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$180,000 Deal for Commerce.com Sealed at Sedo to Cinch a Spectacular Domain Sales Week!

by Ron Jackson    

Note to premium domain buyers and sellers.
With these deals you are striking, you are starting to make things difficult for me. I am running out of superlatives!  I guess I'll just have to break down and buy the industrial strength edition of Roget's Thesaurus because I have a feeling the current domain market rally still has a long way to run. 

A week of remarkable sales activity was capped by one of the year's biggest deals involving a domain that is the very definition of what the business world is all about - Commerce.com. They just don't come a lot better than that. Sedo.com brokered the negotiations between two private parties that CEO Matthew Bentley told us are both consummate domain professionals. Both fully understand how to monetize traffic and maximize value. The nice thing about the traffic flowing to Commerce.com is the high value attached to it  - the top Overture bid is currently around $2 per click. From this vantage point it looks like a fair deal for both sides and we congratulate each party as they both have good reason to be very happy domainers today! We have to give Sedo a hand too, not just for shepherding this landmark deal to its conclusion, but for landing four domains on this week's Top Ten as well! 

Another very major deal can't be charted because the exact price was not disclosed, but it is certainly newsworthy none the less. An individual involved with one of the companies that was a party to the sale of IS.com this week told us that domain also went in the 6-figure range. It is still another strong piece of evidence that this year's market rebound is for real. 

There is another very interesting story behind the #2 domain on our new weekly Top Ten chart. Godsend.com went for $21,500 in a deal put together and brokered by Moniker.com/DomainSystems.com. CEO Monte Cahn told us the sale to Lions Gate Films was made just ahead of the Friday opening of their new movie, Godsend,  starring Robert DeNiro and Greg Kinnear.  Before Cahn hooked them up with this one-word gem Lions Gate had planned to go with the considerably less compelling name godsendthemovie.com. The new domain also helped the company launch the Godsend Institute (which has a front page link on Godsend.com). Cahn told us a major story in the entertainment press is about to be released focusing on why purchasing the best possible domain is a key element in promoting any entertainment industry project (of course it applies to all other industries as well, something major corporate executives are now beginning to accept).

Moniker.com/DomainSystems.com had another sale valued at $15,200 that Cahn could not release due to a confidentiality request from his clients, but there were five more 5-figure deals this week that we can report. Those include the first .TV domain to hit our Top Ten chart, Plasma.TV. It landed at #3 after going for an even $20,000 at GreatDomains. Whether or not you are a fan of the extension, I think you will have to agree that word is a perfect fit for the TLD. Earlier this year, GreatDomains also sold Vegas.TV for a five figure price (the exact amount was not disclosed). 

As you browse through the big board below, you can't help but notice what a big week it was for .com. We tend to take the king's sales for granted because the world's most popular TLD is expected to get the lion's share of sales. Still, this week was above and beyond business as usual, with .com claiming 9 of the 10 slots on the Top Ten (just missing the first ever clean sweep of the chart). Here's how the biggest sellers stacked up for our 7-day reporting period ending May 2. 

Domain Name Journal's Top Ten 
Reported Domain Sales - Mon. April 26, 2004 - Sun. May 2, 2004
Euro to Dollar Conversion (€ to $) is Based on Rates in Effect Tue. May 4


Sold For

Where Sold
1.  Commerce.com $180,000 Sedo
2.  Godsend.com $21,500 Moniker / DomainSystems
3.  Plasma.tv $20,000 GreatDomains
4.  GrandCasino.com $18,000 Pvt Transaction
5. CruiseCritics.com $15,200 Pool
6.  TheName.com  $12,000 Sedo
7. Curious.com $11,000 Afternic
8. DivorceForms.com  $9,400 Pool
9. FixMyDrains.com £5,000 = $8,979 Sedo
10. SkyIndia.com  $6,000 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.

In case you were wondering where Chris Chena (the buyer of the #1 domain on our charts the past two weeks in a row) was this week, the South American investor was on the receiving end of the #4 domain, GrandCasino.com. Chena cashed in $18,000 worth of chips to add the showcase gambling domain to his amazing portfolio. 

Pool.com had another great week, led by CruiseCritics.com which landed fifth at $15,200. They just missed another five-figure sale with the #8 domain, DivorceForms.com, which caused the buyer and $9,400 from his bank account go their separate ways. Pool also made a big splash in other sections of our report as you'll see shortly. 

Sedo continued their sizzling run adding numbers 6, 9 and 10 to the 180K blockbuster that tops the weekly chart and lands at #4 on the Year to Date list that you'll see below. TheName.com ($12,000) doesn't appear to be a big traffic domain (judging by the Overture numbers) but it is certainly a beauty for branding purposes. We also found it interesting that Sedo got close to $9,000 for FixMyDrains.com because that, coincidentally, is about the same amount most plumbers charge us to unclog the sink!

