Joseph Peterson takes a look back at the past month on NameJet.
Each month, NameJet disseminates its list of domain auctions that closed above $2,000, and various domain blogs publish that list basically as is. Personally, I’ve tried to dig a bit deeper, grouping sold domains by type and providing month-to-month statistics on overall market-place performance. Unfortunately, that approach is too time consuming; so I’m reverting to a simpler list format.
That said, I like to chew data before swallowing. And I can’t help noticing something the other bloggers apparently haven’t batted an eyelid at: NameJet’s list for May 2015 is suspiciously small. If NameJet really only finalized 41 transactions above $2,000, then May would be the platform’s worst month since it began reporting exactly 4 years ago in June 2011. Prior to this, the slowest 2 months on record had 49 and 58 sales above $2k respectively; and that was in 2011. Recently, we’ve witnessed NameJet’s strongest period – 5 consecutive months that handled between 94 and 148 sales above $2k.
So what can explain the sudden drop off from an average of 116.2 sales >$2k each month to just 41 – declining by a factor of 3? Human error. I know for a fact that NameJet’s list is missing domains because names I myself purchased during that period are absent. Also, my own records (which aren’t complete) show 75 auctions ending in May above $2k. A few of those would be expected to close in June, but some late April sales would have closed in May. During the last 10 days of April alone, there were 38 NameJet sales at or over $2k.
At any rate, we have half a list from NameJet. And it’s quite interesting. 3 of the top 4 sales are LLL.com domains, which will surprise nobody who has been watching the market of late. Yet these aren’t necessarily the LLL variety that most interests China. They’re vowel-laden, pronounceable, and meaningful in Western languages. EXX.com ($30k) strongly suggests the “ex” prefix found in such words as “exchange”. And VEO.com ($36.1k) is Spanish for “I see” – one of the best words for Spanish branding that I can think of.
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China is certainly to be found behind the 9 NNNN.com sales above. Our high of $18.2k is an outlier, since 8 of the 9 fall within the more circumspect range of $7.3k to $10.6k. Chinese bidders would be involved in the 7 LLLL.com sales as well, which ranged as high as $5k for the repeating pattern WLWL.com.
Yes, it’s also China buying CCC.com’s such as 9NN.com ($4.5k) and pinyin like MaoMa.com ($2.8k). What may surprise some readers, however, is the interest some Chinese buyers take in LL.tv domains. JZ.tv ($6.8k) and PZ.tv ($5k) eclipsed a trio of U.S. state TV domains – just barely, since the latter 3 fetched $4.8k to $5k apiece.
Within this partial NameJet list, China obviously predominates. If the company hasn’t yet hired a bevy of fluent Chinese speakers, perhaps it’s time they mirror that de facto customer base of theirs. Be that as it may, there are plenty of domains selling at NameJet that have nothing to do with China.
Money is the underlying theme of half the top half dozen English domains: DailyLottery.com ($25.1k), TaxShelter.com ($9.6k), and SafeBanking.com ($5.2k). We also see a pair of domains sharing the keyword “business” – once as a brandable in BusinessRadio.com ($8.8k) and once as a more descriptive category phrase in BusinessWear.com ($4.1k).
Apart from .TV, the only non-.COM extension to figure in this chart is .ORG, which placed EXIF.org and Pilot.org – both at $2.2k. It’s amazing how much market appetite there is for beef. Not only did FiletMignon.com elicit $19k; even WagyuSteaks.com was ordered up at $2k. Is it a coincidence that most auctions happen around lunch time when Americans are hungriest?