Flooding The Domain Name Auctions Will Not Get You High Prices!

Flooding the domain name auctions, even if the domains are of top quality, will never produce the best results and the highest prices. These auctions will probably get the highest reseller prices at best. When you see an auction event with 100 or 200 domain names that is not the best time to also put your 50 best domains up for auction too at the same or even a different venue.

For instance Namejet is doing something that I find puzzling and I would like to hear what you think about it. Namejet has been running competing auction events during high profile auctions like Project 94 or the 3rd premium .info Afilias auction.

Namejet ran a competing auction during at the same time the PIR Project 94 auctions were running with several 3 letter .org domains and a few 2 letter .org domains. PIR had several 1 and 2 letter .org domains. Some of the top prices  for the competing auctions were:
md.org $555,650
tx.org $19,100 Reserve Not Met
fl.org $15,333 Reserve Not Met

Sure md.org got a great price but none of the other 2 letter domains were sold. Also none of the 1 letter .org domains were sold and none of the 2 letter and number .orgs got bids over $10,000 except for the 2 above that were not sold because of the reserves.

Then during the 3rd premium .info Afilias auction, Namejet ran another competing event auctioning off 6 .info that were first auctioned off in the 1st premium .info Afilias auction. Here are the results (1st .info afilias auction results in brackets):
loan.info ($8,293) ->$6,200 Reserve Not Met
loans.info ($12,205) ->$9,655 Reserve Not Met
tax.info ($5,005) -> $10,805
bank.info ($5,060) -> $2,600
engineering.info ($2,693) -> $1,488
finance.info ($9,002) -> $4,555

From the 6 domains above only tax.info did well. All the others lost money. What is even worse is flooding with domains that were auctioned off just a few months before. I wrote about these flips on the “The .info domain flip: is it really possible?” article.

Then we have some individual sales that did much better that the flooding auctions.

Home.info sold at Afternic this May for $7,500 after being sold at the Go Daddy 2nd .info auction in December for $5,615.

Finance.info sold for the 3rd time in 3 months at Flippa for $5,500. That was just 12 days after it got $4,555 at Namejet.

And the biggest success story was Asbestos.info. It sold at Namejet on May 6 (3rd .info Afilias auction) for $1,040. It was then sold at Flippa for $6,750 on May 23. That was a $5,710 profit for the seller over 17 days.

Flooding seems to be confusing to the bidders and hurts all auctions. The Namejet auction were confusing to me because I though that I had backordered all .info domains from the 3rd auction event and when I tried to bid on engineering.info I couldn’t find it in my auctions. I then realized that engineering.info from a different auction event and fortunately it wasn’t too late and I was able to backorder it and win it. As you can see from the auction results, 5 of the 6 domains didn’t even get close to the price they got in December. Only tax.info sold for double that. I was able to get engineering.info for about half the price.

I don’t know about you but if I was PIR or Afilias I wouldn’t want Namejet competing with my auctions. Maybe the md.org and the tax.info prices were quite good (on different levels) but who can tell me that if these were auctioned off at a different time they wouldn’t do even better? Finance.info and asbestos.info both did better than Namejet just 10 days later at Flippa.

ICM Registry, the .xxx registry, did something similar even before the 1 year anniversary of the .xxx. Theyassigned asking prices on over 1000 reserved domains and put them up all for sale at once. Sure they have46 confirmed .xxx sales in the past few months but were these domains sold at the highest price they could get? The .xxx registry sold porn.xxx this past week for a price that I believe was in mid 6 figures. But this domain was not in the priced list and was negotiated privately. I bet ICM registry kept this domain apart of the 1000 so that they could get the best price. But because they need to present yearly sales and cash flow they flooded the market with 1000+, mostly cheap, .xxx domains and that had a consequence to ruin .xxx sales for most domainers. Michael Berkens wrote about it here.

If you had 365 3-letter .coms, would you put them up for auction together, put 1 every day for a year or hold on until the end user comes? Flooding the auctions with domain names will almost certainly attract resellers 99% of the time because you can’t possibly get 100s of end users to bid on an auction event. And resellers only have a certain amount of cash available. Afilias is running back to back .info auctions. They are having the 4th premium .info auction at Sedo. I think they should slow down a bit. What do you think? It seems that there are auctions running everywhere on expired and mostly on domains sold by their owners. Is the reseller market able to handle all these auctions? I don’t think so.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

12 comments

  1. Konstantinos, I’m sure you know but it should be pointed out that although md.org was placed into the auction of mostly registry owned .org domains including the single letter domains, MD.org was privately owned, so if you just look at the domain names that were owned by the .org registry that sold, it was a pretty poor showing

    • I wrote that was part of a separate event running at the same time with the PIR domains.
      But md.org was pretty unique.
      And judging from the other 2 letter prices at that time and sales from the previous years it won’t happen any time soon.

  2. I see the logic in your post, it may be more telling why they are doing this ? It may be that they just want to get rid of inventory and get ready for the new tlds. Flooding does overwhelm people and there is not enough money to get the prices they want for every domain.

  3. Quote.info will be the next sale it seems: https://flippa.com/2928960-ultra-premium-info-with-11-100-000-searches-mo

    Vacation.info also looks like another one that is being flipped (with ease): https://flippa.com/2929776-travel-niche-category-killer-amazing-vacation-deal

    This seller sure knows what he’s doing 😉

  4. That was funny Federer, best of luck.

  5. We have been seeing a lot of house-cleaning from different registries lately, and it sure must have something to do with of upcoming release new TLDs.

    Cashing out now before it’s slaughter.

  6. I think it was well intentioned… “Hey we can capitalize on all this traffic and all these open wallets” … without realizing that there are only so many people with only so much liquidity. A lot of domainers are “domain rich” and “cash poor”. I like the idea of flipping from one market to another but I still question if that’s the best way to reach maximum value – thought I may just be gun shy as I’ve rarely felt like I did “well” in trying to sell via various auction platforms. A good return though for our friend none the less 🙂

    Couple other notes:

    – Lottery.info didn’t meet reserve today at Godaddy. Happened to be timed with “The great .US landrush drop” that was going on today at the same time. Previously part of Premium Auction 3 at namejet.

    – No reserve helps get bidders excited but if you don’t get enough interest it can cause you to really lose your shirt.

    – I think Afilias messed up by holding all the geo .info’s and all the “international” names into specific events (I assume there will be a geo heavy auction at some point) instead of spreading them around a little. They pull in different types of domainers and the cross pollination I think would have had better results. Now you’ll end up with only a handful of US domainers interested in the Sedo auction and a small number of domainers who have to spread the wealth around all the geo domains all in one go instead of spread out over 6 months or more.

    • Well intentioned but not well thought. Also domainers tend not to pay end user prices. I didn’t buy a single domain in the 3rd .info auction because the domains
      were too expensive for me. I bought engineering.info that was not part of the event and sold for half what the buyer paid.

      1- I saw that but missed the final price as it has now disappeared from my account. Did you get the final price?
      2- People lost a lot of money with finance.info and a couple of others.
      3- You are right about the auction diversity.
      The Sedo auction is more focused on the Europeans. Sedo is more European than the other auction houses so that might help…
      I think they should slow down. The 3rd auction finished in May and the 4th starts in May. That is way too close.

  7. Lottery was right at $1500… give or take a few dollars. Sedo’s auctions are seemingly very poorly attended and seriously under-marketed – even on their own site. It has all the fixings of a complete failure for Sedo/Afilias, though that likely means buying opportunities for someone.

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