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New Year Starts With a Bang!  Trees.com Yield 58K at GreatDomains and .US Sets a New High

by Ron Jackson  

New Year's celebrations around the world were accompanied by fireworks and we were treated to some in the domain business this week as well. The industry, coming off a terrific turnaround year in 2004, got off to a great start in 2005. Our first Top Ten chart of the new year sports seven 5-figure sales led by the $58,000 purchase of Trees.com at GreatDomains.  Other highlights in our maiden voyage of 05 include the biggest .US sale reported to date and the second highest sale in .biz! We also saw a continuation of the romp Sedo.com began in the last quarter of 2004. They kicked off the New Year the same way they closed the old one, with five entries on DNJournal's Big Board!


Sedo's latest run began with #2 LogoOnline.com at 30,000 ($39,817), quite a nice price for a domain that appears to have been purchased for branding since existing traffic is likely to be low (less than 200 links in Marketleap and 0 with the extension in Overture). Sedo also took the #3 position with Message.com at $18,000. That looks to us to be a bargain. Current traffic may not be huge (296 with the extension in Overture) but messaging is such an integral part of the Internet we think the buyer will be hard pressed to go wrong with this one. 

SnapNames.com, the comeback company of the year in 2004, obviously has no plans to slow down in 2005. They bolted out of the gate with three Top Ten sales this week, including #4 Costo.com (3,210 with the extension in OVT!) at $15,100 and #5 FreeAstrology.com at $13,133. The stars are definitely lining up right again for the Snap team in Portland, Oregon. An integral member of that group, Kjel Holmberg, is especially happy this week as he and his lovely wife Kristin celebrated the New Year with the January 1st arrival of a healthy new baby boy, Soren Pher Holmberg (a middle name shared by both dad and grandad). They obviously grow them big up in the Pacific Nortwest. Soren weighed in at 9 lbs. 9 ozs. and measured 21.5 inches! We join Kjel's many friends in the industry in congratulating his family on this big event.  

Back in the domain world, another rapidly growing youngster, .US, hit a new high water mark. Moniker.com/DomainSystems.com reported the $12,250 sale of CellPhones.us. That is the highest .US sale reported to date and it ranks #6 on our mainstream chart this week while topping our New TLD list. In another major new extension deal, Sedo sold Auto.biz for the second highest price we have heard of in that TLD. We'll tell you more about that in the new extension section of our report coming up a bit later. 

SnapNames and Afternic.com accounted for the other 5-figure deals this week. SnapNames nailed their third sale at that lofty level with #7 TravelChina.com at $11,100. Afternic scored with #8 Introduction.com at $11,000.  Sedo then closed  out the chart with three straight entries (there was a tie for 10th). Let's take a look at the complete list then we'll continue with news of other notable sales including an excellent opening week for the new extensions:

 

Domain Name Journal's Top Ten 
Reported Domain Sales - Mon. Dec. 27, 2004 - Sun. Jan. 2, 2005
Euro to Dollar Conversion ( to $) is Based on Rates in Effect Tue. Jan. 4

  Domain

Sold For

Where Sold
1. Trees.com    $58,000 GreatDomains
2. LogoOnline.com 30,000 = $39,817 Sedo
3.  Message.com  $18,000 Sedo
4.  Costo.com    $15,100  SnapNames
5. FreeAstrology.com $13,133 SnapNames
6. CellPhones.us   $12,250 Moniker/
DomainSystems
7. TravelChina.com   $11,100 SnapNames
8. Introduction.com  $11,000 Afternic
9. MusikDownloads.de   7,000 = $9,295 Sedo
10.
tie
Primitive.com $8,000 Sedo
10.
tie
HotshotDigital.com $8,000 Sedo

Keep in mind that these are the highest value sales that have been reported to us 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.

As you can see above, Sedo completed their winning quintet with MusikDownload.de (German country code domain) at $9,295 and a pair at $8,000 each, Primitive.com and HotshotDigital.com. The buyer and seller in the Primitive.com deal are well-known members at different domain forums. Regulars at DNForum.com know the buyer as Android while DomainState devotees consider seller Fizz to be a key member of their family.

Sedo's story never ends with their chart entries. There are always more meaty morsels on the sideboard. This week those included Buso.com at 4,600 ($6,108), GamingParty.com at $5,888 and Biocat.com at 2,800 ($3,718). Sedo always scores with ccTLD's as well. This time out the cream of that crop included an Austrian country code domain Freude.at ("happiness" in German) and another German .de, Hotels-England.de at 2,500 ($3,320). Sedo also turned in a killer performance on our New TLD chart (coming up below), racking up 7 of the 8 available positions. 

The sale list at SnapNames is also a long one. HKC.com commanded $6,655 with AdAgencies.com close behind at $6,100. EuropeAirFare.com soared to $5,500 and Passageways.com opened the door to $5,340. VirusAlert.com attracted $3,733, Telefile.com posted $3,550 and Assessors.com contributed $2,650. Other winners were RealEstateHoldings.com ($2,498), TechExtreme.com ($2,300) and Mommys.com ($2,200). Another $2,060 flowed from LibertyFalls.com while CellularPhoneDirectory.com rang up $2,040. The best .net at SnapNames was a 2-character domain, i9.net at $1,575.

