State of the Domain Industry
DNJournal is reporting that Q1 2008 sales blew away Q1 2007 sales in terms of average sale price and dollar amount of domain sales. This is good news for the domain industry and would indicate that the domain economy is in good shape. A few weeks ago, I was one of the people who stated that the domain industry was in the midst of a slowdown. I still feel that way today, despite the positive news.
I believe that it is more difficult to sell second tier domain names than it was just a few months ago. I am not talking about names like NewHampshireCheapInsuranceQuotes.com or something crazy like that. I am talking about very good names that aren’t top tier names like Funding.com or Widgets.com. From my experience, people aren’t spending as much on the second tier names than they were previously. If the name doesn’t fit into someone’s development plans or doesn’t make strong PPC, many buyers are reluctant to spend the money on these names.
I have also found that there are less buyers now than there were a few months ago. Unless a domain name is on the market at a great price, it is likely to not sell without a strong price drop. Many people (myself included) are focusing on developing their domain names rather than acquiring domain names. Sure people are buying names if the prices are great, but I see less people spending large sums on good domain names, focusing on what they have rather than new acquisitions.
One source of high value sales is on the drop auctions. As great as the value of these auctions seem, there aren’t a ton of people spending big bucks on these auctions. If 2 or 3 of the high value bidders decided to buy less dropped domain names, we would see a huge drop in sale prices. As they say, all it takes is two people to make an auction. If one bidder drops out, the result will be a significantly lower sales price.
Although I still believe we are in the midst of a market slowdown, I am bullish on the longterm prospects of the domain industry. I continue to buy domain names for development, but I think it’s important to maintain a strong cash position.
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