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03|11|2011 02:40 pm EDT

Guest Post : The New Sweet Spot is The Old Sweet Spot

by M. Fiol in Categories: Domain Aftermarket

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Much discussion has been made about the recent Aftermarket auction and the so dubbed “new sweet spot” that allowed for a high percentage of sales.

With a good deal of confidence, I can say this epiphany bewildered more than a few domainers – some of which have been feeding the ‘sweet spot’ for years.

For if we look back and try and locate the origins of the ‘sweet spot’, we need look no further than the Gold Coast of Australia.

In late 2008, DomainConsultant.com and Aftermarket put on an auction at TRAFFIC Down Under that is likely still champ in terms of sell-through-rate (STR) – a whopping 81% of the names in the catalog.

And the total offering was not fifty, it was 100 names with an average sale price of…$3,000. Names sold included iUS.com, Up.com.au, Camera.co.uk, Saws.com and SkiEurope.com – almost all in the ‘sweet spot.’

So part of the point is to say that the ‘sweet spot’ has been there for some time yet the other side says you still need a Voodoo.com or Contests.com to really make it profitable.

Because while hitting the sweet spot repeatedly produces high STR, auctioneers must also find a way to yield, minimum, at least $200,000 in sales to break-even.

Making a profit? Depends on expenses but usually somewhere between $250,000 to $300,000 in sales.

And that is the rub, for in some ways you need to focus on the big dollar sale or the sweet spot but not both given time and resources, market and objectives (high STR vs. high figure).

Thus we can magnify the risk involved: too many sweet spot sales and you don’t make enough yet go for the big dollar and miss – and you end up with nothing.

It’s a tricky dance, yes, but by no means is it a new one.

This post is a guest post by Mike Fiol of DomainConsultant and Boxcar.com

03|11|2011 01:14 am EDT

Fabulous.com Partners With eNom, as Parent Company Photon Group “Clear Decks” [Updated]

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Registrars

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Domain Registrar Fabulous.com announced this evening that they have partnered with domain name registrar eNom. Emails sent to their customer base (quoted in full below) this evening aren’t exactly clear in what capacity the two companies will be partnering. Fabulous says that the partnership allows them to “streamline and optimize our registrar technology, freeing us to focus on what has been key to our success:- great tools, great support” and that they “continue to remain a wholly-owned business of Dark Blue Sea“.

[Updated/added] A representative of eNom told DNN: “The Fabulous.com websites will remain in place and they will be leveraging eNom’s Registrar API technology to operate some of the backend Registrar operations. This shouldn’t effect the way customers do business with Fabulous except it will allow them to leverage some additional TLDs and products currently not offered.

Fabulous’ announcement of Yexa, a registrar reseller software, in the summer of 2010 was an interesting move in to a space that eNom, a Demand Media company, dominates, the reseller business. Enom’s partnership with a potential competitor in that space, leaves one wondering about the specific arrangements. Recent news from Photon Group could also leave one wondering if there’s more to this arrangement as well.

Fabulous parent company Dark Blue Sea (DBS) was acquired by Photon Group in 2009. Photon was in debt at the time and since then their stock hasn’t faired well since. Last summer Photon brought in a new CEO, Jeremy Philip from News Corp who announced that he was going to “clear decks.  With mounting debt and a new CEO at the helm Photon sold four of their online properties.  The company sold Findology.com in January 2011 and released a statement saying “Photon is examining its search marketing businesses” (of which DBS is it’s largest company) and “assessing the impact of the carrying value of the remainder of the search marketing businesses.”  An announcement on the Photon site [PDF] states, “The Company continues to concentrate on its strategic review and operational improvements across the business.

As of December 2010 Photon had reduced the number of companies owned from 45 to 28 and rumors about a potential sale of Dark Blue Sea have been circulating. DBS referred DNN requests for more information to Photon. DNN has not been able to reach Photon Group contacts..

See a full copy of the email that went out to Fabulous’ customers after the jump.

(more…)

03|10|2011 10:59 am EDT

Escrow.com Suffering Denial of Service Attack

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Up to the Minute

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Escrow.com has been suffering a Denial of Service attack which started about 13 hours ago. The team has been working on restoring services all night and is expecting to be back up shortly.

03|08|2011 09:48 pm EDT

Sedo & Afternic Sales Report of the Previous Week

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Domain Sales

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Sedo and Afternic were so kind to share a selection of their reported sales with us – here are the top ten reported sales of the previous week:

  1. DoorHardware.com $85,000 (Sedo)
  2. FotosGratis.com $25,000 (Sedo)
  3. ZappIt.com $25,000 (Sedo)
  4. 3J.com $24,500 (Afternic)
  5. Shop.co $22,000 (Sedo)
  6. kortingen.nl (Discounts in Dutch) $21,952 (Sedo)
  7. love.co $20,000 (Sedo)
  8. SoccerStar.com $20,000 (Sedo)
  9. Service.net $19,000 (Sedo)
  10. StellenAngebote.net (Job Offers in German), $15,500 (Sedo)

See the full sales report after the jump.

(more…)

03|07|2011 05:50 pm EDT

.AU Passes the 2 Million Domain Mark

by Frank Michlick in Categories: ccTLDs, Up to the Minute

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auDA, the Australian Domain Name Administrator, announced today that the registry had passed the 2 million registration mark last night.

“The .au domain has the highest penetration rate in the world for regulated namespaces with restricted eligibility when you take into account our population. The .au domain has become part of the fabric of doing business in Australia. We have seen continual strong growth in the namespace despite the global financial crisis and other market factors. .au is Australia’s domain namespace of choice and the only place to show that you are a trusted Australian,” Mr Kinderis, AusRegistry’s CEO, said.

