Twice a month, I will summarize my impressions on the domain industry the past weeks. The blog will contain selected news about domain drops, notable sales and other things that might interest a domain investor.
✪ VeriSign reports that 34 million new .COM and .NET domains were registered in 2014. Verisign ended the fourth quarter with cash and cash equivalents worth 1,4 billion dollars, a decrease of $299 million, compared with the same quarter 2013.
The total .COM and .NET renewal rates was 72% the third quarter of 2014, compared with 72.7% for the same quarter in 2013.
✪ A few days ago Google e-mailed warnings to specific website owners with a clear message that the webmaster should make their sites mobile friendly, or prepare to suffer the consequences. The emails included this warning: "These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users."
✪ Another episode of my interview with Dotkeeper was published last week. You can read it here (if you understand Swedish language): My interview with Dotkeeper - 3rd episode of 4. I highly recommend this company, Dotkeeper, for a total and hassle-free control over your precious domain names. Learn more about their services and commitments here: here.
✪ According to a post on Flippa's company blog, the company sold domains for 2,15 million dollars in 2014. Quote: "We reached $2.15 million in gross sales, a 50% increase from 2013's slate".
✪ 'The Fancy Domain of the Week' is: 9.nu. A super-short premium domain perfectly usable for branding, name servers or why not purchase it as a golden domain investment?! Until February 28, you'll get a 20% discount on the already favorable price.
✓ A record blockbuster domain sale took place a few days ago when Vodafone Group sold the domain "360.com" for 17 MILLION DOLLARS! The buyer was the Chinese company Qihoo, that currently use the domain "360.cn". The latter domain is ranked as the 49th most visited website worldwide, according to Alexa.
✓ The domain pioneer Rick Schwartz aka "The Domain King" just closed one of the largest domain name sale in many years when he sold "Porno.com for $8,888,888.88 in cash. The domain was sold to a porn website operator. According to Escrow.com, the sale was the single largest domain sale they have ever handled (acting as a third-party referee). The domain Porno.com was purchased from a college student for $42,000, in 1997. The student had bought it about a week earlier, for $5000! Spontaneously, I wonder what that guy thinks of it today.
✓ A few recent new gTLDs sales: "Coastal.cruises" was sold for $6000 (a private sale). "FantasySports.world" was sold for $3000 (at SEDO). "Diagnostic.solutions" was sold for $2280 (at SEDO) and "Trendy.clothing" was sold for $1950 (at SEDO).
✓ A few other notable sales includes: "Connaught.com" was sold for $250,000 (at DomainHoldings), "KHC.com" was sold for $120,000 (at SEDO), "Ignite.com" was sold for $112,500 (at SEDO), "144.com" was sold for $110,000 (at DomainHoldings), "8788.com" was sold for $106,000 (at DomainHoldings), "Anna.co" was sold for $10,000 (at SEDO), "Smarter.me" was sold for $10,000 (at Brands-and-Jingles) and "YSH.org" was sold for $6950 (at SEDO).
✓ Personally, I sold nine domains in January. Eight ngTLDs and one .NU domain. The most expensive one was a .CASH, sold for $1000.
✪ I enjoyed a short Christmas break but now it's time to update the blog again. On Christmas Eve two new gTLDs was released in General Availability; .DENTIST And .REHAB. The most attractive domains were listed for ridiculously high prices, so the demand was rather limited. After ten days .DENTIST has attracted a little more than a thousand buyers, while .REHAB only have attracted 400 people. Personally, I only bought a single domain: "Pattaya.dentist". Actually, it was the only decent geo-domain I could find at a regular price.
1. A geo-domain is a domain name that includes a geographic area, ie, towns, cities, countries, continents etc.
✪ In a blog post VeriSign states that 74% of new TLDs registered to date are not registered as corresponding SLD + TLD dot COM. The entire blog post is found here. We should probably mention that VeriSign Inc. manage two of the Internet's thirteen root servers and the most popular TLDs; .COM and .NET.
✪ Many are still registering trademark infringement domain names. Beside the risk of a possible civil lawsuit, the risk is very high that you will lose the domain via a UDRP or URS decision. Past week at least fifty people lost their domains because of trademark infringement claims. Be smart and avoid trademarks. Here you'll find a database that lists existing brands. I often use it myself before I decide to register any domain names.
✪ I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year! Watch out for all sorts of domain scams, which unfortunately are becoming more common. Also, do never sit too many hours in front of the computer without short "stand-up-and-walking-breaks" etc. Current scientific studies show that sedentary jobs appear to be significantly more bad for your health than previously thought. Most of all, have a great 2015!
✪ 'The Fancy Domain of the Week' is: Program.guide. Just as before you'll get twenty percent discount on the already favorable price. The discount is valid until January 31, on a first come first served basis. This is a great domain for an online TV schedule, etc.
✓ The domain "TV.se" was sold just before Christmas for SEK 2,180,500 after 133 bids. It is one of the most expensive SE domains ever sold. The domain "Thailand.se" was sold one day earlier for SEK 350,100, after 119 bids.
✓ GoDaddy held an auction on New Years Eve. The most expensive sale was: "FindYourCalling.com" which was sold for $ 30,000, while the domain "InfraredSaunas.com" reached 15,252 euros, as the last bid.
✓ "Text.org" was sold for $ 5,012 on Flippa. An unexpected low price for such a great domain and spontaneously I would like to congratulate the buyer. You can certainly make favorable deals on Flippa (see below).
