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$2.75 Million Sale of CreditCards.com Sure To Send Interest in Domain Names Sky High!

by Ron Jackson  

"CreditCards.com, the domain name, has been purchased for $2.75 million by ClickSuccess, L.P., an Austin, Texas-based firm specializing in marketing financial products online. The purchase, announced today (July 20), represents the fifth highest selling price for a domain name on record." I have to admit, when I looked at those opening lines from a new press release today I started trying to find out who was behind the joke! 


Not because CreditCards.com isn't worth that kind of money (in fact many experts tell me it was probably worth more), but simply because we haven't seen that kind of number attached to a pure domain name (no other business assets involved) for several years now. Casino.com was part of a $5.5 million dollar deal last October that included other assets (though that name alone would undoubtedly be in the same league). After consulting with a few people in the know, it soon became evident that today's report was for real.

When close to $3 million changes hands for a domain name, it catches everyone's attention, including the mainstream media, and that should go a long way toward educating buyers about the intrinsic value in high traffic domain names. Indeed, just minutes after I had starting looking into the details of the CreditCards.com sale, MSNBC called our office to get some background information on a story they are running on this purchase and the current boom in the domain market. Reporter Bob Sullivan told me that when the CreditCards.com price was announced in their newsroom everyone said "Well, here we go again!" assuming we were returning to late 90's domain-bubble madness.

I explained that things are quite different today, with increased advertiser demand for highly targeted traffic producing reliable revenues that can be used to calculate true inherent value for a domain name (just as business revenues can be used to calculate a fair selling price for real world companies). Sullivan found the notion that there is some actual substance behind the pricing this time around to be fascinating and we spent a half hour talking about it. If other news outlets grasp this and accurately relay the message to the general public it can only have a positive impact on an industry that is already enjoying a rosy outlook after years in the briar patch. 

There's no doubt the new owners have a money machine on their hands with CreditCards.com. They have already installed links to virtually every major card offering as well as card comparison tools that should have thousands of regular visitors clicking like crazy, ringing up revenue from click-throughs and new customer conversion fees. A sale of that magnitude, which also soars to the top of our Year-To-Date sales chart, tends to overshadow everything else in its path, but this would have been a good sales week even without that blockbuster!

Regular readers will remember Thunayan K. AL-Ghanim's $125,000 purchase of MR.com topping our Top Ten chart last week. Elequa (as AL-Ghanim is known within the industry) is back this week in the #2 position after securing Mister.com for $38,800 in a private transaction. With that pair of names in his stable, he really can claim to be Mr. .Com (or Mister .Com if you prefer the long version!).

Sedo.com also topped the 30K mark after selling a beautiful British domain, Single.co.uk for $30,341 to land at #3 on our new chart. That wasn't the only great news for Sedo this week. They scored a major coup by getting the exclusive listing rights for KerryEdwards.com, a domain that has been all over mainstream media news reports. An Indiana bail bondsman named Kerry Edwards owns the domain and wound up with a winning lottery ticket when U.S. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry picked John Edwards to be his running mate. The Sedo auction will run for two weeks and someone has already placed a $150,000 opening bid. This sale will bring a tremendous amount of attention to both Sedo and the potential value of quality assets available in the domain aftermarket.

This week's chart  features three more 5-figures sales and a sale that will give .US fans good reason to party! America's country code domain makes its first appearance on the Big Board with the $6,000 sale of Party.us. In fact, the celebration might still be going on because .US also dominated the New TLD chart, taking 5 of the 7 positions (more coming up on that later)! Right now let's take a look at the complete Top Ten, then continue our commentary on another great week of domain sales. 

Domain Name Journal's Top Ten 
Reported Domain Sales - Mon. July 12, 2004 - Sun. July 18, 2004
Euro to Dollar Conversion (€ to $) is Based on Rates in Effect Tue. July 20

  Domain

Sold For

Where Sold
1.  CreditCards.com $2.75 Million Pvt Sale
2.  Mister.com    $38,800 Pvt Sale
3.  Single.co.uk  €24,600 = $30,341 Sedo
4.  MyGolf.com $20,500 Pool
5. MyHouse.com $20,155 Pool
6.  GZ.com  $16,000 TopNames.com
7. Expectations.com  $6,700 Pool
8. Party.us   $6,000 Pvt Sale
9. ConsolidationDebt.com  $5,766 Pool
10. Comerciales.com $5,099 Pool

Keep in mind that these are the highest value sales that have been reported in the past week. This column is meant to be an educational tool, not a complete list documenting ALL high value domain sales. Such a list is impossible to produce because many sales are kept private at the insistence of buyers, sellers or both.

