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10|10|2012 06:27 pm EDT

Keep Playing the Music . . . Really, The Ship’s Not Sinking, Part 2

by Adam Strong in Categories: Domain Auction

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Over 4 years ago, I wrote a post about the results of the 2008 TRAFFIC auction. That auction did over $4.3 million in sales.  Can you imagine ?  Back then the entire industry was looking for a barometer of the state of the business during a tough time, and the results were considered dismal with a total sale volume of ONLY $4.3 million.  Times sure have changed!

If TRAFFIC auctions were a barometer of the market conditions, what are they today ?  I think they may have sold under $150,000 in names.  Rick just posted on his blog “The market is a snapshot of things and the picture it took was not very good. While many attendees are doing well, the average domainer is not.”

We don’t have the official results from TRAFFIC yet but a lot of domains didn’t sell and a those that sold didn’t fetch big prices. That’s the snapshot.  The results DNN posted live were terrible, but I think they can be expected based on the names. Rick promised this to be a list of domains that would put a buyer in the top of the pack of all domainers.  There were some good ones (I even bought one) but I’m not sure the list could completely deliver on that promise.  Rick just said “I can only choose domains that folks want to sell and look at it through the eyes of a domainer.”   I know that’s a hard task. I’ve done it before and everyone is a “keyboard critic”.  You do have to work with what’s been submitted and sometimes you go with what you have been handed.  I don’t think that price to quality ratio were at a level that domain/investors would bite right now (more on that later).

Andrew Alleman wrote in his piece that this TRAFFIC auction was the most exciting in years.  I wasn’t at the auction so I can’t comment on the buzz or on how exciting the room was, but I think even though Andrew is taking a beating about his post, the buzz and excitement is a good sign.  It shows what I believe to be true too, it’s a buyer’s market and there really are buyers wanting to put money in to domains still.  Rick even mentions the names of buyers who did buy at this auction. They’re domainer/investors.  Guys whose names you know from other blog posts : Mike Berkens, Sean Sullivan, Morgan Linton, Darren Cleveland, Gregg, McNair, Russ Goodwin, Bill Sweetman, Brain Benko (who bid/bought on my behalf).

Raymond over at Hybrid Domainer asked if the time for live auctions had passed.  I commented in length about my experience and thoughts on auctions over there,  but to summarize, I believe live auction events need to be aggressive and open.  They need to do aggressive marketing and be aggressive about getting great names at great prices.  This is nothing new really though, but the domainer/investor buyers are much more savvy and much more choosy today.  They’ve got a lot of inventory that they can choose from just buying a name over at or finding on a drop list.

A live auction should be open and never turn away a bidder and provide a technology that allows bidding online.  The phone bidding at TRAFFIC required prior registration which I didn’t know about so I called a friend.  I know first-hand how tough the technology side is to pull off.  I helped put together an auction on a shoe-string budget from a Vegas hotel room (not a conference room) and we did $150,000 on our first attempt.  It wasn’t easy.  I’ve also been involved in several auctions that melted down because of technology limitations at the hotel.  It can be done though and it has been done.  Let’s not bother if we’re not doing it live and online though.  As DomainShane said “It baffles me that in 2012 we still have this limitation”.

Every day domainer/investors spend thousands of dollars at NameJet and SnapNames auctions bidding live online from the comfort of their homes, so there are buyers still out there.  They don’t even need audio/video on those systems . It’s something we’ve all come to expect at the live events but it’s not necessary.  Being in a room with a bunch of domainer/investors doesn’t do anything but allow you to show-off your bidding really.

As for the “end-user”, it’s my opinion that they generally don’t care about live auctions.  I’ve marketed domains from our auction to this sort of buyer.  Unless the deal is out of this world and they must have the name, they’ll buy your domain when they’re ready.  We’ve seen end-user buyers bidding at live auction events and they’ve bought some big dogs. We have to hand it to the remarkable marketing of these live auction companies that pull in these bidders.  That’s not an easy task. I’d venture to guess they put a lot of effort in to getting those names and those buyers all lined up months ahead of the event.

The “Titanic” of live domain auctions may have sunk (again?), and as Rick said, there’ll be people dancing on the grave.  I don’t think the grave is the domain aftermarket though.   The good news for domain investors is that there are still buyers out there.  I can attest to this, I had one of the best quarters ever this year selling, and I’m still buying as well.  I made more on sales this year than ever and I’m not really a seller.  Buyers are picky though, especially domainer/investor buyers.  They’re looking for good domains, cheap.  They know everyone is selling and the buyer pool has become smarter and savvier.  If you want to continue to sell names at live auctions targeted at domainer/investors, give ’em  what they want.

