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08|17|2007 12:11 am EDT

Domain Roundtable Scorecard

by Adam Strong in Categories: Domain Sales, Events

score cardJay Westerdal had a fun post on his blog before the NY TRAFFIC event where he made his predictions on domains that would and would not sell. I never checked his score though. When it came time for his Domain Roundtable auction event, Jay made a bunch of posts on his blog about the domains for sale at his event. I’m not saying with 100% certainty that all of the domains he wrote about were his “picks”, but it is safe to assume that if Jay wrote about the domain and used the space on his blog to talk about the domain positively, that he expected the domain name to sell. Sometimes, the posts clearly show this and sometimes they merely talk about the domain. Either way, I decided to “check the score” using the assumption that the names he wrote about were his picks.

The results : Of the 29 domains or packages of domains that Jay promoted on his blog, only 8 of them were sold : consumersguide.com, lawrecords.com, makemoneyonline.com, az.com, websupport.com, event.com, invention.com and the rebate.com,rebates.com package. .275 isn’t a bad batting average if you are playing baseball, but most of these weren’t “grand slams” let alone “homeruns” in terms of an auction. In his predictions, Jay expected heavy bidding and higher prices as the names were ran up, but the reality wasn’t like that prediction. Nearly 3/4 of the names he wrote about simply weren’t sold. The total results at the auction were 167 out of 450 domains sold, meaning 37% were sold. As was the case with the other recent Moniker auction events, many of the domains at DRT sold right at the reserve prices. Sellers are being encouraged by Moniker andDRT to lower reserves in order to “get more bidders”. Getting more bidders shouldn’t come at the cost of the person selling the domain though, should it? That’s the job of the auctioneer or event producers. The game plan to lower the reserves to stimulate activity certainly doesn’t seem to be doing that. In many cases names are selling at their reserves with only 1 bidder.

Here are some of the comments and posts made by Jay about the domains for sale and the results at the auction :

Cab.com – “I expect active bidding on this domain” –
Results : NOT SOLD @ $110k

ConsumersGuide.com – “Initially I was on the fence on this domain. But the more I stare at it the better I like it.” – Results : SOLD ($66,750 with lots of bidding action)
commentary: I don’t get this one at all.

NameSpace.com – “not all domains should be bought and sold based on how much money they can make on ads.”
Results : NOT SOLD @ $25k

LawRecords.com – “I would say LawRecords.com is worth at least $30,000 to be very conservative.” –
Results : SOLD ($1800)

LoveStories.com – “The viewers of our Auction are voting on domains they like the best and this domain has a huge “Yesâ€? vote. With 222 votes cast for this domain the approval rating is 85%” –
Results : NOT SOLD @ $100k
Commentary: voters don’t equal bidders

MakeMoneyOnline.com – “If there are domainers that understand SEO I would not be surprised if we get into a big biding war on this one. I might not be surprised if SEO masters show up and bid on this domain.”
Results : SOLD (1 bidder at 95k)

MakeMoney.net – “MakeMoney.net is in this same auction for $20,000 reserve. I would have valued MakeMoney.com at $300,000 . So with the 10% rule that would be a reserve value of $30,000 for the .NET.”
Results: NOT SOLD @ $20k

RecordCollection.com – “So the value of RecordCollection.com as a generic is easy to see. For the right company this domain is worth a mint.”
Results: NOT SOLD @ $100k

FrenchFries.com – “I think FrenchFries.com is a natural domain to own. Whomever buys this domain, please report back when a fast food chain buys it from you for a Million dollars. Fast food stores spend millions of dollars advertising their French Fries in traditional media. I give this domain a Buy and Hold rating. ”
Results : NOT SOLD @ $100k
Commentary : Looks like Elliot won his bet. ;)

BeachRealEstate.com – “I doubt that every domainer will appreciate this domain to its fullest. . . .Not many people can find beach Real Estate for less then a million, so this domain is set to earn it sale price back right away if it is used by the right company.”
Results: NOT SOLD @ $200k

StockMaster.com – “They double and triple down on domain names because they are such good investments. StockMaster.com is a good example, it makes $19,852.35 in Revenue a Year. The stats for the first half of the year confirm it. Daily averages: 225 unique visits, 54.39 ppc rev. on 36% CTR and .67 RPC. The name is being sold for 7.25 times earnings.”
Results: NOT SOLD @ $144k

VotersGuide.com and VoterGuide.com – “I only like to put domains in the auction at these high prices if I know they would make good projects for myself. I have a feeling this one would be a natural. Sometimes you see a domain name and you know what will be there in a flash.”
Results : NOT SOLD @ $99k

Snowboards.com – “As we have discussed earlier, when a company owns a Microbrand which is also a category term they do VERY well and generally spend zero on advertising. It is almost cheating to own this domain and hooking it up to a store that sells Snowboards.”
Results : NOT SOLD @ $400k

