RETRACTION: A previous version of this article had listed two specific GTLD domain names sold last year (2016), instead of this year (2017); these GTLD domain names have been removed. Additionally a statement comparing the GTLDs as being sold higher than the .com domains, was a result of this error. The article has been edited to remove these examples. Although .com domain sales seemed lower than usual, so did GTLDs – in their performance when compared to last year.
NEW YORK, NY – I attended the NamesCon domain auction in Las Vegas this past week and I had a front row seat to Disaster – or what some might say was a “less than stellar” turnout for great .com domain name sales. For example, SportsCars.com sold for just $48,000.00. AllergyShots.com sold for just $2,750.00 and HouseAlarms.com sold for $5,000.00.
The domain name Bartending.com is auctioned off by legendary auctioneer Wayne Wheat at NamesCon 2017 in Las Vegas, Monte Cahn to his right with Jonathan Tenenbaum of NameJet far right. Having lack-luster bids, the domain was moved to the online auction.
So are these auction results a solid reflection of where the market is today for short, great, premium .com domain names? No, I don’t think so.
What this reflects is uncertainty in the wholesale market for domains overall, and it looks to this domainer that there are two main reasons that .com domains are wholesaling for less, and that’s definitely due, at least in part, to 1) GTLDs – and 2) the deterioration of EMDs.
Here is what is playing out in the market, in my opinion:
- You have a great deal of investor money moving over to GTLDs which obviously removes that money from availability when it comes to competitive bidding across the board. With all of these new extensions, there are plenty more bets to be made; money is moving around all over the place, and this is shaking up the market and diversifying spending.
- EMDs (Exact Match Domains) are no longer a sure thing when it comes to search engine success. Google and other search engines don’t just rank EMDs for the heck-of-it anymore, hurting their value. You actually have to develop your exact match domain now-a-days to make any money from them which removes about half of likely buyers from the mix. Many investors, those without good development partners, do not want to have to add expenses to their domain portfolios as this opens them up to potential losses. Additionally, domain parking revenue is down, so again this leads to development.
Although the EMD situation is playing a role, it’s more than likely that GTLDs are playing the larger role here. Ron Jackson’s DNJournal .com has a new cover story out “The State of the Industry 2017” and it has some exceptional coverage including 17 professional opinions on where the market is now and where it is heading. I relate best with comments from Ilze Kaulins-Plaskacz Founder, ExcellentDomains.ca, where she said:
You don’t need a crystal ball to see that the new gTLDs have made an impact on our industry and will continue to do so in 2017,” Ilze said.
Later in the article she makes another statement I again, totally agree with.
Although I still feel that .com is still King, overall, worldwide, and will continue to grow even stronger, these new extensions are having some impact.
No doubt about it. The main question is, for how long?
Now again, this is pretty much tied to wholesale activity; not what is happening in what I would like to call “the real world” of website addresses. Dot com is clearly still the foundation businesses desire to build their business on, according to Verisign, but when it comes to investors, flipping domains and sales charts – new shorter domains, such as country codes and cool alternatives such as .live, .club and .xyz (believe it or not) seem to be taking much of the limelight.
About The Author: John Colascione is Chief Executive Officer of Internet Marketing Services Inc. He specializes in Website Monetization, is a Google AdWords Certified Professional, authored a ‘how to’ book called ”Mastering Your Website‘, and is a key player in several Internet related businesses through his search engine strategy brand Searchen Networks®
Media Tatters says
GTLDs are mainly traded amongst domainers/investors often using not-so-transparent tactics….
.COMs are the end-users’ buys, and how much they pay dictates the prices.
Great post, John.
While many of us reading these facts, and your analysis, recognize that our holding may be adversely affected,…the wholesale market is what it is: And that’s why anyone who can afford to be a long-term holder of quality names (dot-com, dot-net, and certain gTLDs), and only focus on the retail buyer, should do just that for the rest of 2017.
