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Domain Sales Are Smoking!  Million Dollar Deal and a Six-Figure Sidekick Headline Our Hot New Chart!

by Ron Jackson    


Things continue to move in the right direction
for the domain business. With a couple of blockbuster sales leading the way, this week's Top Ten has the highest dollar value we've seen so far in 2004. We also get a new Year-To-Date headliner after Mercury.com changed hands in a deal valued at $1.1 Million


The buyer, Mercury Interactive Corp. (a public company traded on the NASDAQ) forked over $700,000 in cash and also threw in $400,000 worth of equipment, services, and technical support to close the deal. We use only cash figures in determining our chart placement but that 700K was more than enough to reach the top rung on the ladder. That's not to say there was no competition. On the very same day the Mercury deal was announced, GreatDomains contacted us to let us know they had brokered a $325,000 sale of Smoking.com. So in the past week we saw the two largest domain sales of the new year.

There was another big one at Sedo, but the parties involved in the sale of Bόcher.de ("books" in German) asked the auction venue to announce only that the price was in the high five-figure range. To us that would mean somewhere between $70,000-$99,000 and anywhere in that range makes a sale worth getting excited about. We can't chart the deal without an exact number but it definitely shouldn't go unnoticed, especially as it continues to show the terrific strength in good .de domains. Also note that with the ό character this is one of the new "international character" domains that have just begun to appear.

Those sales would be enough to make any week memorable but we're still not through. There were three more five-figure deals, two of which would have been chart-toppers themselves in other weeks. One big sale was worthy of the Godzilla reference the domain is based on. The seller of Spamzilla.com (Essatte Ltd. of Hong Kong) sent market doubters fleeing by stomping to the bank with $35,000 after transferring the name to a Florida software company. That transaction was brokered by a newcomer to our chart, MarketEvolver.com.

Though one might expect to encounter messy conditions trailing in Spamzilla's wake, CleanEnergy.com stayed nice and neat, netting $31,950 in a sale handled by DomainSystems.com. CEO Monte Cahn told us his company also had a $15,600 sale, the name of which has to remain confidential at the buyer's request. Rounding out this week's five-figure club was Villages.com, a domain that attracted an even $10,000 top bid at Afternic.com. Here's a look at the complete big board, with all of the top reported sales for the week ending Sunday, Mar. 14:

Domain Name Journal's Top Ten 
Reported Domain Sales - Mon. Mar.8, 2004 - Sun. Mar. 14, 2004
Euro to Dollar Conversion (€ to $) is Based on Rates in Effect Tue. Mar. 16

  Domain

Sold For

Where Sold
1.  Mercury.com $700,000*
(+ $400,000)
Pvt Transaction
2.  Smoking.com $325,000 GreatDomains
3.  Spamzilla.com $35,000 MarketEvolver
4.  CleanEnergy.com $31,950 DomainSystems
5.  Villages.com $10,000 Afternic
6. Veranstaltung.de
("Event" in German)
€6,000 = $7,358 Sedo
7. Swords.co.uk  $6,800 Sedo
8. TheOnly1.com   $6,134 Sedo
9. WorldMail.com  $5,361 Pool
10. Elbe.de
(famous German river)
€4,060 = $4,981 Sedo

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.

Sedo had a nice run to claim four of the final five positions on our chart. They continued to demonstrate their dominant position in country code sales by taking those spots with a pair of .de's (German country code) and a .co.uk (United Kingdom) with a .com thrown in for good measure. Sedo yielded only the 9th position to the ever-present Elequa who collected WorldMail.com from a Pool auction for $5,361.  

If we went down 10 more positions, Sedo would be all over the place in that neighborhood too. Their other notable sales this week included Industrielle.com at €3,900 ($4,785), AutoPlanet.co.uk at £2,400 ($4,350) and a nice .net sale, VNC.net at €3,495 ($4,288). Sedo also racked up €2,888 ($3,543) for CarRentals.org, €2,600 ($3,190) for Travel-Europe.com and $2,290 for Trumpice.com

The waters were a little calmer at Pool.com this week. In addition to the #9 domain on our chart, they collected $4,600 for Hooligan.com. The others reported to us were all under $2,000 and included ClickOn.com at $1,938, RentalStore.com at $1,800 and HomeMoving.com at $1,600. They also watched BankAuctions.com get bid up to $1,550 while TDO.net went for $1,284 and VirusControl.com produced a $1,250 cure (roughly the same amount my doctor charges for an office visit)!

Other notable sales from around the industry included $3,550 for DivingAdventures.com at DomainSystems and a pair from Afternic: ChangeYourWorld.com at $1,488 and PriceCrawler.com at $1,220. Afternic also had the first .ca sale (Canadian country code) ever reported to us, WeddingThings.ca, which went for an even $1,000.