You can see that after the first three, Pool.com went wild, nailing down 5 of the final 7 positions on the chart. Their headliners were a pair of "My" domains (I wish they had been my domains!) that went for over $20,000 each - MyGolf.com and MyHouse.com. Usually when you add a prefix (e, i, my, etc.) to a keyword you kill most of the traffic but both of these domains hold up very well. MyGolf.com scores 266 with the extension in Overture and MyHouse.com is even better with 391. That means both domains are attracting lots of visitors. Pool's other Big Board entries included a nice Spanish term in .com, Comerciales (which is the equivalent of commerce, business or shopping in English).

TopNames.com made their first appearance on our Top Ten after selling GZ.com for a sweet $16,000. They also have a nice sale moving through the Pipeline that you will see noted below. .US was also welcomed to the mainstream chart for the first time thanks to Chris Zouzas' sale of Party.us to the owners of the German site Party.de. Zouzas, who has one of the best .US portfolios in the world, told us he didn't plan on selling the domain for under $10,000, but changed his mind when the buyers assured him they will build a live site on the domain similar to their popular entertainment site at Party.de. Zouzas believes that getting more high profile .US sites online will enhance the value of his overall portfolio more than any other factor. 

As always there was a ton of action under the Top Ten. If you slip back into the Pool, you'll find a raft filled with solid sales ranging from Marka.com at $4,500 down to Minniclip.com at $2,050. FreeAfterRebate.com went for $4,000, followed by Agadir.com at $3,980 and GolfSource.com at $3,600. Ninas.com was worth $3,300 and TVSet.com set the buyer back $3,120. A high traffic misspelling, Miniclp.com (over 1800 with the extension in Overture) sold for $2,800. The related domain above, Minniclip.com also has a great Overture score, over 1200 with the extension. 

Other contributor's to Pool's big run were FishingAlaska.com at $2,700, Shokewave.com (758 in OT) at $2,530 and MetaSearchGuide.com at $2,061. Pool also moved a couple at their new Marketplace where Haulers.com sold for $2,900 and XFT.com attracted $2,600. Their best .net was OTB.net at $1,707 (a dropped domain that was sold through their usual 3-day auction).

Sedo had three .nets on their top sales sheet this week including Ibar.net at €3,000 ($3,700), Zitate.net (German for "quotation") at €2,320 ($2861) and Traumreise.net (German for "dream vacation") at €2,200 ($2,713). They also scored with Casino.org.uk at €3,000 ($3,700) and a trio of .de's: LaserBehandlung.de (German for "laser treatment") and Tippspiel.de ("gaming tips") at €3,000 ($3,700) each and Vibration.de at $2,836

Over at Moniker.com/DomainSystems.com, ViaAfrica.com was a quick route to $3,750 and D-Group.com collaborated for another $3,700. Afternic.com had a nice .org in the same range, HTML.org at $3,488. They also found $2,500 in BrandBox.com. Over at Enom's Club Drop they are just starting to break in a huge crop of new registrar partners. Almost overnight, their list of drop catching connections has soared from just a couple to over two dozen. They have already made some nice catches and those auctions are underway (including one for SnackFood.com). In the weeks ahead, you will undoubtedly be seeing some nice numbers from Club Drop here.

In the Pipeline: We saw MotorVehicles.com claimed in a sale thread at DNForum.com for $26,500 a few days ago. The WhoIs hasn't been updated yet, but we'll keep an eye on it and if the buyer makes good this one will be on the Big Board soon. TopNames.com also has a nice one currently in Escrow, Softworks.com at $7,500

Our Year-To-Date chart gets a new leader this week after that stunning $2.75 million sale of CreditCards.com. That almost quadruples the price attracted by the previous chart leader, Mercury.com. Mister.com and Single.co.uk also scored high enough to enter the YTD list (at #25 and #35 respectively) and force us to let out our belt a few notches so we could expand to 45 entries. Here is the complete list of big winners so far in 2004:

Domain Name Journal's Year-To-Date Fab 45
Highest Reported 2004 Domain Sales through Sun. July 18, 2004  
Euro to Dollar Conversion (€ to $) 
Based on Rates in Effect When Sales Were Originally Reported by DNJ

