May-July 2011     The Domain Industry News Magazine

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2Q-2011 Domain Sales Jump 20% from Year's Opening Quarter 

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2011 domain sales got off to a slow start with no 7-figure sales (and none above $500,000) in the opening quarter of the year. However, the climate changed in the 2nd quarter when the year's five biggest sales to date were logged, including a pair that broke the million dollar barrier - at $2.6 million and at $1,000,000

Those blockbusters boosted the total dollar value of sales reported to us in 2Q-2011 to $28.2 million, a 20% increase over 1Q-2011. However, the 2Q-2011 total was down a hair (off 3%) from the same quarter a year ago. For the first 6 months of this year, total sales volume is also running just a bit behind the first half of 2010 - down less than 1% from $52.2 million to $51.7 million.

When considering those numbers and the breakdown that follows below keep in mind the parameters for the sales we track and include in our weekly domains sales reports. We track .com sales starting at $2,000 and all other extensions starting at $1,000. Total dollar volume levels would be considerably higher if we tracked the vast number of sales at the low end of the market. By the same token, the median sales figures we will be discussing below would be less if we tracked the lowest end of the mark. We have always used the same parameters so the changes in our quarterly numbers provide a reasonable barometer of sales trends for domains that change hands for four figures or more. 

Now let's take a closer look at how various segments of the domain aftermarket are performing, starting with the world's most popular extension - .com. The total dollar value of .com sales reported to us in 2Q-2011 was $20.8 million, a healthy 27.6% rise from the $16.3 million reported the previous quarter. However, as was the case for year over year sales across all extensions, 2Q-2011 ran slightly behind the same quarter in 2010 - down 5.5% from $21.7 million to $20.8 million

As we have noted repeatedly in the past, total dollar volume figures can be easily skewed by just a few blockbuster sales in any given quarter (those sales also skew average sale price numbers) so we always look at median prices too - the number at which have of all sales were higher and half were lower. That measure is not affected by outliers at the highest end of the market. 

The median sale price of domains reported to us across all extensions in 2Q-2011 dipped slightly from both the previous quarter and the same quarter a year ago. In 2Q-2011 the median number was $2,700, off less than 2% from 2Q-2010 (when it was $2,750) and down 3.6% from the previous quarter (1Q-2011) when the median was $2,800. That would indicate that while sales volume was up, the prices being paid for most domains were down a bit in the price ranges we track.

For .coms, the median price in 2Q-2011 held steady compared to 1Q-2011 with the figure being $3,000 for each quarter in the first half 

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of 2011. 2Q-2010 had a considerably higher median though - $3,800 (21% above 2Q-2011).

The country codes (ccTLDs) enjoyed a 7% rise in total dollar volume in 2Q-2011 compared to the previous quarter, up from $4.3 million to $4.6 million, However year over year, the ccTLD total was off just under 10% from 2Q-2010 when $5.1 million worth of country code sales were reported. 

The median price of ccTLD sales in 2Q-2011 was $2,002, about the same as the $2,025 figure from the previous quarter. If you look at ccTLD sales above $2,000 (the same measuring stick we use for .coms) it is interesting to note that the median price for ccTLD sales in 2Q-2011 was $4,000 - well above the .com median of $3,000. Also, looking at the 2K and up country code sales, the median rose 15% from the $3,475 figure for ccTLD sales in that range the previous quarter - another positive trend for the ccTLDs.   

For the non .com gTLDs (.net, .org, .info, .biz, etc), the total dollar volume of sales reported in 2Q-2011 was very close to the previous quarter, dipping 3.4% from $2.9 million to $2.8 million. However, the non .com gTLDs were the only category that showed an increase in dollar volume from the same quarter a year ago (2Q-2010). Total volume in this quarter a year ago was $2.3 million so the 2Q-2011 number represents a nearly 22% increase in dollar volume year over year. 

Looking at median prices for non .com gTLD sales of $2,000 and up, the 2Q-2011 median was also better than the previous quarter, up 8% from $2,800 to $3,024, However, the median was down slightly (-2%) from the $3,088 median for this category in 2Q-2010. 

Image: renjith krishnan /

Domain sales are reported to us by almost all of the major sales venues as well as many private buyers and sellers. Two of the biggest aftermarket venues - Sedo and the AfternicDLS also issue additional information on their total universe of sales. Those venues send us just the sales that fall into the price ranges we track (as noted earlier) but they both have thousands of additional sales below the range we track, as well as some big sales that are subject to non-disclosure agreements but which can be included in their gross sales numbers. So, it is very worthwhile to look at their reports for further insight into aftermarket trends at those key venues. You can view Sedo's highly polished 2Q-2011 market study here (.pdf file) and see this AfternicDLS press release about their sales results for the first six months of this year (the company said it saw a 94% jump in year-over-year sales volume for the first half of 2011, marking the strongest growth in its history).


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