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James Iles

Domain Data: Analyzing $10.7 Million Worth of 3 Letter .COM Sales at NameJet - Part 1

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By James Iles, Nov 29, 2018
  1. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    Every month, domain auction house NameJet sends out a report of all domain sales from that month. Each report also contains a log of every month’s sales from June 2011 to the present day. All data from NameJet is publicly available via NameBio, where all purchases of $100 or more are tracked.

    One popular area of investment over the past few years has been three-letter .COM’s, and NameJet has been one of the most prominent auction houses for domainers to snap up these liquid assets.

    In this two-part series, we are going to take on the mammoth task of looking at the data from every three-letter .COM sale that NameJet has closed from June 2011 to September 2018. With close to five-hundred sales totaling over $10 million, there’s plenty of data to analyze. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the data.


    The Domains

    In total, there have been 496 sales of three-letter .COM domains between June 2011 and September 2018. This means an average of just under six three-letter .COM domain sales per month.

    From these names, 138 (27.8%) would be considered “Chinese Premium” (Chip) domains. These are names that do not contain A, E, I, O, U or V. We will come back to Chip domains in a later section.

    There are 212 names (42.7%) that do not contain a vowel (A, E, I, O or U) and 126 (25.4%) that contain two or more vowels.

    The average age of a three-letter .COM sold at NameJet is twenty years and six months, with the average registration date being April 27th, 1998. The oldest name is QMS.com (February 1988), with the youngest being WGJ.com (April 2013).

    Most of the three letter domains are currently registered to Chinese registrar eName, with a total of 142 names (28.6%) registered there. There are 95 names (19.1%) registered to GoDaddy and 77 names (15.5%) registered at eNom.


    Price Data

    Prices for three-letter .COM’s at NameJet range from four-figures up to six-figures. The lowest price recorded is ZBV.com, which sold for $3,010 in June 2012. The highest price was $184,000 for LTD.com in December 2015, at the height of China’s interest in short domain names.

    In total, NameJet has sold $10,729,285 worth of three-letter .COM domain names, which works out at an average of $121,923 per month since June 2011.

    The average sales price for any three-letter .COM through NameJet is $21,631.62. This is higher than I expected to see based on seven years of data, but this may point to the fact that the average sales price was significantly boosted throughout 2015 and 2016 when activity from Chinese investors was at its highest.

    Out of interest, the median price was $18,000 and the modal price was $25,000.

    data1.png
    Figure One
    We have six years of complete data from 2012 to 2017, with 2011 and 2018 incomplete. Within these six complete years, there is an obvious price increase for three-letter .COM domains. Figure one shows the average sales price for a three-letter .COM domain at NameJet, from 2012 to 2017.

    In 2012, the average sales price was $7,101.35. This increased around 115% in 2013 to $15,300.71 and a 36% increase in 2014 to $20,814. In 2015 and 2016, activity in the liquid domain market expanded as global interest centered largely around two, three and four character domains.

    This sent the average sales price up a further 33.58% in 2015 and an extra 6.72% in 2016 before dipping 17.65% in 2017.

    data2.png
    Figure Two
    You may be forgiven for thinking that the volume of domains sold would increase alongside the average sales price. However, our volume data, shown in figure two , shows an interesting anomaly.

    As you can see, 2012 produced 94 three-letter .COM sales in total. The smallest sale of 2012 was ZBV.com for $3,010 with the largest being NYE.com for $175,500. The data shows 89% of three-letter names sold at NameJet in 2012 sold for $7,700 or less, representing a very active wholesale market in the four-figure range in 2012.

    In 2013, just 34 names had sold on the NameJet platform, representing a volume drop of 63.83% from 2012. As was noted earlier, the average sales price increased by 115% in 2013.

    With increased interest from investors from around the world, the three-letter .COM wholesale market picked up pace in 2014 with an 82% increase in sales volume compared to 2013, although this figure is still 51.61% less than the sales volume from 2012.

    It takes until 2015 to see 2012’s volume record beaten, with 110 three-letter .COM domains selling at NameJet in 2015. Both 2016 and 2017 have seen decreases in volume.

    In the spreadsheet from NameJet, we had access to 2018’s sales from January to September. During that time, just 19 sales have been completed at an average sales price of $26,252. This works out at an average of just over two sales per month for the first 9 months of 2018. If this were to continue for the rest of 2018, we’d see just 25 three-letter .COM sales at NameJet. That’s a drop of 66.6% from 2017.

    What does this mean for the three-letter .COM market? Does it simply mean that fewer investors are willing to auction their domains onto a marketplace that largely attracts investors, or is a weak market affecting the confidence of sellers?

    Part Two of this analysis will be released in a couple of weeks.
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    Writer for NamePros.com. For all inquiries relating to stories and interviews, please email: [email protected]

    This is James Iles's 598th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (6)

  6. TERADOMAIN

    TERADOMAIN Active Member VIP

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    Thanks for sharing.

    Very helpful info.

    Thanks
     
  7. Rocky Yue

    Rocky Yue Established Member

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  8. Fancy.domains

    Fancy.domains Selling gTLDs like delicious hotcakes Gold Account VIP

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    Thanks for updatong us James!
     
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    wesley sweatman durfer VIP

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    abdou01 Established Member

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    Thank you for sharing,
     
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