analysis Domain Name Sales During First Six Months Of 2023: Red Ink Almost Everywhere

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The first six months of 2023 resulted in just over 70,000 NameBio-listed domain sales in total, with a dollar volume of just over $66 million.

That is a decrease of 21.5% in sales dollar volume compared to the same six months of 2022.

In this article I use the same procedure I have since 2019, including all sales in the Namebio main database for the first six months of each year. NameBio-listed sales are a combination of wholesale acquisitions and retail sales. Average prices are therefore not very meaningful, so this year I am only reporting sales dollar volume, a metric that tends to be dominated by the retail sales.

COM Continues Domination, But Down

The dollar volume in .com alone was down significantly, from $66.1 million in 2022 to $51.8 million in 2022. That is a decrease of 21.6%.

The .com extension continues to represent most of the aftermarket. In the first six months of 2023 .com accounted for 78.5% of all sales by dollar volume, unchanged from the same months in 2022.

The graph below shows the dollar volume in .com sales, at least those reported in NameBio, over the first six months of each of the last five years.

NET Also Down

The dollar volume in .net also dipped for the first six months of 2023, although the decrease was less than .com, at 8.5%.

With the recently announced ICANN agreement to extend the Verisign .net contract without going to tender, and allowing up to 10% wholesale price increase per year, .net domain investments will become more challenging.


In a relative sense, .org was the strongest of the major legacy extensions, although it was down 4.1% in dollar volume when we compare the first six months of 2023 with 2022.

The dollar volume of .org during the first six months of 2023 was $4.0 million, compared to just under $1.5 million for .net during the same period.

As the graph below shows, while there was a small dip in 2023, .org has been generally moving upward over the five years.

Country Code Domains Slightly Down Overall

Country code domain names had a spectacular 2021, but a much weaker 2022. The dollar volume dropped another 6.3% in the first half of 2023. That decrease was less than domains overall, or for .com alone. January to June sales volume, as reported in NameBio, is shown below for a five year period.


Lumping all country codes together is deceptive, since the various national and generalized country codes each have their own pattern. I provide data for some of the more interesting country codes below.

IO Dollar Volume Down 30%

Sales in .io contributed almost $955,000 during the first six months of 2023, but that was down 30% compared to the same period in 2022.

The multi-year graph below shows that .io sales volume rose dramatically in the first six months of 2021, but has been in decline since then. However, the 2023 volume is still more than double what it had been in the first half of 2019 or 2020.

CO Decline

The pattern in .co is pretty similar. The first six months of 2023 saw just over $362,000 in aftermarket sales reported in NameBio for the extension. That is down just over 31% compared to the same months in 2022. I plot below the five year trend.

Other Country Code Extensions

I tracked many other country code extensions, and here are comments for some of them. Note that in many cases the number of sales is relatively small, so apparent trends may not be statistically significant.
  • .AI: With all of the progress and attention on artificial intelligence, we would expect .ai to have a strong start to 2023. That indeed was the case, with $1.15 million in reported sales volume during the first half of 2023, compared to just under $348,000 during the same months of 2022.
  • .CC: In last year’s analysis the .cc extension had approximately doubled sales dollar volume. Driven by eye-catching numerical sales, the first half of 2023 have continued strong in the extension, with .cc dollar volume up from $179,000 during the first half of 2022 to almost $432,000 in 2023.
  • .CN: While there are other indicators that the Asian domain market is picking up, the NameBio-reported sales volume for China’s .cn was down 69% when we compare the first half of 2023 to 2022. The numbers are based on a small number of sales, however.
  • .CO.UK: The UK’s was down about 25% in sales volume. Based on just a handful of sales, the .uk was up in sales volume, however.
  • .DE: Germany’s .de is always one of the best performers, and that remained so, although the dollar volume dropped 19% in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.
  • .ES: Spain’s .es was up 76% in dollar volume. That is the extension’s best showing since 2020.
  • .EU: Europe’s .eu had a strong start to 2023, the best in the five years I tracked, growing from $136,000 in the first six months of 2022, to more than $331,000 in dollar volume in 2023.
  • .GG: Reported sales in .gg, a country code that appeals to the gaming community, were down 35.6% compared to 2022.
  • .IN: India’s .in saw a reported sales volume decline of 18%, when compared to the similar period of 2022.
  • .LY: The .ly extension, was down by about 14% in sales volume.
  • .ME: The .me extension was down 21.5% in sales volume. It had also dropped last year.
  • .NL: One bright spot among country code extensions was .nl, that more than quadrupled dollar volume from the previous year, to $165,000 over the six-month start of 2023.
  • .TV: The .tv extension sales dollar volume was down about 19.4%.
  • .US: The .us extension was way up last year, but it dropped back in 2023. It is still higher than 2019 and 2020, but 55% down in volume when compared to the first half of 2022.
  • .VC: The .vc extension, popular among venture capital firms, saw a 40.7% decline in dollar volume compared to previous year, at least according to NameBio-reported sales.

New Extensions Down

Taken as a whole, new extension sales pulled back strongly compared to 2022, although 2023 was better than 2020 or 2021. The dollar volume in the first six months of 2023 was $1.81 million, compared to $4.85 million during the same period in 2022. The trend over the five years is shown below.

