Joseph Peterson reviews the past week in domain name sales at NameJet.
At some point, yours truly will stop pointing out the fault line between Chinese and Western domain sales in these charts, inasmuch as I’m beginning to sound like a broken record! Still, for the benefit of those readers who are just now joining us, I’ll reiterate: Week after week, domain auctions at NameJet are dominated by purchases addressing either the U.S. or the Chinese market; and it’s always a tossup which group will occupy the top spot.
This week, among the bigger expired domain sales, China shows up at #2 with BIAO.net. That $5.4k price tag is higher than might be expected for a Pinyin .NET. What’s the underlying story here? Apparently, 表 (biao), which is used in various composite terms, means “watch” and “surface”. It’s this Chinese word that probably inspired the Biao skin-cream brand, based in Houston, Texas. So was the auction a tug-of-war between a U.S. brand that took its cue from Chinese culture and China itself seeking to reclaim its word? If so, then China pulled harder.
Altogether, the week was dominated by English. A word so recognizable that even misspelling is no deterrent, Moviez.com ($10.8k) claimed the #1 position, doubling the price paid for BIAO.net. My tongue gets a bit stuck enunciating StockSpot.com ($3.8k), which seems to make a fetish of consonant clusters. Unlike that invention, WarPath.com ($3.1k) and OldTime.com ($2.9k) are both familiar English phrases. Nothing is more familiar to Americans – age 30+ anyway – than a phone book. Prior to the internet, the YellowPages.net ($5.2k) had been our primary way of navigating cities and businesses. It’s worth pointing out that .NET claimed 2 out of the top 3 sales this past week. Of course, 2 auctions might be a fluke. Yet that interpretation seems hard to maintain, since Titanium.net ($2k) brings .NET to 3 out of the top 10.
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Amidst all the English and Chinese buzz, Spanish has asserted itself with Relacion.com ($1.3k). Simar.com ($1.6k) seems to be an article of women’s clothing in India. NetArmenie.com is simultaneously French and Armenian – that is to say that it lived for a decade and a half as a French website dedicated to Armenian culture. Given the wide range of the Armenian diaspora, the only language I’d be shocked to see Armenia written about in … would be Armenian. GuneyDergisi.com ($80) looks to have been a Turkish magazine.
Siona.com could describe an indigenous Ecuadorian tribe, or it might simply have been bought as a neologism. Wegan.com ($165) might be pronounced “vegan” auf Deutsch, but I could find no language in which it actually holds that meaning. Despite appearances, Labelitwa.org ($209) is English – specifically, a food labeling initiative within the state of Washington (WA). Eskamon.com ($80) is no language at all – simply a merger of 2 electronic musicians: Eskmo + Amon Tobin.
China is mostly represented by LLLL.com’s. Those with repeating letters tend to appeal to a Chinese audience, and I count 7 of them here between $199 and $821. A pair of mixed-character CCC.com’s – VB2.com ($570) and UZ2.com ($535)– would most likely be China-bound also. Ditto ZheBeng.com ($240). Despite China’s interest in 4-letter .COMs, however, I’d be surprised if TVSA.com ($1.2k) went to China, since “TV” has more meaning elsewhere.
My inner child divides his time between shifts at the IceCreamFactory.com ($810) and BalloonFest.com ($435). Along with those, I also liked Styleaholics.com – a real bargain at $85. Incredibly enough, both the singular and plural HomicideAttorney(s).com sold for a mere $79, which is what mine bills me per 5 minute interval. Yes, I hired in advance. Is that a red flag?
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