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August 27, 2012

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Go Daddy Joins SedoMLS Network, Doors Open at DOMAINfest Global Today & DomainAdvisors Racking Up Big Sales Off the Radar

The SedoMLS Network announced a major expansion this morning - a new partnership with the world's leading registrar, Go Daddy. Domains that are listed at Sedo with Buy Now prices are now available to Go Daddy customers, many of them end users who can now purchase 

premium names directly from within their Go Daddy account. With no need to leave GoDaddy, or even create a Sedo account before buying, the rate of sales conversions is expected to take a significant jump. 

Paul Nicks, Go Daddy's Director of Product Development for the Aftermarket, said “Go Daddy wants to help small businesses grow 

larger, and finding the right domain name is the place to start. Giving customers access to many premium domain names, including Sedo's Buy Now domain names, ensures our customers get the best domain name for their website or business.”

With the addition of Go Daddy to the SedoMLS Network, domain investors now benefit from the huge number of additional end users who search for names at the dominant registrar. Conversely, as Tim Schumacher, CEO of Sedo, said “The SedoMLS Network provides registrar partners like Go Daddy with access to premium domains that are listed at Sedo, which in turn provides their customers with more purchase choices than ever. For any domain seller, we provide the reach that connects their domain listings to the greatest number of potential buyers across the globe.”

The DOMAINfest Global conference at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, California officially opens tomorrow morning (Tuesday, January 31), but the doors will actually open for registration this afternoon at 2pm local time and remain open until 9pm. Also today, from 4-8pm exhibitors will be able to get their booths set up in the Exhibit Hall. There will also be several private affairs around town  tonight, as well as a 7:30pm meeting of the Southern California Domainers Group at the Shore Hotel.

Tomorrow morning the registration desk re-opens at 7 o'clock and the Exhibit Hall opens at 8. The show's first session will be a 9:30am workshop on a very timely topic - new gTLDs.  The week's highlights will include Moniker's Live Domain Auction Thursday afternoon from 4:30-6:00pm (PST). You can see the full auction catalog here. You can also check out the agenda for the entire week here

I'll be arriving in Santa Monica this evening and will have daily DOMAINfest Photos and Highlights for you in this column starting tomorrow.

One other  note today. Our January newsletter went out to opt-in subscribers Sunday. In it we break down our 2011 domain sales data and show you how 2011 stacked up against the previous year (we also compare 4Q-2011 results vs. the previous quarter and the same quarter a year ago). In addition to overall market numbers, we looks at how well the individual categories, .coms, ccTLDs and non .com gTLDs, performed in 2011. You can read the full report here

The total dollar volume for publicly reported sales slipped in 2011 but that is just the tip of the aftermarket iceberg. We don't track sales sales below four figures and there are hundreds of sales in that category every week.  In fact, aftermarket giants Sedo and the AfternicDLS commonly report total sales of $1 million to $2 million a week. The vast majority of sales, including many at the highest end of the market, are never reported due to non disclosure agreements.

Anecdotally, officials from a number of sales venues, brokers and private sellers have told us that 2011 was a very good year for them. Those include DomainAdvisors.com, the newest division of PPX International. In the last 30 days of 2011 this new business, headed by President Jeff Gabriel (well-known as the broker behind the all-time record sale of Sex.com for $13 million) settled more than $7 million in sales, including super premiums and diverse portfolios.

Almost all DomainAdvisors sales are kept private, a requirement most of their buyers and sellers prefer or insist upon and for which DA does not charge a premium. 

The sales business does seem to be booming there as Gabriel and CEO Tessa Holcomb (both former senior brokers with Sedo), have  assembled a team of eight  Advisors to handle the demand for professional brokerage services. They have 

DomainAdvisors.com President Jeff Gabriel 
(right) and I at at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Fort 
Lauderdale Beach conference in October 2011. 

brokers manning an 800 number 8am-8pm EST seven days a week, taking and making calls to relevant buyers and sellers.

So while reported sales are a very useful tool to learn more about what kinds of domains are selling and how much specific names are bringing, we will never really know exactly how much of the domain sales iceberg lies below the surface and out of view

By the way - while we are on the subject of domain sales, congratulations to industry pioneer Gary Chernoff who dropped me a note Sunday evening to let me know he just sold BowlingBalls.com for $225,000 in a deal brokered by Andrew Hunovice.  The buyer was former pro bowler Nick Melnikoff who know sells bowling balls and other gear through his ecommerce site at BowlersParadise.com.

(Posted Jan. 30, 2012) 

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