The previous owners of these valuable three letter domains let them expire.
Three letter domains are very valuable, so I was surprised to see so many of them expired this month.
According to Namebio, the following domains were dropped and then auctioned off by Godaddy.
This fact suggests to me that there are still many owners who are not aware that domains are valuable. In particular, LLL .com domains have a liquid market of buyers. These domains have solid demand in China because they carry two functions: (1) as acronyms to shorten long names, and (2) to enable Chinese companies to go global.
For example, does anyone know a company called 大疆创新 (Da Jiang Chuang Xin) in Chinese or Da Jiang Innovations in English? Neither of the names can easily become a global brand because they are long or difficult to remember. The company invested $300,000 in 2013 to upgrade to DJI.com, which is now recognized as a global brand in drone technology.
Another example is the logo design marketplace Zhu Ba Jie (猪八戒). Pronouncing “zhu” correctly may be a challenge for non-Chinese speakers. In 2016, the company upgraded from the already brand-matching Zhubajie.com to ZBJ.com. Now, it is simply known as ZBJ or ZBJ.com outside China.
In short, LLL domains are very powerful and therefore their values will continue to grow in China. It’s shocking that people let them expire.