XYZ Drops

After huge increases during the last few years, sales volume in .xyz dropped by almost 78% when the first half of 2023 is compared to a similar period in 2022.

While .xyz accounts for 38.6% of all new extension volume, that is down substantially from 2022 when it accounted for 65.2%. The graph below shows .xyz over the years.

Other New Extensions

Here are comments on some other new gTLDs that I tracked.
  • .APP: .app remains one of the most sold new extensions, and managed to grow dollar volume by 10% when we compare the first half of 2023 to 2022. The dollar volume over the six months was just over $263,000.
  • .ART: Driven by interest in NFTs, the .art extension had a superb first six months of 2022, but dropped 28.1% in sales dollar volume in 2023. That still accounted for almost $152,000 in sales.
  • .CLOUD: The .cloud extension dollar volume was up 26% when compared to the first six months of 2022, although the total was less than 2019, 2020 and 2021 figures/
  • .CLUB: The .club extension had been strong in 2019 to 2022, but dropped precipitously in 2023.
  • .LINK: The .link extension is under new ownership. It did manage to more than double dollar volume in 2023, although that is still only just shy of $28,000 over the six month period.
  • .NETWORK: The .network extension had a big rise in 2021. In 2023 it was only slightly changed from 2022, up about 3%.
  • .ONE: The .one extension had its worst start of year, with just $3400 in sales volume.
  • .ONLINE: The .online extension was up 44% in dollar volume, having its best start of year over the five years.
  • .SOCIAL: The .social extension is popular for Mastodon instances, and other fediverse applications. The sales volume was up more than 5x from 2022, accounting for just over $15,000 in the six month period.

The .biz and .info extensions have both been around for many years.
  • .biz had fewer than 50 sales, but based on that decline of 74% in sales dollar volume.
  • The .info extension had 236 sales in NameBio over the 2023 reporting period. Based on that, there was a 24.5% decline in dollar volume.[/b]

Keep in mind that this is a comparison of sales from the first six months of each year only. Economic and world events can have serious impacts in a short period of time. I do a similar analysis published in the NamePros Blog at the end of each year, comparing full year results.

Remember that by no means all domain name sales are reported in NameBio. It is hard to know if there are significant differences between extensions in the fraction of sales that are reported in NameBio.

NameBio reports a higher percentage of wholesale transactions than retail. As wholesale prices have risen, it is likely that a higher percentage of wholesale transactions appear in recent years.

The ratio of number of NameBio-reported wholesale to retail sales varies with extension. While the number of TLDs covered by the standard expired auctions has increased recently, still the expired auctions are dominated by the major legacy extensions, especially .com.

Over the years, what gets reported in NameBio has changed. That impacts the data, although in the period covered I do not know of significant drops in coverage, so it is likely that the decline in sales volume is indeed real.

As for previous reports in this series, I collected the data right at the end of the six month period. That means sales reported later, but that occurred during the six month period, will not have been included. Therefore, you may find slightly different data if you later check NameBio. Since I was consistent in 2019, 2200, 2221, 2022 and 2223, however, there should not be a systematic bias.

Past Years

This is the fifth analysis of the first six months of the year. Here are links to the previous articles:
The decline in sales volume is concerning. While part might be due to declines in wholesale acquisitions, it seems that retail sales overall are in decline. It is possible that venues that typically don’t get reported in NameBio may be taking more of the market.

Please share in the comments below what you conclude from the data. Also, feel free to include mention of additional TLDs that you would like included in future editions of the analysis.

I can't do a poll here, but to help assess what percentage of individual retail sales are getting reported to NameBio, could you please complete the poll here.

Huge thanks to Namebio, an incredible resource for domain name sales data.
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
"The decline in sales volume is concerning. While part might be due to declines in wholesale acquisitions, it seems that retail sales overall are in decline. It is possible that venues that typically don’t get reported in NameBio may be taking more of the market."

Economy as a whole weak which doesn't help in general. GoDaddy increasing to 25% if ya don't use their family of nameservers has definitely shifted more domains to afternic where sales don't get reported where all of my sedo sales do get reported.
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Insightful post. Not surprised at the decline.

The world economy isn't great at the moment.

Thanks, Bob.
Great report. Full information and latest trend of domain sales. Thank you
Interesting analysis.
Let's hope the second half improves.
Thanks, Bob.
Good post. Thanks Bob. One thing I noticed is that I had a couple of decent sales via Afternic and I don't see them on namebio. Also recently, the price request for my domains on afternic has increased substantially for two words .com domains.
It is possible that venues that typically don’t get reported in NameBio may be taking more of the market."

that's an excellent point!

also, just because there is a decline in $ volume reporting, doesn't mean sellers are in the red.

there are certain trends or hype, that drive volume of sales and when the top tier keywords of those trends are gone, then a decline starts.
when a new trend hits the scene, then volume goes up.

it's part of the cycle.

