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Six-Figure Sales of and at DomainSystems and Sedo Signal Continuing Market Surge 

by Ron Jackson    
Archived 2-17-04

We can sum up the past week in one word - WOW!
We had not previously seen a six figure domain sale this year but in the past 7 days there were TWO of them with a third domain falling just short of the jaw-dropping 100K mark!

The stars of the show are and, a pair of blockbusters that put their sales venues, and Sedo, in the spotlight alongside Alex Lerman of Mr. Lerman, a buyer of quality generic domains, paid $101,000 to acquire through DomainSystems. The buyer of chose to remain anonymous and also requested that the exact sales price remain confidential. However he authorized the auction venue, Sedo, to let us know that the domain changed hands for a "low six-figure sum".  

Sedo also handled another stunning sale, overseeing an $88,853 deal for (the word for "cruises" in German). This is the highest sale we have ever reported for a German country code domain. Another .de also made our new Top Ten with .com claiming all of the other slots. There has been some exciting news among the new extensions (.info, .biz and .us) in recent weeks, but when buyers start rolling out the heavy artillery the world's two most popular extensions (.com and .de) are usually the targets.

The top eight domains ALL went for five figures or more, which is a first, and the cost of admission just to make the chart was also the highest ever at more than $7,000! You will note that doesn't appear on the chart itself. Without a specific number there is no way to rank a domain numerically among other sales. However, we have set up a new section on our Year-To-Date chart so that sales of this magnitude will remain visible throughout the year.

We'll come to that a bit later, but first let's dive into the new Top Ten where DomainSystems, Sedo, and all had multiple entries to further cement their positions among the world's leading sales venues. 

Domain Name Journal's Top Ten 
Reported Domain Sales - Mon. Feb. 2, 2004 - Sun. Feb. 8, 2004
Euro to Dollar Conversion ( to $) is Based on Rates in Effect Tue. Feb. 10


Sold For

Where Sold
1.  $101,000 DomainSystems
"Cruises" in German
70,000 = $88,853 Sedo
"Nine" in French
 15,000 = $19,040 Sedo
4. $16,800 DomainSystems
5. $15,500 Pool
6. $14,502  Pool
7. $10,099 Pool
8. $10,000 Afternic
9. $7,624 Afternic
"Cheaper Telephoning" 
in German
 5,800 = $7,363 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.

One nice byproduct of doing this column is getting to brush up on my foreign language skills. They were previously non-existent, but with all of the European terms I am exposed to on our Top Ten each week, I would say my level of expertise has now been elevated to "pathetic" and  "laughable" may even be within reach! This is no small feat, especially when something like, the French word for "nine", comes in at number three. How is anyone supposed to keep that straight! One thing I have no trouble appreciating is the $19,040 price the domain commanded at Sedo.

Sedo also sold the German domain meaning "cheaper telephoning" that completed our chart and had another .de just a few dollars behind. ("auto insurance" in English) went for $7,236. That would have placed firmly in the middle of the Top Ten in an average week, but this was no average week (though there are increasing signs that sales like these will become the new norm in 2004). A couple of other notables from Sedo were ("daily newspaper" in English) going for $3,808 and which sold for 2,000 ($3,733). As strong as their week was, Sedo told us it looks like they will have some even bigger deals to announce before the month is out.

Business also continues to accelerate for DomainSystems. In addition to driving a lot of competition off the road with that sale, Monte Cahn's crew brokered the $16,800 sale of #4 domain They even netted $4,425 for a hyphenated domain, Cahn also told us the company had many other strong sales that confidentiality agreements keep him from revealing. 

It is worth noting again that what you see in this column is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the overall sales market is concerned. I have been told privately about a number of very large sales that would easily make our charts if the buyer, seller or both had not requested confidentiality. They have perfectly sound reasons for doing so, especially those who are buying with the idea of reselling down the line. Fortunately, enough participants in key transactions are willing to share information to give us a good sampling of what is going on in the overall market (and it continues to look better every week).

Sales at Pool reflect that view as well. In addition to those three five-figure deals they have on the Top Ten ( at $15,500, at $14,502 and at $10,099), Pool has others in the pipeline (coming up below) and continues to pile up four-figure sales at a healthy clip. This week those included at $5,600 and for $5,100 (spelling is correct as shown and this typo-domain attracts 2300 in Overture with the extension)! In addition, commanded $3,800, went for $3,750 and one that would seem destined for trademark trouble - - went for $3,100

Even a long domain like went for $1,450 at Pool and a three-letter .net, (this is a word in some languages) went for $1,250. There are those who think Pool auctions always end up at abnormally high prices but (over 100,000 for the term without extension in Overture) looked like a good deal to me at $875 and at $640 appears to be a nice buy too (over 400,000 for the term in Overture).

Afternic is always a great source for good buys as well, but with the market rising prices are moving up there just as they are elsewhere. They hit the daily double on our Top Ten with at $10,000 and at $7,624. Another Afternic winner was at $5,450 and from a buyer's standpoint I like which went for $1,500. Afternic also seems to have better luck than most with .ws (Samoan country code marketed by some registrars to mean "website"). went for $350 there this week.

Theo Develegas of Orlando, Florida (known to domain forum regulars as was floating on air this week after saying goodbye to for $2,200 in a private transaction. The .orgs are enjoying increasing demand along with the other major extensions and there is more evidence of that in the section below.

