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Bob Hawkes

A Look at 2019 Premium Domain Name Sales in the .ORG Extension: Prices, Length, Types, Venues, Uses

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By Bob Hawkes, Apr 1, 2020
  1. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    This article looks at .org extension domain name sales during 2019. I use data from the NameBio database, only considering sales at prices of $5000 or more.

    There were 123 sales above $5000, accounting for a total sales volume of just over $1.6 million.

    The highest value sale, casinos.org, accounted for about 25% of the overall sales volume. Only 38 of the sales in 2019 were at prices of $10,000 or more.

    Based on the sales venues and current use, it appears that, even in this price range, a number of the sales were wholesale acquisitions. About half of the sites are in active use, either directly or through redirection. While only about 15% of the names are for sale again, another 32% are not currently operational.

    The majority of .org domain names sold in this price range are either an acronym or a single word.

    The average length for the domain names in the analysis is 8.7 letters.

    There was considerable diversity in how the domains are being used, with reference and data/statistics sites, promotion of causes, health, canna/CBD and gambling/gaming all relatively popular for the domain names from this analysis.

    Keep in mind that data from many sales venues are not reported in NameBio, so the sales here only represent a minority of all .org domain sales.


    ORG Extension Sales

    Here is a NameBio list of the 123 sales included in this analysis. It shows the names, dates, prices and venues. It is possible to apply your own filters by category, length, price, etc.

    The total sales volume was $1.6 million, compared to $4.4 million if we consider all sales above $100. In other words, sales above $5000 represent, by sales volume, 36% of all listed .org sales for the year. However, by number they are only 2.3% of the total .org sales for the year.

    If we compare with .com sales in this price range for the same time period, there were 123 .org sales compared to 5252 .com sales. In other words, for every .org sale above $5000, there were about 42 .com sales.

    The graph below shows the distribution by price range. The highest-value sale, casinos.org represents almost 25% of the sales volume for the year, but sales in the $5000 to $10,000 range dominate the number of sales.
    ORG_price_2019.png
    NameBio reported (>$5000) year 2019 .org sales by price range. There were 123 sales in total.


    Domain Name Length

    The domain names in the study varied in length from 2 to 25 letters. There were 8 two-letter names sold, and another 11 three-letter sales. The breakdown is shown in the graph below.

    ORG_length_2019.png
    Breakdown by domain name length of year 2019 .org extension sales above $5000 in price.

    The longest name was 25 letters, RegulateMarijuanaInAlaska.org. It is also the only four-word domain name sale.

    The average length of a domain name in this analysis was 8.7 letters, while the median length was just over 7 letters.


    Type of Domain Name

    Length alone does not specify the types of domain names sold. I categorized each of the 123 domain names by number of words, with the results shown below.

    ORG_type_2019.png
    Analysis of high-value year 2019 .org extension sales by type. Note that acronyms are classified as a single word.

    I considered an acronym as a single word, and a name like OJPDiagnosticCenter was interpreted as three words, with the acronym being one of the three words. Almost 30% of domain names in this analysis are either simply an acronym, or contain an acronym.

    Numbers do not appear very common in premium .org extension sales. Only one of the sales was purely a number, with three others being mixed-mode with a combination of a word or letters along with a number.

    Three of the sales included a hyphen.

    A fair number of plural words sold, including bonuses, casinos, cats, images, radicals, sunglasses, and values, although single words were more common.


    Sales Venue

    Sales venue is dominated by GoDaddy, Sedo and NameJet. Together, they accounted for almost 79% of the sales. The complete breakdown is shown below.
    ORG_venue_2019.png
    Sales venue for the 123 names in the study.

    Keep in mind that the analysis is based on NameBio data, and venues such as Afternic and DAN do not report sales, nor are most sales made at Efty sites reported.

    The venues where the domain names were sold suggest a fair number of wholesale acquisitions by domain investors, and that is confirmed when we look at the current status of each domain name.


    Current Status

    For each of the 123 names, I tried to go to the corresponding website to see the current status. About half of the domain names were in active use, either directly or as redirection to an active website.
    ORG_use_2019.png
    The current status of each of the 123 names in the study.

    I considered the few sites that gave security warnings as not in use.

    While three of the sites had monetized parking without being obviously for sale, many of the sites categorized for sale used some sort of parking as well.

    It is significant that all of the 2-letter domain names in the study were either listed for sale again or not in operation.


    Application Niche

    For those sites that were active, including those used for redirection, I categorized the type of use into one (or occasionally two) of 19 possible categories.

