Sedo: Number Of Sold Domains Is On A Steady Decline Since 2010 (Down 38,7%)

I wrote an article 2 days ago called “Is Sedo Slowly Dying?” and Andrew Allemann from DomainNameWire.com added more stats on this article.

So here are a few more numbers I found about the amount of sold domain names at Sedo. I am not going to talk about volume of sales in terms of money but only in terms of number of domain names sold.

I searched and found the number of sold domains for the first half of each year from 2010 up to 2016. (2015 and 2016 were done manually and have 26 weeks each but have 1-2 weeks added from a previous year to make it exactly at 26 weeks.)

Year # Of Sold Domains
2010 23088
2011 21208
2012 19182
2013 19788
2014 16216
2015 14751
2016 14149

So the number of sold domains at Sedo is on a steady decline since 2010. All years except 2013 are worse than the previous.

2016 is down 38,7% compared to 2010.

In 2014 Sedo had a big drop of about 18% compared to 2013. (Was that because of the mass adoption of the DomainNameSales.com platform that initially launched in late 2012? If I remember correctly I moved most of my domains from Sedo to DNS in June 2013.)

The first half of 2016 has seen a boost from the newly introduced auctions. (Anyone can start an auction for any domain name at Sedo since July 2015) So 2016 in down only 4,1% compared to 2015.

But the slowdown in the decline in 2016 was also from the Chinese effect that is ending. (The biggest Chinese buying period was the second half of 2015 that is not measured in this article as I only counted the first half of each year.)

The past 10 weeks of 2016 are down 14,5% compared to the same 10 weeks of 2015. (5073-5929 sold domains)

The number of sales above $2,000 is seeing an even bigger decline of 22,8% for these 10 weeks. (679-879 sold domains) (Sedo started in 2016 only reporting sales about $2,000 instead of above $700 in the previous years.)

(Again I am only talking about the first half of each year from 2010 up until 2016 and only about the number of sold domains.)

I would also love to see the data on price distribution for 2015 and 2016 but Sedo stopped issuing yearly (and quarterly) domain sales reports after the 2014 half year report.

Here is what I have:

2011 2012 2013 2014/2
up to $500 47% 46% 47% 44%
$500-$2500 38% 40% 40% 40%
$2500-$5000 8% 8% 7% 9%
$5000-10000 1% 3% 3% 4%
$10000-$50000 2% 2% 2% 2%
$50000+ 4% 1% 1% 1%

I bet the “up to $500” percentage has skyrocketed from mid 2015 and in 2016. The median price would be very interesting as well but Sedo will not share anything anymore and is instead hiding more data as every year passes.

I didn’t receive today the latest weekly Sedo report as I have for the past few years. Is it just late (TheDomains.com has already published it) or a result of the “Is Sedo Slowly Dying?” article? We’ll see.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He loves domains and building websites. He is online since 1995, learned about html in 1996 and got into domains in 2002. He started the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.

33 comments

  1. So what is the rate of Sedo Death expressed in a formula? 😀

  2. I contacted Sedo few years ago, I told them that Frank will eat them if they do not react, that they were totally absent of media visited by domainers, that they were also losing domainers support … I get the same silent response as when I urged them to start promoting domain auctions or owners will finish using different platforms (and that’s what happened). But they prefered to waste all their ad dollars having good times in conferences, it’s a choice, but a strange choice when their business is online and not offline.

  3. We are in process of withdrawing all our groups buy now sales at Sedo.

    WHY?

    Sedo has a penchant for proclaiming their vaunted Valuation system is proof that their decision to limit Buy Now designation is limited to !0,000$. This is nothing but an attempt to cap out or limit upside potential for Domain Valuations. If we look at the true valuations on .COM Asset groups they are far outpacing Sedos rediculous attempt at lowering the bar on valuations so as to make it easier to sell .COM Asset Properties on the CHEAP! Whats up with that? SEDO you need to follow .COM Centric valuations NOT Google-Centric Psuedo Valuations. You are losing market share, wake up !

    We will not pivot to Google or F.S. under any circumstances. EVER

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) (Former Rockefeller IBEC Marketing Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed CBOE Commodity Hedge Strategist) (Domain Master http://www.UseBiz.com)

    • They don’t even adjust the US$10,000 cap to account for inflation, which would put it in the $12,500+ range.

      Carl Edgar

  4. i got flagged for some reason on SEDO and they wont let me even buy domains.

    there are several domains I would put bids in but they wont let me.

    About 3 months ago I made an offer on a domain,..and in the middle of the auction they closed my account.

    No reach out or anything…just close my account.

    F THEM !!! Let them die.