In The Pipeline: A frequent buyer/seller who is well-known to us tells us his $15,000 purchase of is now in escrow and Pool had an auction for end at $15,200 on Saturday (Feb. 7). That one hasn't changed hands yet and as a rule of thumb we don't officially report such high value sales until they have been finalized. If paid for, this one could wind up on our Top Ten next week. 

You'll recall we mentioned in this section last week after it went for $23,500 in a Pool auction that ended Feb. 2. That one has not changed hands yet either. Another one the jury is still out on comes from Ebay where ended with a high bid of $14,600 on Feb. 2. We are always suspicious of high dollar auctions on Ebay (due to a long history of bogus sales there) and this one is no exception. The seller has a Feedback rating of 1 (and he was the buyer in that single transaction). The bidder who pushed the eventual winner up to the final price has zero feedback. That is not proof of a fraudulent sale, but those are some of the earmarks of bad deals from the past so we'll wait and see how it plays out.

Before we move on to this week's New TLD section, let's take a look at the Year-To-Date Sales Chart. It has been shaken up a good bit this week thanks to those high dollar sales noted above. In addition 2004's dazzling dozen, we have added an Unforgettable Footnotes section at the bottom of the chart to keep track of landmark sales like that are among the YTD leaders but can't be placed on the chart numerically.

Domain Name Journal's Year-To-Date Top 12 
Highest Reported 2004 Domain Sales through Sun. Feb. 8  
Euro to Dollar Conversion ( to $) 
Based on Rates in Effect When Sales Were Originally Reported by DNJ


Sold For

Where Sold
1.  $101,000 DomainSystems
"Cruises" in German
70,000 = $88,853 Sedo
3. 30,500 = $38,230 Sedo
4. 22,000 = $28,086 Sedo

5. $27,981 DomainSystems
6. $25,000 DomainSystems
7. $20,555 Afternic
6. $19,388 Pool
"Nine" in French
 15,000 = $19,040 Sedo
8. 8,900 = $16,292 Sedo
9. $16,800 DomainSystems
10. $15,500 Pool
11. $14,502  Pool
12.  $11,000 Sedo
12. $11,000 Pvt Transaction
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. (Feb. 10, 2004) $XXX,XXX Sedo

New TLD Section

All of those financial fireworks on the big board overshadowed the activity on the new extension chart this week, but they are loading the cannons here too. A seller we are acquainted with told us today that he has a 3-letter .info currently in escrow at Sedo that sold for over $10,000! This is a three-letter acronym, not a word, though the price for either would have to be startling for those who haven't yet taken note of the market breakout .info has enjoyed in recent months. The seller told us Sedo has just received the buyer's payment so only the domain transfer remains to be done and he plans to take care of that posthaste (we hope he does not injure himself in his rush to complete the deal)!

Sedo seems to be making a habit of sweeping our New TLD Top Five chart and this week is no exception. The new list is headed by a pair of four-figure sales, one a .info, the other a .biz. In fact those two new global extensions alternate positions from top to bottom.

Domain Name Journal's New TLD Top Five 
  Reported .info, .biz & .us Domain Sales  Feb. 2, 2004 - Feb. 8, 2004
Euro to Dollar Conversion ( to $) is Based on Rates in Effect Tue. Feb. 10


Sold For

Where Sold
1.     1,000 = $1,270 Sedo
2.   $1,000 Sedo
"Outdoor pool" in German
 500 = $635 Sedo
3.  500 = $635 Sedo
"Dream villa" in German
  200 = $254 Sedo

Just my opinion, but I think says more about the improving health of the .info market than anything I've seen in awhile. I would expect to go for  $1,270, but not a somewhat clunky three-word variant. If buyers are going to start paying that much this far down the quality scale it can only mean good things for those holding the excellent one-word generics and prime two-word terms. 

.Biz continues to make some quiet rumblings as well. I initially thought that if this extension ever saw any success it would be in the B2B arena where businesses make no bones about what they are there for. As a long time small businessman, I didn't feel the emphasis on "business" rather than customer relationships made .biz a very appealing extension for that market. However, the very early signs of adoption that I am seeing are populated with more mom and pop operations than I expected. Success there would be nothing to sneeze at as small business makes up 70% of the American economy. Certainly it is way too early to draw any conclusions. It's just an observation and I am looking forward to continuing to watch how developments in .biz (as well as .info and .us)  continue to play out.

With no blockbusters this week our New TLD (Top Level Domain) Year-To-Date chart is unchanged from last week. It will take over $5,500 to join this club but we are getting the blindfolds and paddles ready for next week when it looks like we may be initiating some new members!

Domain Name Journal's Year-To-Date New TLD Top Six 
Highest Reported 2004 .info, .biz & .us Domain Sales through Feb. 8 
Euro to Dollar Conversion ( to $) 
Based on Rates in Effect When Sales Were Originally Reported by DNJ


Sold For

Where Sold
1.   22,000 = $28,086 Sedo
2. $9,000 Pvt Transaction
3. 5,500 = $6,947 Sedo
"tires" in German
 5,500 = $6,894 Sedo
5. 5,000 = $6,378 Sedo
6. $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 I would like to extend special "Thank You"  to Richard Meyer whose help is invaluable in bringing you 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.


Archive of Previous Domain Sales Columns   -   DNJ Home Page

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Domain Name Journal
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