    There was considerable diversity in type of use, as the graph below shows.
    ORG_niche_2019.png
    Type of use for those sales that had an active website.

    The largest number of sites had some sort of reference or review function. The actual nature of these sites varied extensively, however, with some operated by major organizations while others seemed single-person operations. Also, clearly some had a monetization focus, while others did not.

    The next most prominent applications were related to promotion of causes or on data and technology. That was followed by health related sites.

    Two niches popular in .com in recent years, canna or CBD related sites, and gambling or gaming sites, were also well represented here.

    While most of the sites were English language, there were two Chinese, and one each German, Japanese and Finnish sites.

    The most obvious finding is that there was much diversity in type of use with few clear trends.

    My reason for confining the analysis to developed names is that often it is difficult to know what the real niche is without seeing the developed website. For example, KnowYourStuff.org could be used for many things, but it is a Japanese language financial technology site. Similarly, a word like impacted.org has many possible applications, but is used for a discovery learning initiative.

    The great name office.org is used to support the popular open source
    OpenOffice and LibreOffice initiatives. StarsAndStripes.org is used for redirection to a support and information page for the USA sailing team in the America’s Cup.

    The above analysis was done by hand, and I only considered sites with operating websites.

    The word Wikipedia was part of two sales, as was the word art.

    There were four country names sold during the 2019, Iceland, Germany, Spain and England. Only Iceland was in active use at the time I checked. Several city or location names also sold in 2019.


    Recent Historical Trends

    The multi-year analyses of sales volume and average prices give a sense of trends in different domain name extensions. I have extracted the .org data below. There has been a modest but steady increase in sales volume in recent years, and average prices have remained approximately constant.
    VolumePriceORG_4yr.png
    NameBio-reported (>$100) sales volume and average prices for the .org extension in recent years.

    Over most of the past decade there has been a slight increase in relative use of the .org extension in web traffic.


    What About 2020?

    This article looked at sales from 2019, but even though not yet one-quarter through 2020 at time of writing, there are indications that it is going to be a strong year in the .org extension. There are already, at time of writing, 51 sales above $5000 in 2020, with a sales volume of $597,000. So far 2020 seems to be more active than 2019. Also, there is already one sale above $100,000, and another above $50,000.


    Final Thoughts

    To some degree, the .org extension retains a concentration within its traditional use by not-for-profit organizations, reference sites, and causes, while broadening somewhat into almost any type of application. The top sale was a for-profit business, as are the multiple sales related to canna or CBD, and gambling and gaming.

    The analysis here indicates the broadening of market for .org, but without dominant concentrations in specific niches.

    The type of names that sell are diverse. Acronyms and short single words are common, but some names that sell for premium prices are not short.

    This analysis pointed out that a fair amount of the activity, even at this price point of $5000 and above, is wholesale trade. Clearly these investors see potential in the extension, particularly for very short domain names.

    The degree to which removal of price caps on future renewal prices, or the likely sale of the registry to private equity, will influence the market for .org domain names, is not clear at this time.


    What Do You Think?

    Whether you are a long-term .org domain name investor, or have only recently focussed on it, I would love to hear your comments.
    • What trends do you see in the types of names that sell in the extension?
    • Do you feel positive about future prospects in .org?
    • Are there aspects of selling .org domain names that are distinctly different from .com? For example, with respect to pricing, promotion or negotiation.
    • Feel free to share your best sale of an .org extension domain name, along with any details of the sale, or a single .org domain name that you currently have, if you wish. Please do not post your entire list of offerings in the extension, however.


    Thanks to NameBio for the data used for this analysis.
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. Bob Hawkes

    About The Author — Bob Hawkes

    Domain analyst, writer and informal educator, with particular interests in domain name phrases and non-business uses for domain names. I am a risk averse domain investor who only invests modest amounts in a variety of extensions and niches. Don't hesitate to contact me - I like to help!

    This is Bob Hawkes's 32nd blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (32)

  6. Keith DeBoer

    Keith DeBoer BrandableInsider.com PRO VIP ICA Member

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    Great, in depth, analysis. Thanks, Bob!
     
  7. sircc

    sircc Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Very nice write-up Bob. Good information.
     
  8. NickB

    NickB Wales.org VIP

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    nice article

    I personally see a lot of potential in the extension away from the traditional "non profit" usage, my preference would still be names that can be used for green/eco/healthy living businesses, charities and vocational/educational organisations but I do also like good finance names & pure Geo's
     
  9. Paltzar

    Paltzar Hardware.company

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    very nice but some people say its for government only is this right ?
     