DigitalCameras.com – “The domain DigitalCameras.com is going to auction next week for $600,000 and I have already talked with one company that is ready to bid on it. This domain may set a few records during the upcoming auction.”
Results : NOT SOLD @ $600k

Exterminators.com – “For $165,000, it is a no-brainier”
Results: NOT SOLD @ $165k

AZ.com – “We think there will be heavy bidding on this domain. And it will be one of the biggest domains of the auction.”
Results: SOLD @ $500k (1 bid)

WebSupport.com – contained a post written by the seller
Results : SOLD @ reduced price of $20k .. . .original list was $35k

CollegeStudents.com and HighSchoolStudents.com package – “Buying one of these domains for $150,000 is very reasonable. So 2 for that price and I am excited to see the bidding. . .. This package is ready for a bidding war”
Results : NOT SOLD

Villas.com – “The Villas.com Portfolio is one of the most complete domain portfolios that I have seen. ”
Results : NOT SOLD @ $800k .. .Reduced to $600k NOT SOLD

Event.com – “If there was a new company that wanted to compete with evite.com then Event.com would be the perfect name to do it with. Any event management or online invitation service would have plenty of uses for the domain. This reserve is set nice and low.”
Results : SOLD @ $165k (1 bid)

Autobiography.com – “Will Amazon or BN.com be bidding? BN.com has shown they understand the Internet by buying a two character domain, so I have a feeling they will be looking at this domain. However there are many publishing houses that may come for this one as well.”
Results: NOT SOLD @ 179k

KidsToys.com – “The Domain KidsToys.com is a steal at $250,000.”
Results : NOT STOLEN @ $250k

RealNames.com – “The built-in press around this name is huge and the domain is awesome for a new brand. Two months ago Sedo bought GreatDomains.com for a reported $2 Million dollars and that failed company had been sold to Verisign for $50 Million in 2000.”
Results : NOT SOLD @ $250k

Rebates.com and Rebate.com package – “The domains are listed with a starting bid of $1,000,000. Considering the value of the domains this is an extremely low reserve. One word generic domain names fetch a small fortune in today’s market.”
Results : SOLD @ $1m (1 bid)

JunkYardDog.com – “The website makes about $20,000 a month right now so this is a great asset to own. ”
Results : NOT SOLD @ $1.5m

How.com – “Prepare to be shocked and awed at the bidding in the room for this one. This is easily a $2,000,000 domain.”
Results : No Shock and Awe – NOT SOLD @ $500k

SendMoney.com – “SendMoney.com is looking for a new owner. For a fraction of the cost of what is should be worth, you too can own the domain. The reserve is set at $400K. This is set to sell and will be going to a happy new owner soon.”
Results : No new owner – NOT SOLD @ $400k

Invention.com – “We have asked the seller to lower his reserve from a Million to $425K. This is a huge steal if someone buys it at the reserve price.”
Results – SOLD @ $500k

eTV.com – “This domain is not getting cheaper after the auction. We have talked the seller down to a below value price so that the domain can have multiple bidders.”
Results – NOT SOLD @ 899k , no multiple bidders.

The DRT auction site also has all the predictions made by people who voted with the “good vs bad” feature on his auction list. I’ll save that post for Jay to make as he has all the data . . .and all of my predictions too. Suffice it to say, voters don’t equal bidders. For example, How.com received a Good: 214 | Bad 24 but at the event there was no bidding at all.

Editors note: I have to eat a little crow on my predictions. I verbalized to a few associates before the event that I expected results similar to the recent Moniker auction results at Affiliate Summit and Internext. My prediction was a total sales volume between $1 and $2 million, and I was off as the volume was closer to $4m . However, I did caveat my prediction by adding that the online bidding could make or break the results entirely. I firmly believe the online bidding is what propelled the sales volume up and saved this auction..

UPDATE: So here’s the running score among the auction players and events.
The numbers are unofficial since there have been no official releases from the parties involved.
I also don’t have the totals on the silent auctions from the Moniker events to add to the list.

EVENT | NUMBER SOLD | PERCENT | TOTAL SALES $

Moniker TRAFFIC NYC Live | 118 of 218 | 54% | ~ $10 million

Moniker Affiliate Summit Live | 39 of 194 | 20% | ~ $503,000

Moniker Internext Live | 57 of 257 | 22% | ~ $682,000

Domain Roundtable | 167 of 450 | 37% | ~ $3.9 million

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11 Comments

MyZine.com

August 17, 2007 @ 2:36 am EDT

I removed one of my domain when Jay site force it too be reserve at $15,000
Where previous I refused more than 5 offers and all of them where above that and the highest offer ever receive for that domain was 180,000

Anyway but I like that people where able to bid live online

MyZine.com
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David Sams

August 17, 2007 @ 2:50 am EDT

The thing that impressed me the most was how Jay kept his cool during this entire auction. Yes, there were times that things seemed to be a bit rough around the edges — trying to combine a live, in person auction with a live Internet auction. Let’s remember, this was a HUGE challenge. Jay stepped up to the plate, and hit one out of the park — on every level.