  5. All of us agree, I’m sure, that Sedo has been resting on its laurels. In the past 5+ years, Sedo has made few changes, even though their domainer customers have been clamoring for market-place innovation. Meanwhile, new competitors have arisen or grown – venues like DomainNameSales, Flippa, BrandBucket, Undeveloped, and NameJet … even Etsy. In spite of losing market share to each of these competitors, Sedo simply continues as if nothing is changing. Many of us (myself included) have offered suggestions to Sedo. But even glitches are seldom addressed.

    That’s why people are frustrated. Nevertheless, I continue to use Sedo. Let me emphasize why:

    1.
    Buyers still go to Sedo. Regardless of whether your domain is parked there or not, buyers can find it if it’s listed with them. Why do they visit Sedo? There are a few reasons:

    A. Name recognition. Granted, mainstream consumers rarely know the names of domain market places. But people who’ve shopped for domains in the past may remember browsing for domains at Sedo. If they’ve purchased at Sedo, even better.

    B. Parking. No, not my parking. Somebody else’s. A large number of domains are parked with Sedo. That leads people to the market place, where they may discover my domains.

    C. SEO. For me, Sedo ranks #2 for “domain names for sale”. And I’m willing to bet that Sedo ranks pretty well in relevant search verticals in Europe, where they’re based. Considering how many domains I’ve sold to well funded German, Scandinavian, French, or Spanish companies / entrepreneurs, I want my stuff listed with an established European marketplace. And Sedo is it.

    2.
    Broad distribution. Sedo cross-lists inventory at multiple websites. Afternic does something similar. Uniregistry / DomainNameSales doesn’t. If I remember correctly, Frank Schilling couldn’t even get some of his own TLDs listed for sale everywhere. DomainNameSales really depends on domains being parked with them. Sedo and Afternic actually do something with their networks to promote our domains for sale and raise the amount of exposure they receive. It’s not the kind of marketing François advocates. (And François is right to ask for that.) All the same, that network of websites Sedo has worked to build up – it means eyeballs and marginally better chances of selling. Let’s not forget that.

    2.
    Non-interference. Sedo doesn’t demand exclusivity. And the commission rate is usually 15-20%. Sedo staff doesn’t threaten its customers with expulsion when we don’t negotiate the way THEY think we should. (I’m looking at you, DomainNameSales!) I’d much rather support those standards than permanently surrender the rights to sell my domains to a company like BrandBucket and pay 30% for the privilege.

    3.
    Transparency. We all ought to be more supportive of Sedo for 1 simple reason: They give us market data. End users are far LESS likely to pay substantial prices for domain names if there is no public record of recent sales to point to. Uniregistry conceals its sales. GoDaddy / Afternic began doing the same thing over a year ago. That leaves only 1 major venue giving the world data. The mere act of publishing sales in high volume over a long period of time has done immeasurable good to the domain market – i.e. to our own sale prices.

    Konstantinos, I haven’t looked over the numbers. So let’s just assume your analysis is correct. To be sure, DomainNameSales took a bite out of Sedo when Frank Schilling launched his market place. To the extent that Sedo lost inventory and parking traffic, some decline in sales is fully expected. That doesn’t really prove that Sedo itself is gathering dust. The chance of selling a domain there might be as high as ever. I mean, if Sedo has less inventory AND fewer sales, then logically it might be true that sellers there are experiencing a steady rate of sale or even a higher rate of sale (as opposed to a declining sell-through rate).

    More competition is a good thing. Part of Sedo’s apparent decline is simply a result of there being more market places today. That doesn’t necessarily mean Sedo is inferior. I’m still selling there. And I hope Sedo sticks around to improve its game.

    • First of all thank you Joseph for your comment.

      Like you said, they don’t create, improve or even fix anything that is wrong. I think the developers have left the building.
      It reminds me of Moniker when Monte left (and we all know what happened 10 years after) or eNom that apparently only had a facelift last week despite the problems of an almost 15 year old system.

      Sedo’s transparency is becoming a thing of the past. They used to report 200+ sales every week and they now report 50+. Their yearly, half year and quarterly reports is a thing of the past.
      As I said in previous article Sedo is still ruling the European market and ccTLDs.

      As for real transparency (not just sales related) don’t get me started.
      As I said in some of my other articles I have had numerous problems with Sedo, like the 100+ non paying buyers (a rate much much higher by any other platform) where they don’t provide an email address, their lawyers ignoring me, bugs that don’t get fixed, their support deleting all my keyword and lander preferences at one time, one of their brokers that f**ked me for $1,000 even though we had a deal on a $10k domain, etc.

      And now even today when they just stopped sending me their weekly report probably to punish me for an unfavorable article.

      • @Konstantinos Zournas,

        We won’t agree 100%, which is normal. Everybody’s personal experience with market places differs. For instance, DomainNameSales staff don’t butt into negotiations and coerce ALL their customers – just some.

