Domain Name Sales Experiencing a Little Growing Pains With Reporting of Recent Partner’s Domain Sales Prices

Jan 19 2012

A few of us around here at DomainShane were a little curious about the sales prices reported at DomainNameSales over the last few weeks.  It’s fantastic having all that data in one place and knowing which domains are being sought, negotiated, and eventually sold.  It was just the super high prices that seemed almost too good to be real.  Schilling’s team is certainly good enough to sell domains for those prices, but moving names at that consistency and those prices,  were astonishing.  We had to find out more.  Not because we think Frank Schilling would purposely lie, he has absolutely no reason to lie, but because we wanted to know more about the buyers and how and why they paid the prices they were paying.   We started by emailing a buyer of a domain that sold for much higher than we thought possible to get a little background about the purpose of the buy.  His first reply “I didn’t pay anywhere near the range as listed on the site”.

Curiosity got the best of me so a few more random emails were sent to a few recent buyers.  Of those, two of the new buyers said they hadn’t paid the price reported.  Rather that speculate any further,  I put an email into Mr. Schilling asking him about the discrepancies. The reason I respect Schilling was once again supported with his response.  He said something to this effect, “The reported domain sales that are my domains are correct.  The reported price of my partners domains are experiencing a disconnect”   He went on to say that they are fixing it and like all businesses and sites, there are some errors and tweaks that need to be fixed and this is just one of them. Growing pains.  No defensiveness, no lies, no talking down to a guy that has 350 domains. Just the truth.

Using the info given from the buyers and a few others that were in on the “investigation” it seems that the reported sales range may be merely the quoted price and not the final price.  The domains DID sell, but may have been at a lower negotiated price. If they were DNS owned, then the price should be correct.  You’ll also notice that the recent sales listings have started to incorporate other platforms such as Sedo.  Unfortunately it translates the data to ranges but it does make it handy to see recent domain sales across the board. I still prefer Namebio  (seems to be improved the last few weeks) for exact prices but at this point, Namebio can’t incorporate DNS numbers due to the range only listing so I do appreciate the numbers and the data that Schilling and family have been providing, even if a few are a little enhanced in the short term.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Dean

    I am often suspect of some reported domain sale prices. Me thinks it’s not just the prices that are over-inflated, but the ego’s behind the reported sales as well. This is the type of honest reportage you won’t see on the Frager Factory, lol. The industry could use a little more straightforward, keeping it real reportage. Maybe you should start your own series like CNN, Shane’s “Keeping Them Honest” series.


  2. RH

    Interesting point Dean, but we have no idea who is honest. The person emailing Shane back could have lied, maybe they paid for example $10,000 and then said nowhere near that because they felt embarassed or overpaid.

    I have contacted buyers before who have done the same thing, they just did not know that I knew the seller intimately and saw the exact figure, they did not want to look foolish so they said they did not pay $20,000 when they did, I was looking at the sellers Sedo account.

    So both sides would need to verify IMO.

  3. Ron

    It could be the first intial offer that was placed on the system, that is recorded, then when the domain is sold, and recorded on the system, it maybe reverting to that first quoted price.

    For a new site that has seen such growth these sort of bugs are always pop up, even godaddy has on their site which need fixing sometimes.

  4. Dean

    this industry is rife with agendas and the minions and bloggers who are eager to win favor and money by touting second hand news and inferior questionable products as being gospel. When it comes to the news and domain sales, I only believe “half of what I see and nothing that I hear.”

  5. RL

    You need to look at weekly sales reported by Afternic and Sedo that provide a reality check. How many names in fourr figures or more get sold by each week? Very, very, few! Many of the names on their list would not be worth to register today, but it is likely that actually websiites were sold and not names. Afternic and Sedo millions of names and 15-20% commission, but only very, very few sales. It is a buyer’s market now, great for “bottom feeders”.

  6. Tyler

    I agree with Dean, except for a few people, most people in this industry are a joke. Even some of the “successful” ones.

  7. RH

    Exactly Dean that’s why I don’t believe buyer replying back as much as the seller saying what it sold for, without seeing the transaction if they both are saying something different, I believe neither.

    Ron Jackson,Sedo,Namejet and Go Daddy sales data tends to be spot on. Again IMO

    1. Post author

      All the details weren’t necessary to lay out, but the sellers often agreed that the prices were off. It jived that the partner sales reports were off because all the errors we found were exactly that, non DNS sales. That and the fact that Frank Schilling admits there was some disconnect between final sales price and reported sales price. Also, I agree that the Sedo, Afternic sales are spot on but you may be surprised at the number of domains that never traded hands at the reported price on DnJournal. High prices are good publicity and what is Ron to do when both sides give the same number? He believes what they tell him. Nothing shady, just marketing.

  8. Mike

    The domain name industry is still “wild west” and it needs to get some accountability and consistency like the real estate industry. Sales prices are reported. Listings are centralized thru the MLS. Real estate agents get education and are trained at selling property. Information is readily available. Checks and balances are in place.

    The traditional real estate industry not perfect but nothing is. Like it or not, the real estate industry handles itself extremely well behaved, professionally and maturely compared to the virtual real estate world (domains).

    Some smart developers and domainers will get their heads together and develop a centralized system of listing, appraising, comparing, selling and reporting domain purchases and sales for the entire world to partake in. Not that we have to rely on crappy systems like Afternic or inconsistent appraisal info or sales payouts….

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