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 Tops Past Week's Sales at

by Ron Jackson   
Archived 10-21-03   

We all THINK we know what makes a domain name valuable, but the final determination on what a domain is really worth ALWAYS rests with the buyer. Someone has to be willing to put their cash on the table for a sale to take place. We think a lot can be learned by looking at current domain name sales, so we are kicking off this new weekly column to do just that. 

Keep in mind that this report is meant as an educational tool. No one will ever be able to publish a list documenting ALL high value domain sales because many are kept private at the insistence of buyers, sellers or both. This column will feature the highest reported sales with data coming from many of the key players in the domain aftermarket. Thanks to their co-operation and willingness to help other domainers succeed, we hope to be able to provide you with valuable insight into what is happening in the domain market each week.

Before we get started, we also want to emphasize that these are the highest value sales that have been reported in the past week. These are not average selling prices. One of the biggest impediments to making sales is pricing domains at unrealistic levels. For most of us, pricing domains at these levels will leave us waiting a very long time to make a sale!

Our initial report below starts with the top  sales (and other notable transactions) at last week. We are also including recent sales at Sedo (they do not currently list the sales dates on their site but have agreed to start furnishing us with weekly data beginning with our next report). We will add data from all other sources that make their top sales information available to us so that we can compile one master list. is the latest to come on board and their data will be included next week as well.

We will welcome all verifiable sales reports from companies, private sellers and individuals with knowledge of an important sale made through any channel. To contribute information for this column, just drop a note to (For our next update we will need information on completed sales (payment received and domains transferred) that occurred from Mon. Oct. 13 through Sunday, Oct. 19).

Now, without further adieu,  the envelope please:

Top Sales Contracts at for the week ending Sunday, Oct. 12
(For this initial column Afternic data is for sales agreements. Starting with the next report, data from all sources will be for sales that have completed the escrow process.)

Domain Sold For
1. $9,000
2. $5,000
3. $4,000
4. $3,000
5. $1,000

Another notable sale at Afternic was IAC.US for $500. 3-letter domains have always been highly-prized in the .com namespace. Speculators in new extensions are keeping a close eye on sales trends in .us, .info and .biz to see if the popularity of these short acronyms carries over to those TLD's.

In looking at the  Top 5, I don't think many would be surprised by a good dictionary .com noun like going for what it did. The same is true for may raise a few eyebrows though. A two-word domain in a country code domain like that would usually receive low appraisals from armchair quarterbacks. The same is true for, a domain that is a bit long and is available in every other major extension except the .com. The fact that someone would pay $3,000 for it rather than take the .net for a registration fee underlines the continuing importance placed on .com by end users. is a good example of a solid two-word term (one that is taken in all major extensions) that we think sold at a very reasonable price.

At Sedo, their current list of recent sales also shows some interesting purchases:
(these domains are completed sales but not necessarily from the last 7 days. Starting with the next report, all Sedo data will be from the previous 7-day period).

Domain Sold For
1. $40,000
2. 35,000 Euros ($40,600)
3. 3,500 Euros ($4,060)
4. 2,000 Euros ($2,320)
5. $1,700 certainly fetched a nice price but a name like that should. If Tim Schumacher and Matthew Bentley's article about .DE in Domain Name Journal has not already opened your eyes to .de (the German country code), this sale of for over $40,000 should! Strong country code domains can mean big business. If you need furthur proof, how about (.AT is Austria's country code)? Excellent term but many domainers in English speaking countries probably would not have guessed it would go for four figures in .at. shows that domains don't have to be short to attract a buyer, though I believe long terms still need to be very focused, as this one is, to have a good chance to sell for significant money. New extension fans will have to be heartened by the $1,700 sale of The question is, are there a lot more sales where than one came from for holders of .biz, .info and .us. 

Another interesting sale on the Sedo list is It only went for $300, but the general consensus is that 3-character .coms (those mixing letters and numbers) have next to no value as they are readily available in thousands of combinations. It is all part  of what makes this such a fascinating business. Your sales prospects might not look good, but you're not out of the game until your domain expires!


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