I’ve advocated for a long-time now that what’s needed to increase prices is a concerted effort on the part of domainers to initiate a 3-6 month moratorium on auctions and other public offerings of names. If the the boards saw a dramatic decrease in supply, and the industry publicized that this was deliberate, there could be a feeding frenzy of demand later this year. The PR alone would draw huge attention to the industry.
Konstantinos Zournas says
Are you comparing this years auction for .com with last year’s auction for new gtlds?
Care to explain why?
John Colascione says
Because I made a giant mistake and saw Eliots post from last year and thought it was this years. I removed those domains from the top of the article and left only SportsCars.com as an example. Thank you for taking he time to point that out and correct before more people read it.
Strange article because the Ntld auction results were way down this year compared to last year. John are you basing those views on the wrong article? The ntld results look weak to me, top sale of of $5000, last year it was $70000.
Re sportscars..com, people see that as a low result?
John Colascione says
You’re right Snoopy, Ntlds were also down. I was originally looking at last years GTLD results when crafting this, but than I removed those domains. I feel SportsCars.com would have brought in 2 – 3 times this a few years ago, prior to gtlds.. I know Estibot is not perfect, but has it at $231,000.
I totally disagree with your point of view, what goes on at a symbolic auction venue doesn’t dictate the true value of a premium .com.
As far as SportsCars.com, the buyer overpaid in my opinion for a tongue twister domain. If I want to buy a sports car I would go directly to the source and type in Ferrari.com or Lambourghini.com. I wouldn’t pay more than $25,000 for SportsCars.com, on the other hand Cars.com would’ve been a totally different matter.
The market is currently going through a clean-up phase as it’s saturated with lots of worthless domains being forced down newly self-proclaimed domainer’s throats. Such people tend to have a short life span in the industry and will be forced out of the equation soon enough.
The new gTLDs are just a massive pump and dump scheme and will fade away as did the ones before, remember .mobi?
The true premium .coms will always go up in value no matter what.
Lots of high value sales don’t get even reported as true domainers don’t brag about their achievements on blog sites and prefer to stay under the radar.
I just sold a domain for high 6 figures I acquired 5 months ago for mid 5 figures but you don’t see me bragging about it on Domain Sherpa despite it being the quickest and most profitable flip of the year!!!
christopher brennan says
so sportscars.com in not a premium domain
Dane Carter says
Auction results will never be good when it’s just domainers bidding, like they did at Namescon.
D Isaac says
nGTLD’s are doing worse than predicted and continue to show extreme weakness. They have no brand value as a sole use for a company, As additions to a solid .com brand they ‘can’ be useful.
Strange title to your post, I really think mis-leading headlines do little for anyone.
John Colascione says
I actually did not mean for the title to be misleading…. Apologize it came off that way.
I thought the auction brought it little to be excited about overall for .com prices.
The whole point of .com vs nTLDs like this statement “When you see sale prices on new GTLDs harnessing larger numbers than great .com domain names do in the very same auction space” is completely wrong based on this years results. Across the board this auction had some deals. My opinion : The slow as hell start (5 names in about an hours time) and then rush to get the rest of the list done near the end, mediocre inventory placed within the premiums (many people around me were asking “where are the good names?” , technical problems and more led to some deals which those who stuck it out were able to grab. I think sportscars.com was a good deal personally, but I’d already spent more than I cared to spend and I don’t need another project domain right now.
John Colascione says
Adam, you’re right. I messed up on that point. I should have removed it. I mistakenly, checked last years list of GTLDs sales figures against this years, which had them much higher. (NamesCon Auction Results Google Search returned Elliot Silvers list, but from last year) I then quickly edited the article and removed some examples I had inserted, and then put a note on the top of the article and forgot to remove that statement you mentioned. It’s now removed. I should have retracted the entire article after this. My deepest apologizes to everyone reading this one. Still I feel less dividends remains accurate, but originally I had compared this point to direct examples, which are now removed.