In this week’s Sales Roundup, I’m taking a deep dive into the stories behind some of the domain names that recently reached the top of DNJournal’s weekly sales chart to find out why these domains sold for the prices that they did.
Today, I’m looking at five top sales from 9th March 2020 to 15th March 2020, as listed by the industry-leading data from DNJournal.
OA.com – $614,940
We start this week with a two-letter .COM sale, sold at Sedo for €554,000, which equated to $614,940 when it was listed on DNJournal. Two-letter .COM domains are an exclusive category of domains, in high demand from both end-users and investors. With just 676 available from AA.com down to ZZ.com, each domain has commanded a premium price for many years.
As I mentioned earlier, investors have no issue with paying a premium price for a two-letter .COM. In fact, NameBio is full of investor-purchased two-letter .COM’s. Many of these happened in the $500,000 to $600,000 range, with NameBio listing the average purchase price for a two-letter .COM at $574,200.
OA.com was sold in a Sedo auction earlier this year, but it had been listed at Sedo for some time before that. According to an archival version of OA.com from 2019, the domain had an asking price of €1.4 million at Sedo.
This two-letter .COM was owned by a Dutch company that was actively using the domain up until a couple of years ago. The sales price of €554,000 falls into the investor price range perfectly. Since the domain is currently not resolving and is under privacy protection at NameCheap, it’s difficult to know for sure who has acquired the name, but it’s likely to be an investor. Therefore, it’s likely that OA.com will be sold for a higher price at some point in the future.
Acronyms for OA include Open Access, Overall, Online Advertising, Online Auction. It’s possible that a future buyer may be related to these acronyms.
151.com – $415,000
In a sale brokered by James Booth of DomainBooth, 151.com changed hands for $415,000. According to WHOIS history, this domain was sold by James on behalf of WN.com, a world news site that owns a prestigious portfolio of domains, with DomainIQ estimating that they have over 143,000 domains under ownership – although it’s not known whether this figure is accurate.
What we do know is that WN.com owns a virtual treasure chest of premium domains such as Gas.com, Cheese.com, and Dubai.com. It looks like they were willing to part with 151.com for a price that holds the record for the largest three-number .COM sale from the past three years.
This amount of money isn’t uncommon to pay for a three-number .COM, however. Like two-letter .COM’s, there is a finite amount of these names, from 000.com to 999.com. In 2015-2016 at the height of the Chinese domain-rush, names such as 989.com, 899.com, and 345.com sold for over $800,000 each. Some of those names ended up being developed, but most were just Chinese investment vehicles. In fact, according to Giuseppe Graziano, 30.8% of three-number .COM’s were owned by China in Q1 of 2020
What’s interesting here is that 151.com wasn’t sold to China. According to the limited data available from GoDaddy’s WHOIS, the new owner is from Germany. There’s no further information available beyond that, so it’s unclear whether this was purchased as an investment or by an end-user. At $415,000, it could be either.
Kenosha.com – $75,000
If you’re a Wisconsinite, you’ll know that Kenosha is a city there. So when I typed in Kenosha.com, I was surprised to see something other than a city portal for Kenosha. The domain was acquired for $75,000 by Bone Dry Products, Inc, a company that supplies moisture mitigation products for concrete flooring.
I thought perhaps the company had a product name called Kenosha, but no. In fact, Bone Dry Products Inc is located in Kenosha, WI. That’s the connection to the domain, although it’s unclear why they’d opt to spend $75,000 on Kenosha.com, especially since the domain simply redirects the minimal traffic it receives to Bone Dry Products’ main website.
I did email the owner of Bone Dry Products Inc to get some clarification, and here’s why he acquired the domain:
“I bought the domain name because it became available and Kenosha is a booming community with so much greatness in its future.
Growing up here I saw the town transition from light and heavy manufacturing to more technology, distribution, and clean industrial growth.
We’re located between Chicago and Milwaukee so the population density is very high but Kenosha was always treated as the red-headed stepchild. That is changing rapidly and the population growth of Kenosha is at a fast pace. If you want to live here and the house you’re interested in buying comes up for sale it will be gone within a few days and quite often at more than the asking price.
From an economic standpoint all is going very well here but many can’t see the forest for the trees and so this was the time to move on the purchase at a relatively good price. Must not have been too bad as I’ve had others contact me to purchase Kenosha.com for much more than I paid.
While it’s always nice to make some money my true thrust is in promoting our wonderful city and letting people know it’s not a bad place to live. I’m hoping that my legacy is that I did something to better the place where we live.”
Perfectos.be – $49,950
This is a strange one. A Spanish keyword on a Belgian domain extension. Sold at Sedo, Perfectos.be is the largest .BE sale in history, according to NameBio. The second-largest sale is currently relatiegeschenk.be (translates as “promotional gift”) at a meager $24,068. It’s certainly an end-user sale, but who bought it?
As of writing, the domain redirects to SnakeAndRabbit.com, a company in the printing business with very few details available on their website. Upon further digging, it looks like the owner of Snake And Rabbit is also the director of Perfectos, a global leader in specialty printing ink.
The company owns Perfectos.com, as well as several other country-code domain extensions including Perfectos.hk, and Perfectos.co.uk. It looks like the company has a distribution network in Belgium, so the domain may have been acquired to give this international company a local presence.
LivingClassics.com – $49,888
Just behind the sale of Perfectos.be is LivingClassics.com, sold for $49,888 by Mike Mann’s DomainMarket. Mike has a history of producing substantial sales figures, but with a portfolio of over 350,000 domains to maintain and pay for, he needs to sell high.
At this price, for a two-word .COM, this was certainly an end-user sale, but there’s no information about who bought this one. After acquiring the name, the new owner transferred the domain to GoDaddy under privacy protection and has done nothing with it. LivingClassics.com currently doesn’t resolve.
The two existing trademarks for “Living Classics” have both expired, and both the Twitter and Instagram usernames are owned by a Dubai based car workshop. They may have acquired the domain, but I’ve seen very few garages pay close to $50,000 to acquire a domain.