Afternic.com chalked up a handsome $11,000 sale with Curious.com to nail down the lucky #7 position. Moving beyond the big board, Afternic also sold a nice trio of two-character .coms for $2,950 each. Those were R6.com, P8.com and X8.com.

Sedo's Top Ten entries were also just the start of the fun for that popular auction venue. The festive mood was undoubtedly helped by the €4,000 ($4,840) sale of Karneval.com (the German spelling of "carnival" - a term that in that country would be very similar to America's Mardi Gras - it's the ultimate celebration). Buttle.com (presumably what butlers do) went for £2,550 ($4,581) and Meningite.info continued the meningitis domain craze, going for $4,250 (more on that coming up in our New TLD section). What would a Sedo week be without a solid .de sale? No need to wonder because the multilingual Parfόme.de (German for "perfume") filled the bill at €3,500 ($4,236). Sedo got the same amount for Yu-gi-ho.com (it's all Greek to me, well, maybe Chinese) and collected another $4,000 for BitArts.com

Pool's full sale list also had a lot of curb appeal. BeautifulHome.com earned $5,100, while LyricFinder.com hit another high note at $4,100. HandicapScooter.com motored home with $3,450 and the dreamy duo of DreamAnalysis.com and PipeDreams.com produced visions of $3,280 and $3,200 respectively. Destinos.com added another $3,100, followed by BearMarket.com at $2,900 and TeenageLesbians.com at $2,454. Among others cracking the 2K mark were MovieSamples.com ($2,327) and WholesaleCarAudio.com ($2,250). The best .net was Refunds.net at $1,450, but Pool has a much bigger one in the Pipeline as you'll see below.  

Other sales of note included a $5,300 deal for a two-domain package, Match3.com and M4MMatch.com at Moniker.com/DomainSystems.com and Enom Club Drop's $3,100 sale of TaxShelter.com. There were also some small sales worth noting because of the extensions involved. Afternic sold eSpot.tv for $490 and Sedo sold a pair of .ws domains: NikeSports.ws ($480) and UsedBooks.ws ($240). I'm not happy about that UsedBooks.ws sale! I actually owned that domain before dumping it on one of the domain forums for $15 last summer after deciding two-word .ws domains weren't worth bothering with! On the other hand, maybe it will pay off in the long run. If you buy your domains from me there is a good chance you will get a 1,500% return on your investment in less than a year, so let's hear that phone start ringing!

In The Pipeline: Pool has one of the year's biggest .net sales in the works. An auction for Destination.net has ended there at $17,000. If payment is made that domain will make waves on the big board next week. Pool is also waiting on a $6,100 payment for NBC.net and $6,000 for Tips.net.  On the .com side, an auction for Alscan.com just ended today (May 4) at $11,000. Pool also should have $8,500 coming their way for Soundcard.com

One of the biggest and highest quality domain collections ever offered on Ebay, a package of close to 250 domains, has a high bid of $291,000 as of the time we are writing this (on May 4), with four days still to go. Don't get too excited though, the reserve still hasn't been met! The auction is real however. The sale list includes DA.com, LB.com and a raft of other other two and three letter .coms, as well as many excellent one word domains. Thanks to Mike Carver at Domainabilities.com for alerting us to that. 

We are adding one position to our Year-To-Date chart this week, expanding to 32 slots to make room for our new six-figure friend, Commerce.com, which comes on board at #4. The entry point for the chart remains $25,000. Below you can check out all of the biggest reported sales so far in 2004:

Domain Name Journal's Year-To-Date "Top 32"
Highest Reported 2004 Domain Sales through Sun. May 2, 2004  
Euro to Dollar Conversion (€ to $) 
Based on Rates in Effect When Sales Were Originally Reported by DNJ


Sold For

Where Sold
1. Mercury.com $700,000
(700K cash + $400,000 in goods & services)
Pvt Transaction
2. ME.com $460,000 Moniker / DomainSystems
3. Smoking.com $325,000 GreatDomains
4.  Commerce.com $180,000 Sedo
5. Beef.com $150,000 GreatDomains
6.  Sexkontakte.de
"Sex contacts" in German
 €110,000 = $141,175 Sedo
7.  Truck.com  $101,000 Moniker / DomainSystems
8.  Kreuzfahrten.de
"Cruises" in German
€70,000 = $88,853 Sedo
9. Sedo.com $80,000 Pvt Transaction
10.  Boxen.de
"Boxing" in German
€56,500 = $72,509 Sedo
11. ClearDay.com $60,000 Moniker / DomainSystems
12.  FKK.de  €40,000 = $51,333 Sedo
13.  Busen.de
"Bosom" in German
 €40,000 = $51,333 Sedo
14. Mirror.com $50,000 Moniker / DomainSystems
15. CarFinancing.com $46,000 Pool
16. Hardcore.co.uk £25,000 = $45,951 Sedo
17. Faces.com $38,700 Moniker / DomainSystems
18. Metropol.com €30,500 = $38,230 Sedo


