Joseph Peterson reviews notable domain name sales at NameJet last month.
During September, NameJet closed 80 domain sales at or above $2,000 – down slightly from August’s spike of 95 but consistent with May (76), June (69), and July (82).
Continuing my experiment from last month’s article, I’ll be using a “compare & contrast” format to pair off domains according to price. Just maybe, that will shed some light on market value, branding or investment strategy. But mainly it’s an excuse to cram more domains into the discussion!
IDAI.com ($31,500) and/or NUS.com ($28,900) – Nowhere is the market’s bias toward short domains more clearly in evidence than among NameJet’s monthly top sellers. Out of 80 September sales, 43 domains were 7 characters or less; 28 were 5 characters or less; 12 were LLLL (excluding Task.co); 6 were LLL; and then there was 7L.net at $2,150. This preponderance of very short domains was even more striking last month. As for this exceptionally high 4-letter sale, I hazarded some (only half serious) guesses on possible end users in one of my weekly articles. Looks like they were all wrong, though, with the present owner @QQ.com.
QianWan.com ($22,603) and/or LiYou.com ($22,323) – For intrepid westerners, Chinese pinyin could be a gold mine. But few non-Chinese speakers can make discriminating judgments on value, which causes investment to be especially risky. There’s a world of difference (or a hemisphere?) between flipping $8k to $23k and the reverse. Whether or not we’re competent enough to join in fully, it’s very significant that the top 4 domain sales from NameJet this past month are due to buyers from the world’s now largest economy: China.
Souvenirs.com ($16,250) and/or IKT.com ($16,000) – Acronyms are too monotonous to comment upon individually; so it’s the domains with more individuality that typically make the cut in my articles. You can see what I mean with IKT.com. Easier to pay for than to sermonize about. But Souvenirs.com – that’s what memorability is made of! Plus it has its place within the lucrative tourism industry. I wonder how well suited souvenirs are for e-commerce, however. Most of the Mickey Mouse ears I’ve invested in were purchased on the Disneyland gift shop premises.
Honcho.com ($13,101) and/or DormRoom.com ($12,450) – I discussed the college brand name shortly after it sold. Honcho.com, on the other hand, flew under my radar. “Head Honcho”, “Big Cheese”, “Top Dog”, and “Big Kahuna” are all honorifics for my boss at DNW, Mr. Andrew Allemann.
TalkingBooks.com ($10,401) and/or GameFan.com ($9,099) – Where these industries are concerned, consumers tend to be dedicated. Book fans – word lovers that they are – end up talking. So TalkingBooks.com may mean a review site, forum, TV show, podcast, or amateur critic’s blog. Then again, we may be dealing with audio books – them talking at us rather than us about them behind their backs. Equally ambiguous / versatile, GameFan.com may apply either to video games or sports.
Savings.net ($7,500) and/or SmartShopper.com ($7,200) – In the past I’ve proposed a thumb rule: Good single-word .NETs are as valuable as very strong 2-word .COMs. That’s a crude, unscientific notion; but it’s a starting point for evaluation. And these 2 discount shopping domains seem to conform. Of course, Savings.net is less constrained in meaning than SmartShopper.com; and, although it could be used for coupons, it’s a stronger contender for financial planning.
StormShelters.com ($7,000) and/or SmartHome.net ($6,900) – Even after the internet of everything has invaded our refrigerators, sprinkler systems, and garage doors, big bad tornadoes will huff and puff and blow our smart homes down. Hopefully we’ll be camped out in our primitive storm shelters while our towns are leveled. Both of these domains are about home upgrade contracts. Both sold for $7k. One is a .NET. My own sense is that .NET is worth most when the subject is technology – especially the internet or localized networks. Of course, smart homes are smart because they’ve learned to network.
Migration.com ($6,500) and/or Screech.com ($5,799) – Some birds fly south in the winter. Some birds screech. Forget wildlife! Server migrations are where the money is at. Technicians in this field draw 6-figure salaries, and corporations as large as Microsoft are up to their belly buttons in server technology. So somebody got a good deal! With the other dictionary-word domain, I wonder. It’s onomatopoeia with a “fingernails on chalkboard” quality. Great for a a kids’ product, since kids love to screech. Not so great as the name of an investment bank.
Mandate.com ($5,200) and/or iBud.com ($5,099) – Either someone has an authoritative commission to get things done, or else someone has a hot date with Steve. iBud.com plugs right in to to our Apple-spawned naming convention. “Bud” makes a great accessory. Purely as an acronym, this domain could justify its $5k price.
FeetFirst.com ($4,437) and/or LeonardoDaVinci.com ($4,331) – Leonardo’s got cachet, but his full name is too long for branding purposes. With Wikipedia already on top of the man’s historical contributions, I’m not sure what role this domain can play. Someone jumped into the auction feet first and overpaid. But if a pile of Mick Jagger’s letters are worth £187,250 at Sotheby’s, then why not 1.4% that much for Da Vinci’s name and legacy online?
ColoradoProperties.com ($4,132) and/or CounterAttack.com ($4,100) – A solid real estate name with one obvious, lucrative purpose? Or an edgy dictionary word, full of vim and vigor, ready to take on any challenge … as soon as someone points it in the right direction?
Openers.com ($3,956) and/or BeDirect.com ($3,600) – Looking for conversation openers? Be direct! (Unless that backfires.) Here we’re basically comparing an uncommon but familiar-sounding word to a common, affirmative, 2-word phrase – two different name styles that can each work very well.
Untouched.com ($3,600) and/or Snooping.com ($3,545) – What many people value in Nature is its pristine, untouched quality. Although this word is negatively defined (with an “un-“), it is more common than the root word “touched”; and it has a very positive meaning. Snooping, however, is a negative concept and a bit vague. I think more conservationists will take an interest in Untouched.com than identity protection services will in Snooping.com.
BeachBums.com ($3,385) and/or GreenGrowth.com ($3,225) – I wrote about BeachBums.com already in a weekly article. Like that domain, GreenGrowth.com is alliterative – “gr” + “gr”.With this brand name, I quite like the underlying symbol: In spring, new growth is green. And since investors are looking for green companies, domain investors are looking for “green” domains.
Spammers.com ($2,400) + Salary.net ($2,300) + Bright.org ($2,010) – After so many couples, let’s end with a ménage à trois. Here we have the veritable triumvirate of established gTLDs: .COM, .NET, .ORG. Moreover, all 3 specimens appear here as single dictionary words, in English, and at the same price level. In my opinion, each is a strong domain; and any of them could sell for more. So here’s a question for you domain investors out there: If you could pick only 1 of the 3, which? And why?