07|25|2012 02:43 pm EDT

TRAFFIC 2012 Awards Nominations close today

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Events

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As posted yesterday via email and on Rick’s Blog, the Targeted T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2012 Awards nominations are open until COB today. You can send the nominations via email to trafficawards (at)


The T.R.A.F.F.I.C. AWARDS have become the oldest, most sought-after and prestigious Domain Industry awards because winners are selected by your peers and presented annually each Fall since 2004. This year marks the 9th Annual Awards with the Ceremonies scheduled to take place at T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2012, at the Ft. Lauderdale Beach Ritz-Carlton Resort on Tuesday, October 9, 2012.

This year we have added DOMAIN BROKER OF THE YEAR as a new category. You may nominate one person in each category by filling in your preferences below and sending back this email to trafficawards at before 6PM EDT Wednesday July 25th.

The AWARDS are:

BEST NEW MONETIZING SOLUTION (the NEW company with best monetizing results)

I nominate:


BEST OVERALL DOMAIN SOLUTION (this includes Revenues, Sales, Development, etc.)

I nominate:


THE “WE GET IT” AWARD ( this goes to the brick and mortar company that understands the value of a good domain)

I nominate:


DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR (self-explanatory)

I nominate:


DOMAIN BROKER OF THE YEAR (the person or company that is the most successful in brokering the sale of domains)

I nominate:


BEST DOMAIN BLOG (the one that you can’t miss)

I nominate:


SPONSOR OF THE YEAR (the company that really gives the best customer service)

I nominate:


DOMAINER OF THE YEAR ( the person who stands above the rest in the domaining industry) Past Winners Include: Richard Lau, Rick Schwartz, Frank Schilling (2005 & 2011), Kevin Ham, Rick Latona, Mike Berkens, Gregg McNair.

I nominate:


DOMAIN HALL OF FAME (two people are inducted each year, but only nominate one)

The following have already been inducted to the DOMAIN HALL OF FAME:

I nominate:

Thanks for Participating!
Rick Schwartz
Howard Neu

10|18|2011 02:36 pm EDT

Targeted T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2011 Florida Live Auction Results

by Adam Strong in Categories: Domain Auction

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We are were remotely live blogging the auction results of the pay per placement Targeted T.R.A.F.F.I.C.  2011 Live domain auction held in Florida by the organizers of TRAFFIC today. As always we do not guarantee the accuracy of these results. Some of the unsold names were offered at financing terms based on their real reserve, a 25% down payment and financing over 1-3 years in a “second chance” round. In the second chance round only one additional name out of  the seven that were brought up again sold ( Some work remains after the auction, as a number of domains were marked sold pending seller approval.

According to DNN’s tally (including the sales pending seller approval), the auction sold 45 of 120 domains for a total of $277,300.00 at a sell-through rate of 37.5%.

See the full live auction results after the jump.


07|19|2010 09:38 am EDT

Rick Schwartz Sells to

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Domain Sales, Up to the Minute

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Rick “DomainKing” Schwartz has just posted a press release on his blog according to which he sold the domain name to Punchbowl Software, Inc , a developer of party and event planning website. The sales price of the domain has not been disclosed and the company states that it still working on a new site for the domain. Currently the domain name redirects to their site ““.

01|01|2010 03:08 pm EDT Parent Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

by Frank Michlick in Categories: News

Tags: , , , , , , , , ScreenshotAs per an article by the South Florida Business Journal, the parent company of, FFS Data, has filed for Chapter 11 reorganisation on December 23rd. The company cites $9.1 million in assets versus $27.5 of debt and $15.7 million income so far.

Aside from, the company also runs related portals under the names of, and On July 22nd of 2008 the company, lead by Brad Geisen, had announced that they were purchasing from Rick Schwartz for an undisclosed amount, but yet the negotiations were broken off in October 2009 since the lawyers were not able to agree on terms for the deal, according to a blog post by self-proclaimed “Domain King” Rick Schwartz.

[Thanks to our Friends at ExpertName for the tip.]

10|13|2009 10:33 am EDT

TRAFFIC Adds Night Pass

by Adam Strong in Categories: Events

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For all you late night partying domainers, there’s some good news coming from the TRAFFIC show. Rick Schwartz announced today that the TRAFFIC domain show in New York will be adding a new “Night Pass”.  The $995 pass allows attendees to be at the auctions, night parties and the trade show floor after 4pm.