The big sales this week prompted us to add three positions to our Year-To-Date Sales Chart now making it a Top 20 list.  Mercury.com takes over as our new leader and the cost of chart admission rose to $25,000. Here are all of the top reported sales Year-To-Date:

Domain Name Journal's Year-To-Date Top 20 
Highest Reported 2004 Domain Sales through Sun. Mar. 14  
Euro to Dollar Conversion (€ to $) 
Based on Rates in Effect When Sales Were Originally Reported by DNJ

  Domain

Sold For

Where Sold
1. Mercury.com $700,000*
(+ $400,000)
Pvt Transaction
2. Smoking.com $325,000 GreatDomains
3. Beef.com $150,000 GreatDomains
4.  Sexkontakte.de
"Sex contacts" in German
 €110,000 = $141,175 Sedo
5.  Truck.com  $101,000 DomainSystems
6.  Kreuzfahrten.de
"Cruises" in German
€70,000 = $88,853 Sedo
7.  Boxen.de
"Boxing" in German
€56,500 = $72,509 Sedo
8.  FKK.de  €40,000 = $51,333 Sedo
9.  Busen.de
"Bosom" in German
 €40,000 = $51,333 Sedo
10. Faces.com $38,700 DomainSystems
11. Metropol.com €30,500 = $38,230 Sedo

12. 

Nackt.de
"Nude or Naked" in German
€30,000 = $38,081 Sedo
13.  DiscountDrugs.com $30,010 Namewinner
14. Spamzilla.com $35,000 MarketEvolver
15. CleanEnergy.com $31,950 DomainSystems
16.  NewYork.info €22,000 = $28,086 Sedo

17.

XPart.com $27,981 DomainSystems
18.  Messaging.com   $27,600 Pool

19.

NQ.com $27,000 Afternic
20. Beat.com $25,000 DomainSystems
Unforgettable Footnotes:
Below are landmark sales where the price level (denoted by X characters) was released but not the exact price paid. This will allow us to note significant sales that are among the Year-To-Date leaders but cannot be ranked numerically due  to a confidentiality agreement that kept the exact price private. Date shown indicates when the sale was first reported in Domain Name Journal. High - Mid - Low indicates the range within the price category shown by multiple X's.
Woman.com (Feb. 10, 2004) Low $XXX,XXX Sedo
Bόcher.de (Mar. 16, 2004)
{"books" in German)
High $XX,XXX Sedo


New TLD Section

They say a rising tide lifts all boats and certainly the booming market in the established extensions has been spilling over into improved prices for the new TLD's. Buyers who are priced out of the market for strong .com or .de terms, for example, have shown a willingness to venture into .info and .biz waters. We had a trio of four-figure .info sales this week, but can only chart two of those. The biggest was a $4,000 deal at Afternic, but the customer asked that the name remain confidential so it cannot be listed on our New TLD Top Five

That allowed PHP.info to claim the #1 slot after going for $1,900 at Sedo. Three of the week's Top 5 were three-letter domains (kind of makes Elequa look a bit smarter every week doesn't it?), with only Navigate.info and Sino.info breaking that pattern. Navigate.info was the #2 domain at $1,228, also at Sedo, followed by a .biz and two more .infos. Here is our complete reported sales chart:

Domain Name Journal's New TLD Top Five 
  Reported .info, .biz & .us Domain Sales  Mar. 8, 2004 - Mar. 14, 2004
Euro to Dollar Conversion (€ to $) is Based on Rates in Effect Tue. Mar. 16

  Domain

Sold For

Where Sold
1.  PHP.info    $1,900 Sedo
2. Navigate.info   €1,001 = $1,228 Sedo
3.  AFC.biz   €720 = $883 Sedo
4.  WMC.info   $850 Pvt Transaction
5.  Sino.info $600 Pvt Transaction

AFC.biz was the second highest three-letter .biz we have reported to date (MMN.biz was the highest at $1,000).  We've seen several three-letter .infos like #4 WMC.info (my sale) go in the high three-figure to low four-figure range (as well as one in low five figures that is still being wrapped up in escrow at Sedo). Sino.info was sold by a good friend, which makes me wonder how many unreported new extension sales are taking place outside my own social and business circle! 

Sedo had a few other new TLD sales this week including Carlisle.US at €325 ($399), Popper-Shop.info at €300 ($368) and Sturm.info ("storm" in German) at  €250 ($307). No one was able to crack our Year-To-Date New TLD chart this week which continues to show the same Super 7 as last week:

Domain Name Journal's Year-To-Date New TLD Super 7 
Highest Reported 2004 .info, .biz & .us Domain Sales through Mar. 14 
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.

Moscow.info $10,000 Sedo
3. RioDeJaneiro.info $9,000 Pvt Transaction
4. BDSM.info €5,500 = $6,947 Sedo
5. Reifen.biz
"tires" in German
 €5,500 = $6,894 Sedo
6. Vancouver.info €5,000 = $6,378 Sedo
7. Vacations.info $5,500 Pvt Transaction

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. People like Richard Meyer provide invaluable help by sending us data for these sales reports each week.

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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