 - Domains entering the chart this week are highlighted in green -

  Domain

Sold For

Where Sold
1. CreditCards.com $2.75 Million Private Sale
2. Mercury.com $700,000
(700K cash + $400,000 in goods & services)
Private Sale
3. ME.com $460,000 Moniker / DomainSystems
4. Smoking.com $325,000 GreatDomains
5.  Commerce.com $180,000 Sedo
6. Beef.com $150,000 GreatDomains
7.  IQTest.de     €123,625 = $147,635 Sedo
8. TourismAustralia.com AUD $201,000 = US$146,200 Pvt Sale
9.  Sexkontakte.de
"Sex contacts" in German
 €110,000 = $141,175 Sedo
10.  MR.com $125,000 GreatDomains
11.  Truck.com  $101,000 Moniker / DomainSystems
12.  Kreuzfahrten.de
"Cruises" in German
€70,000 = $88,853 Sedo
13.  Kazalite.com $83,500 Pool
14. Sedo.com $80,000 Private Sale
15.  BackCountry.com $75,000 Private Sale
16.  Boxen.de
"Boxing" in German
€56,500 = $72,509 Sedo
17.  Stop.com  $62,500 Moniker/
DomainSystems
18. ClearDay.com $60,000 Moniker / DomainSystems
19.
tie 
FKK.de  €40,000 = $51,333 Sedo
19.
tie 
Busen.de
"Bosom" in German
 €40,000 = $51,333 Sedo
21. Mirror.com $50,000 Moniker / DomainSystems
22. CarFinancing.com $46,000 Pool
23. Hardcore.co.uk £25,000 = $45,951 Sedo
24. Meningitis.com $45,000 Private Sale
25.  Mister.com    $38,800 Pvt Sale
26. Faces.com $38,700 Moniker / DomainSystems
27. Metropol.com €30,500 = $38,230 Sedo

28. 

Nackt.de
"Nude or Naked" in German
€30,000 = $38,081 Sedo
29.  Fotos.com €30,000 = $35,793 Private Sale
30.  Cairo.com $35,001 Sedo
31. 
tie
Miss.com $35,000 Afternic
31.
tie
Spamzilla.com $35,000 MarketEvolver
33. CleanEnergy.com $31,950 Moniker / DomainSystems
34. Humor.de €25,520 = $30,449 Sedo
35.  Single.co.uk  €24,600 = $30,341 Sedo
36.  DiscountDrugs.com $30,010 Namewinner
37.
tie 
AntiDepressants.com $30,000 Private Sale
37.
tie
Actor.com $30,000 Sedo
39.  NewYork.info €22,000 = $28,086 Sedo

40.

XPart.com $27,981 Moniker / DomainSystem

41.

Messaging.com   $27,600 Pool

42.

HotelReservation.com $27,500 Sedo
43.
tie
LH.com    $27,000 GreatDomains

43.
tie

NQ.com $27,000 Afternic
43. 
tie
Computadoras.com
(Spanish for "computers")
$27,000 Pvt Sale
Unforgettable Footnotes:
Below are landmark sales where the price level (denoted by X characters) was released but not the exact price paid. This will allow us to note significant sales that are among the Year-To-Date leaders but cannot be ranked numerically due  to a confidentiality agreement that kept the exact price private. Date shown indicates when the sale was first reported in Domain Name Journal. High - Mid - Low indicates the range within the price category shown by multiple X's.
Juegos.com (June 29, 2004) High $XXX,XXX Pvt Sale
Woman.com (Feb. 10, 2004) Low $XXX,XXX Sedo
CellularPhones.com (May. 11, 2004) Low $XXX,XXX Pvt Sale
IS.com (May 4, 2004)  (No range) $XXX,XXX Pvt Sale
Bόcher.de (Mar. 16, 2004)
{"books" in German)
High $XX,XXX Sedo


New TLD Section

.US fans have always been confident a week like this would arrive. It had to get tiring watching their older brother, .Info, dominate our New TLD chart week in and week out, but it's finally time for the American country code to break out the party hats and noisemakers! You already know about the #1 domain, Party.us, since it was big enough to crash the old extension soiree we reported on above, but that wasn't the only live wire in the .US fuse box. The extension swept the top three positions on our Super 7 as well as 5 of the 7 slots overall. 

Numbers 2 and 3 were geographical city domains, Fresno.us ($1,500) and Vancouver.us ($1,250), both purchased by the same buyer, Bob Connor. Bob is already well known for developing .info sites and he has the same plans for his new .US acquisitions. He put out a "City Domains Wanted" ad in the top forums that netted Fresno at DNForum.com and Vancouver at DomainState.com 

.Info made its first appearance at #4 and as is often the case, it's a German word, Nackt.info (German for "naked") doing the honors after selling for $986 at Sedo.  Here is a look at the complete New TLD top seller's list for the past week:

Domain Name Journal's New TLD Super 7 
  Reported .info, .biz & .us Domain Sales  July 12, 2004 - July 18, 2004
Euro to Dollar Conversion (€ to $) is Based on Rates in Effect Tue. July 20

  Domain

Sold For

Where Sold
1. Party.us  $6,000 Pvt Sale
2.  Fresno.us    $1,500 DNForum
3. Vancouver.us    $1,250 DomainState
4. Nackt.info
("Naked" in German)
€800 = $986 Sedo
5.  SUV.us  $800 Pvt Sale
6.  Hallen.info
("halls" in German)
  €500 = $616 Sedo
7. LIS.us $450 Pvt Sale

The .US run continued with a pair of 3-letter domains at #5 and #7. Peter Stefansson landed an especially good one, after persuading Dave Seitz to part with SUV.us for $800. After still another German .info, Hallen.info at $616, LIS.us closed the list at $450. The same seller also sold EGO.us for $400 (one I have to confess I really like even though I personally have no ego to speak of ).

