The Domain Name Market in 2008: Buy or Sell?

I wrote a story a couple of months back, “Domain Market Remains Hot: A Bubble Waiting To Burst?” Today, there was a comment from an SEJ reader from the story which asked, “It is now 7 months later… And I haven’t read much about domain valuation since

I spent quite a bit on some good (and crappy) domains, and renewals are rolling in. I know it’s only a few bucks, but they can add up. It would be nice to get an update from SEJ readers about this.

Any new speculations…?”

I’m not a domain expert; I’m an online marketer that over the years has built a portfolio of domains and follow the market here and there. My speculation for 2008 is that the market is stable in terms of buying and selling, I think it will remain neutral at least for the first or two quarters of the year or until an important event happens in the industry that can change the market itself.

It’s possible a speculative recession in the country can affect the prices of domain names like it affects almost everything else in the country. A great way to measure this market is through auctions such as Moniker auctions.

Lets look at some results from December 2007 of some domains sold from a live auction at Pubcon:

  • $80,000
  • $1,000
  • $55,000
  • $900
  • $45,000
  • and $900
  • $17,000
  • $900
  • $14,000
  • $900
  • $10,000
  • $800
  • $8,750
  • and $800
  • $8,000
  • $750
  • $7,000
  • $700
  • $5,500
  • $700

There are many domain auctions online so that’s a great way to get a feel for what’s happening at the moment. Just from the look of the domains above, in my opinion, there were some very good deals. It may even be a better time to buy then to sell.

We’ll see what happens in the next 2-3 months of the year to get a better grasp of the market in 2008.

Pablo Palatnik
Pablo Palatnik is the author of the blog PalatnikFactor, focusing on all things Online Marketing and Search Engine Optimization specialist for Fortune3, a shopping cart software company by online retailers, for online retailers.

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11 thoughts on “The Domain Name Market in 2008: Buy or Sell?

  1. I agree that there are plenty of deals out there, so it’s a good time to buy. There are a lot of people who still don’t get it when it comes to the value of a domain name.

    The pubcon auction didn’t have a lot of really good premium names that actually sold–at least not compared to the domainer conferences, which seem to draw more of the real players willing to pony up big cash for the best domains.

  2. The domain market is pretty upbeat about the thoughts of a recession. As a group they tend to have a long view on the value of these assets. Again you can see similarities with property investors.

    Frank Schilling picked up many of his bargains during the dot com crash and has already suggested there maybe ‘cyclical opportunities if the economy craters’. Although the top end and end-user sales may go down, like shares, attractive prices will draw industry buyers back in quickly.

  3. I always view the domain market as a real estate agent would several acres of useful land. The will always be a market for domains, especially those with traffic and a PR.

  4. @Matt – you’ll typically get the best price at auction, but sometimes a private sale directly to an interested buy can bring a great price. Ebay seems to be a bad place to sell domains, other than perhaps premium names where you have a lot of interested parties bidding. The domain marketplaces like Afternic, BuyDomains, Sedo, Moniker can be good places to sell your names.

  5. I believe the same rules apply where the short dot coms will outproduce anything else along with those domains that have brands built around them. I dont foresee a huge rush this year (or ever really) but I would welcome it as I continue to let mine expire.