Expired Domain Report: Breaking down Chinese buyers

Joseph Peterson reviews recent expired domain name sales on NameJet, including which short domains were picked up by Chinese buyers.

Anyone who reads these weekly reports on the expired domain market (or, rather, NameJet’s share of it) will have noticed that the chart can be divided into Chinese purchases and non-Chinese purchases. The split is fairly clean. GEAI.com ($8.2k)? China. HNBC.com ($6.4k)? China. DAIG.com ($2.8k)? China. DUVI.com ($2.5k)? Probably not China.

And why is that an exception? Because pronounceability influences the decisions of Western domain investors in ways that don’t apply to the Chinese market. Many domainers have long espoused a conscious preference for 4-letter domains of the CVCV format (i.e. alternating consonants and vowels). Of course China uses Pinyin a fair amount, and the West has its institutional acronyms. But, in general, there’s a wide rift between China (which buys character sequences) and the West (which seeks word-like domains). Click here to continue reading…

WaterCoolers.com sells for $25.2k, and other expired domain name sales

A look back at the past week in expired domain name sales.

The gossip at the water cooler this week might be WaterCoolers.com itself, which was NameJet’s top expired domain auction, selling for $25.2k. Not too far behind (at $15.1k) is the German word for “style”: STIL.com. Or is it? Perhaps it’s an acronym for people in Illinois. Or a creative misspelling of the English word “still”. Then again, if the buyer is Chinese (as buyers so often are these days), it could be an arbitrary sequence of characters. My hunch is German; but until the buyer’s identity is revealed, we can’t know for sure. In any case, in any domain auction, multiple interpretations bid against one another. Value (and sometimes price) are a reflection of all possible meanings. Click here to continue reading…

See which new top level domain names are deleting

Check out which domains people are letting go.

DomainPunchWant to take a second stab at domains registered under new top level domains a year ago? Curious what types of domain names people are giving up on after a year?

Domain Punch has a new section that shows which domain names were deleted from the zone file yesterday. You can sort by top level domain and length, as well as see deletion numbers for each top level domain name. Click here to continue reading…

NameJet expired domain name review

Joseph Peterson reviews the past week in NameJet expired domain name sales.

5-digit numeric domains don’t typically sell for $9,120, but one expired NNNNN.com did just that at NameJet last week. 51513.com = 3 x 7 x 11 x 223, in case you care about prime factorization, which the odds are you don’t. Apart from Chinese cryptographers, neither does China, where numbers matter less than numeral strings. These Indo-Arabic numerals of ours belong equally as much to Chinese children, who can rattle them off at top speed and memorize them easily. Moreover, as many domain investors know by now, numerals can be used as an alternative script for writing homophonic words, since they sound similar. Whether I’m right or not, I’ve heard that 51 sounds like “I want” / “I will” (“wuyao”); and the numeral 3 is thought to be lucky. That’s undoubtedly why 513.com is a poker website. So maybe 51513.com = Frank Sinatra. Click here to continue reading…

Analyzing NameJet and Short Domain Name Sales

Joseph Peterson reviews recent NameJet sales, and takes a deep dive into sales of 3 and 4-character domain names.

After a record-setting Winter, NameJet began Spring with a reduced sales volume for March. Even so, given 94 sales closing at or above $2000, March matches the best month out of an 11-month stretch during 2014. NameJet also scored its 4th highest sale of all time with VVV.com being bid up to $136,400.


The real story here is the massive preponderance of 3 and 4-character domains. Out of $641.6k in sales, $306.1k (47.7%) derive from CCC domains with another $115.1k (17.9%) from CCCC domains. That leaves only 34.4% – basically 1/3 of high-end spending at NameJet – to be split amongst ALL other domain categories. Looked at another way, there were 14 CCC and 21 CCCC sales, which together account for 35 out of 94 domains in our chart: 37.2%. In other words, 1/3 of Namejet’s best-selling domains were 3-4 characters long and accounted for 2/3 of high-end spending. Out of the top 21 sales during March, the only slots not occupied by these 3-4 character strings were #13, #15, #18, and #19. Keep in mind, we’re counting only domains that cleared $2k individually. Below that high-visibility threshold, the domain profile will be different. Click here to continue reading…