"Nude or Naked" in German
€30,000 = $38,081 Sedo
20.  Fotos.com €30,000 = $35,793 Pvt Transaction
21. Spamzilla.com $35,000 MarketEvolver
22. CleanEnergy.com $31,950 Moniker / DomainSystems
23. Humor.de €25,520 = $30,449 Sedo
24.  DiscountDrugs.com $30,010 Namewinner
25.  NewYork.info €22,000 = $28,086 Sedo


XPart.com $27,981 Moniker / DomainSystem


Messaging.com   $27,600 Pool


NQ.com $27,000 Afternic
29.  Downlaod.com $26,667 Pvt Transaction
30. Donwload.com $26,667 Pvt Transaction
31.  Dawnload.com $26,667 Pvt Transaction
32. Beat.com $25,000 Moniker / 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
IS.com (May 4, 2004)  $xxx,xxx Pvt Transaction
Bόcher.de (Mar. 16, 2004)
{"books" in German)
High $XX,XXX Sedo

New TLD Section

There just doesn't seem to be a cure for this rash of new TLD meningitis domains, but with them going in the mid four-figure range, who wants to change the status quo! Last week our #1 domain was Meningite.biz. This week, Meningite.info takes the spotlight, going for exactly the same amount, $4,250! The Chiron Corporation was the buyer in both cases and Sedo provided the venue for both sales. As we noted last week when talking about the .biz, this is the French and Italian spelling of meningitis. 

Our #2 domain this week, also in four figures, is Bier.biz (the German spelling for the wildly popular beverage English speakers know as beer). This sale, also at Sedo, closed at an even €1,000 ($1,211). Pool makes its first appearance on the New TLD chart with not one, but two domains - #3 Poem.info at $545 and #4 Sportwette.biz (German for "sports bet") at $350

I have noticed a flood of buyers pouring into Pool recently to chase .biz and .info domains. At the beginning of the year, very few people were paying the $60 minimum to backorder new extension domains there, but that has changed dramatically almost overnight. The bidding usually doesn't go high but I am watching Pool catch dozens of .biz and .info every week, domains that could be had for registration fees just three months ago. It may be bad news for those who want to buy cheap, but the increasing values are a good sign for the extensions themselves. 

Here is the full chart of the Top Five reported New TLD sales for the week ending May 2:

Domain Name Journal's New TLD Top Five 
  Reported .info, .biz & .us Domain Sales  April 26, 2004 - May 2, 2004
Euro to Dollar Conversion (€ to $) is Based on Rates in Effect Tue. May 4


Sold For

Where Sold
1. Meningite.info
("Meningitis in French & Italian)
$4,250 Sedo
2.  Bier.biz   €1,000 = $1,210 Sedo
3. Poem.info   $545 Pool
4.  Sportwette.biz $350 Pool
5.  Klimaanlagen.info
("Air conditioning" in German)
€225 = $272 Sedo

That $272 for the #5 domain looks like a bargain price for a term as strong as "air conditioning" even if it is limited to the German market.  The seller, Sedo, also sold Cava.us this week for €200 ($242). Sedo's sale of Meningite.info requires us to add another spot on our New TLD Year To Date chart, now a Baker's Dozen of 13 domains. You will note that Sedo is the only venue on this chart (with the non-Sedo deals being private transactions). With new extension activity starting to heat up at Pool it will be interesting to see if they can eventually crack Sedo's monopoly, at least with a domain or two. Here is a look at 2004's top sellers: 

Domain Name Journal's Year-To-Date New TLD "Baker's Dozen" 
Highest Reported 2004 .info, .biz & .us Domain Sales through May 2 
Euro to Dollar Conversion (€ to $) 
Based on Rates in Effect When Sales Were Originally Reported by DNJ


Sold For

Where Sold
1.  NewYork.info   €22,000 = $28,086 Sedo
2.  HMS.info €9,280 = $10,492 Sedo
3. Tampa.info $10,000 Pvt Transaction


Moscow.info $10,000 Sedo
5. RioDeJaneiro.info $9,000 Pvt Transaction
6. BDSM.info €5,500 = $6,947 Sedo
7. Reifen.biz
"tires" in German
 €5,500 = $6,894 Sedo
8. Vancouver.info €5,000 = $6,378 Sedo
9. Vacations.info $5,500 Pvt Transaction
10. CityGuide.info €4,000 = $4,773 Sedo
11. Meningite.biz
("Meningitis in French & Italian)
$4,250 Sedo
12. Meningite.info
("Meningitis in French & Italian)
$4,250 Sedo
13. Houston.info $4,000 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.

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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