Pool sold Vision.biz for $343. I've previously mentioned that even though .biz seldom shows up among the top sellers, I have seen and continue to see, more buying interest among American small businesses in .biz and .us than in .info, even though .info commands most of the high dollar sales we report. A lot of the .info sales lead is due to a strong preference for .info among German buyers. In the U.S., .biz has a slight lead over .info in total registrations.

Party.us was strong enough to break into our Year-To-Date New TLD leader's list,  giving us 27 entries starting at our $4,000 entry level. Party lands right in the middle of the pack at #14. Here is a look at 2004's top new extension sellers through July 18: 

Domain Name Journal's Year-To-Date New TLD "Top 27" 
Highest Reported 2004 .info, .biz & .us Domain Sales through July 18 
Euro to Dollar Conversion (€ to $) 
Based on Rates in Effect When Sales Were Originally Reported by DNJ

 - Domains entering the chart this week are highlighted in green -

  Domain

Sold For

Where Sold
1.  NewYork.info   €22,000 = $28,086 Sedo
2. Casino.info €17,500 = $20,899 Sedo
3.  HMS.info €9,280 = $10,492 Sedo
4.
tie
Tampa.info $10,000 Pvt Transaction

4.
tie

Moscow.info $10,000 Sedo
6. Vitamins.info $9,500 Afternic
7. RioDeJaneiro.info $9,000 Pvt Sale
8. Stocks.us $8,062 Sedo
9.  Party.info   €6,000 = $7,166 Sedo
10. Book.biz $7,000 Galcomm
11. BDSM.info €5,500 = $6,947 Sedo
12. Reifen.biz
"tires" in German
 €5,500 = $6,894 Sedo
13. Vancouver.info €5,000 = $6,378 Sedo
14. Party.us $6,000 Pvt Sale
15. Beach.info     €5,000 = $5,972 Sedo
16.
tie
Finanzen.info
("Finances" in German)
€4,900 = $5,888 Sedo
16. 
tie
Steuer.info
("Tax" in German)
  €4,900 = $5,888 Sedo
18. InvestmentFonds.info
("investment funds" in German)
  €4,750 = $5,673 Sedo
19. Vacations.info $5,500 Pvt Sale
20. CityGuide.info €4,000 = $4,773 Sedo
21. Woman.info $5,000 Sedo
22. Erotica.info €4,000 = $4,913 Sedo
23.
tie
Meningite.biz
("Meningitis in French & Italian)
$4,250 Sedo
23.
tie
Meningite.info
("Meningitis in French & Italian)
$4,250 Sedo
25.  Grafik.info   €3,500 = $4,249 Sedo
26.
tie
Houston.info $4,000 Pvt Sale
26.
tie
Washington.info $4,000 Pvt Sale
Unforgettable Footnotes:
Below are key sales where the price level (denoted by X characters) was released but not the exact price paid. This will allow us to note significant sales that are among the Year-To-Date leaders but cannot be ranked numerically due  to a confidentiality agreement that kept the exact price private. Date shown indicates when the sale was first reported in Domain Name Journal
Fashion.us (May 25, 2004)  $XX,XXX Private Sale

As always, we welcome all verifiable sales reports from companies, private sellers or individuals with knowledge of an important sale made through any channel. To contribute information and help make this column better,  just drop a note to editor@dnjournal.com.

We truly appreciate the industry leading companies represented on our charts who share their sales information with us to help everyone in the business get a handle on current domain values. Individuals like Richard Meyer of the American Marketing Corporation also provide invaluable help by sending us data for these sales reports each week.

Every Tuesday we publish the highest reported domain name sales for the previous week. On Monday our contributors send us their sales data for the previous 7 days. We then compile that information and write this report for Tuesday publication to give you the freshest sales report in the industry. 

We will close with this standard caution. These are not average selling prices - these are top selling domains. One of the biggest impediments to making sales is pricing domains at unrealistic levels. For most of us, pricing domains at the levels achieved on the Top Ten chart will leave us waiting a long time to make a sale! We hope you will use the information presented here as a measuring stick that will help you price your domains at levels that will put more money in your pocket more often!

Editor's Note: If you wish to review previous Domain Sales columns, they are available in our Archive.

 





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