        Each domainer will rank the different market places in a different order – from appalling all the way up to mediocre! We’ll base our opinions on our own sales (or lack thereof), website problems, the kind of buyers who show up, interactions with staff, etc.

        We’re all biased by our own real but idiosyncratic experiences. Certainly I am. For instance, I can’t judge how ineffective DomainNameSales is these days (compared to how ineffective they were when I listed there) because their VP banned me some time ago – something that would never happen at Sedo in a million years. Maybe they’re not sending you sales reports, since you’re accentuating a decline; but I highly doubt Sedo would ban you altogether, as DomainNameSales did me.

        I think it’s important to distinguish between

        (A) issues that 100% of customers experience and which are unique to a given platform;

        and

        (B) issues that we as individual customers experience and which might arise for other customers at other venues.

        Sedo has its own problems. There we agree fully. But there are other problems that can happen anywhere. For instance, like you, I’ve had non-paying buyers. In fact, I’ve literally got a “sale” right now at Sedo where I’m 99% sure the buyer is a deadbeat who won’t submit payment. But that’s a problem I’ve witnessed at practically every market place – Flippa, CAX, DomainNameSales, etc. Third-world buyers in particular are notorious for not following through. There’s very little Sedo or any other company can do to extract payment from someone. But they do what they can. Sedo has banned people who cheated me in the past, including a seller who refused to transfer the domain after I paid him twice.

        Sedo needs to be more responsive and aggressive when it comes to innovation. Obviously. But even at Flippa, where they’ve been rolling out new features almost weekly for a year or two, there are longstanding website glitches and shortcoming that don’t get fixed, issues with shill bidding, etc. No market place is above criticism. I think Sedo does a good job, even if they’re slow to make progress.

      • I don’t say DomainNameSales is perfect. We have talked about this. I was almost banned there.

        The rate of deadbeat buyers is higher than anywhere else because they know that Sedo is setup to be anonymous and (after all these years) Sedo will not only do nothing what it will help them hide without revealing their email address.

        We can agree Sedo is slow. Slow in reverse. 🙂

  6. @Konstantinos,

    Any chance you were specifically targeted by someone trying to sound you out on price? For me the rate of deadbeat buyers at Sedo is the same as elsewhere – probably lower, actually. It happens from time to time, but at Sedo I’ve never had waves of non-closing sales. At the other market places, the non-sale sales come in flurries. Often 1 buyer will show up and “buy” multiple domains at once. For example, 1 guy on Flippa can come along and end multiple auctions using a BIN and ultimately not pay for anything. That’s quite a headache for the seller and other bidders.

    I guess my point is that domain market places are ALL underperforming and screwing up in various ways. We’re having a public conversation, just in case other people want to listen in. Most of what I’m saying you already know, and I know that.

    • No, this is over a 10+ year span. Different buyers, from different countries and different domains.
      Most of them were banned but I had a couple that kept buying the same domain and Sedo would do nothing.

      “I guess my point is that domain market places are ALL underperforming and screwing up in various ways.”
      We can agree on that for sure!

      “We’re having a public conversation, just in case other people want to listen in. Most of what I’m saying you already know, and I know that.”
      I know. 🙂

      A friend of mine that is new at domaining and is reading this told me that you should start blogging! I told him that you already do and that he should come to Las Vegas and meet you.
      You are a great guy.

  7. @Konstantinos,

    Thanks for the kind words. My publication rate at DNW slowed down while I took a break. Still writing for Andrew occasionally. And I plan to launch another blog this Summer.

  8. Charles Christopher

    I have our domains setup to rotate between sales pages on SEDO and Afternic, its a random dice throw as to where the visitor goes. Most of our sales take place on Afternic, not SEDO. On random chance, 50% of sales should be on both platforms as that is how the traffic distributes.

    I dislike SEDO greatly, but we have sales through them so I keep sending them traffic. We also periodically get revenue from visitors purchasing domains other than ours.

    The disparity of sales between SEDO and Afternic has made me think for some time that their reputation extends beyond sellers and buyers may not be excited to use them or there is some frictional point in the buying process that does not exists on Afternic.

    It would be interesting to compare SEDO to Afternic, at least to see if our individual case is more generally true.

    I would also add that buyers seem much more educated than they were yesteryear. Many contact us directly or go through some third party which then contacts us directly. The need that SEDO once filled is going away. I feel Afternic is much nicer to work with and are much more competent when a sale gets stuck for some reason.

  9. I was just busy abandoning Sedo today before even seeing this article or anything about it, though mainly because I simply don’t want any listings anywhere. However, they do suck overall, and the $10k cap is absurd.

