghafoor. The buyer wanted to keep the names of all five domains private but Ghafoor persuaded him to allow the release of the name of highest priced domain at least. It is not uncommon for people involved in the new extension market to want to keep things as quiet as possible. The last thing they want is a swarm of new competitors descending on the ground they are mining. To respect their wishes, please don't tell anyone about this column!

Ghafoor told us the package included three more city/geographical .infos, priced at $4,000, $2,000 and $2,000. The fifth domain was an industrial sector name that went for $1,000. We don't include unnamed domains on our sales charts, otherwise this week's New TLD would be four-figure sales from top to bottom (with some spillover at the end!)

Domain Name Journal's New TLD Top Five 
  Reported .info, .biz & .us Domain Sales  Jan. 12, 2004 - Jan. 18, 2004
Euro to Dollar Conversion (€ to $) is Based on Rates in Effect Tue. Jan. 20

  Domain

Sold For

Where Sold
1.  RioDeJaneiro.info    $9,000 Pvt Transaction
2.  Vacations.info  $5,500 Pvt Transaction
3. Seismic.info $2,500 Pvt Transaction
4.  SantaBarbara.info  $850 Afternic
4.  Albuquerque.info   $850 Afternic
4.  Naples.info $850 Afternic

The #2 and #3 domains were sold by the same .info investor, giving him an $8,000 payday last week. The Australian seller, Matt,  asked us to withhold his last name but agreed to let us identify him by the name domain forum regulars know him by, Tigga

The confidentiality agreement covering the other domains in Ghafoor's package opened the door for Afternic to claim the second half of the New TLD chart with a trio of city names that went for $850 each (the tie gave our five position chart six slots this week).

After seeing Austin.info go for $650 at Afternic last week, and the new city sales this week, I remain convinced that sellers on that venue (or maybe it is one seller) are offering some terrific bargains on geographical names (geo/city names are ideal matches for .info). I doubt those kind of bargains will be around much longer in light of where .info prices have been heading in recent weeks. Another .info sale worth noting was Wilhelm.info which went for $691 at Sedo. We don't get a lot of reports on personal name sales, so it is nice to see them to start developing a valuation yardstick.

Though this section covers .biz and .us as well as .info, the .infos have clearly had the upper hand since we began this column. Of course, it was also the first of the three to roll out (Sept. 2001). .biz came soon after (Nov. 2001) and .us was last to debut (April 2002). Since .info's breakout is a recent development (we started noticing it in sales reports and our own sales in the fourth quarter of 2003), it will be interesting to see if .biz and .us follow closely behind. Then we can determine whether the key factors involved are time on the market (and the increased recognition that brings) or a preference among buyers for one over the others.

It has been a busy week, so let's wrap things up with a look at our Year-To-Date New TLD chart:

Domain Name Journal's Year-To-Date New TLD Top Five 
Highest Reported 2004 .info, .biz & .us Domain Sales through Jan. 18 
Euro to Dollar Conversion (€ to $) 
Based on Rates in Effect When Sales Were Originally Reported by DNJ

  Domain

Sold For

Where Sold
1.  NewYork.info   €22,000 = $28,086 Sedo
2. RioDeJaneiro.info $9,000 Pvt Transaction
3. Vancouver.info €5,000 = $6,378 Sedo
4. Vacations.info $5,500 Pvt Transaction
5. Seismic.info $2,500 Pvt Transaction

It's clear those good geographic .info domains are money in the bank. Just how broad usage of .info will become will be one of the fascinating stories to keep track of in the months and years ahead.

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. I would like to extend a special "Thank You"  to Richard Meyer who contributed greatly to this week's column, as well as to Page Howe who is also always there to lend a hand!

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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Domain Name Journal
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