GreatDomains supplemented their chart-topping Trees.com with a pair of strong .nets, JJ.net at $6,000 and Caviar.net at $2,500. Moniker/DomainSystems sold a nice matching set, Unisant.com and Unisant.net for $11,200 while Afternic added to their bottom line with FindLoans.com at $5,000 and ChefsCorner.com at $3,988

At Enom's Club Drop, NBANews.com was the headliner at $3,300. ZOI.com was next in line at $2,300 while DeerMountain.com climbed to $2,200. Also, as proof that the number of bidders in a Club Drop auction isn't a good predictor of how high the price will go, consider this. The 11 bidders interested in DemolitionContractor.com pushed it to a high of $1,700. Around the same time, 71 bidders were fighting it out for WebAuctions.com but that one closed a bit lower at $1,400

*****

Since this is the first week of the New Year, our 2005 Year To Date chart would be the same as the weekly chart. Little point in that, so we have worked up an extra treat for you! Last week we published our final 2004 leader's list showing 77 domains that sold for over $28,000. This week we have prepared a more in depth view of 2004's sales winners. Click the link in the box below for a complete list of every reported domain sale of 5 figures or more in 2004 - a total of 304 domains!

DNJournal.com's Top Domain Sales for 2004
  
Click this link for every reported sale of $10,000 or more in 2004


New TLD Section

Taking a cue from the big boys on our mainstream chart, the new extensions also started 2005 on the right foot with the strongest chart we have seen since beginning our reports in the fall of 2003. You already know about the New TLD chart-topper, CellPhones.us, the biggest .US sale reported to date at $12,250 (and #6 on this week's mainstream chart). Moniker.com/DomainSystems.com did the honors there. When I was a guest on Moniker CEO Monte Cahn's weekly Domain Masters radio show on WebmasterRadio.FM last week, I thought Monte seemed more enthusiastic about the new extensions than I had ever heard him. Now I know why! 

It was a landmark week for .biz too, with Sedo reporting the second highest .biz sale we have seen to date. Someone visited their venue and drove off with Auto.biz for $7,966. That helped Sedo turn in a dominating performance on our New TLD chart, taking 7 of the 8 positions. Their winners included 4 .biz, 2 .infos and a .us (giving the American ccTLD 2 slots overall thanks to Moniker's coup with CellPhones.us). 

LondonEscorts.biz and MusicalTheater.info tied for 3rd at a very respectable $2,655 each (especially when you consider these are two-word new extension domains). A pair of German terms took the next two slots with Fondspreise.info ("mutual fund prices" in German) #5 at $1,527 and Dolmetscher.biz ("interpreter" in German) #6 at $996. Here is a look at the complete New TLD Great 8 for the opening week in 2005:

Domain Name Journal's New TLD Great 8 
  Reported .info, .biz & .us Domain Sales  Dec. 27, 2004 - Jan. 2, 2005
Euro to Dollar Conversion ( to $) is Based on Rates in Effect Tue. Jan. 4

  Domain

Sold For

Where Sold
1. CellPhones.us      $12,250 Moniker/
DomainSystems
2. Auto.biz   6,000 = $7,966 Sedo
3.
tie 
LondonEscorts.biz     2,000 = $2,655 Sedo
3.
tie
MusicalTheater.info      2,000 = $2,655 Sedo
5. Fondspreise.info
("mutual funds prices" in German)
      1,150 =$1,527 Sedo
6. Dolmetscher.biz
("interpreter" in German)
   750 = $996  Sedo
7. FlashGame.us         600 = $797 Sedo
8. Classic.biz  400 = $531 Sedo

Sedo closed out their remarkable run with FlashGame.us at $797 and Classic.biz at $531. Below the chart they added another 350 ($465) for Pokerface.us. My own new extension sales this week included Hitman.us at $375.

As we noted in our mainstream section earlier, a 2005 New TLD Year To Date chart would be the same as the weekly chart since this is the first week of the year. So instead we are bringing you a greatly expanded 2004 sales report compared to the end-of-year list we posted last week. That chart was limited to the 37 domains that sold for at least $4,000. Click the link in the box below for a list of every reported new extension domain that sold for $1,000 or more in 2004. There are 201 domains on the list. .Info was the runaway leader racking up 145 sales of $1,000 or more. .Biz had 35 in that range and .US had 21.

Domain Name Journal's Top New TLD Domain Sales for 2004 

Click this link for every reported New TLD sale of $1,000 or more in 2004

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.

We truly appreciate the industry leading companies represented on our charts who share their sales information with us to help everyone in the business get a handle on current domain values. Individuals like Richard Meyer of the American Marketing Corporation also 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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