✓ I know that many domainers almost "hate" the .XYZ domain, but I will mention that I bought "Tip.xyz" for $140 today on Flippa. Just before Christmas I bought "Pimp.xyz", "Magnum.xyz" and "Tivoli.xyz" for about thirty US dollars in total (at Namecheap). Many are considering this as some kind of "spam domain", but imagine IF it turns out to be a popular TLD among end-users in five or ten years.
✓ I also sold a few domains in December. The latest ones was "Traveling.guide" and "Chips.guru". Ok, for relatively modest prices, but it gives me food on the table. In total, we bought about 500 domains in 2014 and sold twenty. This year I'm hoping for a few more sales, but time will tell. I'll be back in about two weeks.
✪ Eight new gTLDs; .HOSTING, .PROPERTY, .DIET, .HELP .CLICK, .MOSCOW, .МОСКВА och .PARIS have become available since my last blog update. The first five of these are administered by domain legend Frank Schilling and his company Uniregistry. Not surprisingly, .PARIS is the domain that sold best in the first week, but also .MOSCOW, .МОСКВА and .CLICK did relatively well. The latter three were sold for very reasonable prices. I personally registered several .MOSCOW, .PROPERTY and .CLICK, plus a single .DIET.
✪ Afilias Limited recently introduced their new generic top-level domain; .LGTB. It is dedicated to the gay, bisexual and transgender community. It is uncertain when it will be available to the public.
✪ On December 10 a number of new domains will enter "General Availability" (become available to buy at regular price). The domains are .IMMO, .BUSINESS, .PIZZA, .NETWORK, .SOFTWARE och .AUCTION. Personally, I am rather convinced that .BUSINESS initially will be the most successful, but we'll know for sure in a few days.
✪ 'The Fancy Domain of the Week' is: Silvershine.com. Right now, we are offering a 20% discount on the already favorable price (the discount is valid until Christmas Eve, on a first come first served basis). Silvershine dot NET, .SE, .CO.UK, .DE, .INFO, .EU, and .BIZ are already registered. A relevant indication about the domain's potential.
✓ Qatar National Bank has acquired the domain name "QNB.com" for one million dollars! The seller was another bank with a similar name.
✓ Trucking Unlimited, a recruitment firm for the trucking industry, has acquired the domain name "TruckDrivingJobs.com". I find the price, 800,000 dollars, remarkable to say the least.
✓ The aftermarket is slowly beginning to gain momentum for new gTLDs. After all, they have been around for a year already. A few recent and random sales: "Essen.jetzt": US$ 2480, "Enhanced.capital": US$ 2000 and "Seafood.company": US$ 1200.
✓ Namejet, a company focused on domain auctions and the snap of non-renewed domains, sold domains for a quarter of a million dollars in November. "Meixi.com" was the domain that was sold for the highest amount - US $ 27,108.
✓ Swedish domains are sold for rather high amounts as well. "USA.se" was sold for SEK 250.500, "Co.se" for SEK 100.100 and someone paid SEK 60.100 for "Frankrike.se". This and many other Swedish premiums were sold at Tradera (an online auction website, owned by eBay).
✪ Three new gTLDs; .TOP, .QUEBEC and .ENGINEER, became reached General Availability this week. .TOP did really well with over 10,000 registered domains the first day. .QUEBEC manage to sell about 5,000, while .ENGINEER just managed to attract 500 registrations the first 24 hours. We, Fancy Domains, did only register one single domain this time; "Euro.engineer". With hindsight we would probably shown some greater interest in .TOP, but it's always easy to be wise after the event. The .TOP domain mainly attracted Asian buyers, the first day.
✪ GoDaddy.com is the first registrar to sell more than half a million new gTLDs. The most popular suffixes at GoDaddy have been .GURU and .CLUB, but .NYC is showing very strong progress with over 25,000 registrations in just a few weeks. It wouldn't surprise me if this New York-domain will top it's charts in about four or five months.
✪ Google has activated its first Google-domain-name. The URL: Nic.google is currently redirected to their own registry.
✪ Currently, there aren't so many developed websites under the new gTLDs, but if you want to browse the existing ones, I can recommend the following Google search: "site:.[insert the domain suffix]". Examples: "site:.club", "site:.xyz" or "site:.london". I think it's an excellent feature.
✪ 'The Fancy Domain of the Week' is: 365.Global. Right now you'll get 20% off the already affordable price (the discount is valid through November 30, on a first come, first served basis). A number of .GLOBAL domains were recently sold for up to US$ 15,000 per each (please have a look at the sales report below).
✓ The car manufacturer Nissan sold the domain name "Z.com" to the Japanese company GMO Internet for US$ 6,800,000!
✓ "World.estate" was sold for US$ 35,000 and "Ocean.cruises" was sold for US$ 9900. Both via NoktaDomains.
✓ A couple of .GLOBAL domains were sold by the DotGlobal Registry recently - "Jobs.global": US$ 15,000, "Applied.global": US$ 12,000, "Banking.global": US$ 12,000: US$ 12,000, "Apple.global": US$ 10,000, "Online.global": US$ 10,000, "Sports.global": US$ 8000, "Rentalcars.global": US$ 7000, "Idw.global": US$ 5200, "Developers.global": US$ 5000, "Flights.global": US$ 5000, "Job.global": US$ 5000 and "Offices.global": US$ 5000.
✓ "Power.com" was sold for US$ 1,261,000 in a private sale recently. It ranks as the seventh largest sale reported this year.
✓ Grekland.se (Grekland = Greece in Swedish language) was sold for US$ 8,700 (SEK 65,100) in a auction on Tradera (a Swedish company owned by eBay).