A look back at comments about this week’s Aftermarket.com auction results.
A couple people commented about the Aftermarket.com auction held this week in Australia, and they commented about how many of the sales were absolute steals. Two comments in particular I have seen on various forums and blogs are that the purchase of 2o.com at $8,500 was a steal, and that the .com.au domains sold at very low prices.
The first comment is somewhat true, the second one can’t be confirmed with so little data.
First let’s look at 2o.com. When the domain was auctioned a Domain Consultant representative commented that the starting price (and ending price) of $8,500 was a sign of the times. He hadn’t seen two character domains selling for under $100k in a long time. Of course there’s a big difference between two characters and two letters. Two letter domains usually sell for over $100k (although a handful have sold for less in recent months), but two character domains that include a number rarely sell for that much.
For example, here are similar domains that have sold this year (data from NameBio):
e8.com is an outlier because the buyer is purchasing domains based on some weird mathematical scheme. I believe there’s a story to c4.com as well.
So you’ll see that most domains like 2o.com have sold for $10,000 to $25,000 this year. Some of them may have alternative meanings that may make them worth more.
The sales numbers from 2007 are similar although there’s more on the high end, with a range of $8,000 to $30,000 for most sales. When you go back to early 2006 and 2005, you start to see prices under $10,000. Some of them, in retrospect, were great deals. 3g.com $6,498 was a great value given the mobile phone connotation.
So I’d argue that, while 2o.com was sold for less than comparable domains over the past 12 months, it basically sold for 2006 prices. It’s too early to tell if auction sales from the past 12 months represented a bubble or if prices will return there. It seems like a good deal now, but not some bargain basement sale.
As for .com.au domains, I’m surprised that anyone would pass judgment on the sales prices. .com.au domains just became available for resale recently and there’s little data on them. Is Hunting.com.au at $1,850 a good deal? Undergraduate.com.au at $1,500? Jackets.com.au at $3,000? Beats the heck out of me. And anyone who tells you they have the answer is just speculating. It’s also worth noting that most of these domains were likely purchased by Australians, who have seen their currency drop drastically against the dollar over the past 6 months.
To summarize, I think most buyers in the auction will be happy with their purchases in the long run. But many of the domains didn’t sell at drastic discounts to what we’ve seen in the market over the past few years.