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).
Names such as DiamondGroup.com ($9.4k), ProLearn.com ($7.2k), Jumpo.com ($5.4k), and SheepSkins.com ($3.5k) stand in stark contrast to the prevailing Chinese taste. We can take “diamond” literally or symbolically. Yes, the domain might sell bona fide diamonds. Then again, a preexisting diamond group (DG-USA.com) sells LED lights, RV and boat parts. Some domains, such as PrintingJobs.com ($4.7k), must be interpreted literally. SheepSkins.com ($3.5k) most likely will be as well, since sheep skins are often sold as rugs.
Other names are more about brand expression than item labeling. Even so, it’s clear enough what ProLearn.com ($7.2k), SpyMart.com ($1.9k), iPayments.com ($1.9k), OceanTech.com ($2.2k), and CasinoTime.com ($3.1k) must be about, since each is anchored by a keyword to some well defined commercial niche. Gambling domains regularly do well. LuckNet.com ($1.8k) would be another.
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Several of these domains look as though they were bought for the sake of their back links, as formerly developed domains frequently are. I suspect that’s the case with the pair of “911” domains above, but I could be wrong. NoSoyPirata.com ($185) means “I’m not a pirate” in Spanish. From 2005-2008, it was a site about copyright issues.
Several short brandables caught my eye – among them Jumpo.com ($5.4k), Infuze.com ($1.6k), and Collaboratory.com ($1.3k). It’s also quite striking that 14 of these 67 domains (21%) are .ORG. That includes 5 at or above $960. But what’s most unusual is seeing among the .ORG set a couple of numerical domains –866.org ($1.5k) and 450.org ($960) – which are the sort that would command top dollar in China if they were .COM. Whether the buyer was Chinese or expects to sell those to China, I couldn’t say at this point.
Apart from gambling, real estate is one of the consistently top-performing subjects within the domain market. Week after week, year after year, that holds true. HousesForSale.org ($2.9k) did quite well for a 3-word .ORG at a wholesale venue; and that’s simply because houses are expensive, necessary, and for sale everywhere. No mystery. The same applies to LuxuryHomeRentals.com ($1.2k), another 3-word domain.
Pickets.com ($322) are either symbols of domestic, middle-class bliss (the proverbial suburban yard with its waist-high “white picket fence”); or else they’re uprooted to manufacture angry protest signs while “picketing”. Assuming this domain can be used both as an exact-match descriptor and a brand name to sell actual fence posts, it’s not a bad deal at $322. Maybe the best deal, though, was ChefTraining.com, which closed below $1k.