  10. sircc

    sircc Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    org...organization.
    gov...govenment
    edu...education.
     
  11. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    I would say not. In the USA the .gov is used for government, and in most other countries the country code for that country is used by government.

    There are no formal limits on who can use a .org. It is the preferred extension by most non-governmental organizations, whether nonprofit or not, but also finds use by many businesses. It also is a good choice for things like the philanthropic arm of a benefactor or business.

    I agree with @NickB comments above regarding which areas are particularly suited to it.

    To some degree .org is also finding use as a lower-cost alternative to .com, that has lots of respect. Phishing and other forms of malware is actually lower in .org than .com, although I am not sure that influences many use choices.

    I would have thought that the way the move to private equity (apparently) was made, and the lifting of price caps, might hurt the extension, but so far in the sales I see no evidence of that.

    Thanks for the comments everyone,

    Bob
     
  12. Paltzar

    Paltzar Hardware.company

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    thanks bob i find this name junket in .org and i reg it but someone told me this extension for government i want to know and you answered thanks very much
     
  13. FolioTeam

    FolioTeam AMDB.tv VIP

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    Thanks, Bob. Great work as usual.

    It's no secret that I like good .orgs. I have a good number of them in my portfolio and they have been good to me so far.

    Thanks again for the article.
     
  14. Makbliss

    Makbliss Cancer Survivor, domain and crypto enthusiasts VIP Gold Account

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  15. Skyvisum

    Skyvisum Top Contributor VIP

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    I love .orgs .I am careful what i pick these days compared to when I was a newbie.B/r/e/a/t/h/w/o/r/k/s .org is my highest .org sale and I expect to surpass that in future with some 5 figure sales in .org.I go in with my guts when it comes to .org investments but not everyone can take the risk .I have also dropped a lot in a bulk purchase from namepros long time ago when i wasnt experienced but it helped sharpen my experience later on.Better to be patient and not rush to purchase.

    So I do what works for me .Just read and study so you dont waste your money in what wont work for you and blame others.No secret to it.Read and research.
     
  16. Ntmt

    Ntmt Top Contributor VIP

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    I like .org, my .orgs typically sell for mid-high xxx.

    I took part in GD expired auction where disk.org was sold for 2150 in 2019, later I realized I should bid more there - what a nice name! )
     
  17. WaveNames

    WaveNames Established Member

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  18. Lavern Clardy

    Lavern Clardy Established Member

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    Is it wise for newbie to invest in .org
     
  19. DigitalRoar

    DigitalRoar Investor & Creator VIP

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    Great, I had already priced my single word .org domains in that 5-10k range, will hopefully sell some soon!
     
  20. Lavern Clardy

    Lavern Clardy Established Member

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    Do most large business use ,org
     
  21. Namesolve

    Namesolve Upgraded Member Blue Account

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    Back in January there was an article by NY Times 'The Shaky Future of .org Domains' explains a lot.
     
  22. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    It is a good question you ask (and welcome to NamePros by the way!). I think that many will give advice that new domain investors should stick to .com, or perhaps .com plus their own country code. I think the rationale for that is that .com sells in every possible niche and type of domain name, while most other extensions sell in a narrower way, and that means you need more experience to be successful. Some of the articles in this guide to NamePros resources for new domain investors will offer opinions along that line.

    The other argument is that by sheer volume .com sales dominate. For example in this price range the article points out that....
    If we look, not just at sales of $5000 and more, in 2019 there were 5252 .org sales (>$100) but about 92,800 .com sales!

    However, as an individual investor, the important numbers are the probability of sale (sell-through rate), the average prices of sales, and the annual holding costs. While the vast majority of domains sold are .com, so are the vast majority of domains listed for sale. The sell-through rate actually slightly favours .org. Regarding holding costs, I think most would agree, even taking into account the four 7% increases seemingly in pipeline (but delayed until 2021), holding costs for .org are probably greater, especially with caps removed.

    I can see the argument either way re a new investor holding .org. I think certain ares are more apt to use .org, and if one of your expertise niches match those, holding some can make sense, but only if you are convinced on the quality of the name, and carefully analyze each purchase. I did not, personally, hold any in my first year, but I would not have been opposed to trying a few, which I did in my second year.

    Too long an answer.:xf.eek: Sorry!

    I can answer the question as asked in one word :xf.smile:: No.

    However, had the question been do some significant businesses use .org, or is the use of .org by business increasing, I would have answered Yes.

    I had hoped that the analysis might help show which types of business do use .org, but that was not very clear in my mind after looking at these sales.