03|07|2011 05:28 pm EDT

Afilias to Consider Proposals for Allocation of 1 & 2 Letter INFO Domains

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Registries, Up to the Minute

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Afilias just announced that they are accepting proposals for single and double character .INFO domains. Applications have to be submitted with non-refundable $1,000 fee and have to be received before 12:00 UTC on 30 April 2011. The registry operator  reserves the right, to reject proposals that are received after the submission deadline or are deficient or incomplete.

The proposal form and additional details can be found on the Afilias Website.

Afilias had used a similar process for the allocation of unassigned .INFO sunrise domains, however never published the final results of the process. DNN knows of at least two applications that received a rejection from that allocation phase without receiving what the applications consider a proper explanation.

[Update] Afilias has removed the description of the re-allocation process for unassigned .INFO sunrise domains from their site along with the list of domains. DNN archived the information.

[via Blacknight]

03|03|2011 02:01 pm EDT

Domain Roundtable Live Auction Results

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Domain Auction

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We are were live blogging the auction results of the Domain Roundtable 2011 Live held in the Bahamas by Aftermarket.com today. As always we do not guarantee the accuracy of these results. Any unsold names will be sold in the extended silent auction with increased reserves until Thursday, March 10th, 2011.

The live auction sold a total of 33 out of 64 domains for $194,038. The highest sales were:

  1. coed.com for $45,000
  2. cam.net for $35,100
  3. TravelBags.com for $17,000
  4. dropped.com for $12,000
  5. cuffs.com for $10,100

See the full live auction results after the jump.
(more…)

03|03|2011 08:00 am EDT

Domain Industry Veterans Partner to Launch Domain Guardians

by Frank Michlick in Categories: News

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Domain Guardians provide protection and management of domains in the event of death or disability

Domain name industry experts Mike Robertson, Jen Sale, Bill Vanderent, Adam Strong and Paul Keating have partnered to establish Domain Guardians, an ICANN accredited registrar providing domain estate planning and management services to domain professionals. The team will be launching the company and services at the upcoming ICANN Silicon Valley meeting in San Francisco, CA, USA from March 13-18, 2011.

The combination of Dark Blue Sea alumni, Robertson, Sale and Vanderent, along with Strong and Keating, offers over 50 years of combined experience in the domain industry. “Working with a group of this caliber is humbling, and we’re all very excited to offer the domain community a comprehensive suite of services that provide real value,” stated Robertson of this opportunity.

Domain Guardians has developed Domain Legacy to technically and legally protect and manage domain assets in the event of a portfolio owner’s death or disability.

Paul Keating, prominent domain lawyer, recognizes the complicated nature of managing a portfolio, “No one lives forever, and most domain investors are not planning enough for the future. Managing domains across multiple registrars and monetization providers is a daunting task. It requires a great deal of skill developed on the back of years that may include lost opportunities, missteps and other failures. What will happen to the asset base and income streams when the manager is no longer “there” because of a death or disability? How will our survivors cope in an industry where contacts and experiences are shared by word of mouth?

Veteran domain professional, Adam Strong, addresses the importance of Domain Legacy for your loved one’s protection and peace of mind, “Like other domain investors, I’ve thought, ‘Who’ll take care of my domains when I’m gone?’… I’ll be transferring my assets to my loved ones, who unfortunately don’t have the skills or desire to continue managing my business. It gives me peace of mind to know that they can trust the expertise of Domain Guardians to do this for them. Every domain investor with a valuable portfolio should protect the future of that portfolio.

For more information, and to arrange a meeting with the team at ICANN, please email hello@domainguardians.com.

Disclaimer: Adam Strong is also Managing Editor & Owner of DNN.

[via Press Release] (more…)

03|03|2011 03:19 am EDT

.ORG Passes 9 Million Domain Registration Mark

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Registries, Up to the Minute

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The .ORG registry, PIR, announced that it has recently passed the 9 Million Registration Mark, citing a 10.3% growth over 2010.

“Hitting the 9 million registration mark is a testament to both .ORG’s reputation and its impact within the Internet community,” said Brian Cute, CEO of .ORG, The Public Interest Registry. “.ORG remains a community-driven platform and has become the domain of choice for organizations, individuals, and companies to channel their passion toward a shared purpose with their community.”

[via PIR Press Release]

03|03|2011 02:33 am EDT

.AU Registry Finds Reseller and Registrar in Breach for Spamming

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Up to the Minute

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auDA, the .AU domain administrator, has recently found that a reseller for the NetRegistry Group, NetAlliance Pty Ltd trading as NetFleet, has breached the .au Domain Name Suppliers’ Code of Practice (2004-04) by mass emailing 1,200 clients of another .AU drop catching service (Dark Blue Sea owned drop.com.au). The email addresses had apparently been collected from whois.

According to the ruling, the actions of the reseller caused the accredited registrar, TPP Internet to be in breach of their accreditation agreement.

To rectify the breach, NetFleet and TPP Internet have undertaken to destroy or permanently erase all records of any information including, without limitation, any domain name or registrant contact record obtained as a result of the breach.

In addition, NetFleet personnel must undertake auDA policy training, and the company must conduct a comprehensive review of all its procedures and systems to ensure compliance with its obligations

[Ed. Granted, this may not be exactly "up to the minute", as this happened on Feb 24th, 2011]

[via auDA]