  10. Yes I agree about the cap at $10,000 an insulting money grab no doubt

  11. I have a few domains myself listed on Sedo for the past 30 days I would say, I wanted to sell them of a different marketplace, I was wondering what is the norm for selling domains should I try Flippa over Sedo maybe?

    • These days the norm is to them yourself with a lander or domainnamesales. There other options depending if you want to auction the domains (Flippa), brandbucket for brandables, etc.

      I don’t know what domains you have and when and how much you want to sell them for.

      • Thanks for the response I could send you a list of what I want if you would like, I have three .coms, and 5 .nets, one .cn

  12. There will be more drop as long as they do not promote sellers’ auctions as it should be. they are charging high $69 along with %15 !!! CRAZY !! what kind of profit would a seller make with a $$$ sale ????

    They must adjust their auction to $10 with %10 commission. otherwise there are plenty of places to sell/auction our domains.

  13. If insertion fees wheren’t so high, domain sales “up to $500” probably represented more that 80% of total sales… sedo just don’t what to have the trouble of those sales…

    • HUH, so you would happy to sell a domain for $2,000 and pay commission $300 ? not to mention the auction fee $69 ? what about your original purchase price (let us say $1,000) along with the renewal fees ?

      So how much profit can you make with Sedo for $2,000 sale ?

      • Not happy at all, and that is why I don’t sell through sedo :), they simple dont worth the effort of trying to sell through them…
        When they have reasonable fees I will consider that…

  14. You missed the biggest story and reason for Sedo’s decline between 2010 and now, which is Godaddy acquisition of Afternic in 2013

    https://techcrunch.com/2013/09/19/godaddy-buys-afternic-to-beef-up-its-domain-registry-marketplace/

    Which was quickly followed by Godaddy kicking Sedo off its domain distribution channel.

    http://domainnamewire.com/2013/11/15/godaddy-to-end-its-sedo-domain-sales-partnership/

    This is probably why Sedo is being totally unresponsive to you.

    Honestly I have no idea of how you could write this post without pointing that out.

    • Sorry but that was only a very small percentage of sales. Sedo was falling before this and is falling after this.

      Most sales occur by direct navigation to landing pages.

      I don’t get why sedo is unresponsive…

      • Unresponsive, THAT is the word for Sedo.

        They are like comparing a Funeral Director with a Commodities Broker, except with a Funeral Director you get personal service!

  15. K-

    How do you know that Godaddy the largest registrar in the world accounted for a small percentage of sales?

    Lets not forget all that inventory that went to Sedo on Direct Navigation was removed and put on Afternic.

  16. K-

    Then why call out domainnamesales.com as a possible cause in your story how do you know what the percentage of Sedo sales took place before domainnamesales.com?

  17. Sedo has stopped reporting their total sales and total of sold domain names:
    http://onlinedomain.com/2016/08/03/opinions/what-is-sedo-afraid-of/

  18. Thanks for very interesting article, I have been domain investing for nearly 15 years, I used to own over 3500 domains, I moved all my domains away from Sedo some years ago, but to be fair to them I think there is another explanation in addition to their terrible service.

    I was previously buying and selling around 40 to 50 domains a month, but when the domain registry fees started to go up I made a decision to divest myself of 90% of my domains at whatever I could get for them with a minimum of my costs (Buy Price + YTD renewal fees).

    Consider that my average renewal fees were $7 because of my volume discounts and they increased by $3.20 which is around 43%, that is what made me decide to cut back. I felt that a lot of people would feel the same way and that in itself would reduce potential prices.

    I found reducing to $9999 got a lot of my premium domains sold, then I started trying to sell them to particular niches, sometimes 5 to 10 at a time for $5000 each, I also went after some similar domain owners and found it they would seem to get a max of around $3000.

    The interesting thing about your post is how so many people have mentioned the demise of Sedo and not liking them, it is a company that really seems to struggle with keeping clients happy.

    Not all my domains were on Sedo but well over 1000 and I used to use them for Escrow too, however, over time I just found the lack of personal service too much, even GoDaddy were more responsive and they are a company I love to hate.

    Doesn’t Sedo say that it is responsible for some huge percentage of domains sold in the market and that it is the biggest marketplace?

    That sounds impressive at first, but what does responsible mean and isn’t the marketplace just them sharing with GoDaddy and others?

    Anyway, I think the registries made a BIG mistake putting up their registration fees, especially those with low ball entry level price but overpriced renewal fees. Am I the only one that feels that there is cartel like behaviour in this market with hardly anybody discounting renewals these days?

    I have always had great pricing because of my volume but there used to be various offers on renewals to win business between registrars, these no longer seem to happen, even Namecheap seems to have given up the ghost.

    I do think that Sedo is dying a slow death, it seems to me that they rely on customers who are new to domain investment and not aware of others.

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