    Have a great day, and welcome to NamePros!

    Bob
     
  23. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    As in any situation, just wanted to stress that people should remember that this article only looked at .org that sold for $5k or more. 2.4% of NameBio listed .org sales in 2019 were $5000 or more. I obviously have no idea about any person's single word domain names, but keep in mind that while many single word names are worth up to $10,000, or indeed much more, it is not that most are selling at that price.

    Be interested to see where people are pricing their single word .org in retail now. @Ntmt indicates many priced mid-high $$$, and that strikes me about right for the majority of .org names, with obvious exceptions.
    Anyone else want to share what they typically price a single word .org at these days, maybe both for a high-value and relatively common single word, and a somewhat common, but less obvious single word? In the latter category, I personally have my 3 single word .org priced mainly high $$$ but one mid $$$.

    I agree the opinion piece from Dr. Wolff in the NYT is well worth reading, and the probable move to private equity, coupled with the removal of price caps, has created uncertainty in the extension as my article mentioned in the closing line.
    To some degree Dr. Wolff's opinion piece more than about .org demonstrates the difficult position of ICANN right now. I found this line insightful in her piece.
    "ICANN is in a very delicate position because it derives its authority not from a contract with the United States but instead from its ability to balance the interests of all its various stakeholders from government officials to civil society groups and for-profit companies and maintaining credibility with the worldwide community. "

    Thanks for pointing out the article, @Namesolve.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
  24. Reddstagg

    Reddstagg Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Bob,

    Thanks again for a great report. Very thorough analysis. However, although the figure speak for themselves I can honestly say that I would never register a .org. This would be more especially true of the dot.com was available for a similar name.

    It is not about my wealth or experience but the perception that people have about .org. I would also associate it with an organization and wouldn't see it ever being used for anything remotely brand-able to or on trend in today's society. It would not be the first thing that someone who is an end-user would search for and I suspect that the sales were in the majority to fellow domain investors.

    Is there any way to tell who the names went to on say a quantifiable cross section of the names?

    It would be interesting to know as sometimes statistics can sway the way that we think as domain investors. Stick to what you know is what they say and in my tiny little head a .org is to be used for a specific purpose.

    I love reading these reports. I let the information sink in for a few seconds and then I go and do my own thing anyway. Your talents are sometimes wasted on my view of the world.

    Keep up the good work.

    Regards,

    Reddstagg
     
  25. Skyvisum

    Skyvisum Top Contributor VIP

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    I price most of my single word.orgs in 5 figures or leave at low 5 figures on make offer.I value my time greatly.I look at long term when it comes to good keywords on.orgs so i dont price low which I see most do on reported sales.Up your game and dont be scared to price high and adjust reasonably every now and then.

    Why work so hard researching on drops and expired to sell for $80-$100?We can do better.

    I would advise most domainers who would listen, to price at least on low 4 figures that nets you constant low 4 figure profits .I know most people need a quick 150 and I see some good .orgs gets sold for that range🤔.I am not a guru and am learning everyday, from others I see as being successful in this industry.

    Always challenge yourself to make high sales even if its going to be long term.Sell some and leave the big sales on long term.

    Work smarter.JMHO.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
  26. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    Yes I went to every one of the 123 names that were resolvable. The list is here, in case you missed the link. I then took each name, and saw where it took me. That is how I determined what fraction were still for sale or otherwise seemingly in domainer hands. That is also how I classified the type of end use for each as well, although the process is of course subjective in some cases.

    I understand, and share, your perception that most potential users of a business would first think of .com. That said, a number are in use by businesses. Remember that a business is, as well as other things, a type of organization. This works particularly for some businesses - like the sharing economy, sites that are mainly guides to sites in some area, etc. For example the top sale, casinos, takes you as I understand it to a series of online casino sites. Dawn, the second highest sale, takes you to an online open-source rewarded gaming initiative. etc.
    I totally agree with this viewpoint. I think we make the best investment decisions in what we know and are passionate about. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this view. I personally registered not a single .org in my first 12 months, and still have few enough to count on both hands.

    Thanks for your, as always, thoughtful and clearly expressed views.

    Take care,

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
  27. Lavern Clardy

    Lavern Clardy Established Member

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    Thank you Bob for that information. if you want to know you ask.
     
  28. Lavern Clardy

    Lavern Clardy Established Member

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    If you are looking for fast sell. sell some domains at a low price.
     
  29. Sean Collinson

    Sean Collinson New Member

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    Very informative. Thanks for sharing.

    Sean
     
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