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November 05, 2013

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Lift Off:  How New Sales Platforms are Sending the Domain Aftermarket Into Orbit

The domain aftermarket is soaring. Of course, if you follow our weekly domain sales reports, you already know that but you may not know the reasons why it is happening and more importantly – you may not know how you as a domain owner can best take advantage of this explosion of interest in domain names.  

It’s little wonder that people are a bit confused right now. The major companies operating in the aftermarket (sales of domains that are already owned by another party, rather than new registrations) have come up with so many new initiatives and improved marketing systems over the past year that you need a scorecard to keep up. The purpose of this article is to clarify what all of the new names (like AfternicDLS and Domain Distribution Network), sales platforms and developments mean for you and your business.

Fueled by new developments in the
aftermarket domain sales are rocketing

The good news is that all of these changes have been positive and give you an opportunity to have your domain inventory seen by more people in more places around the world than anyone could have dreamed of just a year ago. The result has been a steady rise in market activity. At the New York T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference in June I reported that we had seen a major jump in prices and transactions from the first quarter of this year to the second. The total dollar value of sales reported to us in the second quarter was up more than 50% from the dollar value reported in the first quarter and the average price of sales reported to us surged from $6,873 in the first quarter to $10,544 in the second. We track only four-figure and up sales, so averages for the entire market would be a good deal lower than those numbers as many smaller transactions occur. However, the numbers from our sample still show powerful upward momentum in the secondary sales market.  

Before we get into the specifics let’s touch on why the domain business is booming in the first place (and why it is likely to keep expanding over the next few years). Certainly the fact that mainstream media has finally discovered the industry has helped as one newspaper or electronic media outlet after another seems to be writing about domains on a daily basis now. Because of that, domain values and the massive revenue being generated through direct navigation (typing in a domain name rather than using a search engine) is no longer a secret. 

Also, the Internet has become indispensable for doing business in today’s world and having a domain name is just as important as having a business card or print catalog (actually far more important than those things but that is a story for another day). A memorable domain name doesn’t even have to have traffic to have a lot of value as a brand name for your enterprise on the web and business owners have come to understand that.    

The introduction of domain financing by DomainCapital.com has also played an important role as buyers can now pay for their purchases over time. Imagine a housing market without mortgages (probably a poor example since that could 
become a reality given the way things are going in the mortgage business!). DomainCapital has essentially brought mortgages to the domain industry making it possible for a lot more high dollar sales to take place.    
The company’s president Robert Alfano told us, “With the continued growth of the domain aftermarket and the increased prices of many of the aftermarket sales, we are speaking to clients and potential clients on a daily basis with regards to how they can utilize our services to buy these assets. Many domainers have their resources tied up in other ventures, so when the perfect domain name comes along and they don’t want to miss the opportunity, DomainCapital is able to partner with them and make sure they have the ability to get their name or names.” 

Then there is the mass migration of advertising dollars from traditional media outlets to the web. Just this week private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson released research forecasting that Internet advertising will overtake all other media by 2011. That flood of ad dollars should fuel higher domain values and pay per click ad revenues. In short, domain owners are at the right place at the right time.   

Robert Alfano
DomainCapital President

These fortuitous circumstances have prompted several leading domain companies to roll out programs designed to help you unlock the value in your portfolio. We are going to take a close look at important new developments at four of these companies – NameMedia (the parent company of aftermarket powerhouses Afternic.com and BuyDomains.com and creator of the Afternic DLS), Dark Blue Sea’s Fabulous.com and their Domain Distribution Network (DDN), global giant Sedo.com who recently expanded their aftermarket reach with the acquisition of GreatDomains.com and, to wrap things up, we'll look at Moniker.com, the company that pioneered the thriving live auction format that produces the majority of publicly reported high value sales.  

To make it easier to navigate and digest this in-depth look at innovations in the aftermarket, we are going to discuss each company on a dedicated page. This will give you the option of reading the entire article as you normally would, step by step by following the links below (which also appear at the end of each page) or reading one section at a time as your schedule permits – using these links to go directly to the next section you want to access when you are ready to read it. Without further adieu, let’s get this show on the road!   

NameMedia’s Afternic DLS – You’ve seen thousands of their sales posted in our weekly reports – now find out how they are doing it and how you can reach their global audience of potential domain buyers.

Fabulous.com’s Domain Distribution Network See what the man behind the plan, Dan Warner, has dreamed up to reach a new group of buyers who don’t frequent the usual sales channels.   

Sedo.com and new family member GreatDomains – Sedo acquired GreatDomains in June and quickly revitalized the slumbering sales site. See how that move has added muscle to their immensely popular planetwide platform.   

Moniker.com ushers in the age of Live Auctions – Moniker has been making aftermarket waves since the late 90’s. Now they have changed the game again with a platform that produces more high dollar sales than anyone else. Find out how they did it and what you can do to be a part of it.  


Next Page - NameMedia's AfternicDLS

Go to Domain Distribution Network

Sedo and Great Domains

Moniker and Live Auctions

Return to DN Journal Home Page


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