Some Domain Sales from the First Half of 2016

Jul 09 2016

Holy China! That’s what I see in retrospect when I look at my domain sales over the first half of the year. It’s no secret that there has been a drop in prices for Chinese-friendly short domains, and I don’t have a ton of short domain inventory left which is earmarked for flipping, so I’ll have to see what brandable and/or keyword domains I can sell in the second half of the year.

The China run was good while it lasted, and much of the short domain profits were rolled into other types of domains. I say “while it lasted”, but I have no idea if the wholesale value of short, Chinese-friendly domains has gone down permanently, or if it’s just taking a breather.

Some Q1 and Q2 2016 Domain Sales

1st Handful of – Such as and These were sold near the peak over the last couple years (peak wholesale prices, that is), at $1,850 each, compared to average acquisition prices around $250 each a couple years back. Sold privately.

2nd Handful of – Such as and These were sold to the same buyer as the above, but I could only squeeze $1,200 each out of these a couple months after the first handful above. I feel no shame in selling for a lower price; I bought domains on the way up, and I’ve sold domains on the way up, near the peak, and on the way back down. I’m not smart enough to time markets; my approach to has always been similar to dollar cost averaging when buying a stock index over time.

Handful of – Ranging in quality from to, and in sales price from $270 to $1,300. I wasn’t even close to hitting the top of the market on the sale side, but since my acquisition prices ranged from $31 for up to $415 for, all is good. I have a couple dozen mostly non-CHIP left, nearly all of which are long term holds; typically because they’re developed in other extensions and are potential upgrade names.

Handful of – Such as and The goal when I bought them last year was to flip them. Although I knew I had a thin profit on them at the time of acquisition from a domain sales newsletter, the market continued upwards, and a gentleman from China was kind enough to pay nearly 5x my acquisition prices; most sold near $3k. – I bought this earlier this year for what was a solid deal at the time of acquisition, but the market shifted and I lost a few bucks after factoring in NameJet commissions. – I picked this up earlier this year because of extremely poor discipline, and rightfully so, I then lost money on it. I was following a Sedo Great Domains auction and bidding (unsuccessfully) on, and somehow walked away as the high bidder on I envisioned a quick flip, but it turned out to be a money losing flop. Acquired for around $13,500, and sold for $15,000, but when you factor in 15% NameJet commissions, I lost around $750 on the domain. It was a poor decision to jump into the bidding on this domain when I hadn’t been following the market (my last purchase was for $2k; ages ago), and hadn’t done my standard due diligence. Lesson learned. Correction, re-learned. – The catchy headline here would be “400x return”. While it did sell for $10k, or 400x my $25 acquisition price a couple years back, once you factor in a couple years of renewals, plus my covering the commissions for the domain holding transaction, the return goes down significantly. Additionally, I personally take into consideration the acquisition prices and carry costs for the dozens and dozens of similar quality domains I own which haven’t sold, and frankly may never sell. Then you have your time investment. While I may sound like Debbie Downer here, I’m quite happy with the sale… point is that your return calculation needs to take into consideration more than just the acquisition price and sales price. This was sold via DomainNameSales, now known as Uniregistry Market, with its attractive 0% commissions.

As always, you’re welcome to share any of your recent sales, or critique mine listed above.

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  1. AbdulBasit Makrani

    Thanks for sharing Aaron. I like it because you don’t fear or sharing both your success and failure stories. This really help others to understand and not repeat the mistakes.

    I think you must have covered all the loss with the sale of 😉

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