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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.

The 2nd quarter of 2009 just closed so we ran through our domain sales data from the past three months to see how the latest quarter fared against the previous quarter, as well as year 

over year against 2Q-2008. You've undoubtedly heard people talking about how many bargains there are on the aftermarket these days as the recession has forced many to sell assets. The lower prices people are paying showed up clearly in our sales data for the just concluded quarter. 

The total dollar value of all sales reported to us in 2Q-2009 was just $21.1 million, a $7.2 million drop from the $28.3 million reported in 1Q-2009. More disheartening was the fact that the $21.1 million total was worse than the $21.5 million reported in the final quarter of 2008 when most felt the market had hit bottom. In 4Q-2008 fear ruled after the historic 


collapse of major financial institutions left consumers too scared to buy much of anything. After a very nice upturn in 1Q-2009 it looked like things in the domain business were looking up but clearly we're not out of the woods yet.

The year over year results were about the same as those from Q1 to Q2 of this year. In the same quarter last year, total sales came in at $27.7 million, $6.6 million more than Q2-2009. 

As is usually the case, a few very high ticket sales impacted the results from one quarter to the next. The 1Q-2009 uptick was fueled by a trio of seven-figure sales; Toys.com ($5.1 million), Fly.com ($1.76 million) and Auction.com ($1.7 million). 2Q-2009 had a pair of seven figure sales; Candy.com ($3 million) and Webcam.com ($1.02 million), plus last week's half million dollar deal for Talk.com. So, the top three sales of 1Q-2009 totaled just over $8.5 million while the top three in 2Q-2009 came in $4 million lower at a bit over $4.5 million. The difference between just those three sales accounted for $4 million of the $7.2 million decline from the first quarter to the second this year.

"Greetings Wal-Mart Shoppers, you'll find 
some great .com deals on aisle number 5!"

While the high end slipped most sales platforms continued to do well at the low to middle end of the market favored by small to medium sized businesses. The situation is very similar to what the recession has brought to the general retail world. Purveyors of low priced merchandise like Wal-Mart are doing better than ever while upscale retailers are getting clobbered. 

As domain buyers have similarly trimmed their budgets, the median sales price of domains has also come down. In 1Q-2009 the median sale price in our database was $2,600 (down from $2,750 a year earlier). In 2Q-2009 it slipped again to $2,488. Keep in mind that we track sales starting at $2,000 for .coms and $1,000 for non .coms. As a result the medians in our database are higher than they would be if we followed sales below $1,000.

This declining price cloud has an obvious silver lining for one group - domain buyers. Many are finding deals on high quality domains that would have been almost unimaginable just one year ago. 

(Posted July 2, 2009) 

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