One thing I noticed is that I had a couple of decent sales via Afternic and I don't see them on namebio.
Unless reported individually by buyer or seller, no sales from Afternic are on NameBio for a number of years. The same is true of Dan and the brandable marketplaces. Therefore much of the retail market does not get reported. The retail sales on NameBio are predominantly from Sedo and BuyDomains, along with some individual seller reports and a few other venues.

My comment about possibly the market is shifting to venues that don't mainly get reported could be one explanation. That leaves the possibility open that the market has not changed, but where it is happening has changed. There are ways to check this premise to some degree, and I may try to analyze that in a future post.

There are lots of wholesale acquisitions from the expiring auction places in NameBio, and another explanation would be that investors in tougher economic times are pulling back in acquisitions. I do have plans to try to untangle that in some future analysis.

Thanks for your comment, and congratulations on the sales. By the way, unless a NDA agreement, there is nothing to prevent individual sellers from reporting sales from Afternic to NameBio, but I realize there are reasons some prefer not to report sales.

thanks for the report!

what percentage of the retail market would you say goes unreported?
what percentage of the retail market would you say goes unreported?
My guesstimate is 95%, based on the popularity of the platforms that do report vs those that don't, and also accounting for private sales
Thank you for the stats!
Excellent research Mr. Bob Hawkes. Many Thanks.
That is a decrease of 21.5% in sales dollar volume compared to the same six months of 2022.

... maybe decrease of 21.5% in reporting sales ...

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Not fun...

Thanks for the supremely insightful article! Very informative but the information is troubling.
i bet on .CC since last year in October
Until end of year still long way
For now nothing ( for me ) since January 2023
what percentage of the retail market would you say goes unreported?
I would think that perhaps 90% of the retail market is not reported on NameBio (I presume that is interpretation of unreported you mean - some of the other sales do get partially reported on social media, at NamePros, etc.).

Among big players, NameBio get almost all sales from BuyDomains from the feed on their site (they seem to not report the lowest value sales, though), only a small percentage of DomainMarket, and as far as I know not HugeDomains or NameFind sales, in general.

NameBio have the auction sales from Sedo (any dollar amount) as well as other sales that go in the Sedo sales feed. This is most sales of $2000 and up, unless buyer has paid fee for nondisclosure. So the sales under $2000 at Sedo are missing.

They do get auction sales from registrar marketplaces like Sav, Dynadot, etc. Many of those are wholesale, but some are retail.

Some Afternic sales are individually reported, same for Dan, but majority not. Also in general the brandable marketplace sales are not reported.

Among active private sellers with large portfolios, there are a few who almost always report sales on NameBio, but many who do not. It is difficult to give a percentage.

Sometimes the auction sites (like GD Expired Auctions, ParkIO etc.) are all considered wholesale, but that is an over simplification. For sure some end buyers are bidding at the auctions, it seems an increasing number from an analysis I did for the NamePros Blog a year or two ago.

I used to think 20% of retail might be in, but think that is too high. Maybe 10%. Nevertheless, it is a large number of sales in many extensions, and as long as not systematic variations, can still be used to look at trends. But the total dollar figure is definitely substantially higher than reported here, so the absolute values should only be used in comparative sense, not a correct number for the total domain market volume.

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The sale in dollar amount may not mean much.
You can have only 20 names sold at $100,000 each = 2 Million
You can also have 200 names sold at $10,000 each = 2 Million
So which one do we care? 20 names or 200 names?

Just my opinion!
While in most sectors the drop in 2023 from 2022 is substantial, but it is true that the last few years have been higher volume than the longer term average, so the year-to-year comparisons may be more bleak than the true situation.

Also, 6 months is not that long, and this 6 months certainly had more than its share of bad economic news that has no doubt impacted parts of the domain market.

I hope when I do the year-end analysis the picture will be less negative.

Thanks Bob...well presented information!

Just as an FYI, the vast majority of my sales do not show up on namebio.
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I have set up a poll to help determine what percentage of sales volume from individual sellers gets reported on NameBio. Please take a few minutes to complete the poll here.

Thank you,

And 90% of sales are fake!
Having more than 1500 domains I did not sell anything until today.
I hope when I do the year-end analysis the picture will be less negative.

to me, what you painted so far, isn't a negative.

it is, what it is, or how it's perceived.
the volume, is the positive.... regardless to actual percent reported or not.

because we all know every seller doesn't report sales to publishers.

Red Ink Everywhere indeed - Great info.

The startup market has been been mostly dead 1st half of 2023.
Some insiders are calling the halt in VC funding mass level extinction of startups over next 6-12 months.

Startup funding is down 70% or so YoY to start Q3 2023.

81% of early-stage startups are facing a failure in 2023:-o

U.S. economy has been in a technical recession for 18 months. Yet, many pundits are saying deepest depth of the recession will be felt over the next 6-12 months.

Personally, I've had a handful of open negotiations with startups for EMD dotCom completely stall. One day we were discussing price and payment plans, the next day they are reading my emails but not responding.

I'm buying less than ever, allowing my weakest 25% of domains to drop, and staying liquid in hopes Q1 2024 will be much better.
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Hi Bob,

Thank you so much for your insights. This is really helpful. Thank you so much