Yes, there were probably too many domains being auctioned, but Jay took some risks — one of those risks paid off for me by selling a .tv domain for over 35k. Many people did not think anything would sell other than .com domains. Jay proved them wrong. I also sold a Spanish domain for over 35k. Where else are you going to find results like that?

I think there is a tremendous opportunity here for an auction of other extensions other than .com. I’m talking about .biz, .info, .mobi, .tv, .cc, .md, etc. While these domains may only garner a thousand to a few thousand dollars each, there is a market for them, as proven by the sale of Hot.TV. In addition, what about an auction for popular Spanish names? Might seem far fetched, but it could appeal to a whole new crowd.

Another thing that might work…(food for thought)…is an auction that puts domains into popular categories (Real Estate, Sports, Travel, etc.). The reason this might work is for one huge reason–it could be promoted to those specific industries. This would be a way to get people outside of domainers involved in the domain auction biz. We need to start reaching out to these other industries. This will do nothing but drive up the prices! (Note: This could be done in one big auction over 5 hours, with each Industry getting 30 minutes of auction time).

This was a very impressive effort. The domain industry should not only take notice, but give a big HIGH 5 to Jay and his team for a job very well done!

As for LoveStories.com, I, being the owner, obviously thought that Jay’s write-up was right on target. It did, in fact, get a 85% approval rating by voters. However, it just did not appeal to this particular auction crowd. I bought the domain several years ago to develop a tv show around it (I am a TV producer in Los Angeles). Maybe that’s why it didn’t sell. Maybe I’m still to do a tv show around the domain. Who knows. We’ll have to wait and see! I’ve already had several emails from people who want to know what I’m going to do with it.

By the way, for those of you who want to see how I promoted my domains at the auction itself, check out the Sams Global Domain Girls photos at DavidSams.net. It was a lot of fun!

[…] DN News […]

Rob Chandler

August 17, 2007 @ 4:17 am EDT

Good info on the comparison of the recent live auction results. Overall, Jay’s auction was not only innovative but also a success. Even though only 37% of the domains listed sold the dollar amount sold was very impressive. I myself had two domains featured in the auction; PersonalOrganizers.com and AffordableVacation.com. Even though they did not sell, I am happy with the exposure they received via the auction, which was the case for every other unsold domain name from the auction.

I agree that someone should organize industry specific domain auctions (real estate, autos, search, banking, travel, services, etc.). I also own some generic “spanish” domains (.com and .com.mx) such as Limpiaduria.com, Lavanderia.com, Banco.com.mx, Farmacia.com.mx, etc. I also agree that someone should organize language specific domain auctions (Spanish, German, Chinese, French ect.)… I believe this would initially be a big hit and eventually would reach the same potential and popularity as English only domains.

Good luck to all!

Jay Westerdal

August 17, 2007 @ 11:32 am EDT

We brokered two domains at full reserve 20 minutes after the auction. Cab.com and another one on the list above. Just an update.

Tim Davids

August 18, 2007 @ 5:54 pm EDT

Kudos to Jay for the online bidding (at no reg cost!) This is a huge step forward for the industry.

ActNow

August 19, 2007 @ 1:55 pm EDT

“I agree that someone should organize industry specific domain auctions”

Rob,

It sounds like Michael Mann was listening to you.
:)

He made an announcement on DNJ.
http://dnjournal.com/lowdown.htm

[…] Domain Roundtable Scorecard […]

Stephen Douglas

September 1, 2007 @ 1:44 am EDT

Jay, Ray Bero, myself and the team at Name Intelligence would like to thank everyone for their support and their comments regarding our Domain Roundtable Conference 2007 Live Domain Auction (LDA). Your comments are very helpful and appreciated, and it will help us move forward to set the standard for LDA’s for future. Thanks Adam, for coming to the conference, and giving us some great insight in your discussions on the panels and also your post-coverage of the DRT Live Domain Auction here. Keep up the great work, and make sure Frank M. stays away from the body paint!

Frank Michlick

September 1, 2007 @ 7:29 pm EDT

Great job Jay, Stephen and everyone else who worked behind the scenes. I had a good time at the conference.

[…] Banks – Open Account, save more, gain more money. First saved by jdbricker | 12 days ago Domain Roundtable Scorecard First saved by elephantwalk | 14 days ago Tree Planted in environmentastic!’s Honor First […]

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