“We know besides the 300+ people that will register for T.R.A.F.F.I.C. in New York there will be lots of additional folks that will be in the city during TRAFFIC and would like to attend but are “Night Owls” and don’t want to go to the seminars and meals and still pay full pop to get in. So Mike Fiol suggested a new NIGHT TRAFFIC PASS. “

We’ve felt TRAFFIC was sorely lacking some sort of “ala carte” pass for a while now.  Many attendees come to the shows to have meetings with other attendees and don’t tend to sit in on the conferences, browse the show floor or  enjoy any meals.  There’s attendees who just want to watch the auction and there’s likely attendees who don’t want any of the late night partying either (though likely very few).  I think I’ve had 2 meals on-site at the last domain shows that I attended, yet my admission was paying for all that food.  I personally wouldn’t mind seeing a daily pass or one without meals as options, but this new idea is a step in the right direction.

Kudos to Rick for listening to feedback and making this available. I know quite a few people who fall in to this demographic, but they may have already bought their ticket.

06|17|2009 11:47 am EDT

TRAFFIC Conference Teams Up With Rick Latona – 6 Shows Planned For 2010

by Chad Kettner in Categories: News

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Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu of TRAFFIC Conference have announced a new partnership with to take the conference around the world – including an expanded 2010 schedule that will visit Las Vegas, Amsterdam, Toronto, Reykjavik (Iceland), South Florida, and Hong Kong.

“We want to break down the walls of the domain industry and bring in folks from allied industries and we have a formula and a team that can now make that happen,” Rick Schwartz said on “By the end of next year it will be evident how big this change is and everyone reading this will benefit by the reach out program we are about to engage in. Nothing happens overnight, however we have set a new and exciting course and you will become the beneficiary of those changes.”

The aggressive plan will bring TRAFFIC to North America, Europe, and Asia in 2010 and there are other plans in the works to include South America in the near future.

“Together, as a team, we will be presenting six fantastic shows next year,” explained Rick Latona on his blog. “Due to my investment of capital in new auction software (currently under development), sales people who will be working the end-user market and other auction related activities that will bring substantial additional income to domainers over time, I became convinced that the auction company and trade show company need to be closely aligned and essentially partners.

It is our intention to grow upon the brand which started the industry events we know and love today. For that reason, we are doubling the size of the company for maximum exposure on a global scale.”


04|23|2009 02:51 pm EDT

Rick Schwartz Giving Away FREE Ticket to TRAFFIC In ‘Arm-Chair Domainer’ Contest

by Chad Kettner in Categories: Up to the Minute

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Rick Schwartz is giving away a free ticket to TRAFFIC New York City (October 26-29, 2009) to whoever correctly guesses the future sale price of, which will be sold during the Rick Latona live auction at TRAFFIC Silicon Valley on Tuesday, April 28 between 3:30-6:00pm PDT. has the ridiculously low reserve price of only $50,000 – and some domainers are already submitting guesses in the million-dollar range (the highest guess so far is $2.5 million). Visit to submit your guess today. You must post your guess on Rick’s blog by April 26 to qualify

The last “arm-chair domainer” contest by DomainConsultant’s Domain Madness gave away $1000 cash and received hundreds of submissions.  The Domain Madness winner will be announced at the Geo Domain auction on Saturday.


Disclaimer :  Adam Strong is a consultant with and Editor for

03|18|2009 07:43 pm EDT

Rick Schwartz selling for $3m and ongoing revenue share

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Domain Sales

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Rick Schwartz, self-proclaimed “Domain King” has just announced that he is selling for $3 million USD. In addition to the sale he receives a revenue share of sales generated through the website on an ongoing basis. Additional details of the deal are to be published later according to a post on

03|13|2009 10:16 pm EDT

Rick Schwartz partners with Gigya to launch

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Up to the Minute

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Rick Schwartz, also know as the “DomainKing” has partnered with Gigya and launched a website for Rick had previously tried to sell the domain name in an eBay auction. The site serves as a widget directory to promote Gigya’s Wildfire product, which was created to make it easier for users to install widgets across 60 different platforms, such as blogs, social media sites, start pages and desktop applications. Wildfire reaches over 180 million unique widget viewers worldwide and tracks billions of widget impressions each month. The details of the partnership were not published.

[via Press Release]